There’s an abundance of options when it comes to outdoor outfitters. Making a decision on which company to buy from has a built in list of factors to consider: longevity of the clothes and equipment, checking if what’s available matches your interests, the ethos of the brand itself, and so on. So we turned to the tens of thousands of writers, photographers, and travel experts in Matador Network’s Creators Community to find the best of the best.
Among the many great brands that creators listed as top adventure gear brands, one stood out as a fan favorite: Patagonia. It’s easy to understand why, and the brand is also a favorite with Matador Network editors. Decades of experience fine-tuning outdoor gear, a wide selection, and a commitment to sustainability all factor into reasons why. To that last point, as we’ve noted before, sustainability is always fashionable, which is a big reason why Patagonia frequently tops lists.
Founder Yvon Chouinard started Patagonia as we know it in 1973 after years of climbing experience and a stint starting and running what became the largest climbing hardware supplier in the United States, Chouinard Equipment. Insulating clothes, innovative water-resistant climbing and hiking wear, and a slew of purpose-driven outdoor clothing for all types of adventures (in vivid colors, no less) followed.
The brand bolstered its reputation for quality gear with a commitment to the environment. Patagonia started donating 10 percent of yearly profits to small groups that restore the habitat in 1986. Yearly environmental education campaigns began a few years later, starting with Yosemite, which led to work on dams, wildlands projects, and wildlife corridors.
Patagonia’s sustainability work has continued through the past decade as the brand continued to bolster its outfitter reputation. The Certified B Corporation went so far as to change its mission statement in 2018 to, “We’re in business to save our home planet.” In 2021, Patagonia won the US State Department’s Award for Corporate Excellence in the Climate Innovation category.
That’s something Matador Network can get behind, and it’s clearly something that those in our Creators Community equally value.