About Columbia Sportswear
It would be difficult not to trust an outdoor brand that has been around for more than 70 years. For Columbia Sportswear this means more than seven decades of not just perfecting outdoor wear but introducing innovations to the market as well. What separates this company from others is that the designs come from those who share in enthusiasm for the great outdoors.
All of this means that people who are out there experiencing the elements are creating a functional design for clothing to wear in them. Whether it’s camping, kayaking or rock climbing, the people behind Columbia understand firsthand what their customers want and need.
In fact, this is more important than anything because Columbia isn’t just designing outdoor apparel that looks cute, it could even be a matter of being life-saving. The good news is that part of what has made Columbia so popular for so long is that they do manage to combine functional with appealing and fashionable. This way you can conquer the great outdoors and still look great doing so.
How It All Began
Even the story behind the start of the company is rather amazing. In 1938, two German nationals fleeing Nazi Germany arrived in Portland, Oregon and purchased a small hat company. Naming it after their favorite river in their new home, the couple were now the proud owners of the Columbia Hat Company.
Since then the company has changed who is behind the reigns twice. First the couple’s daughter Gert took over as CEO when the father died. This was quite a demanding transformation as Gert was forced to go from homemaker to CEO overnight. Eventually Gert’s son, Tim Boyle, took over. Today he is still the longtime president as well as CEO.
Like any company, there have been highs and lows, or maybe more like hills and valleys. However the brand remains as popular today as ever. Columbia credits this continued success to the fact that the company is comprised of genuine people who happen to love the outdoors. It helps that the company still also has its headquarters in the stunning and awe-inspiring Pacific Northwest.
People who work for Columbia and those who tend to shop for this brand enjoy a regular variety of outdoor activities including but not limited to:
- Hiking, mountain climbing and rock climbing
- Camping, hunting and fishing
- Walking and running
- Paddling and surfing
- Boating and kayaking
- Plus anything else you can do in the great outdoors
Since that first year in 1938 when the Columbia Hat company began, the brand has come a long way, and they have hit some major milestones. Some of the highlights of the company’s timeline include:
- In 1960, in addition to Gert designing the first fishing vest, the company finally became Columbia Sportswear Company.
- The company went international in 1975, the same year they introduced the Gore-Tex parka.
- In 1985, the sportswear line was introduced, and in 1993 the footwear line was launched.
- In 1995, Columbia became an official America’s Cup sponsor and a year later opened their flagship store.
- In 1998, the company went public and then two years later Columbia acquired Sorel.
- For the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, Columbia became an official supplier to NBC Sports.
- In ’04, the company reached a billion dollars in annual sales and also acquired Mountain Hardwear.
- From 2002 to 2005, Columbia was also an official supplier for the X Games.
- By 2006 Columbia was available in 72 countries, and this was also the year it acquired Montrail and Pacific Trail Products.
- Forbes named Columbia one of the top 100 most trustworthy companies in 2010.
- 2011 and 2012 Columbia sponsored the US Freestyle Ski Team and other ski teams around the world.
This is without mentioning many of the awards and accomplishments the company has had, especially when it comes to designing and patenting products such as Omni-Wick EVAP, Omni-Freeze ICE, Omni-Wind BLOCK and Omni-Dry Ultrabreathable Waterproof Out Dry. Chances are if you have owned outdoor gear you have owned something that was made by Columbia.
Currently Columbia offers products in several different divisions including:
Whatever you are looking for when it comes to your love for the great outdoors, Columbia is bound to have it. Enjoy the outdoors, and do it in comfort and style. Just some of the categories available for different categories include:
- Skirts & Dresses for Women
- Big & Tall for Men
When it comes to equipment you can find:
- Sleeping Bags
- Shoulder Bags
- Duffle Bags
- And plenty more
For some shoppers, though, finding an extra great deal on Columbia through outlet shopping is an added bonus. While there are plenty of retail Columbia stores around the world, and their online storefront, outlet shoppers will be glad to know Columbia is a brand that can be found at many locations including but not limited to:
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Las Vegas, NV
- Monroe, OH
- Destin, FL
- Tinton Falls, NJ
- Chandler, AZ
- Hagerstown, MD
- Kittery, ME
- Camarillo, CA
- Plus plenty more
When it comes to finding equipment and clothing for the great outdoors, no one is better than Columbia. You and your entire family can be safe, comfortable and fashionable, and at factory outlet rock bottom prices.