Columbia Sportswear Company

Shop Columbia Sportswear Company

Paul and Marie Lafrom fled Nazi Germany in 1937 and settled in the United States. They bought a small hat company in Portland, OR, in 1938 and named it the Columbia Hat Company. From these humble beginnings, the business gradually transformed into a sportswear giant. In the 1940s, the Lafroms' daughter Gert married a man named Neal Boyle, who took the reins of the company and renamed it the Columbia Sportswear Company. Frustrated with unreliable suppliers, Columbia soon began making its own clothes--most notably a unique line of waterproof jackets.

In 1970, Neal Boyle died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving the fate of the company up in the air. His wife Gert and their son Timothy took over business operations and were able to rescue Columbia from the brink of bankruptcy. The mother and son remain the chairman and CEO, respectively, to this day. Columbia went public in 1998 and began a string of acquisitions that included the Sorel Corporation, Mountain Hardwear, Pacific Trail, and Montrail. Today, the company distributes its products via more than 13,000 retailers in 72 countries across the globe. Columbia also owns and operates its own chain of retail stores.

Babies & Kids Merchandise


Columbia's clothes for kids include outerwear options for young boys and girls of all ages, as well as a wide array of accessories. You'll find jackets suitable for all different types of weather--including garments that are specifically suited for rain or snow. Other cold weather gear includes snow pants, hats, gloves, scarves, and more. You'll also find base layers like thermal shirts and hoodies to wear underneath heavier outerwear. Different types of apparel are specifically rated for their ability to keep wearers warm, dry, and/or protected.

Clothes for women have a bit more range. Some tops are designed for everyday wear, with an emphasis on time spent outdoors. You'll find tees, tanks, button-down shirts, and pullovers. Bottoms are sporty and include leggings, roll-up pants, shorts, skirts, and capris. Jackets and vests for women range from lightweight windbreakers, raincoats, and fleeces, to heavier insulated shells and down jackets for ultimate warmth. Columbia footwear ranges from the functional to the fashion-oriented. For kids, you'll mostly find boots for rain and snow. The women's footwear selection includes hiking boots, multi-sport shoes, flip-flops, sandals, walking shoes, boat shoes, and more. Accessories like backpacks, satchels, totes, and watches are also particularly popular among adults.'s Rating of Columbia Sportswear Company

Since the company was founded almost 80 years ago, Columbia has been committed to innovating clothes for all different types of outdoor wear. The brand is known for experimenting with new technologies and materials to try to create products that are both functional and comfortable. Columbia's location in the Pacific Northwest is optimal because the area is synonymous with the outdoors, so it's no wonder that the company is able to easily respond to the needs of avid hikers, fishermen, campers, runners, and more. Whether you are looking for apparel that will keep your child warm in the harsh elements or trying to find the perfect jacket for yourself, Columbia has earned its impeccable reputation through decades of excellence. We give the brand 5 stars out of 5.

Columbia Sportswear Company

  • Established 1938
  • Sportswear for all ages
Sold at:
Columbia retail stores, major retailers, online
Types of items:
Jackets, winter coats, windbreakers, fleeces, snow gear, hats, scarves, gloves, tees, tanks, button-down shirts, leggings, roll-up pants, shorts, skirts, capris, boots, sneakers, sandals, backpacks, totes
Related brands:
Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, prAna, Pacific Trail
Our rating:
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