The business that would eventually become Patagonia began when amateur mountain climber Yvon Chouinard began to teach himself how to become a blacksmith. Chouinard honed his skills so that he could manufacture pitons (spikes used in climbing) for his own use and for sale. By 1965, Chouinard had created enough demand for his climbing gear that he had to start using machinery in order to manufacture it quickly enough. Founding Chouinard Equipment with his business partner Tom Frost, the young entrepreneur's endeavor eventually grew into the nation's largest supplier of climbing hardware.
In the 1970s, Chouinard decided to diversify the business by introducing clothing to his product line. Seeking to make an obvious distinction between the clothes brand and the climbing hardware, the company decided to name the new line Patagonia. During the latter decades of the 20th century, Patagonia made several innovations in the outerwear industry. Working with fabrics like pile, polypropylene, and polyester, the company revolutionized the garments that climbers and other outdoorsmen could wear to stay warm. The company has also branched out into sport-specific clothing for skiers and surfers. As the product line developed, Patagonia became more focused on general outdoor apparel for men, women and children. The company is committed to protecting the environment and is always looking for new ways to reduce its footprint through initiatives like fabric recycling as well as a transition toward using more organic materials.
Patagonia's line of kids' clothes includes sizes for babies and toddlers as well as boys and girls. The youngest kids can wear clothes like puff jackets, fleeces, vests, snowsuits, snowpants, hats, mittens, booties, and more. Slightly older little ones have most of the same options as their younger counterparts as well as selections like long-sleeved crew necks, sweatshirts, midweight jackets, sweatpants, sweater coats, ski jackets, and gloves to choose from.
Moving into men's and women's sizes for older kids and teens, you can find a much wider selection of categories. Many styles of jackets and fleeces remain the same as those for kids, but the adult sizes also feature clothes like t-shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, shorts, socks, underwear, and shoes, as well as specific clothing for activities like climbing, surfing, yoga, fishing, skiing/snowboarding, and more. Patagonia customers of all ages can find gear such as backpacks, duffel bags, and messenger bags for use either indoors or out.
The story behind Patagonia is similar to many of the country's oldest manufacturers: it started by producing one item for a very small niche and then kept growing to keep up with demand. Because of this method of growth and development, you can be sure that all of Patagonia's clothes and accessories have been rigorously tested and subject to constant innovation. The company is committed to making the best possible clothes for outdoor wear, and it has always remained at the forefront of research into the latest technology. While the selection of clothes for younger kids doesn't include as many options as Patagonia's adult collection, the company's jackets and other outerwear are among its most popular items. These products certainly aren't cheap, but they are built to last for a very long time. All things considered, we give Patagonia 5 stars out of 5.