Scroll down to shop our Columbia Sportswear offerings and save on our everyday low prices. Or, continue reading to learn more about Columbia Sportswear.
After fleeing Nazi Germany in 1937, Paul Lamfrom settled near Portland, OR and bought a hat distributorship. Taking the name from the Columbia River which was nearby, their hat business became the Columbia Hat Company. Paul and Marie Lamfrom had a daughter named Gert – who, in 1948, became the wife of Neal Boyle and later became the infamous Gert Boyle. Neal Boyle became the head of the company. However, after years of frustrations from undependable suppliers, the company began manufacturing and marketing their own line of products. And in 1960, just a few years later, the company became the Columbia Sportswear company.
In 1970, after Neal Boyle died, Gert and her son Tim Boyle assumed the operations of the near bankrupt company. After saving the company from bankruptcy, Tim Boyle led Columbia Sportswear through an incredible era of product expansion and profitability.
Columbia jackets which introduced the new concept of 100% waterproof protection yet remarkably breathable became the norm in outdoor wear. This technology made the garment dry on the inside as well as the outside and thus was a hit with active outdoor sportsman. Columbia Sportswear began taking huge market shares in ski clothing and fishing clothes. And, today Columbia ski apparel and Columbia fishing apparel markets make up the majority of Columbia’s huge product array.
Columbia also made gains in the hunting clothes market with their Interchange jacket which consist of a shell and a zip in liner jacket. This style presents multiple wearing options and, because hunting involves various levels of activity as well and a broad range of weather conditions, the Interchange with its many wearing options was a big hit with hunters. Columbia hunting clothes developed their own camo patterns: Delta Marsh for waterfowlers and Timber Wolf for deer hunters. These camo patterns were well received in the 90s but as Realtree and Mossyoak grew and took an ever increasing market share of the camo pattern market, Columbia discontinued their patterns by 2012 and now use the most popular Realtree Max5 or AP Xtra and MossyOak Bottomland. Probably because hunting clothes made from wool does not print the camo details of today’s popular camo patterns, the Columbia Gallatin wool products use a basic all terrain type camo pattern.
Columbia has always been a leader in apparel technology. In additional to waterproof/breathable and interchange clothing, they have continuously grown their technological arsenal with Omni-Tech which is their 100% waterproof/breathable technology. The Omni-Heat, which is similar to the Arctic Shield Re-Tain, is an internal lining of little silver dots that capture body heat and return or reflect it back toward the body. In 2015, Columbia obtain their most recent technology, OutDry, by acquisition. OutDry is and external lining the is 100% waterproof yet breathable. This feature is very rugged yet being an external water repellent, the garment keeps you incredibly dry yet gains almost no weight when wet.