The North Face Clothing and Equipment
Since 1966 The North Face has delivered an extensive line of performance clothing and equipment, which pushes the boundaries of innovation so that you can push the boundaries of exploration.
The North Face remain deeply proud to be the first choice of the world's most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, extreme skiers and snowboarders, endurance runners and explorers.
The North Face – Exploring for over 40 years
Of all the outdoor brands, The North Face is probably the most instantly recognisable the world over; whether you’re interested in outdoor sports or not.
Whilst a few outdoor brands have found their way into everyday life – Helly Hansen in the early 2000s and Berghaus more recently spring to mind – The North Face have managed to become a common sight on high streets, city centres, hills and mountains the world over.
How this happened we’re not quite sure but whatever your opinion on this fashionable popularity, it’s important to remember one thing; The North Face has been leading innovation and design within the outdoor trade for over 40 years, whether the gear ever sees a hill or not!
The North Face traces its roots back to San Francisco, where it started life as a small retail store in 1966, founded by Douglas Tompkins and Kenneth Klopp. Named for the fact that in the northern hemisphere the north face of a mountain is usually regarded as the more formidable, it’s obvious that The North Face had set their sights on providing bomber gear from the very beginning. Just in case you’d ever wondered the now famous logo is based on the Half Dome in Yosemite (shown right), one of the greatest big wall climbs in the world.
Of course all the swanky branding is only wrapping if the gear’s not up to standard but as most are aware, The North Face has always come up trumps in this area. Thanks to experienced mountaineers and climbers within the development team and sponsoring some of the world’s most famous outdoor athletes, with the unparalled feedback they can provide, The North Face’s outdoor clothing and equipment has always been built to perform.
Whilst retailing in the late 1960s, North Face started stitching down jackets together in the back of the shop because they believed they could provide a high quality mountain coat for climbers…the Sierra Parka hit the market soon after and has become a classic in the outdoor world. By the mid 1970s North Face had opened a factory and begun to produce rucksacks and tents as well as clothing for mountaineers and trekkers. Early innovators, it was during this time that The North Face developed the Ruthsac, whose pre-curved staves and frame design signalled the genesis of the now industry standard internal framed rucksack.
The late 70’s saw North Face release the world’s first geodesic dome backpacking tent, complete with the first use of flexible aluminium poles for this purpose and again, nowadays it’s hard to find a tent which doesn’t use one of the other of these innovations.
Since then North Face has continued this tradition and can boast several significant firsts including: overlapping shingle construction on synthetic sleeping bags, radial baffles on down sleeping bags and the first use of Polarguard’s HV and 3D fibres as sleeping bag insulation.
From 2000, North Face has firmly entrenched itself in both the outdoor and the mainstream world as a brand synonymous with quality outdoor gear; clothing and equipment used from pole to pole and from sea to summit. Photos from base camps and mountains around the world will show North Face tents, rucksacks and clothing; scientists in Antarctic facilities trust North Face’s down to keep them alive in some of the foulest conditions known to man; adventure racers benefit from trail running shoes and fast-and-light wicking clothes and hillwalkers and trekkers trust North Face waterproofs, boots, tents and packs to simply function with no drama.
Worst case, your North Face jacket will keep you dry on the way to the pub as well!