Climbing Guides

Marmot vs North Face – Brand Comparisons

American brands Marmot and North Face both have a strong reputation for creating high-quality gear used by climbers and other outdoor enthusiasts. To compare these two companies, we are going to be looking in detail at some of the most popular Marmot and North Face sleeping bags, Marmot jackets, and North Face jackets.

What You Should Know Before Buying

History of Marmot

Founded in 1974 by two university students in Colorado as Marmot Mountain Giants, Marmot has become a trustworthy name in the world of outdoor clothing and equipment. Shortly after starting the company, Marmot struck a deal with Gore-Tex and adjusted all of their weather-resistant products to be constructed of the sturdy material. To this day, the company still produces high quality, durable outdoor clothing worn by climbers and hikers across the globe.

Material and Design

A common stuffing for Marmot sleeping bags is SpiraFil, a unique blend of lofty hollow fibers and warm polyester fibers, created by Marmot. This filling is designed to maximize comfort and warmth, particularly in their low-temperature products. It also provides excellent warmth to weight ratio, while still maintaining a decent amount of compatibility. The sleeping bags are also designed to be as packable as possible, being sold with compression stuff sacks to help you utilize every last cubic centimeter of space in your backpack.

Their jackets are manufactured using a plethora of different membranes and design features to be as efficient as possible in any combination of cold, warm, wet, and windy conditions. Marmot has created products from many synthetic fillings, such as Primaloft and their self-created Featherless filling, to ensure the maximum warmth to weight ratio possible. Their Gore-Tex outer membranes, combined with Marmot’s MemBrain and NanoPro ensure wind and water protection.

Best Popular Designs

Marmot produces high-quality products that often come with a high price tag, but the outstanding endurance means that these higher prices are not paid often. These are some of our favorite sleeping bags and jackets from the American company.

Best Popular Designs

North Face products cost from the middle to the upper ranges of the outdoor clothing pricing spectrum. They produce high-quality goods that are trusted by athletes and explorers in some of the most hostile conditions, as well as more affordable products for casual users. Many North Face items come with either a long or a lifetime guarantee if properly maintained, meaning that they are built to last. Here are a few of our favorite North Face sleeping bags and North Face jackets.

What’s the Marmot Vs North Face?

1. Marmot Voyager Mummy Sleeping Bag

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The Marmot Voyager Mummy Sleeping Bag is packed out with SpiraFill high loft insulation, enough to make it comfortable in temperatures as low as 55F/12.7C. This makes the bag ideal for camping in Spring, Summer, and Autumn without overheating, however might not be quite warm enough to endure those long, winter nights. The inside of the sleeping bag is soft like a blanket, meaning users do not have to compromise their comfort.

The blanket weighs only 1.12lb/500g and can compress down to 3.28 liters of space, making it very packable and easy to throw into any backpack. The Voyager is a very affordable, versatile sleeping bag perfect for multi-day hiking and backpacking.

2. Marmot Trestles Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag

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This polyester mummy-style sleeping bag is also stuffed with High-Loft SpiraFil to keep you warm and toasty in temperatures as low as 16.7F/-8.5C, making it ideal for some fairly cold winter camping. The filling has been padded out in vital areas to ensure that you don’t feel any drafts. While more expensive, larger (14.1 liters), and heavier (4lbs/1.8kg) than the Marmot Voyager, it can withstand much colder temperatures and still provides an excellent weight to warmth ratio.

The bag comes with a second fold-down zipper for optional additional air circulation should you be feeling a little too warm. The bag is designed with a soft airy upper section and a blanket-like feel on the bottom half. There is also enough room to wiggle your toes comfortably and an interior pocket for storage.

3. Marmot Guides Down Winter Puffer

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The Marmot Guides Down Winter Puffer is a moisture-resistant winter-mid-layer or dry weather outer layer. It is stuffed with down and protected by Down Defender – a treatment that ensures that the down doesn’t clump when moist and maintains its loft and insulating properties. The adjustable velcro cuffs and the drawcord-adjustable hem ensure that you can tailor the fit of the garment to your body.

The jacket has also been shaped and gusseted in key movement areas to Marmot’s Angel Wing Movement standards, ensuring maximum mobility. There are also two hand warming pockets on the front of the jacket, should you need to thaw out your fingers halfway through a climb or hike.

4. Marmot Precip Lightweight Rain Jacket

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The Marmot Precip Lightweight Rain Jacket is an affordable yet effective protective outer shell, available in a wide range of vibrant colors. It is fully waterproof and windproof with seam-taped NanoPro fabric, keeping the cold weather out. Velcro cuffs and the drawcord hem allow you to keep out cold drafts, and built-in pit-zips give you the choice of letting out any excess heat.

The Precip is an extremely packable and lightweight product, making it a great piece to throw into any backpack to ensure that you are prepared for all conditions. The durable material is suitable for a range of activities, including hiking, cycling, and climbing.

History of The North Face

The North Face was founded in 1968 as a climbing equipment retail store in San Francisco. Their products are easily recognized by the three curved lines, representing the iconic Half Dome rock in Yosemite Valley. Over the years, North Face has added to their repertoire, producing high-quality clothes and equipment for skiing, hiking, and alpinism. They sponsor famous climbers such as Margo Hayes and Conrad Anker.

Material and Design

The North Face, like Marmot, is also teamed up with Gore-Tex – an industry leader in creating breathable, water, and windproof membranes. Also, like Marmot, they are partnered with Primaloft – a patented synthetic microfiber insulation designed to retain heat while staying light and packable.

Their sleeping bags are constructed with Ripstop nylon, which is protected with a lifetime guarantee if treated well. They are also built with Cyclone construction wraps to ensure that the insulation is evenly distributed and that the material remains compressible. Some of their sleeping bags are also designed with inner pockets, specifically for keeping your hands warm on the coldest of nights.

North Face jackets are often insulated with Thermoball, created in partnership with Primaloft. This is a synthetic alternative to down that efficiently insulated the user, even when wet. All of their materials are tested both rigorously in laboratory environments and out in the field by sponsored athletes on expeditions.

5. North Face Cat’s Meow

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The North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bag is a synthetic, three-season sleeping bag, recently redesigned to be more lightweight and compressible. The bag can be used in temperatures as low as 20F/-7C making it ideal for light mountaineering and cold weather camping. The cyclone construction wraps ensure even distribution of the synthetic insulation in a way that maximizes compressibility and portability too. 

The pack weighs between 2 and 3lbs/935g and 1.26kg depending on which size you buy, providing arguably better weight to warmth ratio than the comparable Marmot Trestles sleeping bag, albeit not quite as warm in the coldest temperatures. It is constructed with Ripstop fabric and comes with a lifetime warranty.

6. North Face Lynx

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The North Face Lynx is very comparable to the Cat’s Meow in terms of design, however is much more suitable for summer and warm weather camping as the lowest temperature it is comfortable to use at is only 35F/2C. The bag has also been redesigned to increase compressibility and packability, and it shares the same cyclone construction, Ripstop nylon fabric, and Heatseeker insulation as the Cat’s Meow. The lower temperature range makes it a more versatile product than the Marmot Voyager, although may not be as suitable for hot weather camping. 

The bag weighs between 1.12lb and 1.14lb/788g and 857g depending on which size you are using. It comes complete with a compression stuff sack to reduce the space it takes up inside your backpack.

7. North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket

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The North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket is made from upcycled materials, reducing the environmental footprint made when creating the product. It is stuffed with PrimaLoft insulation to ensure that the jacket keeps its warmth-retaining abilities, even when moist. The jacket is covered with a durable water repellent coating, so it can be used in mild rain warmer conditions as a standalone garment. It is designed to be lightweight, compressible, packable, and an excellent additional layer in your backpacking arsenal. 

The North Face Thermoball is more affordable and arguably more portable than the comparable Marmot Guides Down Jacket. Both jackets have similar heat retention abilities, however, the PrimaLoft insulation is stuffed a little thicker in the Marmot garment.

8. North Face Apex Chromium Jacket

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The North Face Apex Chromium is a fully wind-resistant, breathable softshell jacket, great for cooler but not extreme conditions. It comes complete with a fleece inner to maximize comfort, paired with a relaxed fit for increased mobility. There is a concealed slot to weave headphone cables through, helping you to organize your gadgets. 

The jacket is a little heavier and less packable than the Thermoball Eco jacket, but provides more wind resistance for cooler conditions and stretch for mobility

For sleeping bags, The North Face arguably has much better weight to warmth ratios but does not accommodate as well for warmer temperatures as the Marmot sleeping bags. Marmot’s sleeping bags are also more affordable for those who are wishing to go camping on a budget.  The bag you choose should depend upon the conditions that intend to be taking it to, and you should not be stingy when buying a sleeping bag for colder alpine conditions.

North Face and Marmot jackets are a little more variable, and again, buyers should definitely consider the conditions they intend to take the jackets into before swearing their allegiance to either company. The Marmot jackets are a little warmer and more durable, but for gentle autumn hiking, you would probably find North Face jackets more comfortable.

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