With falling temperatures and the winter season at hand, how many consumers will be in the market for outerwear and outdoor apparel this year? 

In a November poll of more than 2,600 U.S. adults, over two-thirds (68%) of the public say they plan to purchase outerwear apparel this fall/winter. That audience heavily skews Gen Z and Millennial. Men (71%) are also more likely than women (65%) to be in the market for outerwear.

Here’s what else is in store for brands and retailers this season according to the latest CivicScience data.

Outerwear Brands With Mass Appeal

A look at several major outerwear brands finds that The North Face takes the number one spot among this year’s shoppers. This is consistent with brand ranking during the spring/summer 2022 season, where consumers said they preferred The North Face for outdoor wear more than any other brand included in the poll. 

However, Carhartt comes in at a close second this season. The heavy-duty workwear apparel brand has a strong appeal for the colder fall/winter months, eclipsing the ever-popular Columbia Sportswear brand. Under Armour also ranks highly this season for outerwear. Brands such as Patagonia, Canada Goose, Ugg, and Marmot continue to stay on the radar with a smaller following.

Carhartt Wins With Men, The North Face Leads the Under-35 Crowd

CivicScience data show brand interest varies by demographics:

  • Nearly 30% of men planning to buy outerwear this year say they’re most likely to purchase Carhartt apparel, followed by The North Face (25%) and Under Armour (21%). Women are half as likely as men to buy Carhartt (16%) and aren’t as strongly interested in one particular brand included in the poll, but are most likely to purchase The North Face (23%), Columbia Sportswear (20%), and Under Armour (20%) outerwear. 
  • 34% of Gen Z and 29% of Millennial outerwear shoppers say they are most likely to purchase The North Face apparel. Under Armour is the second most popular brand for the under-35 crowd.
  • A high percentage (41%) say they don’t plan to purchase brands included in the study, which could be related to price-point. Outerwear shoppers who earn $50K or less per year are the most likely to say they won’t be purchasing any of these brands.

Retailer Preference May Guide Brand Purchases

When it comes to purchases, a large percentage of consumers say they typically buy outerwear at big-box stores such as Target and Walmart, which don’t carry many of the brands included in the poll. That’s followed by department stores and online-only retailers (such as Amazon.com).

Compared to the fall of 2020, today’s outerwear shoppers are more likely to shop at big-box retailers, sporting goods stores (such as REI and Dick’s Sporting Goods, which carry major outerwear brands), and online-only retailers. They are less likely to purchase from national retail chains (such as Old Navy and Gap) or directly from outerwear retailers (such as Patagonia and L.L. Bean).

Environmental Concern Drives Interest in Patagonia

Patagonia made headlines earlier this year when its founder donated the company to an environmental non-profit, driving many to say they were more likely to buy the brand. Although still niche, preference for Patagonia apparel is likely to have increased. A spring study found that 7% of shoppers preferred Patagonia outdoor apparel above other brands. Today, 11% say that Patagonia is among the top brands they would purchase when shopping for outerwear.

Environmental concern is likely a leading driver for Patagonia interest. More than 60% of consumers favorable to Patagonia say they prioritize purchasing environmentally friendly products and services. That’s compared to 51% of The North Face favorables and 33% of Carhartt favorables.

Looking for deeper consumer insights into the outerwear and broader apparel industry? Let’s chat.