The great outdoors isn’t just a way of life for Portlanders, it’s also big business for local brands. For example, since its 1938 founding, Portland-based Columbia Sportswear has shielded adventurers from the elements with fishing vests and hats. Today, with the bug-repelling fabrics and wind- water- and cold-blocking garments available at Columbia Sportswear Flagship Store, they stay true to their tradition of pushing outdoor sports further.
Similarly, whether it’s on the track, turf or trail, Nike, based in nearby Beaverton, has powered athletes with sneakers, sportswear and a “just do it” attitude since 1964. The company has many local spots for gearing up, including Nike Portland, their downtown retail flagship that’s also a museum of the brand’s cutting-edge designs.
Many outdoor enthusiasts know U.S. Outdoor Store as a leading online retailer of skiing, snowboarding, surfing and skating products, but the company’s downtown Portland location has kept Northwesterners locals safe and styling for more than 50 years. Founded in 2011, relative upstart Poler sells its own practical but fun products designed for surfers, snowboarders, hikers and car-campers.
As an alternative outdoor store selling both new and used products, Next Adventure has launched the passions of many paddlers, climbers, snowboarders and even disc golfers, with an avid staff that puts their products to the test in the company’s own kayak and outdoor schools. Nearby, Seattle-based evo opened its second location in Portland’s historic Salvation Army building in fall 2014, where it offers more than 150 ski, snowboard, wakeboard, skate, surf and bike brands. And the Pearl District’s REI outpost is a popular place for to grab supplies on the go, especially when the Pacific Northwest-based company has one of its legendary sales.
For timeless styles, the wares available at the Filson flagship store in the Pearl will keep you warm and dry for decades. That kind of rugged, well-hewn quality is important, since their coats and creels are the kinds of things that you can hand down to your children. Likewise, the merino wool goods from New Zealand-based Icebreaker will last a long time. Offering items ranging from base layers to neckties, the international company has made its U.S. headquarters in Portland, which offers the perfect city, climate and customers to put their gear to the test.
For great deals on gear, there are several outlet options in and around Portland. At Woodburn Premium Outlets, located 45 minutes south of Portland, you’ll find Adidas, Helly Hansen, Icebreaker, Nike, Puma, The North Face and UnderArmour, along with 103 more stores. There’s also an Adidas outlet at the Columbia Gorge Outlets, 25 minutes east of Portland. Back in the city, Columbia Sportswear has an outlet store in Sellwood, and there’s a Nike Factory Store in close-in Northeast Portland.