Celebrating 80 years of keeping you outdoors
GERT BOYLE
1924 – 2019
Based in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear is a global outdoor brand that crafts active lifestyle gear fortified with industry-leading technologies and tested in our own backyard. Our apparel, footwear, and accessories reflect our Pacific Northwest heritage and indomitable spirit.
Alt Text: Image of Founder Gert Boyle with mountains in the background.
It all began in 1937 when Gert’s parents fled Nazi Germany and settled in Portland where they purchased a small hat manufacturer, naming it the Columbia Hat Company. Signifying a fresh start for the family, the business eventually passed from Gert’s father to her husband Neal and then to Gert herself in 1970 when she went from housewife to executive overnight after Neal’s sudden passing.

Our founder Gert Boyle’s “Tough Mother” persona lives on in the Columbia brand. Her legendary perfectionism (“It’s perfect. Now make it better.”) and the high standards to which she held herself and others still guide us today.
At Columbia, we’re as passionate about the outdoors as you are. And while our gear is available around the world, we’re proud to be based in the Pacific Northwest where the lush forests, snow-covered mountains, rugged coastline, and wide-open spaces serve as our playground. This is where we hike, fish, hunt, camp, climb, shred, paddle, golf, run, and just enjoy the fresh air with friends.

We hope to see you out there. Way, way out there.
A TESTED TOUGH HISTORY
  • 2018: The next dimension of warmth is introduced with Omni-Heat™ 3D, our latest thermal-reflective technology with advanced heat retention and soft next-to-skin feel.

  • 2018: Proud outfitter and sponsor of the world’s toughest freestyle ski teams (including the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Ukraine) at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

  • 2017: Columbia launches a revolutionary line of high-quality, eco-conscious gear built for maximum outdoor performance and minimal environmental impact.

  • 2016: OutDry Extreme flips rainwear inside out for the ultimate in waterproof breathability. It’s our first-ever raingear with a waterproof layer on the outside and a soft, wicking layer inside.

  • 2015: Columbia Sportswear unveils “Tested Tough,” as its new, global brand platform.

  • 2014: Proud sponsors of the U.S., Canadian and Russian Freestyle Ski Teams at Sochi.

  • 2014: TurboDown™ technology fuses Omni-Heat™ synthetic insulation with natural down.

  • 2013: Omni-Freeze ZERO wins National Geographic Adventure’s Gear of the year award.

  • 2010: Omni-Heat Reflective is introduced, little silver dots that reflect body heat.

  • 2005: Chairman Gert Boyle publishes her autobiography, One Tough Mother.

  • 1996: Performance Fishing Gear, or PFG for short, is introduced.

  • 1986: The first Bugaboo™ parka is born, revolutionizing the way alpine skiers dress.

  • 1970: Gert Boyle, a housewife, takes over the company

  • 1960: Gert Boyle designs first fishing vest Columbia Hat Company becomes Columbia Sportswear Company

  • 1938: Columbia Hat Company founded in Portland, Oregon.

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