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Buyers Guide to Penfield Outdoor Clothing

Penfield Outdoor Apparel is a privately owned company started by people who are passionate about quality garments that are both stylish and robustly suited to outdoor activity.

The brand was founded in Massachusetts, US in 1975 by a New England local named Harvey Gross. It has since grown steadily to become one of the most popular clothing choices for both nature fans and urbanites.

Since New England weather can be just as fickle as UK weather, the Penfield range of clothing has also become highly popular here – their down-filled jackets, fleece garments and resilient outerwear have gained a reputation for effectively blending fashion and function. Stylish yet durable enough to stand the test of time, they suit a range of activities and temperature conditions while being comfortable as well as trendy.

The following guide explores this distinguished clothing brand to give shoppers a clear understanding of just why Penfield Apparel stands out.

Introduction to Penfield Outdoor Apparel – Past and Present

Even as a fledgling clothing label, the uncompromising quality that Penfield garments offered saw them successfully becoming a must-have for many Americans in the 1980s.

The company then consistently extended its operations until today, from North America and Europe to Asia and Australia, their clothing range is sold in both specialist outdoor shops and prestigious retail stores such as Saks in New York, not to mention online.

Penfield Outdoor Apparel has also gained success through special collaborations with talented designers and retailers, as well as developing numerous private labels that have stood out for their exclusive appeal.

Initially, Penfield garments were manufactured in their Cape Heights factory, which also produced quality down-filled clothing for such distinguished brands such as Cabelas, EMS, Lands End and LL Bean.

Currently, Penfield Outdoor Apparel are continuing their tradition of collaboration by producing a range of garments for well-known, trendy menswear labels such as Gitman Bros. plus Rag & Bone, as well as for exclusive high-end boutiques savoured by ‘those-in-the-know’, including Colette in France and Edifice in Japan.

The Quality of Penfield Fabrics

Penfield’s superbly made down-filled garment range – comprised of 80% goose down and  20% feather – have gained a leading reputation amongst outdoor enthusiasts for uncompromising quality, effortless comfort and reliable warmth. In addition, their clothing is prized for being both light-weight and easy to maintain.

Their Black Bear and Trailwear lines are made with brilliantly robust fabrics developed by contemporary technology, such as DWR coated Ripstop and Teflon.

Penfield have also designed their own cutting-edge material to further enhance their garments – the Hudson Wax Cloth makes clothing extremely durable in almost any weather conditions. The material consists of a densely woven fabric with a blend of 35% cotton and 65% polyester, as well as being infused with eco-friendly wax – these elements mean their garments provide excellent water and wind resistant qualities which outdoor enthusiasts find indispensable.

Penfield Clothing Lines

In addition to the following lines which are a staple for Penfield fans, their Spring/Summer collection 2012 has introduced new clothing ranges such as polo shirts and the stylish Beechdale jackets. They also produce durable bags which are perfect for that weekend getaway, whether you’re heading for a cottage in the wilderness or a city break.

These are some of Penfield’s most well-known lines:


The Classic range of Penfield clothing have been trusted since 1975 for an unfailing quality that tackles  a wide variety of  weather conditions as well as being stylish. Their fashionable flair combined with reliable functionality mean the Classic line never goes out of favour.

Black Bear

This is one of the premium lines within the Penfield range of garments. The Black Bear label guarantees contemporary style while being manufactured from a mix of fabrics that truly set the standard for quality and durability.


Since their inception in the mid-1970s, Penfield’s Trailwear collection has upheld the heritage and spirit of what this distinguished brand stands for – exceptional quality, reliability, comfort and style for those who love the outdoors.


Penfield Outdoor Apparel spans a number of appealing clothing ranges and collaborations that are trusted for their stylish quality.

CEO and Creative Director at Penfield, Jamie Barshall, summarised why the brand has gone from strength to strength: “We don’t sit in an office waiting for it to come to us. We are on the road much of the time researching and scouting new fabrics and garment ideas, but at the same time we owe a great deal to our past and we have an amazing archive of Penfield garments from the last 35 years to work with.”

About the Author: Anastasia Koko is a clothing retailer and Penfield enthusiast.



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