Columbia History

Columbia Milestones

  • In Year 2013


    Omni-Freeze ™ ZERO wins National Geographic Adventure’s 2013 Gear of the Year

    The Men’s Henry’s Fork ™ V Vest wins iCAST Best of Show Fly Fishing Accessory

    Technologies developed:
    Omni-Freeze ™ ZERO

  • In Year 2012


    Apparel Magazine names Columbia as a top

    US and Canada Columbia sponsored ski
    teams podium in events around the world

    Technologies developed:
    Omni-Wick™ EVAP
    Omni-Freeze™ ICE
    Omni-Wind™ BLOCK

  • In Year 2011


    Columbia sponsors the US Freestyle Ski Team

    The Peak 2 Peak™ Jacket wins Outside ™

    Magazine’s Gear of the Year award

    Technologies developed:
    Fluidpost™ & Fluidframe™
    Insect Blocker™
    Omni-Dry™ Ultrabreathable Waterproof

  • In Year 2010


    Forbes names Columbia one of the top 100
    most trustworthy

    Technologies developed:
    Omni-Heat™ Thermal Reflective
    Omni-Heat™ Thermal Electric

  • In Year 2009


    Columbia launches e-commerce

    Titanium™ golf line introduced

    Technologies developed:
    Omni-Shield™ Advanced Repellency
    Omni-Shield Blood ‘N Guts™
    Omni-Freeze™ Advanced Cooling

  • In Year 2008


    Omni-Shade™ Columbia’s proprietary sun protection technology developedColumbia celebrates its 70th anniversaryOfficial Sponsor of Team Columbia, former team High Road
  • In Year 2006


    Columbia acquires Montrail and Pacific Trail Products

    Available in 72 countries

  • In Year 2005


    Gert’s autobiography, One Tough Mother, is released

    X Games official supplier 2002–2005

  • In Year 2004


    4 Star Distribution Center opens

    Columbia acquires Mountain Hardwear

    Company reaches $1 billion dollars in annual sales

  • 2003

    Cambrai, France, Distribution Center opens

    5+ million visitors to website

  • In Year 2002


    Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games: Official supplier to NBC Sports

    Eco-Challenge official provider 1996–2002

  • In Year 2000


    Columbia acquires Sorel

  • 1998

    Company goes public

    Sydney Summer Olympic Games: Official supplier to NBC Sports

  • In Year 1997


    Omni-Dry™: High-performance moisture management technology developed

    Special Olympics: Official supplier to Team USA

  • In Year 1996


    Columbia Comfort System introduced

    PFG introduced

    Flagship store opens

  • 1995

    GRT: Gear for Rugged Trekking and Travel line introduced

    America’s Cup: Official sponsor to America3

  • 1994

    Convert and Titanium lines introduced

    Lillehammer Winter Olympics Games: Official supplier to CBS Sports

    Rivergate Distribution Center opens

  • 1993

    Footwear line introduced

  • In Year 1991


    Omni-Tech™: Columbia’s proprietary waterproof-breathable technology developed

  • In Year 1990


    First national television ad, “Car Wash”

  • In Year 1986


    First Bugaboo™ Parka revolutionizes how downhill skiers dress

  • 1985

    Sportswear line introduced

  • In Year 1984


    The Mother of all ad campaigns begins

    Youth line introduced

  • In Year 1982


    The Columbia Interchange System™ is introduced in the Quad™ Parka

  • 1975

    Columbia first to introduce Gore-Tex™ parka

    Company goes international

  • 1970

    Gert Boyle, a housewife, takes over the company

  • In Year 1960


    Gert Boyle designs first fishing vest

    Columbia Hat Company becomes Columbia Sportswear Company

  • In Year 1938


    Columbia Hat Company established

Columbia’s History

Trying stuff since 1938

If it’s true that experience brings wisdom, then Columbia Sportswear’s more than 70 years in business should mean we know a thing or two about making great outdoor gear. We like to think so and that’s why our mission statement is: Design and deliver authentic, outdoor, high-value products for active consumers of all ages.

We enjoy the outdoors as much as you do, which means we know what you need. We know that being cold and wet is no fun. That’s why we make high-quality performance products that keep you comfortable and protected, no matter where your excursions take you.

The outdoors isn’t all about remote expeditions or climbing the world’s highest mountains. Anyone can enjoy the outdoors. It’s easy. Just open the door and go outside. From the mountain peak to the neighbourhood park, from the glacier to the garden .Columbia helps you enjoy your outdoor adventure anywhere you like to play.

We’re a family business gone global. Chairman Gert Boyle’s parents — German nationals who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 — purchased a small hat company upon their arrival in Portland and named it Columbia Hat Company, after the river that inspired their new home. This humble beginning was of huge significance to the family, marking new found freedom and a fresh start. Her husband later took over, and after he died Gert ran the show, going from housewife to executive overnight. Today, her son Tim Boyle is our long time president and CEO. The family — like our business — has experienced its ups and downs, but enjoying the outdoors together has always been an inseparable part of the program.

Columbia is made up of real people who are as passionate about the outdoors as you are. And, while our products are available around the world, we’re based in the great Pacific Northwest, where majestic forests frame volcanic mountains and a rugged coast. This is where we hike, ride, fish, hunt, climb, camp, golf, paddle, run, and just enjoy fresh air with friends. is developed and managed by Chogori India Retail Limited, Columbia Sportswear Company’s sole and exclusive distributors in India.