This is part five of a multi-part series. The next installments will be published in the coming weeks. You can read the entire series here.

Last week, we looked at sales of camping brands at independent retailers in 2020. This week, we're veering into softgoods with a quick glance at men's apparel.

In our survey, we divided men's apparel into two categories: technical wear, which includes high-performance gear like rain jackets and snow pants, and sportswear, which incorporates everything from casual-performance outerwear (think car camping) to lifestyle apparel.

How we collected our data

As with the rest of our survey, we didn't supply a list of responses for retailers to choose from. The results you see below all came from write-ins. 

It's important to note that the numbers here reflect the percentages of respondents who actually answered each question. Some respondents declined to answer one or both of the questions in our men's apparel category. These omissions were not included in the calculation of vote percentages.

Finally—as with all parts in this series—survey responses were collected with the promise of anonymity. This, we hope, led to the collection of the most accurate data possible from retailers across the country.

Best-selling brands: Men's technical apparel

And now for the results. Patagonia swept the men's technical category, capturing more than a third of the vote—far ahead of any other brand.

Tied for second place were Arc'teryx and The North Face, which nabbed nearly 12 percent of the vote apiece.

Patagonia: 36.8 percent

Arc'teryx: 11.8 percent

The North Face: 11.8 percent

The rest of the named brands didn't come close to the dominance of these three in the category of technical apparel. No other company received more than 5 percent of the vote. Among the other named brands were Black Diamond, Burton, Flylow, Giant, Icebreaker, KUHL, Mammut, Marmot, Outdoor Research, Rab, Specialized, and Stio.

Best-selling brands: Men's sportswear

Here we saw something interesting: Patagonia also carried the sportswear category, capturing almost exactly the same percentage of the vote as in the technical apparel category. The brand performs equally well at specialty retail among all levels of consumer, the data seem to indicate—from shoppers seeking highly technical gear to those looking for lifestyle products closer to streetwear.

KUHL also turned in a strong performance in this category, handily beating out all competitors for second place. The brand captured a very small percentage of the vote in the technical apparel category, suggesting some crossover presence, but it seems that, in general, shoppers prefer KUHL products for more casual-performance activities rather than highly technical pursuits.

Patagonia: 36.2 percent

KUHL: 17.4 percent

Others in this category included Arc'teryx, Columbia, Dakota Grizzly, Howler Brothers, Kavu, Marmot, prAna, The North Face, and Toad&Co.

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