Outdoor apparel, an essential aspect of sports and outdoor activities, has seen significant growth in recent years. As people increasingly pursue health and wellness, the industry's growth has surged. China, as the world's manufacturing hub, is home to numerous well-known outdoor apparel manufacturers. This article will explore six of the top outdoor apparel manufacturers in China, analyzing their history, popular products, market presence, and overall impact.

The Rising Importance of Outdoor Apparel

Market Overview

Over the past decade, the outdoor apparel market has experienced an upward trend. Global market value reached $12.6 billion in 2020, with an expected CAGR of 5.6% between 2021 and 20281. China plays a significant role in this market as one of the largest producers and consumers of outdoor apparel.

Table 1: Outdoor Apparel Market Size and Forecast

Table 1: Outdoor Apparel Market Size and Forecast

YearGlobal Market Value ($B)
202012.6
202113.3
202214.0
202314.8
202415.6

Consumer Preferences and Trends


As fitness and outdoor activities grow in popularity, consumer preferences in outdoor apparel have evolved. There is a growing demand for apparel that combines functionality with style. Consumers now favor products that provide comfort, durability, and are suitable for various environments. Sustainability has also become a critical factor, with an increasing number of consumers opting for eco-friendly products.

Analyzing the Top 6 Outdoor Apparel Manufacturers in China

Manufacturer 1: Anta Sports

History and Background

Anta Sports, established in 1994, has grown into one of China's largest and most influential sportswear brands. Headquartered in Jinjiang, Fujian, the company specializes in the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of sportswear, including sports shoes and apparel.

Popular Products and Innovations

Anta's outdoor apparel line is known for innovation, quality, and performance. The company's A-COOL technology, used in their clothing, provides excellent moisture-wicking and breathability, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

Table 2: Anta's Top Selling Outdoor Apparel Products

Product NameDescriptionPrice Range
Anta A-COOLMoisture-wicking t-shirt$20 - $30
Anta Outdoor JacketWeather resistant jacket$60 - $80

Market Presence and Impact

Anta has a widespread presence across China, with over 9,000 retail stores as of 2020. Internationally, it acquired the Finnish sports company Amer Sports in 2019, further expanding its global influence.

Manufacturer 2: Li-Ning

History and Background

Founded by Olympic gymnast Li Ning in 1990, Li-Ning Company Limited is a leading sportswear brand in China. The company has established a reputation for producing sports products that blend Chinese heritage with cutting-edge technology.

Popular Products and Innovations

Li-Ning's apparel is highly regarded for its quality and innovative design. They introduced 3D fitting technology for sportswear, ensuring superior fit and comfort.

Table 3: Li-Ning's Top Selling Outdoor Apparel Products

Product NameDescriptionPrice Range
Li-Ning 3D FitSports jacket with 3D fitting technology$50 - $70
Li-Ning Outdoor ShortsComfortable and durable shorts for outdoor activities$30 - $50

Market Presence and Impact

Li-Ning operates over 6,000 retail outlets in China. The brand has gained international exposure by sponsoring high-profile athletes and sports teams globally, strengthening its presence in the international market.

Manufacturer 3: 361 Degrees

History and Background

361 Degrees, established in 2003, is a major player in China's sportswear industry. Known for its comprehensive range of sporting goods, 361 Degrees has positioned itself as a go-to brand for many outdoor enthusiasts.

Popular Products and Innovations

361 Degrees is recognized for its quality materials and innovative designs. Their QUICK-DRY technology is a popular feature in their outdoor apparel line, providing fast drying capabilities to ensure comfort during activities.

Table 4: 361 Degrees' Top Selling Outdoor Apparel Products

Product NameDescriptionPrice Range
361 Degrees QUICK-DRY T-ShirtFast drying t-shirt for active wear$15 - $25
361 Degrees Outdoor JacketWeatherproof and comfortable jacket$50 - $70

Market Presence and Impact

361 Degrees has a wide distribution network with more than 7,000 stores across China. It has also gained international recognition by sponsoring various sports events, including the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Manufacturer 4: Xtep International

History and Background

Xtep International was established in 2002 and quickly gained a reputation as a top sportswear brand in China. With its unique positioning of "fashion sportswear," the brand appeals to consumers who value style along with functionality.

Popular Products and Innovations

Xtep's outdoor apparel products stand out for their stylish design without compromising performance. Their signature X-FLOW technology provides excellent ventilation, a critical feature for outdoor apparel.

Table 5: Xtep's Top Selling Outdoor Apparel Products

Product NameDescriptionPrice Range
Xtep X-FLOW T-ShirtStylish sports t-shirt with excellent ventilation$20 - $30
Xtep Outdoor JacketFashionable and functional outdoor jacket$60 - $80

Market Presence and Impact

Xtep has a wide retail network with over 6,000 stores in China. The brand has made strategic partnerships to increase international presence, including acquiring K-Swiss, a well-known tennis and lifestyle brand.

Manufacturer 5: Kailas

History and Background

Founded in 2003, Kailas is a leading brand for professional outdoor equipment in China. Their passion for outdoor sports is reflected in their innovative, high-quality apparel designed for serious outdoor enthusiasts.

Popular Products and Innovations

Kailas' apparel is designed with the serious outdoorsman in mind. Their jackets featuring KE-dry technology offer outstanding waterproof and windproof properties, ideal for challenging outdoor conditions.

Table 6: Kailas's Top Selling Outdoor Apparel Products

Product NameDescriptionPrice Range
Kailas KE-dry JacketWaterproof, windproof jacket$80 - $100
Kailas Outdoor TrousersDurable trousers with multiple pockets$60 - $80

Market Presence and Impact

Kailas operates several stores across China and has won numerous awards for their innovative designs, establishing their authority in the outdoor apparel market.

Manufacturer 6: Toread

History and Background

Established in 1999, Toread has become one of the best-known outdoor brands in China. They're committed to promoting an outdoor lifestyle and have gained a reputation for their comprehensive range of outdoor equipment and apparel.

Popular Products and Innovations

Toread's outdoor apparel line focuses on practicality and comfort. Their breathable and waterproof technology, known as TE-DRY, is a popular feature among consumers.

Table 7: Toread's Top Selling Outdoor Apparel Products

Product NameDescriptionPrice Range
Toread TE-DRY JacketBreathable and waterproof jacket$70 - $90
Toread Outdoor ShortsComfortable, durable outdoor shorts$30 - $50

Market Presence and Impact

Toread operates more than 5,000 retail stores in China. Additionally, it has started expanding overseas and has even made inroads into the challenging North American market.

Comparative Analysis of the Top 6 Manufacturers

Market Share

While all six companies have a significant presence in China's outdoor apparel market, Anta Sports holds the highest market share, followed by Li-Ning and 361 Degrees.

Table 8: Market Share in China (2022)

ManufacturerMarket Share
Anta Sports24%
Li-Ning20%
361 Degrees15%
Xtep International14%
Kailas13%
Toread14%

Key Strengths and Weaknesses

Each manufacturer has its unique strengths and weaknesses. Anta Sports and Li-Ning excel in product innovation and have a broad retail presence, but they also face intense competition. Xtep International and Toread have carved out a niche with their unique positioning but need to expand their product range.

Table 9: Strengths and Weaknesses

ManufacturerStrengthsWeaknesses
Anta SportsProduct Innovation, Retail PresenceIntense Competition
Li-NingProduct Quality, SponsorshipsPremium Pricing
361 DegreesProduct Range, Price CompetitivenessLess Global Recognition
Xtep InternationalUnique Positioning, Fashion-forward designsLimited Product Range
KailasInnovative Designs, Quality MaterialsLimited Retail Presence
ToreadComprehensive Product Range, Price CompetitivenessNeed for More Global Recognition

Innovations and Product Differentiation

In terms of innovation, all six manufacturers have introduced unique technologies in their products, enhancing performance and comfort. Product differentiation is a key strategy in this market, with each brand having unique selling points.

Table 10: Innovations and Unique Selling Points

ManufacturerInnovationsUnique Selling Points
Anta SportsA-COOL TechnologyQuality, Performance
Li-Ning3D Fitting TechnologyBlend of Tradition and Innovation
361 DegreesQUICK-DRY TechnologyPerformance, Value for Money
Xtep InternationalX-FLOW TechnologyStyle, Functionality
KailasKE-dry TechnologyProfessional-grade Outdoor Gear
ToreadTE-DRY TechnologyPracticality, Comfort

Implications for Consumers and Retailers

Quality and Pricing

The quality and pricing of products are significant factors for consumers. Anta Sports, Li-Ning, and Kailas tend to have higher pricing due to their emphasis on quality and innovative technology. In contrast, 361 Degrees and Toread offer more affordable pricing, providing value for money.

Table 11: Quality and Pricing

ManufacturerQualityPricing
Anta SportsHighHigh
Li-NingHighHigh
361 DegreesMediumMedium
Xtep InternationalMediumMedium-High
KailasHighHigh
ToreadMediumMedium

Availability and Accessibility


Availability and accessibility of products are crucial for consumers. Anta Sports, Li-Ning, and Xtep International have an extensive retail network, making their products widely available to consumers. While Kailas and Toread are making efforts to expand their retail network, they have a relatively limited presence compared to the other manufacturers.

Table 12: Availability and Accessibility

ManufacturerRetail Stores
Anta Sports9,000+
Li-Ning6,000+
361 Degrees7,000+
Xtep International6,000+
KailasFew
Toread5,000+

Brand Reputation and Reviews

Consumers heavily rely on brand reputation and reviews when purchasing outdoor apparel. All six manufacturers enjoy a good reputation in the market, with high consumer satisfaction levels.

Table 13: Brand Reputation and Reviews

ManufacturerBrand ReputationConsumer Satisfaction
Anta SportsHighHigh
Li-NingHighHigh
361 DegreesMediumMedium
Xtep International