Canada Goose parka

Good or not? I tried out the Canada Goose parka…

Canada Goose…

At the minute, it’s a brand that’s dividing opinion.

As idolized as it is hated, you must have seen a bit of it everywhere, to the great displeasure of its many critics, who think that in France, Canada Goose is the new Moncler in a negative sense.

But on the other side of the fence, there are many fans who, for love nor money, would not spend a winter without their Canada Goose clothing (and who I think have only recently joined the club ).

Important: I lived in Montreal from the end of August 2012 to June 2013, so I wore my Canada Goose in various conditions (from nearly -20°C with wind, up to +8°C when I returned to France for three weeks), so I think I have a fairly extensive, clear view on the quality of the product.

So, as a lover of men’s fashion, beautiful materials and good fitting clothing: what do I think about a bulky parka?

But before I report back to you, I’d like to take a moment to consider Canada Goose’s brand image, which is rather ambiguous…

Hate it or love it – 50 Cents feat. The Game

Quite frankly, the Quebecers have the same opinion of Canada Goose as the Americans have about Louis Vuitton bags, namely:

  • ‘it’s expensive for what it is’
  • ‘it’s something for wealthy foreigners’
  • ‘it’s stupid to spend so much money when you can find something as good for less’
  • ‘it’s pointless’
  • ‘it’s an ultra-cliche’ (a Frenchman buying a Canada Goose in Montreal is a bit like a Chinese person buying from the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Élysées)

However, none of that is true: far from it.

The question of price

Ah…the price. This is the flag the critics of Canada Goose proudly wave. For most haters (and believe me there are lots) you’re a sucker when you buy a Canada Goose because:

  • you’re only paying for the brand,
  • it’s too expensive for what it is.

In fact, everything would be better in an ideal world if Canada Goose wasn’t so expensive, as even the biggest haters are unanimous over the quality of the pieces.

Except…Canada Goose is not expensive. Yep, I said it.

Considering the quality of the product, you get a lot for your money. I’ve looked and honestly, you cannot find anything cheaper with the same quality (warning, my criteria did not just boil down to ‘it has to keep me warm’, I’ll come back to that a bit later on).

People often talk to me about North Face, which surprises me every time. Because if there’s a really expensive brand, it’s that. Honestly, to pay nearly 450 dollars for a 100% synthetic parka (fur and down), made in China, now that’s VERY expensive for what it is. Learn more about synthetic vs down insulation here

And then there’s a factor that’s never taken into account by the critics: the cut.

Because it should be noted that it’s hard to find parkas cut as well as some of the Canada Goose designs. I’ve rightly said some designs, because there are some that make you look like a walking refrigerator.

walking refrigeratorSnow Mantra, 1200 Canadian dollars. It’s the warmest design, guaranteed to keep you warm as low as -60°. It’s used by Alaskan miners and those who work in the oil industry in far-flung icy parts of the world. There’s even a strap on the shoulder that can save you in an emergency. You won’t look anything special with this on your back, but at least you’ll stay alive.

military inspirationBanff, the most modified design of the brand, with a nice enough military inspiration. It’s only flaw? No pockets to keep your hands warm: it’s in your interest to have some gloves!

As a side note, when you’ve spent the last five years looking for the best cut items of clothing for your figure, it’s a weighty argument. But I completely understand that it’s not necessarily the case for everyone. In my case, I simply can’t overlook it.

‘Yes, but you’re paying for a brand!’

I’ll be honest with you, that’s what I thought to begin with, but it isn’t the case.

Really, not at all. For example, Quartz Nature is a lesser known Quebec brand that has the same prices as Canada Goose. Likewise, Kanuk, which is 100% a Quebec brand (the workshop is just next door to my house) is even more expensive than Canada Goose, with prices easily exceeding the 800 dollar mark!

KanukA Quartz Nature parka, 620 dollars, with a quality that’s equivalent to Canada Goose, but with a completely different brand identity for Quebecers, because the products are made in Quebec (french-speaking). And even at that price, nobody dares to suggest that you’re only paying for a brand…

So why these prices? The fur that you see on the hoods is expensive. As a point of interest, Kanuk sells interchangeable furs for the hoods for between 200 and 300 dollars. And then there are no secrets: for a piece that’s not made in China, with down and high quality finish, you quickly reach the 500/600 dollar price tag, if not more. It’s the true value of things.

made in China

Kanuk (THE ultimate Quebec coat brand, but which costs a fortune and is aimed at a slightly older audience) has this fur strip which alone costs…270 dollars!

I’ve gone off on a slight tangent, but it seemed necessary because, in my opinion, Canada Goose is a brand that is unfairly stigmatized.

Right, so what’s it actually like wearing a Canada Goose parka on a daily basis?

There’s no point in drawing out the suspense: in the winter conditions of Montreal, it’s spectacular.

I am not surprised that the brand is given to workers in some governmental bodies, because you get the feeling that its design is the result of a hellish experience in the cold.

For me, there are loads of brilliantly thought through details. That goes from the wire around the hood to the thick, robust zipper (a detail sometimes missing from North Face designs, hello to the uphill battle when you’ve got gloves on) to the two pairs of pockets for your hands lined completely with fleece, without forgetting the thick fleecey chin-protector.

And does it really keep you warm?

Completely. It’s as if you’ll never feel the cold again. Even that slight morning freshness, or when you’re waiting for the bus, or when you walk home after a winter’s night out, you are never cold. I can’t remember being cold once this winter. The protection against the wind is exceptional. One weekend, I was at a carnival in Quebec, that is to say spending six hours outside with a temperature that’s approaching the -20°s, but with some wind (I have no idea how much this alters how the temperature feels, but say at least an extra -10°) and it should be noted that you’re protected perfectly from the cold. Even at -20°. Even the length of the zipper is protected, which means the wind just never gets near the inside of your parka.

What’s more, the hood is super well made, and even if you don’t put it up, it protects your ears. Basically this hood that protects your head perfectly from high winds is really great, really effective.

On the other hand, these aren’t the clothes for a sustained sporting activity. If you’re skiing at -15° and it’s windy, you’re definitely going to sweat. Originally, Canada Goose clothes were created for workers doing a lot of standing around (which explains why bouncers love the brand). Extreme mountain climbers tend to go for brands like PHD, with equally impressive technical features. The Wiggy brand has some completely fire-proof parkas…

What does the cut actually matter?

Okay, we agree, a parka is still a parka.

Nonetheless we’re still lightyears away from a Wooyoungmi coat having an absolutely perfect cut. But having tried out a few, Canada Goose is one of those rare parka brands to care about the cut of some of their designs. So I was surprised to find that the shoulders of Banff, Chateau, Ontario and Citadel designs (the most ‘tight-fitting’ designs, all things relative) have been worked on and are relatively high. If chosen well for your size, the parka doesn’t hang off your shoulders, it’s neat and tidy.

Finally, and I was surprised, it is always the case with the most urban pieces that a size S is a ‘true S’. Similarly, Canada Goose even does a size XS which is good to know.

For example:

, Canada Goose even does a size XS

Here, the Expedition design isn’t very appealing…

svelter model

You can see here that the cut is more slimline on this svelter model, with better fitting sleeves, but it’s still far from a regular fit (Banff).

But what’s it like in comparison to North Face?

Clearly, North Face coats also keep you from the cold.

But having tried one and having walked at -12°, it’s still notch below Canada Goose, especially for someone like me who feels the cold. And some winter clothing geeks made the same comment well before me.

The hood protects your head much less when it’s not up, the cold comes in through the sleeves and the zippers – basically it’s not as well-finished as Canada Goose.

But it is really enough to protect you from the cold?

No. Going out when it’s -15° without appropriate shoes, gloves or a hat (and without wearing a hood) will expose you to the cold. You can’t ignore good shoes with good socks, gloves, a scarf and a decent hat.

Since you will be wearing a Canada Goose, your torso won’t get cold but the cold will affect your head, feet and hands.

But doesn’t it bother you wearing such a huge coat when you’ve spent your time convincing people to wear clothes that are their size?

Honestly, when you have to walk for 20 minutes in the cold, or go to an open-air electro gig for four hours at -15° (Igloofest) you won’t give a damn about that and you’ll thank Canada Goose for making such reliable clothing.

And then going out at similar temperatures with a basic woolen or cashmere coat is stupid, ridiculous – even dangerous. Is it better spending a winter shivering with a perfectly outlined figure or spending it with the luxury of being perfectly warm with a slightly less-defined cut when everyone else is wearing parkas? I quickly made up my mind.

It’s no longer about talking of an admirably well-dressed, well-outlined figure, or of a mix between wool and cashmere, but at these temperatures, it’s your health at stake. I’m hardly exaggerating: being happy to be warm is one thing, being stylish is another.

It’s Baptiste, my roommate aka ‘the co-founder of Kinowear, the man behind the scenes you never see’ who made the observation that someone’s style only makes sense in context. It’s perfectly true that, in the middle of below freezing temperatures, wearing a parka makes complete sense, unlike in an urban NYC environment.

And Canada Goose alternatives?

There are two.

The first is Mackage: they’re clearly urban jackets, very fitted, well cut and well finished, but I find that they’re putting on a few airs and graces. All the more so since they don’t have the same sturdiness as a Canada Goose and the fabric seems really fine. But it’s the kind of piece that I would advise someone to get who doesn’t want to compromise on the cut of their clothes.

The second is the Rolls Royce of parkas, Nobis. The design has been worked on a lot more than a Canada Goose, the fabrics are more urban and interesting, but it is more expensive. I don’t remember ever seeing one of their parkas for less than 800 dollars. But if you have the means, go for it, it’s amazing stuff.
Rolls Royce of parkas

A really nice Noblis with double buttonholes, extremely rare for this kind of clothing, that I wouldn’t have done up all the way to the top.

A very obvious designer’s inspiration at Nobis

A very obvious designer’s inspiration at Nobis with this back cut in the the same way as a jacket.

Woolrich Woolen Mills

Woolrich Woolen Mills also make really nice things for similar prices

And what do you think about wearing a Canada Goose around Paris?

Now then: it’s ridiculous. Not only are you going to be too hot all the time, it’s a brand that unfortunately has negative connotations (just hang around the exit of a Parisian high school: a wonderful example of lemming behaviour), on top of a really costly French price in comparison to the Canadian price.

What’s more, strictly from a design point of view, a Canada Goose parka will never have the vintage charm of a designer’s, like the stunning Bleu de Paname parka.

Bleu de Paname parka

Bleu de Paname: vintage done well

contrary to its appearance, is VERY useful

I can assure you that this type of gadget, contrary to its appearance, is VERY useful.

Really, buying a Canada Goose to wear around NYC is just stupid, it’s going to be impossible to wear on a daily basis, and you’re going to look like a bourgeois idiot lacking in exoticism.

The question of the French who arrive in Montreal and buy a Canada Goose

In reality, when you see the number of French people wearing a black Chiliwack (in my opinion the least successful Canada Goose product), it’s undeniable that there is a fad behind it, often cynically qualified as lemming behaviour.

cheapest and unfortunately the bestseller

One of the most popular styles. It doesn’t cover your bum, gives you an enormous stomach, but it’s the cheapest and unfortunately the bestseller. Such is life…

But that would be forgetting several things:

  • a Canada Goose resells very well on returning to France, unlike that North Face crap (I’ll come back to that later). It loses very little of its value between the Canadian price and the second-hand cost in Euros.
  • the exchange rate between the euro and the Canadian dollar is to our advantage, it’s a bit like arriving in a country to find a very high brand is 40% cheaper!
  • and finally, Canada Goose has a very strong brand identity, it’s a brand that’s the stuff of dreams. That’s something that I respect, because I can’t imagine how hard it is for a brand to create a clear image that really has an impact.

I really think that it’s a shame that the Quebecers disparage a Canadian brand that is so exemplary in so many ways: in its start-up strategy; in the way in which it has such a strong relationship with its customers; in its vision for clothing to combat the cold; in its dynamism. But that’s another story…

Canada Goose’s enormous collaborations…

Canada Goose is a brand that knows how to keep up the hype surrounding it through well-considered collaborations. Here’s the first, with the brand of the rapper Drake, October’s Very Own:

Canada Goose x October’s Very Own

Canada Goose

It’s a piece with a really imposing presence thanks to that enormous hood. I agree, it’s design that’s hard to appreciate when you’re used to coats that have been cut with a scalpel. (Canada Goose x October’s Very Own)

After that there was a more sporty piece, dedicated to the sportsman Lance Mackey, who does dog sledding:

Dog sledging

This design stands out due to its enormous wolf-like hood, and the sponsors’ stickers which are spread around. If you’ve never had the urge to travel across the Far North on a sled…it’s worth mentioning that there’s still practical ventilation under the armpits.

There’s also a superb collaboration with Loro Piana, but unfortunately it’s completely unaffordable:

Loro Piana

Seeing it for real, the flanneling effect of the wool works very well and the cut is immaculate, with perfectly fitting shoulder pieces.

checked shirt like a hipster

See? It works well as long as you don’t wear your checked shirt like a hipster

And finally, and to my great dismay, the inevitable happened: Canada Goose has collaborated with… Colette, a.k.a the hypest select shop in Paris, no need to say I never ever shop there.

No, I don’t endorse this. Not at all.

No, I don’t endorse this. Not at all.

And that’s how I feel about this fabulous brand, that I only advise you to purchase if you’re in a country with really harsh winters. I know that it’s expensive, but I assure you you’re getting the best in terms of insulation, design and quality of the down.

But a word of warning ! It’s an item of clothing that becomes addictive no matter where you go. Why? Simply because it’s indispensable when it’s freezing cold (around 10 days a year in the average town in temperate climate countries such as the US or most of Europe).

But it still stands that it’s a brand that makes incredibly effective clothing. They easily live up to their promise of keeping you warm.

And that’s already a lot.

What kind of coat do you wear to keep you from the cold? What’s your favorite coat brand?

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  • What kind of coat do you wear to keep you from the cold? What’s your favorite coat brand?

  • degreesNORTH

    Filson

  • Hi degrees North!
    That’s right Filson does awesome stuff too!
    I guess you’ll be happy to discover one of our next post. Last year we’ve had the chance to visit Filson headquarters and believe me it was worth it…

  • Hi Ed Mitchell Innes,

    Thanks a lot for your support! It seems like you’ve perfectly understand your need and therefore found the parka of your dreams! Good job!

    Best, Nicolas.

  • d4nimal

    This was a really cool and well-thought out article. Thanks

  • You’re welcome! 🙂

  • David

    I would say the chillwavk serves a purpose for more active people. In and out of vehicles or twisting movements. But good article and very well constructed.

  • Thanks for your feedback, David! 🙂

  • Bobby McMac

    I’d say about one out of every ten people I see in Fort McMurray, where people think -20 is springtime. ‘Nuff said. If it was the warmest, everyone would have one there.

  • Dave

    I think you covered a lot of details about Canada Goose. However, I don’t think you covered the fact that they don’t use goose down, which is in fact superior to duck down. So what about the OSC brand? It’s a Canadian company however so access is a little more limited. But it costs less than Canada Goose (got mine for $500) and it’s just as warm, if not warmer. There is also a warranty on the jacket so I can return it to the store and they’ll send it off to the factory to repair. Canada Goose also isn’t waterproof, as you can tell by just leaving it under the faucet. This would be a huge problem if you’re caught in freezing rain. I did my research before buying OSC and I’m glad I did, because Canada Goose just isn’t worth it $600+tax is basically $700. BUT it is a better bang for the buck compared to other products like Nobis and Mackage. I’m speaking from a strictly Canadian perspective where I’ve seen countless Canada Goose wearers and considered it myself.

  • Thanks for your feedback, Dave! It’s greatly appreciated!

  • TheDelta

    I live in London and have just bought a CG Chateau jacket. It’s a bit silly to say that those people who aren’t in harsh arctic conditions are ‘ridiculous’. It’s all relative. I bought my CG expecting to feel like I had no idea it was very very cold outside of my legs, hands and head. So I was super disappointed to find that I am in fact still cold. This is quite possibly because I do not generate enough body warmth for the jacket to utilize. It seems to me (I may be wrong), that for a down filled jacket to be effective it needs the wearer to provide the heat for which it will retain.

    I have read so much hype around CG. I just wish people would consider that the actual individual’s tolerance to cold and their ability to generate heat will massively affect ones perception of the jacket.

  • That’s a thought! Thanks for sharing your feedback.

  • Kim

    canada goose guarantees their products. Contact the company. Or as someone said it could be a knock off.

  • Peter

    I have owned a bunch of jackets and my cg banff is great minus one thing, it doesn’t cover your neck. But for the months of January and February on the coast in New Hampshire it’s so far the only jacket I’ve used that lets me hike or walk the beach comfortably outdoors. Those months tend to be about 10 to 20 degrees farenheit and have very strong damp coastal breezes. My bogner jacket is not nearly as warm but much more comfortable for daily choirs and the couple of Patagonia jackets I have are nice but even at similar amounts of money are not nearly as warm. Also my Patagonia jackets have not held up as well, the down sweater looses down frequently and my heavier weight down jacket from patagonia has poor wind stopping power and was similarly priced at $650 US dollars. I had a moncler jacket but the zipper broke after a month and is being replaced by moncler now for already 4 weeks. It also is not nearly as warm and fits very short in comparison to most upscale brands. The exterior fabric also feels delicate similar to my $200 patogonia down sweater but at 7 times the price. Probably the worst purchase I’ve made in jackets but it’s hard to tell from online, not many stores locally carry them. So for me cg has been my warmest down jacket and toughest. Though not as comfortable or fashionable as my bogner jacket, which has been my daily driver. And replaced my Patagonia since it was more comfortable and warmer. Leaving the moncler as last place for warmth, durability and fit, surpisingly short and wider than expected. I’m tall and thin and I guess it’s built for average man. My wife also purchased a cg jacket that was short and loved it. The folowing winter she retired her long moncler jacket with another cg and loves that one as well, since it does it job and keeps her warm verse just being stiylish.

  • Great to know Canada Goose is working out well for you and your wife! 🙂

  • Jack

    This is a great article, however I somewhat disagree with your view on the Chilliwack. Undeniably, yes Paris is full of them and there is some trend behind them, however for myself, the purchase of a Chilliwack was purely practical. I’m from England and recently began finding that my Barbour jackets (I have many) weren’t up to the job of actually keeping out the cold unless I was wearing several layers underneath. I knew a few people who had a range of the CG jackets and so decided to try them out, I needed one that I could wear everyday, and I’m not a fan of the longer jackets so I chose the Chilliwack. I have absolutely no regrets, obviously as I’m in Britain I don’t need a coat that reaches down to -30, so its ideal depending upon the situation. I can see why it might be seen as a fad jacket in many cities and in colder climates but for somewhere that has moderate weather where it still gets below freezing I think its ideal, especially if you are just looking for something to throw on and stay warm with. As I say, great article but I think you’ve made your own stereotype for Chilliwack wearers and not taken into consideration the needs and personal preference of its wearers. Good read though 🙂

  • Thanks! Much appreciated. 🙂

  • GJ

    I use my CG Citadel in the UK. Travelling a lot by train, and seem to spend a lot of time on drafty platforms waiting….and waiting….and waiting…..and eventually shrugging into that great down hood however stupid I may look even if the temp is above 0c. Love the fit and feel of the jacket – wish it was a bit longer, proper coat length and wish it was waterproof; those are my only criticisms. I wonder what the warmest temperature would be for it to be worn?

  • Dan

    I feel the need to join this discussion as I have just bought a Canada Goose Chateau Parka from a store in Brighton. I work in the film business and have often seen crew in these jackets so I thought they must be good. After buying the parka and wearing it for a few weeks I feel that it’s not the don of fleece jackets I was led to believe. I am working in London at the moment, minus 2 degrees. With a t shirt and jumper under the jackets, I do feel quite chilled. I thought it may be a fake, but it passes all the test’s ive looked at online. I also have written to CG only to be told that the jacket is ‘artic simulated’ whatever that means and they ‘can’t gaurantee the warmth of the jacket’ I feel like I have been tricked into buying a fashion jacket disguised as a proper fleece jacket. I am pretty sure that the more robust jackets are sub zero proof, (I’ve seen them on Fortitude they must be ok!!!) but the parka most definitely is not, and it’s definitely not worth the money in my opnion.

  • Thanks for sharing your experience. Let me know how Fortitude works for you. 🙂

  • Tom

    As a New Yorker, I can empathically disagree with your view on CG from a New York perspective. They are everywhere, to put it simply. All cuts, colors, sizes. It seems everyone has one, as well as myself. I consider myself to have a somewhat elevated fashion taste, and if you pick the right model, they can look great with a casual outfit, especially with the winters we’ve been having the past two years. I for one, this the citadel is the best model, overall. Enough warmth and length for winter, but it breathes nicely, and is not too heavy. Also, its slim-cut, and has pull-cords at the waist to further customize the silhouette of the coat. As far as NYC, black is definitely the color of choice, for men and women.

  • Eric

    -20c is cold? That’s pussy weather, this winter we’ve seen -30c down to -47c with the wind factor… But having tried it, yes the coat kicks ass. Canada Goose is the one and only coat employees wear in the south pole research facilities.

  • warm in the maritimes

    I bought my Canada Goose, Trillium, in the fall of 2013. It is a gorgeously warm coat. Shortly after, December 2013, Canada Goose announced a majority stake sale to the US company, Bain Capital.
    About 3 weeks ago, around February 1st of this year, 2015, a family member bought a ladies Montebello Parka. When I first saw it I thought it was a conterfeit. The material didn’t look crisp like mine. The material was noticeabely differnt and of lesser quality. By the time I saw it, which was about 2 weeks after her receiving it, it was still wrinkled. Mine has never had a wrinkle, even after sitting for hours in a car. She has dogs. I have dogs. She had dog hair stuck to hers. Dog hair does not stick to mine.
    Not believing it was a genuine Canada Goose, I ordered one for my husband and it arrived today. It now sits in a bag and will be returned. It is a Chateau Parka and of the same inferior quality. The lining is cheaper material and there are far less quilted squares to hold in the down as mine has. It is not counterfeit. It has the hologram. It has the detail of the maple leaves, etc on the patch. I can only think that the sale of the majority of Canada Goose back in late 2013 has something to do with the quality of the 2 coats I saw this month.

  • Helder Gaspar

    I own a killtec pareillo and got it 40% off at sail $140 all in and it’s warm as hell, it’s completely waterproof, breathable, wind proof. Has an ultra warm hood a lot of pockets and looks great. I live in Toronto and it’s always very cold here and this parka is extremely warm. I don’t see the value in spending $700 for a jacket with less features and equally as warm. There’s a lot of great parkas out there but they aren’t the fashion style right now so they’re normal priced. I mean if you have the money and like the style then go for it but you don’t need this parka at all to stay warm, there’s a lot of options at a much cheaper price that does the same job and better due to waterproofing. If this was the only coat on the market that protected from really cold temperatures then I would see value, but it’s not so this is purely personal preference instead of getting the best option. Also the fact that nearly everyone has it and they all look similar is kind of a detractor, it’s always nice to have something personal to you that not a ton of people own. If they had more styles without the logos it would be better in that sense but I guess they like having the logo for free marketing and to keep the trend going.

  • Thanks for sharing your feedback on this. It’s greatly appreciated!

  • Me

    Yeah… Only canada goose isn’t even made of goose, but duck down. 625 at that!

  • john

    Yes most goose down is better than duck down but its all about the fill and other materials used, also see were i used the word “most goose down” that because eider down is the best down in the world and it comes from the eider duck.

    Another thing about CG is the way it seems to be critisied over waterproof materials, what people forget to realise is that CG parkas were made for the coldest places on earth and in the coldest places it does not rain.

  • Hi Krystyna,

    This article was actually written by a previous owner so I’m not entirely sure what he meant by that. I do agree
    that temperate wise you can wear one almost the entire winter though 🙂

  • Kervin M.

    I live in New York City and want to get a winter jacket but I am just in love with the parka design. I don’t know what brand would be good and I am limited by budget. I would really appreciate if someone could lead me to a simple but warm jacket I’d love I’ll appreciate it

  • phildo864

    So ten percent of the people you see are wearing Canada Goose coats? What are the majority of people wearing? What coat is the “warmest” in your opinion?

  • RandomGuy

    well others just where random brands so it doesn’t mean other 90% wears a more popular brand 😛

  • Hybrid06

    You are stupid for posting this comment, -20 is cold for most of the world. Just because you probably stay in it and are used to the cold, doesnt change it for the rest of the world

  • Holly

    My darling, aside from the BC coast, Toronto is the most temperate city in Canada. My Danier down/feather blended number with leather accents was plenty sufficient while I was there. However, I would never think that I could get away with that while visiting my parents in Midland, my brother in Edmonton, or my alma mater in Montreal.

    That said, I’ve made it through a number of Montreal winters putting priority on my feet (a pair of sheepskin Pajars to the knee are toasty warm) and a long wool double-breasted number over a knit sweater, so I won’t argue that a Montrealer *needs* a CanadaGoose or CanadaGoose-like parka.

    😉

  • Stu

    Its a blend of goose and duck the heavy are mostly goose the light ones mostly duck

  • Tricia

    Thank you for this absolutely awesome discussion and detailed analysis of Canada Goose and its benefits. I have been dithering about buying such an expensive coat (and I mean for years!). I realized however, as I was doing the 15 minute walk from the bus to my house the other day, that I have NEVER been warm in the winter. I do have a warm coat and I was wearing layers but the wind completely penetrated despite all that. I have lived in Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa and January and February are very unpleasant. I’ve made do and I’ve walked fast, hoping to get warm, and I’ve shivered and I’ve been cold to the point of crying, and I’ve avoided going outside when it’s too cold. Winters are usually long here (Ottawa) so it’s ridiculous already. I’ve avoided Canada Goose because of the stigma associated with the brand but then I looked at Kanuk and starting price is a grand! Uh, I don’t think so. And they’re not as nice looking. So thanks!! I am going to at least start by going to the store and trying several on.

  • Don’t drink this Kool Aid folks …. I’ve been wearing Marmot for a few years now … no leakage … (I wash my coats / jackets A LOT) and these products never let me down … and … oh right, kept me warm in frigid NYC. Canada Goose is a joke for that price. Even if I were rich, I’d say the same thing!

  • Foreign Devil

    “frigid” NYC. . give me a break! It’s all relative I guess but NYC is balmy compared to almost any city in Canada.

  • kim

    Hi, I have a Canada Goose Whistler parka 3/4 length. I am now into my 5th winter with it. It has passed all winters famously including the brutal winter of 2014-2015 in Montreal Quebec (the worst cold I’ve ever experienced in 50 years) and its still going strong this year. I’ve cleaned at the end of the 4th year, at a cleaners that uses only natural ingredients, no chemicals and its still beautiful (never wrinkles). While most others hid inside or if had dogs took them for short walks (2014-15), I never backed down with my parka (our dog needed a Canada Goose however) I love it and find myself promoting it as a result. The best warm winter coat I’ve ever had. Buy Canada Goose from an “authorized” dealer to get the real deal. Fakes are sold online but their down has been found to be actually diseased cat fur, so don’t be fooled by the impostors. My $675 plus tax has actually cost $140 per year to date, now that’s a bargain for real warmth:)

  • Heids

    Loved the article! I bought my CG about 5+ years ago. I have to say I am still amazed by the quality, not one loose thread thus far. In fact it still looks brand new. I finally dry cleaned it this year as I happened to have my CG too close to me while I was at a paint night and it got splattered with paint. It was a very sad moment when I realized I had gotten paint on my CG. I absolutely love it, it keeps me warm and I believe it will serve me for years to come. The only issue that I do have with the jacket is the use of the coyote fur. I do love how warm the fur keeps me and it really does seem to generate a warmth when against my skin, but I have had fake fur hoods that did suffice.

  • Rich

    Average winter lows in NYC are not very cold. Even the record low for January, -4F (1994), and February, -3 (1979) are not really that cold. Cities like Ottawa have average temperatures in January and February close to the record lows in NYC and Ottawa is not that far north and not that far from Lake Ontario which tends to moderate the temperatures.
    Average January lows in Winnipeg are -10F with a record low of -54F.
    I had a Canada Goose parka when I lived in Yellowknife back in the early 1990s and I was glad to have it. We had lows in the -30 to -40 range (at -40, C and F are the same). It is colder cities like this where you need a great parka, not NYC, Toronto or Chicago.

  • Pete

    I work in the outdoor industry in a top end retailer which sells Canada Goose among many other brands. I am also a ski instructor and spend all winter out in resort and get out ski touring whenever I can. I feel this gives me a good basis on comparing different products and this leads me to say I wish we did not stock Canada Goose. My main problem with this brand is the cost. I am happy to spend more on gear that is well designed and well made. This is definitely not the case with Canada Goose. For every item they make, it is possible to get a better version (Arc’teryx, Rab Mountain Equipment etc) which is better made, lighter weight, just as warm and usually around half the price. The people who these jackets are made for are ones who want the little logo on the item for walking around a city. The other brands I’ve mentioned will do the same thing but better and in my opinion look better as well. My Rab Neutrino Endurance jacket kept me warm standing still at 6500m on a mountain in Argentina down to -30 Celsius without a problem and packs down to the size of a grapefruit. This same jacket is now 10 years old and in perfectly good condition.

    Another major gripe I have with this brand is the fact that the name is very misleading. Only 3 or 4 of their products actually use goose down with the majority using up to 700 fill duck down. I am not a fan of The North Face but would rather have one of their down jackets because they are so much cheaper and use goose down in some of their products.

    In other words, do not be duped by a little logo, an expensive price tag and the name. Arc’teryx are my favourite brand and they are not exactly cheap. However, I feel (as does pretty much anyone who has used Arc’teryx) that they are expensive for the right reasons. They use the best quality materials and spend a lot of time and money on research and development to come up with the best products on the market.

    I hope this is useful

    Pete

  • jrasero

    Bought my CG Black Langford Fusion Fit last year and got it for $701.21 (MSRP $825) with free shipping due to a seasonal customer service rep at Moose Jaw giving me 15% when I phoned in to complain how they accidentally shipped me two coats even after I cancelled one. The downside was that I bought the coat and a brand new SUV during one of the warmest winters for the North East.

    So is CG worth the price? Yes and no. While my dollar per wear ratio was very weak for 2015, unless I gain 15-20 pounds, I will be able to wear the coat for many winters. All of CG’s parkas are very classic and not fashion based so the style will last overtime. The construction, warmth, and overall outdoor abilities borderline good to even great but really the main selling point of the coat is its luxury monicure and “it” factor. A men’s CG Langford Parka in 2015 when I bought it was $825 and for 2016 they are now $900. Reading some old forum posts maybe 3-4 years ago the Langford went for $500+, every year CG coats have risen in price.

    I grew up in Maine and no one had a “luxury” coat, either you had a LL Beans or North Face or you just bundled up. So the idea that CG can sell a $900 coat and Moncler charges $2,000 for a coat seems just outrageous to me. Yet I bought one because, CG is very warm and during those days when it’s 5 degrees and there is a negative windchill there is nothing that will protect you better while still sporting a luxury badge. Sound absurd but even now if I sold my jacket on ebay I could get at least $500 for it. if you don’t care about luxury and just staying worm you can get a $300 jacket or less that will probably be almost as good

  • jrasero

    I own one and live in NYC. Compared to our brothers up in the great North, NYC winters are like living in Florida so CG coats are a bit overkill. I will say CG really is just about the badge and they are great for walking around the city. Performance wise they aren’t waterproof so wet damp conditions aren’t ideal for them.

  • jrasero

    Mocler and Cg are really the it coats to have for when an overcoat just will not do for the NYC people. I own one and I will admit it is total overkill but so is a Mercedes or a yacht but that doesn’t stop people

  • Emilie

    Hahaha porter un Canada Goose à Montréal. Il ne fait pas assez froid! Mais c’est vrai que c’est un manteau de qualité, par contre le problème c’est que ça appartient maintenant à une cie américaine et le petit problème de la fourrure de loup…

  • Phoebe

    Actually I think the Nobis jackets are better quality and prices are comparable. Canada Goose jackets are partly made of cotton. When waterproofing wears out, which it eventually does for all jackets, you’ll be left with cotton blend, which when wet from train, snow or sweat, will stay wet for a long time, making you very cold.

  • MikeEShim

    Fortunately, Canada Goose has a lifetime warrranty for instances such as this.
    You merely contact them and inform them that the waterproofing has faded, and they either send you a new one or replace with a similar model.
    That alone makes the price worth it.

  • dickhead4hundred44

    Bought a mackage on sale for 300 bucks. It was originally 800 last season, and the new style is pretty identical for this season. It has 700 fill down, which seems to trump most of the other brands in the price range, the fur hood is real coyote fur, and is detachable, but unfortunately it is sewn in China. The craftsmanship does seem to be remarkable though for Chinese made stuff, even if one of the sleeves seems ever so slightly worn(I also bought it at a discount Saks chain, so god knows what it went through before it got there). You definitely are on the money, the fabric does seem quite fine, and definitely not very scratch resistant. A couple scrapes against a concrete wall and it could easily tear, the canada goose seems to have a “rougher” exterior that has a unique texture to it, not quite as sleek, and as stated the cuts are much more stylish and urban. But still, this jacket, seems like a worthy competitor to the Chiliwack and other CG Bomber jackets, and I paid much much less for it. For a few trips to Chicago during the winter time, it should suffice for a weak skinned Californian such as my self(in the 2015 polar vortex, Chicago dropped into the double digit negatives for several weeks).

  • NYC GAL

    I live in NJ and commute to NYC and the winters get pretty damned cold here. I suppose it’s all relative to what you’re used to. Temps can get into the single digits and with wind chills, it could drop to -10 to -15 degrees Fahrenheit. Last winter, I bought 3 canada goose coats all around the same time. I started with the Solaris. It was super warm (rated TEI 4) but too short and left my legs cold. I then bought the Shelburne which was only a TEI 3 but hit above my knees. The Shelburne was thinner than the Solaris and didn’t keep me as warm. I only wear it when the temps range from 20-45 degrees. Since I still wasn’t completely satisfied with the level of warmth, I went and bought my 3rd, the Mystique–a TEI 5. It may be overkill for this area and I haven’t had the opportunity to wear it yet but am looking forward to not being cold. I’m annoyed that I bought so many and they are still not quite right. My perfect coat would be the Shelburne with a TEI 4 warmth. Not sure why most of their knee-length coats are only TEI 3. The Trillium is a 4 but it’s a manly cut and makes the shoulders appear super broad. Even with the above complaints, I am a fan. The fabric appears thick and durable and is really impenetrable against the wind. I will note that the coyote fur quality has also declined on these coats. My shelburne fur is 6″ wide. It is huge and does a good job of keeping the wind off my face. The fur on my other two CG coats are much smaller and shorter. 3″ as opposed to 6″. And because the fur is short, it serves no functionality. I am thinking of sending those two coats back for warranty repair to replace the furs.

  • Andy Thomas

    I have lived in Canada for 18 years, and have had several parkas during that time, including ones from MEC and Marks (WindRiver). I recently bought a North Face parka (50% off, in August!) I have to say, the North Face parka is the worst of the lot by a long chalk. I would hesitate going out in it below -15C without extra layers, which has not been the case with the other parkas that I owned. The insulation is poor, and the fit is so bad that the wind whips right through.

  • Maria Elena Navata

    How is the Whistler compared to the CG Kensington parka? All thoughts are much appreciated! 🙂

  • Ioan Bogdan

    Hello.
    I am a new owner of a Canada Goose Chateau model.
    I love this jacket, except one thing. At -10 degrees Celsius, i do feel some cold on top of the shoulders and in the back of my neck.
    I checked by hand the down inside the jacket and you can feel it there. But not as much as you can find in other parts of the jacket.
    Can someone confirm this is normal?
    Is this happening with all the ajckets outhere?
    Thank you.

  • mary

    There was a Chinese criminal enterprise that was using the logo, name and all the photos belonging to Canada Goose. I was one of their victims. I realized something was amiss just moments into the purchase, and tried to cancel—the payment was run through at least four or five companies and ended up on my VISA. I notified VISA–who gave me some nonsense about approving the purchase—I reminded them this was a fraudulent company. At Canada Goose’s behest, I notified the RCMP who efficiently did what they could. Every time VISA would remove the charge, this Chinese bunch would put it back on my card. Six months later, I sent a certified letter to the CEO of VISA at Chase in NYC threatening them with everything I could think of. I received a call apologizing for all the confusion–however the charge kept reappearing. I even canceled my card and got a new one–no luck. Finally this bogus company contacted me to say I had to pay for it and that they had sent it out. I asked them to listen carefully to what I was going to tell the. I then informed them that I could afford to travel to Bejing and that I would and I would track them down and kill all of them(at 80 years old that was unlikely but they didn’t know that) The calls and charges ended. The terrible parka arrived–cheap, tacky, and trimmed with a dead cat. I put it in the goodwill bin. These people have apparently victimized many Americans but they can be dealt with–you just have to get very rough with them—and your credit card company.

  • Logic

    Good points by all. If we conclude with the Canadian’s views, they should keep their coats there as they are good nowhere else.