The Canada Goose Parka: Is a $700 winter jacket really worth it?

I’ve spent $700 on a few things in my life. My unlocked iPhone, a few well-loved bicycles, and even my IKEA sofa cost seven bills.

But what about a puffy parka?

When I first spied the huge numbers of Canada Goose jackets flocking around Toronto I had no clue the down-filled, fur-trimmed parkas boast such sizeable price tags. With everyone wearing the Canadian-made coat, I figured the price was affordable.

Kerry K. Taylor

Kerry K. Taylor vs. the $700 Canada Goose Kensington Parka

Boy, was I wrong.

Turns out only snowbirds with deep pockets can afford to sport this popular outdoor brand on their wings. Are these jacket wearers getting goosed? Or is there real value behind the Canada Goose brand?

Selling Value

It’s hard to put a price on staying warm. I should know. As a Canadian who has lived in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and BC’s Okanagan Valley I’ve experienced all sorts of cold.

The worst type of cold is the feeling of the wet windchill biting your bones while waiting for a bus. So while waiting for budget transit in Toronto, I asked Canada Goose parka wearers why they bought a $700 coat.

The most common coat buying answers:

  1. Warmth without bulk: The “light-as-air” coat is filled with warm down.
  2. High quality materials: The parkas are made with goose down sourced from Canadian Hutterite farmers and come with a removable coyote fur-lined hood.
  3. Durable: Transit travelers loved the stitching, fabric, and perceived the coat to be highly durable. “An investment that will last for years,” many said.
  4. Made in Canada: “Not a cheap coat made in China.”
  5. Lifetime Guarantee: From Canada Goose: “Warranted to the original owner against defects in material and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.”
  6. Fashionable: The puffy coat looks so stylish that even celebrities and athletes boast the brand.
She might catch a chill: Canada Goose is so stylish that even Sports Illustrated bikini model Kate Upton is down with the goose.

She might catch a chill: Sports Illustrated bikini model Kate Upton is down with the goose.

Not racing to the bottom

Everyone knows that Canada Goose parkas never go on on sale, so the brand isn’t trying to race to the bottom by being the cheapest coat on the market. If you want cheap stuff made in China you shop at Walmart. If you want a Canadian-made coat, then maybe there’s a price to pay.

Also, allegedly selling a cheaper Goose-like knockoff is getting Sears sued for trademark infringement — so consumers have to buy the real thing to stay toasty warm.

The recent Canada Goose sale to U.S. company Bain Capital got a few consumers pecking over the brand staying Canadian-made in Canuckland. Something for future consumers to think about.

Birds of a feather…

Would you become a member of the flock and buy a $700 coat?

My most expensive winter coat is a BCBGMAXAZRIA fully-lined, mostly wool $199 deal bought through eBay. The zippers are a little breezy, but super cool.

Kerry K. Taylor

So far I’m dealing with the Canadian chill, but I’d love to know what you guys think:

YES to the $700 parka, or NO not down with the bird-brained deal?

Comment away!

Love,
Kerry

Your two cents:

  1. LC February 3rd, 2015

    Unfortunately there isnt a comparable option. If you think Northface, Patagonia, and Fjal Raven equivilants are nearly as warm or well made – you are mistaken. I cant even wear my Patagonia Tres below 35 degrees without layering.

  2. LC February 3rd, 2015

    Actually, scratch that. Northface and Patagonia do not sell a single product as warm or higher quality than a Canada Goose Chateau.

  3. Pete February 4th, 2015

    I’ve bought a Canada Goose Heli-Arctic parka (Discontinued) 6 years ago for 660$. Let me tell you one thing. I spent 660$ back then on a quality parka from Canada Goose, but I would NOT do it again, and here is why. They are watering down the features on their parkas, yet the prices keep on going up. To support what I’m saying, here is a list of features on my discontinued Canada Goose Heli Arctic parka that are also present on Canada Goose’s top of the line Snow Mantra parka (which is now priced around 1150$), that where once part of but have since been *REMOVED* from the Expedition Parka being sold today at 875$. Here they are: Double-reinforced elbows for durability, adjustable bracing wire in hood for superior protection in high-wind conditions, shoulder grab-straps, Two lower, two toned, full-bellow snow pockets secured with Velcro® flaps, on top of which are two fleece lined handwarmer slash pockets (the expedition no longer has the fleece lined hadnwarmer slash pockets), D-ring for glove attachment point. I noticed the disappearance of these features when I saw the Expedition Parka in person in a store and also online, plus the parka seems cheaper in construction when I compared it side by side with my Heli-Arctic. In conclusion, 6-7 years ago Canada Goose had not hit the mainstream yet, and I was one of the rare ones who owned one. North Face was a lot more popular then. Now that they’ve gone mainstream, well…

  4. Karen S February 5th, 2015

    There are viable options to CG, which are of the same quality and warmth.

    Go online and look at the Quartz Nature range. Made in Canada, same down filling, and best of all, washable. You have the choice of different furs, fake fur or no fur. Lovely colours and designs and no huge status symbol badge. I have only had compliments when I wear my QN coat, and it is light and very, very warm, too. Price is slightly less than CG, but I have never regretted buying this brand whilst it is still low – key. Go to their website and check it out. I am 5’2”, 50 kgs and took a small to allow for extra room for layering, but an XS, would have been a good fit too. Love , love my QN!

  5. Joni February 9th, 2015

    I struggled with the price tag but in the end it is the BEST $700 I have ever spent. Warmest coat, love the hood, can wear a t-shirt under it and feel warm’ wind doesn’t cut through it. I live in Saskatchewan! It’s and investment but well worth it!!

  6. Oli February 10th, 2015

    I liked the idea of owning one of this parkas before I knew how much you had to shell out for one. I just couldn’t believe it. My 10-year old 150-dollar Columbia winter coat is still in one piece and like new. I know it’s not fashionable and it’s bulky and it’s made in China but can withstand -30 with no issues so for the time being U’ll stick with it …

  7. Elvi February 16th, 2015

    I still own one of the original Far West jackets from 1988 that was, at that time, made in Vernon B.C. This is by far the absolute best winter jacket I have ever owned. It looks worn but is still very much intact. I still use it when I go skiing (yes…I am NOT styling). As for Canada Goose….I probably paid the same price in 1988 for my Far West as a new CG in today’s funds. You certainly get what you pay for.

  8. Douglas February 20th, 2015

    Walking around here In New York City, it appears that every 30 or so people I see is wearing a Canada Goose parka. I assume they are authentic. Everyone is entitled to their view as to whether $700 is a fair price. Obviously, to those who choose to purchase one, it is a fair price. I understand the points that have been made regarding the cost associated with making a quality jacket that is very warm, wind proof and waterproof that will last for years, and thus, the relatively higher price. The price set by the manufacturer is of course a business decision.

  9. Douglas February 20th, 2015

    Walking around here In New York City, it appears that every 30 or so people I see is wearing a Canada Goose parka. I assume they are authentic. Everyone is entitled to their view as to whether $700 is a fair price. Obviously, to those who choose to purchase one, it is a fair price. I understand the points that have been made regarding the cost associated with making a quality jacket that is very warm, wind proof and waterproof that will last for years, and thus, the relatively higher price. The price set by the manufacturer is of course a business decision. That decision is based on a number of factors, including the cost, and the profit margin that the management and shareholders want to make given certain constraints with regard to price elasticity. In my view, the profit margin is very high, so those who rationalize their decision to pay that price should also recognize that they are lining the pockets of the shareholders of the business, who a laughing all the way to the bank.

  10. John Williams February 28th, 2015

    Most people in winter are walking to and from some place or waiting for short periods at a bus stop or the like. In these situations another brand and a cheaper parka would suffice. As a wildlife photographer, I am often sitting in one place in -20 degrees celsius for many hours with 80 kilometer winds. A Canada Goose parka would probably pay big time for me in these situations. I intend to purchase one for its utility rather than for fashion so I give a resounding yes to this coat !

  11. Joanne March 6th, 2015

    70 yr old, thought about buying one for 2 years and finally.bought one this year and love it. It is expensive. It have kept me warm on my walks, live in Alberta, no regrets.

  12. Julia March 19th, 2015

    I agree that a good-quality product that will last for years costs $700 that is why I did my research and decided to purchase my parka from Arctic Bay. This is a smaller company but with even higher quality jackets. Way more down fill and amazing huge coyote fur and beaver trimming. I truly enjoyed Toronto winter this year! Bunch of my friends and colleagues actually bought their parkas from Arctic Bay as well. They are all 100% made in Canada with amazing water repellent fabric, which is a big bonus for wet snow and random rains in winter.
    I am a big fan of this brand and recommend to all.
    http://www.arctic-bay.ca

  13. Xeco March 21st, 2015

    In a recent tryp to china i visited a down jacket fabric that (they say) are shipping to all over the world and you choose the “made in ” in the label, they mention Canada… believe me i have seen it…

  14. lana April 20th, 2015

    I can’t imagine paying $700 for a down jacket. I bought a very nice Gap jacket that looks very similar to the one you pictured for $10 on ebay. It fits nicely, it comes to just above my knees. It is very comfortable. I am snug in it but not overly hot. It washes well. I don’t feel badly having an animal sacrificed for my clothing.

    When I was younger, I almost bought a fur coat until my cousin complained about sore shoulders after shopping in her mink. Down coats are lovely in that respect. I think it is nice to have a sense of nationalism and buy Canadian products, but the economics of it, I don’t feel inclined to justify $700 for something that looks as good and is a fraction of the cost.

  15. Kasey McIntyre May 2nd, 2015

    Had them all (North Face arctic parka, North Face Metropolis parka, North Face Nuptse jacket, Hard Wear parkas, Patagonia parkas as well). THIS Canada Goose Kensington Parka is by FAR and away the best parka I’ve ever owned. PERIOD. I don’t care who thinks it’s a status symbol, those critics aren’t going to keep me warm as this parka does in the brutal winters here. THIS, on the other hand, does —and does well. Best winter gear purchase I ever made. Heck yeah!

  16. Scaly August 4th, 2015

    okanogan? Vancouver and toronto?
    Trust me lady you dont know cold. These jackets are worth it.
    If you spent time working outside in -30–40 with the wind howling and icicles hanging off your eyelashes. You would appreciate a good jacket. There worth more then any bicycle.
    And waiting for the bus? Really? Ask someone who works outside for a living. Im talking hours and hours outside.

  17. Ayman Abou Mehrem August 16th, 2015

    Absolutely YES. I lived in Manitoba for 3 years and definitely Canada Goose made a difference for me as I used to travel to northern Manitoba on emergency basis. Since I moved to Calgary I have not used as much

  18. Leopoldo September 29th, 2015

    I have liked many comments here.

    Especially, Scaly’s.

    CG is for extreme cold. You wear it -30 -40 C and do not need serious layers.

    For that weather you will need it. But remember, that is a Jacket for Canada, Sweeden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, forget about UK, France, NY.

    Second, if you work in an office these jackets are great because that will be what you will need under you work suit to get there. You do not need to be removing 2 additional layers after you get to the office to avoid getting toasty.

    Do not mess with winter !

    Wear what makes you warm.

    Quality is also expensive. In 2000, when North Face was a serious company I bought a gore-tex ski parka. It still looks new and it works for what is intended, stopping the wind, element protection while being breathable !

    Now, after 15 years is not a cool jacket anymore, it is far from being fashionable.

    So, it could happened the same to your fashionable expectation.

    You can’t go wrong with that parka cold wise from all the comments I read. If you can afford it go ahead.

  19. Treen October 13th, 2015

    There are a few things to consider here;
    Firstly, the coat is Canadian made. Not only does that sustain a Canadian business, and subsequently, all of their suppliers but also remember they are paying Canadian wages to have this coat manufactured.
    I live in Ontario, in the country. I was once of the opinion that North Face down, and Canada Goose were on the same playing field. After 3 winters of -50 days with wind chill I can tell you that my 900 down fill North Face coat got swapped off pretty damn quickly with my 700 down fill ankle length North Face coat in a feeble attempt to not freeze to death on the way from my car to meetings. That was also an exercise in futility as within moments I was back to freezing my ass off. I now own two Canada Goose Coats – a Mystique, and a Kensington and they are most definitely warmer. It is without a doubt that you can purchase North Face coats that are on par with Canada Goose such as those that are reserved for actual technical expeditions however those are not going to be $200.00 coats either. You’re going to be shelling out approximately the same amount of money, for a coat that has been made overseas, the function vs fashion element may be more on the side of functionality than something you also really quite like, and aside you are more than likely not supporting any aspect of a Canadian business (assuming you’re purchasing in Canada.)

  20. Lotan October 18th, 2015

    It’s incredible how so many people have ripped into into CG. You would they were selling crap. I think they were expensive before Kate Upton. For someone who moved froom a 110 degree summer climate to a close to the north east Canadian border region; I almost died last winter. There are certainly other choices to be sure. I care about ducks, etc like anyone else but human rights and suffering preoccupy my mind. If it keeps me warm, I’m willing to buy it and don’t feel like researching anymore, let it be. Stop bashing people for how they spend their money. You don’t know them, don’t judge them. Advice is always welcome; it’s all in how you give it.

  21. Dan Landry October 23rd, 2015

    In the far far away north of the country, you can buy 850$ CG for half the price and its not in sale.. Its their full price. Maybe because they are all wearing overkill stuff half of the year. Best deal is to have someone buy it for you then pay shipping with canadapost

  22. Jeffcq November 14th, 2015

    Are there cheaper alternatives “just as warm”? Yes. Are there alternatives with an actually slim cut with high armholes and exceptional build quality? Absolutely not. Is it worth a premium for a coat that actually fits well while being functional and last a life time? Of course

  23. Tom Bilewitch November 17th, 2015

    Now that I have had many parkas due to the experiences on the Dewline,military,trapping,snowmobiling and living for 80 years in Sk,Mb,and Arctic I found two parkas that I loved, the Hudson Bay with wolverine fur that does not frost up but eventually wore out, and the Snow Goose with gortex linig which I`ve had for over 30 years! It fits like a glove and I wish I could afford a new one as the old one has disclored from the uv rays…

  24. giovanni di frisco November 21st, 2015

    Not worth it my opinion, I live in quebec and we have one of the strongest winters in all canada and I’d get really tired of the same winter jacket wearing it for 6 months each year. I’d rather spend money on Point Zero, also Canadian, Pajar, also canadian as well Columbia Jacket that will cost me a fraction of the price, actually about 1/4 of what I’d pay for a canada goose jacket. I need different jackets to go thru the winter. So far, those brands have made the job during quebec’s winter. I personally believe it is totally overated! just my 2 cents here!

  25. Sasksask November 23rd, 2015

    CG coats are as beautiful as Channel bags. Fashion is like art. Function is important but outstanding of all in terms of brand, luxuriousness, recognition, etc., is equally as important. We should have more art kind of Canadian fashion brand like CG. Canadian fashion industry has to be developed like that of Paris and Italy. CG should increase their price. All CG coats should be over 1 or 2 thousand dollars like those of Berberry or Maxmarra.

  26. Garazgos November 24th, 2015

    I don’t see “SaskSask”‘s comment posted here yet although it’s sitting in my mailbox but in reply:

    If you want to develop/support a “Canadian parkas as Art”industry and think it’s OK to pay $1k-$2k for a parka, then I would venture that a person might look at one of the many small companies comprised of our Northern Aboriginal peoples who make winter gear — you know, the people who invented “parkas” ?

    Some of them will be traditional designs, made of traditional materials . Some will be designs by moderns who have graduated from “Southern” design schools, made of modern, technical fabrics in styles which reflect their cultural roots but are ultimately 21st C designs … and everything in between. Further, rather than being identical parkas like thousands of others from a production line, chances are pretty good that the creators would be happy to work with the buyer to develop a one-off unique parka-as-art.

  27. Joseph Rasero December 16th, 2015

    I grew up in Maine and now live and NYC and we have had some really cold winters as of late and last year I just got sick of being brutalized by the cold waiting for the train for walking around town.

    Canada Goose like Hummer or even Abercrombie and Fitch started as for enthusiasts that needed gear that would handle some of the most terrible conditions, but have transitioned into a lifestyle brand. So while Canada Goose jackets are overkill being rated at -15 F these aren’t the original Canada Goose jackets that were exploring Antarctica but rather warn on celebrities like Brooklyn Decker. You thought a H2 Hummer was crazy that is just consumer grade, the Military original was the real deal in comparison. Abercrombie was first an elite sporting goods and excursion gear manufacture, but now sells skin tight ripped clothes to pre-teens.

    Price wise $700+ is A LOT for any kind of jacket. Even some of my best suits never costed this much. But in comparison to Moncler, Canada Goose is somewhat of a bargain since Moncler starts at $1000 easily and are sometimes thousands of dollars. Also it maybe worth noting every year Canada Goose has raised their prices. I own a Langford men’s parka and when it first debuted it was $500 and now in 2015 it is $825. A course you can get a really great LL Bean, Patagonia, or North Face jacket and it will cost maybe a third of a Canda Goose but at $700+ you are buying a Canadian made piece with quality down and real fur, plus you get a lifetime warranty, only LL Bean has this. The real selling point for many is the cache and it factor of owning a Canada Goose. For you car people would you rather have a Chevy Thahoe or a Cadillac Escalade? Like a Cadillac a Canada Goose is a top of the line piece that has all the bells and whistles but it’s price is mainly derived from brand image and fashion appeal.

    Honestly I love my jacket even though I have yet to wear it since it has been one of the warmest winters so far ever in NY, but I would say I mostly bought it out of appeal like someone would buy a Hermes bag or Rolex. Yes there are cheaper and even better coats, but the name is what defines it

  28. Sam December 25th, 2015

    Yes, I live in Fairbanks, AK and spend many hours outdoors when it’s below -20. As for buying it as a status symbol, I believe if one can afford it and will enjoy it than they should do so, symbolism and fashion are subjective; to each their own.

  29. John December 28th, 2015

    No way Kerry. As you said, many things cost $700, but my coat will never be one of them. I can stay warm for a lot less and I have. $200 is my limit for regular wear. Now if I were going on a serious expedition to the arctic, or was spending any significant time in the bush during winter, then perhaps I would go to $700. Being a Canadian company doesn’t mean you get to gouge.

    If a Canadian company tells me I should ignore my wallet for the sake of Canadian pride, I would tell them their top management and executives should live modestly with the knowledge and pride that they are creating a quality Canadian product. It goes both ways.

    Too often marketers prey on our sense of personal pride or patriotism in order to get us to spend ourselves into debt, and that has to stop. I just paid $470 for $+800 in snowboarding equipment, and I’m sure it cost them $100 to make.

  30. Iryna December 29th, 2015

    Yes, buy it!
    It’s interesting to see how people say “I don’t to kill coyote to have a warm jacket”. Oh, please, maybe first become vegetarian and stop killing all the poor animals for food!!!!
    There are many trappers who have been hunting coyotes for many generations.
    And also, the trim will last longer than poor piggy or turkey one has for Christmas!

  31. Jens January 6th, 2016

    I was in Montreal over Christmas and it was pretty cold. I stumbled upon Kanuk and they were having a really nice sale so I bought a coat on impulse. Once I put it on I no longer needed all the layering. And amazingly enough my hands and face felt warmer too! Maybe that was psychological. All I can say is this is the warmest coat I have ever had and it seems very well made. Living in New Jersey I won’t be able to use this as much as if I lived in Canada but I am very happy with my purchase. I saw a lot of people with Canada Goose jackets. I had not idea they were a status symbol but apparently they are. They also look like great jackets and if I had stumbled on those first maybe I would have bought that instead of a Kanuk. I also liked the fact that the Kanuk was made on premises in Montreal. I like the idea of supporting local businesses.

  32. Peter January 12th, 2016

    Yes if you can afford it. There is no price you can put on warmth in the winter.

  33. Sean January 15th, 2016

    I would have to say yes to a Canada Goose and you can of course buy a North Face for much less but you’ll likely sacrifice quality construction. I don’t have a Canada Goose but do have a CMFR of equal value and also have(and have had) a two warm North Face jackets.
    I think the fact I have now had two North Face winter coats/parka/jackets in the last 10 years says it all and anyone I know who has a Canada Goose has had one coat/parka/jacket and only one. Case in point – a friend of mine has had one Can Goose winter jacket for over 10 years ( he hails from the Regina area originally ), wears it endlessly and the only damage is some fraying at the cuffs – it may not be a modern cut or style but thats another discussion. I had a two season old $450 North face Summit Series, which is very warm and half the price, but the constant catching of fabric from the front zipper has torn up the entire inner seam. Other zippers have broken, inner pockets torn and little holes have developed within the outer fabric BUT it is warm. In theory these are all areas that can be mended by a good seamstress but I think the point I’m getting at is you pay for quality – bottom line. You pay more for a good computer, you pay more for a good cut of beef, you pay for more a quality automobile etc etc. so why not pay for a good jacket and in this case a nice, warm Canada Goose ( or other equally expensive and constructive brand )?

  34. ak January 16th, 2016

    At $700+, CG is a non-starter for me. But here is the problem-you don’t really know how warm a coat is until you buy it and wear it, because almost no coat manufacturer will tell you to what temperature it is good for… I had to return an otherwise very nice, light Eddie Bauer down coat a couple of yrs ago when it became obvious that is was not warm enough, even though it was supposed to be good to -34C, I believe (the only manufacturer I have seen that even tried to put a number on it…) As a result I have a whole bunch of coats that are not warm enough, or if they are they are warm, they are too heavy…I am sick of layers, life is too short to fuss with putting things on and taking them off…not to mention having to carry them around if you are out and about and temps warm up…Temps in Toronto can be all over the map in a single day and I would love one light, warm coat that would do for all temps, so I don’t have to lug my extra layers around …I am on the road all day and at different times of the day, taking transit…Any ideas? All suggestions are appreciated.

  35. Tofo January 23rd, 2016

    No,way too expensive! I got this coat from Sears that was:
    •90% down filled (yes,Canadian goose down)
    •$200-$300
    •-40°c
    And it was real stylish!Similar looking to the Canadian goose jakets and I don’t care if it got sued!They come in a variety of colors and are extremely warm!This winter I just wore t-shirts under it.(I got the light blue bomber one cuz the medium lenth one didn’t suet me lol)But if you want the Canadian goose one just cuz of the brand go online and look at the sale section which are on sale for $200-$300, just like the Sears ones.😂

  36. Joseph Paulet February 28th, 2016

    I am sure these jackets are overpriced as much as 300 dollars.

    Canadians are claiming the price is justified because the jackets are made in Canada, therefore higher quality.
    First, if you look online , you will find that the Canadian factories are filled with asian looking people. Sure they are located in Canada,but the product is manufactured mostly by skillful asians probably making minimum wage or a little more. Also the CEO of that company explains that gloves are made in China because it is not possible to find a factory in Canada with the technology to make them here. Hummm, I thought Canada was more advanced than third world countries….
    Sure I believe these jackets are high quality and must be very warm, but no more than a 300-400 dollar jacket
    It is obvious that this CEO is a smart guy making heaps of money by deceiving patriotic Canadians who like to follow highly rated Canadian fashion 😉
    This opinion comes from an ignorant third world citizen 😉

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