“The Canada Goose jacket, is it worth it?”

That’s the question I asked a bunch of commuters while waiting for the bus in Toronto. When I first spied the huge numbers of Canada Goose jackets flocking the city I had no clue the down-filled, fur-trimmed jackets were so expensive. With so many people wearing the Canadian-made coat, I figured the price was affordable.

I was wrong.

With a price tag of around $1,000 per parka, the Canada Goose jacket is expensive.

Is Canada Goose jackets worth it?

Kerry vs. Canada Goose Kensington Jacket

Why are Canada goose jackets so expensive? Are Canada Goose jacket wearers getting goosed? Or is there real value behind the expensive Canada Goose brand? Basically, Is it worth it?

Let’s unpack this pricy parka.

Why are Canada goose jackets so expensive?

Canada Goose was founded in 1957 by Sam Tick as a working-class brand but has since transformed into a luxury status symbol. The brand boasts their jackets can endure temperatures as low as -30°C and the animal fur trim (coyote fur) protects against air-flow and frostbite.

In 2001 Sam Tick’s grandson, Dani Reiss, became CEO and expanded the Canada Goose brand in Stockholm and across Europe. Canada Goose got an off-camera boost when cold-weather film crews donned the jackets during film production, and made it on the backs of celebrities in 2004 when Reiss sponsored cold-weather film festivals like Sundance and the Berlin Film Festival.

Canada Goose Kate Upton

Catch a chill: Sports Illustrated bikini model Kate Upton is down with the goose.

In 2013 the brand blew up in the United States when Kate Upton wore a Canada Goose parka on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Now that’s exposure!

The materials and technology used in Canada Goose jackets have not changed significantly since the early days. The brand is now using 800 Power Fill Hutterite down, which is traceable, in the priciest jacket models, but the price has jumped significantly with few material changes to the jacket itself.

What has changed is celebrity endorsement and international popularity.

So why are Canada goose jackets so expensive? Canada Goose is expensive because the jacket is now deemed a luxury brand worn by celebrities around the world. Sure, many coat owners claim the Canada Goose materials and technology are superior and warmer to other winter coats on the market, so let’s unpack the details.

Canada Goose Jacket, Is it worth it?

For years Canada Goose has used down insulation, referred to as fill powder in the industry. Fill power is a measure of the loft, or the “fluffiness” of a down product. Canada Goose jackets have a standardized fill power of 625, 675, 750, and 800. The pricest parkas boast an 800 fill of Hutterite down, which is traceable in certain models.

The jacket shell, or outer material, is made from “Arctic-Tech”, which is how Canada Goose brands a standard fabric made from 85% polyester and 15% cotton with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.

Now you know some down jacket lingo, let’s compare all the “luxury” Canada Goose features with a winter jacket I own from Patagonia, the Tres 3-in-1 Parka.

Canada Goose Shelburne VS. Patagonia Tres 3-in-1

Canada Goose Shelburne Parka:
Fill Powder: 625 White Duck Down
Shell: Arctic-Tech 85% Polyester, 15% Cotton, DWR
Hood: Removable Animal Fur Tim
Features: Celebrity Owned
Temperature: -10°C / -20°C
Weight: Not Given
Country: Made in Canada
Price: $1,100 (Never on sale)

Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka
Fill Powder: 700 Duck and Goose Down (100% recycled)
Shell: H2No 100% Polyester (50% recycled), DWR
Hood: Adjustable, Snap-on/off, Stand-up Collar
Features: 3-in-1: Zip-out Parka + Shell
Temperature: -10°C / -20°C
Weight: 1,446 g (51 oz)
Country: Made in Vietnam, Fair Trade Certified
Price: $750.00 ($300 on sale)

Bottom Line:The Canada Goose Shelburne Parka and the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka are comparable winter coats. Both boast comparable down fill powder, a durable water repellent finish on a polyester shell. Canada Goose has a coyote trim hood and all new materials with an Arctic-Tech shell, while activist brand Patagonia uses recycled components, no fur, an H2No shell, and offers a 3-in-1 design. Both jackets are comparably temperate rated.

Price: On price, Patagonia jackets can be purchased on sale (I got mine for $300) and Canada Goose jackets are never price-reduced at the end of the season. The Canada Goose Jacket costs 32% more than the Patagonia Jacket (regular price) and 73% more on sale.

Everyone knows these parkas never go on on sale, so Canada Goose isn’t racing to the bottom to be the cheapest or most affordable coat in the market. I mean, if you want cheap, you shop at Walmart. If you want a Canadian-made coat, then maybe there’s a price to pay.

Considering material and technology both winter jackets are comparable, so spending MORE on a Canada Goose Jacket isn’t worth it, right?

What do people think?

Reasons to Buy a Canada Goose Jacket

The worst type of cold is the feeling of the wet windchill biting your bones while waiting for a bus. Let’s go back to the bus stop in Toronto where I asked budget transit commuters, “Why the heck did you buy such an expensive coat?”

Why people buy the Canada Goose Jacket

  1. Warm without bulk: Felt “light as air”.
  2. High quality materials, durable: Loved stitching, fabric, perceived coat to be durable. “An investment that will last for years”.
  3. Made in Canada: “Not a cheap coat made in China.”
  4. Lifetime Guarantee: “Warranted to the original owner”.
  5. Fashionable: “Popular in the culture.”

Reasons for not buying: “It’s too expensive, not worth the cost”, “just a celebrity brand”, “it’s all marketing”, and “you can buy a comparable coat for less”.

Birds of a feather? Pros and Cons!

It’s hard to put a price on staying warm. It’s even harder to put a price on emotions and how you feel wearing something that’s deemed special, rare, or luxury.

Yes, you can find a warm winter jacket comparable to a Canada Goose jacket for a lot less money. The biggest differences between Canada Goose and other winter jackets on the market is the controversial coyote fur trimmed hood, expensive luxury price, and the Made in Canada origin.

Future buyers should note the recent Canada Goose sale to U.S. company Bain Capital could change where the jacket is made. So far the coat has remained in Canada.

How many hours do you work to buy it?

Another way to decide if a Canada Goose jacket is worth it is to tap into a little behavioral science and use Opportunity Cost.

For me, I’m sticking to my $300 Patagonia Parka. The price point has enabled me to purchase a dressier, fully-lined wool coat for $199 from BCBGMAXAZRIA.

Kerry K. Taylor

So far I’m dealing with the Canadian chill, but I’d love to know what you guys think. Drop your comments, below. Would you join the flock and buy a $1,000 coat?

Love love love,