Canada Goose Expedition Parka
195 gsm, Arctic-Tech 85% polyester /15% cotton blend with a DWR.
55 gsm, Nylon plain weave treated with water repellent finish.
625 fill power white duck down.
Top rung of the top tier of the highest end parkas…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $400 USD the first time...$925 USD the second time (15 yrs later)
Top rung of the top tier of the highest end parkas you can find.
The most relevant and distinguishing factor about this is how it differentiates itself from the others of its own kind, such as the Snow Mantra, the 8000M, etc.
Without risk of sacrificing or overlooking 'nuance hiding behind innovative features that better the experience' — I can confidently say it's simple and the best choice in every situation (unless it's -100° or lower fahrenheit and you're napping outside at 11,000' elevation because the Russians kicked you out of Vostok Station for wasting all the vodka trying to convince your hot second, almost third if you count your dad's name change, cousin that no one will know outside of Antarctica...but this girl cheated by having a better drinking tolerance than you, so it's her fault.)
Outside of that situation, even though you thought you'd win because it worked with your sister, there is no need for the Snow Mantra. The features will do nothing other than annoy you.
Simply put: The Expedition is a far more manageable, far less tedious, clumsy and 'complicated' parka, while sacrificing next to none of the warmth. It'll leave zero regret and will reward the buyer with a parka that is far more usable and versatile, even in temperatures above freezing — and in heavy rain, than any of the other top of the line Parkas.
This is the parka for 99.9999% of people that need a parka for the coldest weather on earth. The remaining 0.00004% of you already have the Snow Mantra...the other 0.00006% are just collecting them all.
- Profoundly warm
- Profoundly adaptable (too hot...too cold — never an issue. Very breathable)
- Completely dry, even in pouring rain.
- As the above point implies, it's rarely 'too warm' to be wearing this. I wear mine sometimes when it's 40 degrees outside (Fahrenheit) It's literally as comfortable and breathable as any low end Columbia winter jacket
- The pockets are soft and warm, negating the need for gloves in most situations.
- The cuffs are exceedingly soft, comfortable and warm, further negating the need for gloves in most situations.
- Fur Ruff and tunnel hood is very easily manipulated when needed, and reduced when not needed.
- The ONLY con I've ever experienced—and it was NOT my own—was pertaining to the nature of this having a genuine fur ruff. Some people can't handle the moral question that imposes.
This is right around the top rung of the top tier of the highest end parkas you can find—and after using it hundreds upon hundreds of times over the course of ~15 years it deserves it.
Background on this review...when I tried to best organize a review of this parka I wanted to lay out my thoughts. These thoughts and opinions and occasional anecdotes are not from someone who writes reviews on everything they own. This is one of the first times I've ever done this.
Nor is it something I do lightly...moments after recording an un-boxing video for some random Youtube channel to show off my latest purchases. On trying to organize my thoughts for this review, I thought making such a distinction was probably very useful, followed by an honest assessment of why my opinion is probably one you will relate to...or one that will at least be relevant to some angle of the process you're going through, even if just idly reading reviews for fun.
Product Experience and competition familiarity: I've had the Expedition Parka for over 15 years. When I first bought it, it was around $400. I just bought it again so that I could get my other one to my wife and get myself a new one. Both still look and feel brand new. Our families cannot tell the difference. Yeah, it's that well made.
Beyond just having the Expedition Parka for 15 years, I have also had the Snow Mantra (Canada Goose's flagship parka, their priciest item, the elite of the elite—the parka which has always made the claim of being the warmest parka IN THE WORLD—without any company ever questioning or arguing this point.
That aside - we're discussing the Expedition. My familiarity with the Mantra is relevant, though. In addition to owning these two parkas for over 5 years each, I also own two other parkas, rounding out a collection that consists of four of the top 10 highest rated parkas for the absolute most extreme weather on earth.
Motivation: I rarely, read: never, write reviews. I was in the market for some other cold weather gear when I kept coming across people struggling over which parka to get, often becoming very frustrated and concerned as this purchase is no small purchase and amounts to a massive risk. Other people had the right list of parkas in mind, but were stuck trying to decide which one to get, with the price spread between the ones being considered being over $500 USD in one instance.
I felt bad for people stuck in this position...and after first being glad to know the answers for myself it hit me that I might actually do people like this some good if I just took some time and shared some opinions that didn't just play it safe, but which also sought to give specific answers for specific reasons. So here we are.
I wanted to approach this review in as organized, concise, and convincing a way as I could. To that end I tried to determine what was most important to the typical reader and what, from my experience, would be most important to them, as well as what I know after so many years with the product and the degree of familiarity with its competition that I think they should know, even if they hadn't considered it before. Basically I wanted to be educational, to explain not just why, but why not, and do it all confidently, anticipating and answering typical questions pertaining to the competition where necessary.
The cliche start is to rattle off the facts about the down, the fur ruff, etc. These don't matter, though. They're expected insofar as a parka of this caliber is concerned. They go without saying.
Yes, it's warm. It's Canada Goose and its place is on the top rungs of the top tier out of all Extreme Cold Parkas on the market. That's not a selling point. We all know that this parka will get you by at the South Pole in both comfort and apparently style.
More importantly, however, for anyone considering buying this, especially people that do not live in a location where the average high temperature in January is around or under -20 fahrenheit...which is essentially nowhere except far northern Nunavut, Canada and the Sakha Republic of Siberia. Though this parka is perfect for the inhabitants of these areas, you're almost certainly not one of them. You probably don't even live north of the 50th Parallel. If you do, you probably still hardly see temperatures below -10 Fahrenheit.
I point this out for a real reason. I'm not trying to be witty.
Because the majority of people who are considering this parka, if only based on statistics and population trends, are not from locations where day-to-day winter life revolves around temperatures so cold that car exhaust freezes into a cloud that reduces visibility while they drive around listening to their frozen tires clunk, clunk, clunk having frozen in shape to the ground (read: -40 Fahrenheit or colder). There thus becomes obvious a serious selling point in this parka vs any of the others. Specifically, the Expedition Parka is far and away the most versatile parka out of the entire list. I have worn this parka many, many times when temperatures have been as warm as very nearly 40 DEGREES — and I was not uncomfortable.
The Expedition Parka is far and away the most breathable, versatile parka on this list. Unlike the others, in particular the Snow Mantra, you will not feel overheated when using this parka at temperatures above 0...or even above freezing. This is a waterproof parka and I have many times found great use just throwing this parka on and going outside to the store while it poured rain at 36 degrees. It's exceptionally dry...very breathable...and comfortable regardless of the actual outdoor temperature.
This is probably the single best feature distinguishing this parka from any other parka on the top 10 list of extreme cold weather parkas made in the Western Hemisphere read: North America. It's not just going to give you bragging rights when you're standing outside on the coldest day of the year. It's also going to be useful on every other day of the winter.
Versatility in the warmth: I need this for true cold. How does it compare there? How about against the competition?
Exceptionally well. First off, I've used the Expedition Parka comfortably in temperatures that fell below -50 degrees Fahrenheit. That was the actual temperature, too. Not windchill. Not 'real feel.' The air temperature was an ambient -54 real degrees of fahrenheit, not -54 units of some fictional gimmick created to impress people listening to the radio.
This is important to note. The majority of temperatures you will come across from other people are not real, they pertain to windchills, industrial gimmicks, any of a number of concoctions that dilute the water and confuse the truth.
AGAIN - Compared to the Snow Mantra, which is generally considered the warmest parka in the industry, the Expedition Parka represents, nor feels, like a compromise on any level. It is perfectly warm. Having tried them both side by side at an ambient temperature lower than -50 - the only percerptible difference amounted to the Snow Mantra being heavier and longer. The Expedition was just as warm - just as useful.
Quick 1-2-3 to choose your next parka:
1) If you are trying to decide on a parka, despite being a bit more costly, the best decision is to go with the Canada Goose brand. Hands down. It's exceptionally warm and is the best made brand of parkas on the market. I've felt, worn and seen almost all of them. The quality drops off FAST outside of the Canada Goose brand.
2) Do you want the Snow Mantra Parka? Nope, you're wrong. You want the Expedition Parka. Sarcasm aside, there is never, ever, any real reason to get the Snow Mantra Parka instead of the Expedition (and even more emphatically if the option is a lesser well made Marmot or North Face Parka.) The Snow Mantra costs far more, presents no meaningful selling points compared to the Expedition Parka and that's simply all there is to it. Beyond that there are key drawbacks that are very important to consider if you choose a Mantra over an Expedition. More on them further down below.
3) The Canada Goose, out of all of the major top of the line extreme cold weather parkas on the market, is the most versatile and forgiving should the weather turn warm or you want more usage out of your $600+ dollar purchase than just those 2-3 super cold days each winter. This isn't about bragging. Get some real use out of your parka. The Canada Goose Expedition Parka is the -only- parka that ranks on par, and universally above, all of its competition WHILE also maintaining the versatility and breathability to use in temperatures far, far warmer...>32 degree Fahrenheit. In the rain. The Expedition has you covered—and comfortably.
If that's all so clear cut, why do I even own a Snow Mantra, let alone the others?
Simple. Extreme Cold Weather is one of my favourite things about life. Collecting the gear is one of my hobbies. I love it. But like I implied above, at length, 99% of the time I will only bother to wear my Expedition Parka. I've never needed anything more.
It's better made, it'll last you far, far longer (my first one, at 15 years old, still looks new.) and you will have no trouble if it turns warmer than forecast or you just want to wear it for more than the coldest day of every winter.
Is there ever a time for the Snow Mantra?
I haven't found it yet. At least not to the exclusion of the Expedition Parka. That being said, however, the Snow Mantra IS warmer, it does cover more of the body, and it does contain more down, a greater quality of fill and the overall parka seems to contain more features designed for extreme cold weather.
I imagine the distinction between the two more along the following lines: the Expedition will get you through -40° temperatures, snow, wind—basically extreme cold in the coldest cities of the Norther Hemisphere, Siberia included. The Snow Mantra, on the other hand, will be more than enough the next time you try to ski from McMurdo Station Antarctica to the South Pole during winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Those nights when it falls to -100° will no doubt make better use of the longer length, much heavier fill, and expansive tunnel hood.
I'm not exaggerating.
More on the downsides to the Snow Mantra mentioned above.
As promised, in spite of sharing virtually every positive with the Expedition Parka, the $400 dollar more expensive Snow Mantra has a bevy of downsides the Expedition Parka simply does not have:
- Weight. And it's not just a matter of considering how much more weight there is between the Expedition and the Mantra. That difference in weight makes a huge amount of difference in how versatile the parka is. Here, as above, versatile is an adjective referring to the range of situations where the parka is comfortable useful. The Snow Mantra's meaningful different in weight will mean and equally lower threshold in rising temperature before you get overheated. In other words, unless you're in Antarctica, the Expedition Parka will universally be more useful to you.
- Breathability. As above (so below...for real, lol.) The Snow Mantra is not nearly as breathable as the Expedition Parka. You cannot get by comfortably at 35 degrees fahrenheit while wearing the Snow Mantra. You can while wearing the Expedition Parka.
- Et Cetera Features. Frankly, the Snow Mantra does too much. It covers more skin, contains more features, more bits of a creative flare presumably tailored towards some facet of life below -100°. However, when the temperature is still above -80° these features will be annoying, tedious, and annoying to the degree that you cannot just ignore them.
To sum it all up: Buy the Canada Goose Expedition Parka.
- It is better made than any of the competition.
- It is more durable and long lasting than any of the competition.
- It is more versatile, meaning comfortable, in far more situations than the competition will be.
- It is all of the above, while still outperforming the competition in the coldest to the cold*
*exception being that time back in 1997 when you were forced to sleep outside for the night at Vostok Station, Antarctica, and the temperature went down to -132° Fahrenheit. Your Expedition Parka was fine, sure, but you prolly could have slept in a bit if you'd had the Snow Mantra.
Cold arms are the usual problem with any CG jacket.
Source: bought it new
Cold arms are the usual problem with any CG jacket.
- Warm somehow
- Cold spot
- Not so durable
- Hideously expensive and not worth the money
- CG became a fashion brand.
- Not the best fill power available.
The arms are always cold in CG jacket. Reasons:
- There's no vertical baffles in the sleeves. Consequence: the down shild behind the joint, leaving no insulation in the front.
- The sewing is stitch-through and not baffled, leaving cold spots everywhere.
I should mention that I bought the jacket from an official retailer in Canada. It was absolutely not a fake. Of course it is warm but its weight is something like 4 lbs and there are many brands out there much cheaper, much better. I repeat, CG became a fashion brand.
The product is excellent but if you have a problem…
Price Paid: $700+
The product is excellent but if you have a problem and have to deal with Customer Service, you are out of luck. They have been "looking into" replacing the fur on my parkas for over 2 months. Every time I call them, they say they will get back to me and then do not. It upsets me that I paid so much money for the parkas (I have 2 of them) and I cannot get satisfaction. They should take lessons from Sportchek who went beyond the call of duty to help me get a $100 jacket!!!
Overall quality of the jacket is good. Arms are cold.
Source: received it as a personal gift
Overall quality of the jacket is good. Arms are cold.
- Awesome hood
- Good fit
- Cold arms
Got my Expedition jacket as a birthday gift. Jacket was purchased from an authorized retail store. Always wanted one, but thought it was too expensive ($800).
I have worn it several times from -10° to -50° (wind chill). Hood and body were good, but my arms were cold in all temperatures. Doesn't make sense. Have to wear a fleece jacket under it to keep my arms warmer. I can actually feel spots in the arms where there is only fabric. This is NOT a knockoff jacket.
I have snowmobile jackets that are warmer at 1/4 the price. I expected great things from this jacket. Very disappointed. :(
The absolute best parka available anywhere in the…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $830 CAN
The absolute best parka available anywhere in the world.
- Superior warmth
- Built to last a lifetime
- Very expensive
- Have to dry clean
I live in Winnipeg, Canada, where the temperature regularly goes down to -35 C. A few days last winter, the windchill brought the temperature down to -45 C. I work outside in this weather, sometimes for as long as 12 hours straight. Every single person I work with wears Canada Goose. You have to. There is nothing else that comes close.
Most people wear the Expedition, as I do. Some wear the Resolute, and one or two wear the Snow Mantra. But you're getting over $1,000 for the Snow Mantra, and the warmth is pretty much the same as the Expedition.
People here have complained about "cold arms" with Canada Goose. Nonsense. They might be thinking of a parka like the North Face McMurdo, which sells for half the price, and is about half as warm. And fits oddly for most people. And has a hood that is simply useless. And lets drafts in from the top, bottom, and wrists.
If you can afford the Canada Goose Expedition, buy it. By the way, I know many, many people in Winnipeg who have had Canada Goose parkas that have lasted them decades. I had my last one for 34 years, and handed it down to my son. When I bought that one, the company was called "Snow Goose", and their parkas were essentially the same as Canada Goose's.
Believe me, in Winnipeg, you can see tons and tons of people still wearing their old Snow a Goose parkas. My old one is still in excellent condition, as just as warm as ever. No rips or tears or stains anywhere. Bought a brand new Expedition recently which will surely be the last parka I ever have to buy.
Top of the line for really cold weather. If it's the…
Top of the line for really cold weather. If it's the real thing.
Canada Goose parkas are the standard for cold weather gear, but the descriptions you see of some of them suggest that people are buying cheap knockoffs. Real Canada Goose gear has no cold spots and is well-designed to keep its excellent down fill in place.
Because of its incredible reputation in really cold climates, and the high price of the real thing, there are a number of companies around (notably Chinese) selling them online or through discount outlets. Look on the 'Canada Goose' website for information on piracy issues.
If someone is selling an 'Expedition' for $295, you can bet it's a phony.
cold spots on inside of arms !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £650
cold spots on inside of arms !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- fantastic quality made parka
- nowhere near enough down in the arm area !!!!!!
I have a resolute smock that i think feels 10 times warmer in the arms than the CG expedition parka i own, so i'm having the arms lined in Dryactive 3000 top to bottom...or shall i sell the CG Expedition and buy a warm coat instead????
i purchased this parka for this season and so far…
Price Paid: $650
i purchased this parka for this season and so far i'm very impressed. The number of pockets lets me lose my keys and the down is super warm. I'm very impressed with the fur rough which seems to block blowing wind very well, but allows me to see where i'm going.
I've only worn the coat in about -15c, but haven't had any issues. The extra wind blocking belt is great, and the hand-warming fleece pockets are perfect.
I liked this coat so much i had to get my wife one as well (although, i got her a Mystique instead of the Expedition).
I purchased this coat because I like being outdoors…
Price Paid: $609.00 CAN
I purchased this coat because I like being outdoors in winter, whether it be walking around the city or snow-shoeing in the woods. The jacket felt great at first, but when the temperature went below -10C (14F) and became windy, as if often does in Quebec, I felt cold spots on my arms. Then I noticed that the down fill was thin from the biceps to the crux of the arms.
The other day when it dropped to -20C and it was windy I could feel the cold going right through, even though I had a long-sleeve shirt and wool sweater on underneath. I tried contacting Canada Goose through their website message service but received no answer, so I returned it to the retailer and they agreed that the jacket seemed faulty and should be returned.
The catch is the people at CG are overwhelmed at the moment since their jackets have become such a hot item, as the store manager explained, and that it'll be at least a month before they get back to me. Even then, chances are they won't have any more coats until August 2010, seven months from now.
I haven't heard anything but good things about this jacket, which is why I decided to purchase it. However, from other reviews I've read it seems that the company is poor at keeping up with demand. And even though they have a reputation for producing top-quality jackets, evidently they're prone to screw up a few from time to time. "Ask anyone who knows." Well, I know.
I like fairly cold weather (-20 to -40 F). If you…
I like fairly cold weather (-20 to -40 F). If you don't dress carefully, those temps can kill you, but the Expedition parka makes being outside a pleasure. Yes, it's down-filled, so if you fall through the ice and get wet you'd better think fast about how to stay warm (wet down won't do it), but other than that it's a superb coat--tough, lots of features and pockets, and warm as all get-out. A good parka keeps your core warm, which makes it much easier to keep your extremities warm.
When the weather's warm, say 20F, all I need is one thermal layer underneath, and I will frequently unzip the parka all the way open and use only a pair of liner gloves. With good boots and mittens, snowpants, longjohns, and fleece, I've actually slept outside in this parka at 15F on a pool lounge chair by cinching the snowskirt to keep the wind out and pulling the big snorkel hood down over my face.
Sometimes you really do get what you pay for--genuine Canada Goose parkas are expensive, but they deliver on their slogan "Ask anyone who knows." The Expedition's not much good above 25 degrees F, but for sub-zero weather it's by far the best investment I've ever made and worth every penny. The generous hood ruff is real fur, which works much better than fake fur for cutting wind and resisting icing. Plus, it irritates the veggie crowd.
For extreme cold, none better! Hood coverage is exceptional.
Price Paid: $500 plus
For extreme cold, none better! Hood coverage is exceptional. Long stretch inside cuffs eliminate sleeve wind and cold wrists. Many pockets, well placed. Love the handwarmer liners, too. Shell resists moisture.
I am female and do NOT like the fact that this model, the Expedition, is only cut for men. Does not fit well on females with broad hips. If you get correct fit for upper body, the hip girth may be too narrow. CG, are you listening????? An option is Resolute that supposedly has a cut for women that is a little better. I own three CG parkas and would buy nothing else.
Beware, buyers, there are MANY fakes listed on Ebay.