User Review: The North Face Men's McMurdo Parka
Price Paid: $230
I went to the store to purchase the McMurdo after doing my research online. I ended up trying everything on in the store comparable and walked out with a Canada Goose Expedition. It wasn't even close. In terms of materials, fit, quality there wasn't anything even close.
First of all the McMurdo doesn't have a true tunnel hood. It is too short and the fur is fake and comes off. It's only for decoration. True tunnel hoods drop about 40 degrees off the outside temp around your face. The CG jacket hood extends 6 inches out from your face with real coyote fur and a wire support to shape the hood and keep wind and snow out.
The McMurdo has open arms with no cuffs or elastic to keep snow and wind out and no tensioners around the waist to do the same. It has elastic on the bottom but that would tighten around your thighs however. It felt too open like wind and snow could just blow up from the bottom and through the sleeves. CG jacket of course had an elastic tensioner around the waist plus an elastic snow skirt inside. It also had elastic cuffs on the arms.
The density of nylon on the exterior appeared twice as heavy for the CG jacket. CG struck me as a tool and the NF jacket looked more like a toy. If you are serious about keeping warm and want to make a 20 year investment in a functional coat there is only one choice in this category. If you ditch your coats when they go out of style or the label matters and function is secondary save the money and go NF.
It struck me as ironic that the CG coat is standard issue at the actual McMurdo station in Antartica. I doubt the NF McMurdo has ever seen real action down there. It's made more for cold commuters in the Midwest who would rather save a couple hundred bucks on something cheaper.