Wondering about which to get between The North Face Arctic Parka, the Mountain Hardwear Downtown Coat, and Canada Goose Kensington, The North Face Metropolis? It's a tough choice. Well look no further as we’ll explain the differences here. But first, let’s check out the similarities.
First of all, they’re all very warm winter jackets with down insulation, the best insulation on the market. Second, they’re made for an urban use, for getting around town. Third, they are all long, offering great coverage, down to the knee. Fourth, they all have removable hoods.
That’s where similarities end and the differences start. They all have a removable fur trim, except for Metropolis, which does not have a fur trim on the hood. The Kensington is the only one that uses real fur, coyote fur in this case.
Both the Arctic Parka and Canada Goose Kensington are windproof, making them better suited to the worst winter can offer. It’s not that they are warmer but that they protect you against the elements better. The Arctic Parka is also waterproof, making it the most versatile of the bunch as the down will be protected in the event of a downpour.
Speaking of down, here are their loft ratings: Arctic Parka 550, Metropolis 600, Kensington 625, Downtown 650. If you want to learn more about down and loft, please head here. In the meantime, these numbers simply indicate the space an ounce of down takes. The higher the number, the better the down in that it takes less of it for an equivalent amount of weight. This reduces the weight of the garment but also increases the volume.
Now let’s check out additional specifications. Both the Kensington and Downtown have elastic cuffs. The Arctic Parka’s are adjustable, as are the Kensington’s.
Pocket wise, both the Arctic Parka and Kensington have four pockets up front. The Kensington’s chest pockets are rather small though, limiting their use. All jackets have a fleece lining, but the Kensington’s are softer. The Downtown and Metropolis have two hand pockets each. The Metropolis’ are quite roomy. However the fleece lining is only on one side.
Moving inside, they all have pockets except for the Kensington. Both the Arctic Parka and Metropolis have interior media pockets with an exit for an earphone cord, whereas the Downtown’s is just a simple pocket with a zipper.
Catherine, our tester (and resident climbing champion), felt the Kensington had the most flattering fit but that the Downtown was the lightest and most comfortable.
*This article was originaly published November 24th, 2009. It was last updated August 28th, 2011.