Anybody who has waited at a bus stop for twenty minutes in Québec’s bone-chilling winter winds will understand the advantages of having the best winter jacket. The four models under review are: The North Face McMurdo III Parka, The North Face Gotham Jacket III, the Canada Goose Expedition Parka and the Canada Langford Parka
|Langford Parka||Expedition Parka||McMurdo Parka III||Gotham Jacket III|
|Down Fill Power||625-Fill||625-Fill||550-Fill||550-Fill|
Removable fur ruff
|DryVent 2L shell|
Fixed hood w/ chin
Snap-off faux fur
|Insulation Type||White Duck||White Duck Down||Goose Down||Goose Down|
|Pockets||4 exterior hand|
|2 exterior double|
|Temperature||-15°C to -25°C||-10°C to -20°C||-10°C to -25°C||-10°C to -25°C|
Where They’re Made
Many people are initially surprised by the difference in price between these two brands. Materials, technical features and a number of other factors may come into play, but essentially it boils down to the fact that Canada Goose is made in Canada, whereas The North Face (in the case of the McMurdo Parka III and the Gotham Jacket III) are made in China.
The down used in both the Canada Goose jackets is white duck down with a fill power of 625, while the two North Face Jackets are filled with goose down with a fill power of 550.
After trying all the jackets, we have to say they’re all very warm. These jackets are all good for walking around outside, but they need to be taken off on the bus or in the metro. The difference in down between the jackets is minimal. For example, the Expedition Parka has more down than the Langford. The North Face Gotham III Jacket and the McMurdo Parka III have the same amount of insulation.
Blocking the Wind: Two Schools of Thought
A good winter coat will be waterproof and windproof, and both Canada Goose and The North Face meet these demands in their own way.
The external material on The North Face jackets is lined with a waterproof breathable coating called HyVent – and both jackets have sealed seams. This guarantees that they are waterproof and will block the wind.
Canada Goose, uses a very strong, robust outer material that cuts the wind. In this way, the Arctic-Tech (polyester and cotton) material used on the Expedition is very efficient. Aside from really extreme conditions, it isn’t necessary for these jackets to be more waterproof than they already are. They are so warm that you’d rarely wear them when it’s warm enough to rain.
Details about the Fit
All four coats have a very roomy fit. We tested it on someone who was 5’9 (1.75 m) and weighed 155 lbs (70 kilos). They usually wear small or medium, but only the small in The North Face Gotham III Jacket fit them; the others in the same size were too big – the Expedition being the largest (the extra small would fit).
When it comes to length, the Gotham III Jacket is the shortest, ending at the waist, while the others come down to about mid-thigh. The Expedition differs from the McMurdo Parka by its elastic storm skirt at the waist.
The other four coats have a few storage pockets as well as hand-warmer pockets. At the wrist, The North Face coats have adjustable Velcro strips on the back of the sleeves. The Canada Goose parkas have long fitted inner wristbands. The North Face jackets have detachable hoods, whereas they are secured on the Canada Goose. The zippers on the Canada Goose are also big and very sturdy.
Real Fur or Synthetic?
The North Face parkas have removable synthetic fur around the hood, whereas the Canada Goose parkas have real coyote fur. Each of these coats would be perfect for those who want to be (really) warm all winter long while doing moderate activities.
In a case like this there is no wrong choice. The four styles are somewhat similar in appearance. All four jackets have a number of features that will comfortably get you through the coldest winter days.
The down-fill power is similar, with Canada Goose edging out The North Face by a small amount. The main difference that sets the two apart is the price point. Canada Goose sells luxury jackets at luxury prices, whereas The North Face sells high-quality winter apparel at a more affordable price point. In the end, the choice is yours and will depend on what you’re looking for in a jacket.