Idolized and Hated: The Canada Goose

Ah, the Canada Goose jacket. As idolized as it is hated, you must have seen it at Williams and a lot of it in the East Coast. As someone from California, I had no idea what Canada Goose was until I came to Williams. I first noticed a lot of people wearing the jacket with that circular logo on the left arm and wondered what that was. Then I asked my entrymate from Boston what it was, and she told me that it was the warmest jacket ever that I should seriously consider investing in for my winter coat. 

After a lot of researching and looking around, my mom got me a Canada Goose jacket. At first, I was really scared to wear it. I was self-conscious that maybe people will call me out for wearing one. After all, people say “it’s stupid to spend so much money when you can find something as good for less,” “it’s expensive af,” and “you’re just buying a brand.”

Just as I had guessed, the first night I wore the Canada Goose jacket, couple people called me out, “How does it feel to wear a $900 jacket?” 

The price is the flag the critics of Canada Goose proudly wave. But after researching for potential winter coats I could buy, you get a lot of your money considering the quality of the Canada Goose product as well as the lifetime warranty it comes with. People often talked to me about North Face jackets, which surprises me every time because if there’s a really expensive brand, it’s that. To pay nearly $450 for a 100% synthetic parka made in China. Now that’s very expensive for what it is. Compared to that, consider the durability from the stitching fabric of Canada Goose jackets. Now that’s an investment that will last a lifetime. 

Now, the “you’re just buying a brand” criticism. I’ll be honest, that’s what I thought to begin with, but it isn’t the case. Quartz Nature is a lesser known Quebec brand that has the same prices as Canada Goose. Likewise, Kanuk, which is 100% Quebec brand is even more expensive than Canada Goose, with prices easily exceeding the $800k mark. Moncler parkas are listed for $1,525 and exceed the typical Canada Goose price. But honestly, I think Canada Goose is a brand that is unfairly stigmatized. For me, there are so many brilliantly thought through details. From the wire around the hood to the thick, robust zipper that really helps when you have gloves on to the two pairs of pockets for your hands lined completely with fleece without forgetting the thick fleecey chin-protector. On top of that the fur trim around the hood. I think a lot of people think the fur lining around the coat is for show, but it’s actually not. Fur trim around a hood works to disrupt airflow and create turbulent (warm air), which protects the face from frostbite. Canada Goose doesn’t use faux fur because it can’t act in the same way that real fur does to protect skin from frostbite. Lastly, the protection against the wind is exceptional. The wind never gets near the inside of your parka. What’s more, the hood its super well made and even if you don’t put it up, it protects your ears. 

This brand has really been around since 1957, initially going by the name Metro Sportswear. For 3 decades, the company made coats for cops and park rangers, and also for labels like L.L. Bean and Eddie Bauer. Only in 1993 did the CEO make the decision to sell Canada Goose coats under their name. Their product is high quality because these jackets were first made for people who are Arctic bush pilots to industrial workers in the coldest places on earth.

Even with all these negative stereotypes, the reason why I decided to Canada Goose ultimately comes down to the fact that they make really high-quality jackets. Maybe it’s not a style for everyone, especially if you don’t like fur and that’s fine. Most importantly, as someone from California, I can say that it’s really helped me survived my first winter experience here at Williams. Higher quality insulation is important for durability, and a $900 investment made for a jacket that I could use for the rest of my life? That sounded like a pretty good deal to me.