Friday, March 15, 2013

Alternative to Canada Goose: Fjallraven

I'm not going to lie: I want a Canada Goose jacket. I just don't want to pay for it, and now that it is such a popular jacket, my self-conscious side doesn't want to be part of the crowd;).
Fjallraven Cantwell Front
The Canada Goose Bombers are very fine to understate it -- others love the parkas and other models, but they're "meh" to me. They are also supposedly tested for warmth in more "extreme" climates. The arm badge is also quite the identifier. Being such a popular jacket sold for over $500, there is obviously a very healthy knock-off market. A very healthy market. As a $500+ jacket, I'm more than curious how so many teenagers have them (same goes for iphones, oh right, parents).
Fjallraven Cantwell Faux Fur Trim
In case you don't want to be part of that crowd, here's an interesting alternative: Fjallraven.
I have just been very impressed by the quality and fit. Surprisingly, this brand is supposed to be the REI or MEC of Europe. As a European import product, North Americans supposedly pay a nice premium.
Fjallraven Cantwell Double Zipper with Double Flaps
I already have two non-winter "windbreaker" style jackets (Cantwell and Oban) from them plus one insulated Greenland jacket. A Cantwell is on the way. Aside from being a bit tight at the below-waist area, they fit amazingly -- thank goodness every jacket I have has a double-zipper. I've had the Oban and Greenlands for 3 years now and they've held up great. However, I am super nice to most of my clothing (expensive items mainly).
Fjallraven Cantwell Elastic Waist and Double Zipper
As for direct alternatives to Canada Goose jackets, there are many options. Here are my two favourites: Cantwell and Eco Tour. They are US$400 and US$500 MSRP, so try to catch a sale at the end of the winter season (like now-ish...). The Cantwell is a bomber and the Eco Tour is a hip-length (a few inches below the waist). One's obviously going to be warmer than the other. If you don't like the real fur on Canada Goose jackets, you're in luck because these jackets use faux fur. You still get the look though -- mainly what I was going for. Remember that they are European, so the widths aren't as generous as more American designs. One final perk is their use of "more" environmentally friendly materials.
Fjallraven Cantwell Left Interior Breast Pocket
For those who desperately need a parka, here's a pretty nice one: Yupik. All my links are to the men's version, but the Eco Tour and parka come in ladies sizes too; the parka's under a different name.

In case you're Canadian, do watch out for the UPS customs brokerage fees that may go to something like $50 or over. There's one store in Vancouver that sells Fjallraven products and they ship country wide. Look for AJ Brooks. Prices are similar to the US website, but AJ seems to have more frequent sales.