Saturday, December 21, 2013

Canada Goose Alternatives: Other brand options for winter jackets

I'm just going to say it: the last post I did on alternatives to Canada Goose jackets was a bit of a scam with there only being one or two options. As penance for my sins, I went and looked for more, which wasn't as easy as I thought it'd be. The focus is on jackets for men, but there are probably corresponding women's products with the same brand.
Fjallraven Cantwell
What did I look for?
Canada Goose jackets are gorgeous even if it seems like everyone has one now. From what I've heard, they perform extremely well in the cold, apparently being designed, originally, for teams in the arctic or Antarctic.

What makes them so gorgeous outside of the name? Let's see: Canada Goose Expedition Parka.

The two most obvious things are the iconic arm patch and fur trimmed hood. Something less obvious that I've begun to notice is the smooth, not too busy, and streamlined appearance. They are noticeable before even seeing the arm patch. Concerning the streamlined, organized, and neat appearance: there are probably exceptions.

Why look for an alternative?
If a product is good enough, it doesn't matter if everyone else has one. Just think about the iPod... Oh wait, there are entire websites dedicated to finding alternatives to them.

People have different tastes. It's just the way it is. On the other hand, maybe you can't find a Canada Goose jacket available, don't want to or can't pay for one, etc. Whatever, you're here.

What did I find?
A few options showed up in my research. The Canada Goose jackets/parkas that I've looked at start north of $500, and they still appear to sell out rather quickly. Alternatives listed below are around that price or beyond. Can't say that the alternatives I found solve the price issue, unfortunately. And if it's not clear, I have never owned any of these jackets and do not know how they perform in terms of durability, warmth, etc. It's just a list of options.

Regardless, here's a list of items you can check out along with an approximate price that I found and a short description using product info from websites. Checking out the brand's website should yield more results as I didn't bother listing every model. Products were reviewed in late 2013, so they may disappear over time.

Banana Republic Snorkel Parka (~US$ 275)
Probably a seasonal jacket that will be back with a different name and design next year. It's here this year, so why not mention it. The Snorkel has a faux-fur trim hood, pretty neat and organized look, and no arm patch -- what one would expect from a Gap or Banana Republic item. At about US$ 275, it is definitely the cheapest item on the list. And because Gap and co. regularly has 30-40% off sales every few weeks, at least, it is even cheaper. The item comes in black and blue this year. Not bad!

Fjällräven Eco-Tour (~US$ 500)
Love this jacket and I was torn between the Fjallraven Cantwell that I did get and this one. The Eco-Tour should have a faux-fur trim, small Fjallraven arm patch on the left side, and pretty clean look overall. There are a number of other options with fur trimmed hoods in parka form like the Barents Parka and Yupik Parka.

Moose Knuckles Stirling Parka (~US$ 750)
I've been seeing this one around town, but in relatively small quantities. Price is around or greater than that of a Canada Goose. Kind of makes it more exclusive? Running down the checklist using product photos... Arm patch? Check. Fur trim? Check. Relatively neat and organized presentation? Check. Personally, I am not a great fan of this jacket. It's the arm patch or brand symbol: the moose knuckles don't do it for me. To each their own. A bomber style jacket is also available -- look for the Ballistic Bomber and Wool Bomber.

North Face McMurdo Parka (~US$ 315, ~CAD$ 430)
This is one of the cheapest options that I found. From reviewing product photos, it has a fur trimmed hood (faux fur according to official website), relatively organized presentation, but not an arm patch. There appears to be a pocket in place of the patch. Look for the Gotham if you want a bomber.

Napapijri Open Skidoo (~US$ 750)
The Napapijri takes the cake for the biggest surprise. Initially, I thought this was like Fjallraven in that it was from northern Europe, but I was wrong: it's an Italian company according to Wikipedia -- this isn't a research paper. The Skidoo jacket features a Norwegian flag, which is dead centre on the jacket and makes it one of the "busier" looking jackets on this list. Still, it appears to have the arm patch and fur trim. Other options are the Aike and Ador -- neither appear to have the flag.

Mackage Diego (~US$ 650)
I can't find an exact match for the jacket linked to on the official brand's website, so be sure to check their site out. Regardless, it appears that this jacket has the fur trim, but no arm patch. The jacket also appears to be a bit more fashion forward and busier. Everything looks nice, just not my cup of tea. They do appear to have many winter coat options with fur trims though -- also fashion forward?

Parajumpers GOBI (~US$ 865)
We have a winner... I love this brand's designs. They have a pretty large product line and a very interesting theme. With the name, "Parajumpers", I'm guessing they were going for a military-inspired style. The GOBI jacket linked appears to have an arm patch and fur trim. However, it is on the busier side with buckles, zipper pulls, and other features -- I like them a lot. Definitely worth checking out. Price is also definitely on the higher side though.

Timberland Earthkeepers Wilmington Parka (~US$ 348.00)
Found this one a bit too late. It's now on sale or sold out at some online stores I checked. As you may have noticed, this is a parka with a faux fur trim and arm patch. The item comes in more than one color and has a pretty streamlined appearance -- not too many pockets or buckles. I like it. Nothing makes it stand out, but this is a good thing. And the price is definitely on the lower end of the list of options listed above.

And there we have it...
Hope the list of seven brands helps out a bit in finding an alternative to Canada Goose.

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