Weighing in at 4 pounds 9 ounces, the Canada Goose Expedition Parka is the most substantial and bulkiest jacket in our winter jacket review. The reason for this weight is the immense amount of 625-fill-power duck down and the heavy-duty Arctic Tech outer shell material. It's available in eight colors from black to bright red, so you can decide if you want to be more subtle or follow the outdoor travel advice of "Be Bright, Be Seen." Storage is not an issue with a total of 10 exterior pockets, both zippered and Velcroed, as well as one interior zippered pocket. Additional features like a snow skirt and best-in-the-business hood make this jacket one of the most effective dedicated winter parkas out there.
Like many specialized products, the very excellent Expedition Parka doesn't score that high. The overall performance of a product like this involves inherent compromises. Warmer jackets are less comfortable, for instance. The Expedition Parka optimizes for warmth at the expense of some other things, hence the less-than-stellar overall scoring.
The hood and high collar of the Expedition work together to block out the coldest wind and blowing precipitation.
The Expedition Parka is hands down the warmest jacket in our review; unless you want to zip yourself into a full body Himalayan down suit, you would be hard-pressed to find a warmer jacket elsewhere. During our review, which saw temperatures from 40 down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit, this coat was comfortable while standing around but bordered on too hot when doing something active like shoveling snow. This warmth comes from 625-fill-power duck down. Although it is not the highest quality down available, the amount of down fill is the root of this parka's warmth.
As a full-length parka with a snow skirt and an insulated hood lined with real coyote fur, this jacket does an excellent job of trapping in body heat and keeping cold out. Long rib knit cuffs provide a superb seal while allowing gloves to be worn over the top. The only cold spots we could find were in the outer pockets, which are non-insulated. While we liked the warmth offered by this model, our Best Buy winner, the Marmot Fordham, is a much more versatile insulated jacket, and one-quarter the price.
Nothing compares to the warmth of the Expedition. However, The McMurdo III comes close, at a fraction of the price. For this reason, we granted the McMurdo one of our Best Buy awards. The Marmot Fordham is also relatively warm, and about one-third the price of the Expedition.
Even light duty snow shoveling can generate enough heat to overwhelm someone wearing the Expedition Parka.
The Arctic Tech fabric that constitutes the outer shell of the jacket is coated with a DWR treatment, which is unsurprising given this jacket's intended environment.
While able to shed snow and sleet, the fabric did begin to show wetting in prolonged exposure to moisture. Again, if it is raining, it is probably way too warm to be wearing this parka. Because it's meant to be used in the coldest of cold climates, it is going to be overkill in areas that have more temperate winters.
The huge cuff allows for even the biggest gauntlet style mitts to be used with ease.
If you live where wet weather is a concern, then look for a synthetically insulated jacket or a down jacket with a more robust exterior, like the Arc'teryx Fission SV or the Haglofs Torsang. The integrated snow skirt keeps updrafts from entering in from below, and an insulated adjustable hood with coyote fur trim keeps the face warm and is less ticklish and more resistant to freezing up than the faux fur trim of the The North Face Gotham III.
The "snow skirt" of the Expedition parka is something we expect on ski resort specific jackets. In this context, it makes sense to lock in that valuable heat.
If you were to wear this in temperatures above freezing, you might not be able to resist the urge to take a nap!
This is a very comfortable jacket for lounging in, thanks to the soft duck down fill and the silky nylon inner lining. We like the recessed rib knit cuffs that provide a snug fit, and the soft real coyote fur trim around the hood. This is a beast of a jacket though, and its bulk makes it tough to sit down comfortably while wearing it. Also, due to the volume, exertion is laborious. Again, though, you are unlikely to be exerting a high amount in this jacket, as you will be just too warm.
The size of the front zipper means that not only will it be durable, but it is also much easier than any of the other jackets to operate with gloves on. Our Editors' Choice winner, the Arc'teryx Camosun, and Best Buy winner, Marmot Fordham, scored the same in this metric and seemed to be more comfortable over a much broader range of conditions than the Expedition Parka, which is only comfortable until it is uncomfortably warm.
While this jacket is really bulky, it doesn't seem all that bad when wearing insulated pants and winter boots.
Features? You name it. This jacket has it.
The hood uses a three-way adjustable drawcord to keep the snow and wind from whipping you in the face and is lined with real coyote fur to provide more protection. The waist also uses a drawcord, although the fabric is so bulky it is hard to cinch tight. A Velcro snow skirt wraps tight around the inside waistband, keeping you dry when riding fast on a snow machine or walking out into the whipping snow.
Look at all those pockets! You can carry a whole day's supplies in the pockets of the Canada Goose Expedition Parka.
Canada Goose put every bell and whistle it could on this parka, and although a researcher in the Antarctic may find a use for the ten exterior pockets, the average consumer will be hard pressed to use them all. The only feature we wished for is an extra large interior pocket for a thermos, gloves, or other large items.
There are LOT of pockets on this jacket! Top load, side zipper, you name it, the Expedition Parka has a pocket for it.
The only other jacket in our review that approached the feature set of the Expedition is the cousin, the Chilliwack Bomber. The Therminator also has an exceptional hood, a powder/draft skirt, and a good selection of pockets. On the Expedition, we wish the handwarmer pockets were more insulated like those on the Arc'teryx Fission SV or that the Expedition Parka had the double sets of hand warmers of The North Face McMurdo.
The huge and protective hood of the Canada Goose Expedition parka does the job, but some will object to the use of real coyote fur.
This is a jacket which has its unique style and might have an application in certain casual settings, but this is a functional parka that is designed primarily for cold, inhospitable conditions that do not demand a flattering fit.
The cut is boxy and allows for plenty of layering underneath, and although it hits mid-thigh like the Arc'teryx Camosun, it does not have any of the high fashion of the more casual trench coats reviewed. Some may find the use of real animal fur unappealing, in which case the faux fur trim used on jackets such as The North Face McMurdo may be a better option. The excellent, non-furred hood of the Marmot Fordham is also ideal.
While this jacket offers more overall protection from the elements than any other parka we reviewed, it's not the most "stylish."
The Expedition Parka is a tank, and we did not experience any abnormal wear and tear issues during our test. We ranked this jacket a 10 out of 10 on the durability scale.
The zippers on this jacket are some of the largest on the market and the Velcro closures are burly and held up well to the stresses of the massive outer fabric. With a lifetime guarantee, one can be assured that their investment is protected.
We loved the burly shell fabric of the Canada Goose Expedition for hard-working chores in brutally cold temps.
This parka is designed for inactive users in extreme, cold environments. If this describes your needs, then you will not be disappointed with its top-notch cold weather performance. If you live in most of the lower 48 states, then this jacket will likely be overkill.
Shoveling snow in the front walkway is almost too much for this jacket. We quickly overheated thanks to the large amounts of down fill. This parka is better suited to more sedentary pursuits in really cold climates.
At $1050 this is the most expensive jacket in our review. Although it is a major investment, this is a jacket that should last for many years of use and is likely less expensive than layering two or more lighter weight jackets together.
The Canada Goose Expedition is one of the warmest and most burly jackets available, and it will keep you warm and happy if you have to spend extended time outside in the winter whether you live in Fairbanks, AK or Ithaca, NY. Despite being a niche parka when compared with many others in this review, no other jacket can compare when it comes to warmth, which is why we've made this jacket our Top Pick for Extreme Cold. There is a reason why Canada Goose parkas have such a dedicated following, people who swear by its use when the temperatures drop and the snow starts flying.