Nasty winter weather doesn't stand a chance against this classy and durable winter parka. The Canada Goose Kensington Parka oozes mountain elegance in this above the knee-length classic winter style parka. From the coyote fur ruff around the hood to the smooth exterior fabric, and flattering tailored fit, we were turning heads left and right in this rad jacket. This coat is comparable to armor, and we had no problem shoveling the driveway in a blizzard or running around town in frigid weather. It checks off all the boxes that make up an incredible winter coat, which is why it received our coveted Editors' Choice award. Granted, it is the most expensive jacket we tested, but features like thick ribbed cuffs, ultra-warm down, a stylish cinched waist, hand warmers, and water-resistant fabric are a few reasons why this jacket goes above and beyond.If you're on a budget and looking for something half the price, our Best Buy award winner, the Marmot Montreaux will keep you super warm all winter long. If you have a thinner frame, consider the Canada Goose Kensington Parka Fusion Fit.
Canada Goose Kensington Parka Review
Cons: No full zip, no zip exterior pockets, expensive, tight collar when zipped, back snaps let cold air in, real fur
Manufacturer: Canada Goose
Our Analysis and Test Results
Form-fitting and sleek, the Canada Goose Kensington has a lot of things going for it. The removable hood is lined with real coyote fur trim, and the jacket is loaded with 625-fill-power white duck down. The waist has an adjustable cinch tab for a closer fit according to your curves, and with a wealth of color options to choose from, you're sure to find one that suits your style. This jacket weighs 2.9 pounds, making it one of the heaviest models we tested.
Finally, a jacket that is warm, flattering, and highly water-resistant! Insulated with 625-fill-power white duck down, this jacket delivers warmth and comfort. The ultra-thick down did a great job keeping us warm while maintaining a stylish look. Being outside for an extended period in frigid weather wasn't an issue in this jacket.
Many features on this jacket contribute to its warmth, and a couple detract from it. Let's start with the positive features. We stayed extra warm on cold or snowy days, thanks to the fleece-lined hood that is stuffed with down. The hood is removable and also features a detachable coyote fur ruff. The ruff performed well and protected our face in snow and wind while keeping us extra warm. The sleeves have thick, rib-knit cuffs that are comfortable, keep the cold air out, and have an attractive look.
There is also a knitted collar. When it's zipped up all the way, it blocks cold air from entering. Unfortunately, it's also very constricting and somewhat uncomfortable. There are button snaps that adjust at the wrist and on the exterior of the sleeves, allowing you to customize the fit. (This is also useful on cold or stormy days to help trap heat in and cold air out). The cinched waist offers a tighter fit and keeps heat trapped. And there aren't that many seams were cold air could penetrate. This jacket will keep you warm in windy conditions.
Don't get us wrong, this jacket is very warm, but there are a couple of features that let cold air in. The main issue is with the zipper. It's not a full zipper, and it stops almost at mid-thigh. This allows for better mobility but also lets in cold air when we walk. We wish the Kensington Parka had a snap button at the bottom to help keep cold air out.
The kick pleats on the backside of the jacket are meant to offer better mobility, but really, we found they just let cold air in. We didn't find them incredibly useful. The Canada Goose Shelburne Parka also hax the same kicked pleats, and they too created a draft. The the Marmot Montreaux kept us warmer mainly because the full zipper extends all the way to the knee and offers better coverage.
This jacket isn't intended for a super wet rainy climate but is perfect for a cold, snowy environment. The Arctic-Tech exterior fabric consists of 85% polyester and 15% cotton and has a DWR coating (durable water repellent). When tested in the elements, water beaded up and rolled off, but this jacket is not waterproof and will saturate. We are impressed by how well it performed in wet weather, especially considering the outer shell is made up of 15% cotton.
The Kensington offers some features that allow us to extend our time in the elements. The coyote fur ruff around the hood provides extra protection from snow and wind while trapping in heat. Heavy duty rib knit cuffs on the sleeves don't allow precipitation or cold air in, and the center front zipper has a storm flap that blocks winds and precipitation.
Tested in blizzard-like conditions, this jacket did an incredible job of keeping us toasty and dry. If you live in a milder climate and are interested in a fully waterproof jacket, check out the Patagonia Tres Down Parka. An option for someone trying to save money, the the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley isn't as warm, but it's a third of the price.
Comfort is not an issue with this award-winner. There's no extra bagginess or bulk here, unlike some of the other jackets we tested, like the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka. This jacket was made with comfort in mind in the form of thickly knit cuffs on the sleeves, a knit collar, a fleece-lined hood, and four exterior fleece-lined pockets. The comfort features that stand out are the knit cuffs on the sleeves and the fleece-lined pockets. The cuffs did a great job of keeping cold air out. They are both heavy duty and incredibly soft and comfortable. Having double sided fleece-lined pockets is extremely useful and cozy in cold weather.
Despite being one of the heaviest contenders we tested (2.9 pounds), it never felt heavy while we were wearing it. The down is distributed evenly throughout the jacket, giving it a sleek, smooth look. Mobility was never an issue because of the above knee-length and mid-thigh zipper. There are also kick pleats on the back of the jacket that allowed for better mobility and ventilation, but the snaps that secure them are uncomfortable depending on what we were sitting on (i.e.hard vs. soft surface).
If you're looking for something even more lightweight and sporty, we like the Rab Deep Cover Parka and the North Face Gotham II. Neither are as warm as the Kensington Parka, but they're close. We found the Rab Deep Cover Parka is even more comfortable than the Kensington Parka.
This parka steals the show when it comes to style. Form-fitting thanks to the cinched waist, this jacket is very flattering and feminine. The polyester fabric has a matte finish and is simple and smooth. The interior is stuffed with 625-fill-power duck down, but there's no frumpy, marshmallow appearance.
Canada Goose paid a great deal of attention to style and detail with this jacket. Perfect for everything from a fancy night out on the town to running errands, this jacket is very versatile. We tested the similar Canada Goose Shelburne Parka. It is also quite stylish, but it lacks the same tailored fit that the Kensington has.
A Note on the Fur Lining
One very noticeable detail is the real coyote fur lining on the hood. Canada Goose explains that they use real fur because they design their jackets for frigid climates, and real fur holds warm air around the face, protecting it from frostbite. If you do live in a cold climate, this is an advantage for you and a selling point for this incredibly warm jacket. If you live in a milder climate, and you like the style, but don't want to harm a fuzzy creature — the Kuhl Arktik Down Parka has a great quality faux fur ruff around its hood.
It is worth mentioning that Canada Goose only purchases fur from certified Canadian trappers who comply with humane trapping methods. They have also chosen coyote fur because these animals are not endangered and claim that they are plentiful in North America. Additionally, by using Canadian trappers for their suppliers, they support aboriginal populations and their lifestyles.
A Note on the Down Insulation
This brings up another point — most of the jackets in this review are created using an animal product, down. Harvesting down often involves live plucking geese or ducks and the birds' death. Both Canada Goose and their supplier do not believe in live-plucking fowl. Canada Goose discloses their down supplier: Feather Industries Canada Limited.
Feather Industries was founded as a division of Canada Packers, a food distributor, and all down is harvested from animals raised for meat. No birds are raised for the sole purpose of down production. If these methods bother you, then you can always consider the synthetically insulated Columbia Heavenly or the Arc'teryx Patera Parka.
Features, get your features! Canada Goose goes above and beyond, including features that are not found on all winter jackets. We mentioned some features already, like the cinched waist, knitted cuffs and collar, fleece-lined hood, coyote fur ruff, kick pleats, and four exterior fleece pockets, which are all secured by military grade buttons.
A double-sided zipper offers access on both ends, as well as more mobility. There is an interior pocket with a Velcro closure. While it's not the most secure pocket, when the jacket is zipped up all the way, everything felt beyond safe.
A unique feature of this jacket is the internal carrying straps. For warm days, or when you are running errands and overheating in a store, you slip the straps on, and the jacket can rest on your back. While this is not the most crucial or essential feature on a winter jacket, it comes in handy.
Blizzards and cold days aren't a problem in this armor, err, winter jacket. Meant to withstand conditions in the Arctic, this jacket is no joke when it comes to durability. The outer layer is smooth to the touch but thick and impenetrable like the Fjallraven Nuuk Insulated Parka. This jacket doesn't feel like it would ever snag or tear.
For the price, we are happy to say that quality construction is apparent in all the little details. The military grade buttons are secure, the zippers are heavy duty and don't snag, and the coyote fur ruff maintained its stylish look, even after getting wet. This jacket is an investment, but we see it lasting many winters. Canada Goose also offers a lifetime warranty on their products for manufacturing defects (not normal wear and tear, unfortunately) and will repair or replace any issues that arise.
If you live in an extremely cold or snowy climate, like Montreal, New York, or Chicago, this is the perfect winter jacket for you. Designed to withstand bitter temperatures, howling winds, and heavy snow, this jacket is a beast. It's not necessarily the best fit for someone living in mild or warm climate.
With a price tag of $925, this is the second most expensive jacket we tested. Don't let that scare you away. The Kensington has a lot to offer for the price. There are tons of features, quality construction, and a form-fitting and flattering style. This jacket is a worthy investment.
If you're looking for something a bit cheaper but comparably warm consider the Marmot Montreaux. Another great option for someone looking for a budget-friendly jacket with a water-resistant outer shell is the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley.
The Canada Goose Kensington Parka is a clear Editors' Choice award winner. It checked all the boxes in every metric we tested. Yes, it is pricey, but if you have the money to spend, this jacket is a solid investment. The high-quality construction will keep you warm for many winters to come.
— Liz Williamson
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