Hands-on Gear Review

Canada Goose Shelburne Parka Review

A durable and dependable winter jacket that will last multiple seasons to come.
By: Liz Williamson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 22, 2018
Price:  $950 List  |  $950.00 at Backcountry
Pros:  Stylish, warm, nice features, durable, highly water-resistant, windproof, good quality construction, interior carrying straps
Cons:  Expensive, heavy, feels like a lot of jacket, huge hood, doesn’t detach, boxy fit
Manufacturer:   Canada Goose
82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 13
  • Warmth - 30% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 9
  • Style - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Durability - 5% 10
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Our Verdict

The Shelburne is a serious winter parka intended to handle whatever winter throws at you. The Canada Goose Shelburne Parka is insulated with 625-fill-duck down and meant to be worn in some menacingly cold conditions. Reaching just above our knee, this jacket is warm, stylish, and a head turner. The durable Arctic Tech outer shell has a DWR (durable water repellent) and is highly water-resistant, but not waterproof. We had no issues wearing this jacket in some seriously sloppy winter weather. Falling just behind our feature loaded and flattering Editors' Choice Award Winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka, we were still impressed with the Shelburne. On a budget and looking for a jacket that will protect you from all that winter has to offer without breaking the bank? We like the Marmot Montreaux or The North Face Arctic II.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Canada Goose offers yet another high-quality winter jacket. With various options to choose from, there is a perfect color for everyone. At four pounds, it was the heaviest in the fleet; despite this, we still enjoyed wearing this parka, and it was one of our top scorers.

Performance Comparison


Canada Goose is known for high quality and fashion  and the Shelburne Parka is both of those things. We were comfortable when temperatures started to drop below freezing  and the real fur ruff around the hood did an amazing job at keeping us warm and toasty when it was cold and stormy out.
Canada Goose is known for high quality and fashion, and the Shelburne Parka is both of those things. We were comfortable when temperatures started to drop below freezing, and the real fur ruff around the hood did an amazing job at keeping us warm and toasty when it was cold and stormy out.

Warmth


Intended to be worn when temperatures drop from 15F to - 5F, we didn't have any issues testing warmth around the Lake Tahoe region. However, when the temperatures dropped below freezing, we started to feel slightly cold and added an extra layer underneath for additional warmth. Insulated with 625-fill-goose down, it wasn't as warm as the Marmot Montreaux or the Rab Deep Cover Parka, as both are loftier than the Shelburne Parka. The durable Arctic Tech outer layer did a great job of stopping the wind from making us bone-chilling cold. When we had the overly large hood on, we were even toaster. There is a fur ruff around the outside of the hood that helped trap heat in and cold air out, which is a definite plus. The hood is also adjustable, allowing for a tighter fit in stormy or windy weather.

The real fur ruff around the hood was of exceptional quality. It was warm and cozy  but it was almost too big. We understand that real fur products aren't for everyone. The Marmot Montreaux had a very nice quality faux-fur ruff around its hood.
The real fur ruff around the hood was of exceptional quality. It was warm and cozy, but it was almost too big. We understand that real fur products aren't for everyone. The Marmot Montreaux had a very nice quality faux-fur ruff around its hood.

Microfleece lines the two exterior pockets of the jacket. Whenever a jacket offers fleece lined pockets, our hands are always warmer, compared to pockets with only cold nylon or polyester in the inside, like the Legendary Whitetails Anchorage Parka. There are thick ribbed cuffs at the wrist of the sleeves of the jacket, which keep heat in and cold air out, better than the Patagonia Down With It Parka, which lacks any kind of cuff on the sleeves. There is also an adjustable cuff on the exterior of the jacket that allows for a tighter fit; this was helpful and noticeable on colder days.

The Shelburne is loaded with features. These adjustable straps at the cuffs allowed for a tighter fit when it was colder outside or when we were caught out in precipitation.
The Shelburne is loaded with features. These adjustable straps at the cuffs allowed for a tighter fit when it was colder outside or when we were caught out in precipitation.

There are interior carrying straps on the Shelburne. We didn't use this feature often, but it's useful when it gets warmer out, or when you want to go hands-free without having to carry your jacket. The back of the Shelburne has kicked pleats for better mobility, though we noticed cold air slowly leaking in between where the snaps were located to secure the kicked pleats. It became more apparent in colder than normal weather, but the Shelburne still provided more than enough warmth to make up for it.

Weather Resistance


Despite not being a waterproof jacket, we were impressed with the DWR (durable water repellent) coating on the exterior layer. When we tested this jacket in rain and snow, water beaded up and rolled off longer than the Arc'teryx Darrah and The North Face Arctic Parka II, and was comparable to our Editors' Choice Award Winner the Canada Goose Kensington Parka. The Shelburne wasn't nearly as waterproof as our Top Pick for Wet Climates award winner, the Patagonia Tres Down Parka.

Water-resistant  not waterproof  we were still impressed with how well the durable outer layer on the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka held up in wet weather.
Water-resistant, not waterproof, we were still impressed with how well the durable outer layer on the Canada Goose Shelburne Parka held up in wet weather.

Style


One of the most stylish coats we tested, the Shelburne has a true winter parka feel and look. From the durable exterior to the real fur ruff around the hood, it screams mountain mama. We noticed heads turning left and right when we wore this jacket out and about in Lake Tahoe. 85% polyester and 15% cotton make up the exterior. It reaches above our knee, and the matte appearance emphasizes its durability. There is minimal exterior stitching compared to the Patagonia Fiona Down Parka, or The North Face Metropolis Down Parka II, though the Canada Goose Kensington Parka has an even smoother appearance, with little to no stitching or seam lines.

The real fur ruff around the hood added warmth and style, but we understand that it's not for everyone. The North Face Arctic Parka II has a faux ruff around the hood that works well, and it's also waterproof. The Marmot Montreaux and Rab Deep Cover Parka also have stylish faux fur ruffs around the hood. Each of these contenders have a stylish flair, and the Kensington Parka has an adjustable cinched waist for an even more flattering look and tailored fit.

Despite a somewhat boxy fit in the midsection  we still found the Shelburne quite stylish. It would benefit from a cinched waist for a more tailored fit  but we were still a fan of this jacket's style!
Despite a somewhat boxy fit in the midsection, we still found the Shelburne quite stylish. It would benefit from a cinched waist for a more tailored fit, but we were still a fan of this jacket's style!

Comfort


Weighing in at just about 4 lbs, this model is the heaviest in our fleet. We could feel the difference in weight when wearing it as opposed to the Columbia Heavenly Hooded Long Jacket or the Arc'teryx Darrah. Yes, this jacket is warmer than both the Heavenly and Darrah, but at a hefty price. Even the Canada Goose Kensington Parka was lighter, weighing in at 2.8 lbs.

The Shelburne is comfortable. It wasn't swimming in down insulation, which allowed for decent movement. It also has an adjustable two-way zipper on the jacket for more mobility and access. The kicked pleats on the back are secured with snaps that are uncomfortable to sit on when sitting on a hard surface, which lowered the overall score.

A common feature found on most of the jackets we tested is a 2-way zipper. This allows for better mobility as well as access from both ends of the jacket.
A common feature found on most of the jackets we tested is a 2-way zipper. This allows for better mobility as well as access from both ends of the jacket.

The microfleece lined pockets were cozy and warm, and we loved that there was lining on both sides of the pockets. Unlike the fleece lined hood on the Canada Goose Kensington Parka and the Marmot Montreaux, the Shelburne Parka only has cold nylon on the inside. While it wasn't a dealbreaker, it did take away from the comfort, as we would rather put on a soft, warm hood than a cold one. There is also a piece of fleece on the collar by the chin, which was pleasant when the jacket was zipped up. We did have an issue with the comfort of the hood in that it felt huge. We were able to adjust the hood, thanks for the strap on the back of it, but it still felt like there was a lot of extra material. It did keep us toasty and comfortable outside in freezing weather, better than the Patagonia Tres Down Parka and the North Face Arctic Down Parka II, but we could do without the extra material.

We get it  these jackets are heavy duty and meant to withstand some cold temperatures and windy conditions  but this is a bit much. Yes  we were able to adjust the size of the hood (there's a strap on the top of the hood to modify the size)  but it was still extremely large when we zipped it up all the way. We didn't have this issue on the Kensington Parka.
We get it, these jackets are heavy duty and meant to withstand some cold temperatures and windy conditions, but this is a bit much. Yes, we were able to adjust the size of the hood (there's a strap on the top of the hood to modify the size), but it was still extremely large when we zipped it up all the way. We didn't have this issue on the Kensington Parka.

Features


The Shelburne had just the right amount of features. From its durable Arctic-Tech TEI 3 outer shell to its fur ruff around the hood, no details were left out. There are kicked pleats on the back of this jacket for mobility, though we didn't find them necessary. If anything, they let in cold air and were uncomfortable to sit on when sitting on hard surfaces.

Canada Goose uses a Thermal Experience Index (TEI) to help you decide which jacket is right for you. It ranges from TEI1 (which is lightweight for active pursuits) all the way to TEI5 (field tested for the coldest place on earth). The Shelburne is rated for TEI3 (fundamental warmth fashioned for everyday use) 15F / - 5F and we think that rating is a bit on the low side. To be on the safe side, consider going up a TEI rating if you intend on wearing your jacket in super cold weather.

There are two snap secured exterior pockets lined with microfleece on both sides. The inside of the jacket has two pockets as well. There's one media pocket with a zipper, which is perfect for keys or a cell phone, as well as one regular pocket. There is no zipper on the other pocket, but a flap over the top of it to secure items.

A unique feature that Canada Goose adds to some of their jackets is kicked pleating. Secured by snaps (which we found to be somewhat uncomfortable when sitting on hard surfaces) the kicked pleats are intended to add better mobility and ventilation  but we noticed they allowed a bit of cold air in.
A unique feature that Canada Goose adds to some of their jackets is kicked pleating. Secured by snaps (which we found to be somewhat uncomfortable when sitting on hard surfaces) the kicked pleats are intended to add better mobility and ventilation, but we noticed they allowed a bit of cold air in.

The Shelburne has unique interior carrying straps. While they are of course not necessary, they added little weight to the jacket.

Another unique feature Canada Goose offers on the Shelburne Parka is internal carrying straps. For the amount that they weighed  which was barely anything  we found them useful. Perfect for when we were outside and it was getting almost too warm to wear the jacket  or when we were shopping and running errands.
Another unique feature Canada Goose offers on the Shelburne Parka is internal carrying straps. For the amount that they weighed, which was barely anything, we found them useful. Perfect for when we were outside and it was getting almost too warm to wear the jacket, or when we were shopping and running errands.

Durability


Over the three months that we tested this jacket, we didn't have any issues with its durability. In fact, the Shelburne was one of the most durable jackets we tested. Compared to the thin outer layer of the Patagonia Fiona Down Parka or the Columbia Heavenly Hooded Long Jacket, the Shelburne's exterior fabric is heavy duty, and we foresee it having a hard time ripping or getting snagged. The fur ruff around the hood is one of the most durable out of all the faux/real fur ruffs we tested. It's also very soft, and we didn't notice it losing its loftiness over time when we were outside in the stormy weather.

Best Applications


This is a jacket that can handle sloppy winter weather. From light rain and wind to snow, you'll be covered. The only limiting factor that we found was that it's not super warm when temperatures drop well below freezing. If you need the warmest of warm, check out our Best Buy on a budget award winner, the Marmot Montreaux. It's loaded with plush down and kept us warm when temperatures dropped below freezing.

Value


The Shelburne is the most expensive jacket we tested. For $950 you are getting a highly durable jacket, loaded with features, and a classic winter parka look. For the right person, the price tag may be worth it, especially considering this jacket will last you many winters to come. Despite reviews saying the quality is not worth it, we found that was simply not the case. As expensive as Canada Goose may be, you will get your money's worth for seasons to come. The North Face Arctic II is a durable and warm jacket that's less than half the price. The quality isn't as good as the Shelburne, but the lower price sure is nice.

Conclusion


The Canada Goose Shelburne Parka is solid jacket at a steep price. If you are looking for a jacket with longevity, then this is the one for you, as paying the extra money will allow you to own this jacket for many seasons to come. There wasn't a lot of down insulation in the Shelburne and think that the rating of 15F / -5F was a bit on the low side, as we felt cold when temperatures dropped below 32F. We'd also recommend checking out a higher TEI rating if you live somewhere that's bitter cold.

Liz Williamson

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