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Are Canada Goose coats worth the money?

I am naturally a very cold person. And I don’t mean cold in the way of lacking feelings (I have a lot of feelings, especially about the temperature outside). I mean cold in the way of shivering no matter how many layers I have on when the temperature dips to below anything beach-worthy.

That is why it is so important to me, a cold person living in Boston, Massachusetts, to have a great winter jacket—and also why I spent upwards of $800 on a parka two years ago. A Canada Goose jacket to be exact. After being skeptical as to why an extremely expensive jacket could be that much better than my just-under-$200 winter coat, I took the (anti-polar) plunge, purchased one, and never looked back.

My Canada Goose jacket—which is the Gabriola parka, FYI—may have been a pricey acquisition, but it is easily one of the best clothing investments I have ever made.

Why is Canada Goose so expensive?

When I set out to replace my nearly 10-year-old Nautica down parka two winters ago, I initially had no interest in purchasing a Canada Goose coat. I didn’t know much about the jackets other than that they were insanely overpriced compared to the coats I had owned and tried on in the past. I did not think one was for me. But then, after weeks spent heading from store to store trying on jackets that did not quite fit (literally and figuratively), I browsed Nordstrom's selection of Canada Goose jackets and decided to dabble.

What I found was a coat that fits like a glove. The Gabriola parka has a military-style with four pockets in the front of the jacket—two at the hip and two over the chest—an adjustable zip-detachable fur-free hood, and a zipper/button combo so you can secure your body within the down insulation for optimal warmth.

Canada Goose review: Women's Gabriola Parka
Credit: Canada Goose

Here is the Canada Goose Women's Gabriola Parka in all its glory.

The best part of this coat for me was that it cinched at the waist and was one of the only coats that didn’t make me feel like a giant puffball. I could also easily walk around and move in it, as it didn’t make me feel too constrained like many other down insulated coats I tried on did from popular brands like Aritzia, The North Face, and Patagonia. It was like a body glove with room to breathe, which is essentially exactly what you want to wear outside during winter.

Not to mention, I was warm in the coat. I wouldn't need to dress in six thousand layers before going outside—it was a bunch of layers of clothing by itself. What are Canada Goose jackets made of? The Gabriola, like many others, is insulated with 625-fill power Canadian white duck down and is temperature rated for 15 degrees to -5 degrees Fahrenheit. The luxury coat company refers to this temperature rating as “fundamental warmth fashioned for everyday use.” I don’t ski, snowboard, or work at a job where I am outdoors for long periods at a time during the winter, so this was the perfect temperature rating for me.

Looking in the mirror at Nordstrom, watching myself overheat, catching one last side-view glimpse to see if the jacket was in fact slimming (or at least made me feel better than other jackets), I decided to purchase this overpriced ball of fluff. It was everything I had been looking for in a winter jacket. It was extremely warm, fit my body well, was easy to move in, didn't have fur on the hood, and it was stylish. Not to mention, at $825, it was on the lower side for pricing amongst all the Canada Goose coats. Most range from $950 to well over $1,000.

Canada Goose review: Trying on the Gabriola jacket at Nordstrom
Credit: Samantha Matt

Here is me trying on the Canada Goose Gabriola coat at Nordstrom. (I have no answer as to why I'm making that face)

Would I cut the logo off the arm so people wouldn’t know I spent money I didn’t have to buy it? I wasn’t sure. But I would figure that out later. For now, the coat was mine.

Do Canada Goose coats actually keep you warm?

I have lived in the northeastern part of the U.S. my entire life (except a five-month stint in Los Angeles where I was excessively happy due to—you guessed it—the warm weather and constant sunshine), and I have hated every single aspect of living here during the months of November through March. During this time, I never want to go outside because it’s cold, and even when I do, the eternal darkness makes me feel like the day is over before it begins and also like it’s constantly time for bed. This results in pretty much nothing getting done. It’s—pun intended—a really dark time.

After I bought the Canada Goose jacket, though, my winter brightened up a bit. Yes, it was still dark outside, which made me less inclined to want to do all of the things. But my jacket was keeping me warm enough to withstand the frigid temperatures outside, so I was more inclined to do some of the things. I could walk outside to get lunch without shivering! I could head down the street to grab an iced coffee and only have to deal with the one hand carrying it potentially getting frostbite! I no longer minded being outside during cold, winter days, and two years later, this is still true.

Canada Goose review: Gabriola parka in action
Credit: Samantha Matt

Wearing my Canada Goose parka really does make me happy.

The jacket has lived up to its hype. With it, I can go on long walks—or short walks to Starbucks—without complaining. Even when the temperature is in the 20s or 30s, I will start sweating a bit in the coat depending on what I’m wearing under it and how far and fast I’m walking, but if I’m wearing leggings, my legs below where the coat bottom hits my knees will become the polar opposite (pun not intended this time). If only Canada Goose sold yoga pants. I’m kidding! Or am I?

Do I wear my Canada Goose jacket enough to justify the price?

The reason I was able to buy this coat was that I had received a chunk of money thanks to a side gig. My plan was to put most of the money away and pay off debt, but I also wanted to use a part of it to invest in a nice designer handbag. However, when it came time to replace my winter coat, and I discovered the gift of warmth that is Canada Goose, I decided that a jacket that would keep me warm for years to come would be a much better investment than a designer bag. And I was right.

Canada Goose jacket in the wild
Credit: Samantha Matt

Before the pandemic, I wore my Canada Goose coat to all-day football tailgates and games and to dinner outings.

I wear this coat all the time during winter. Even on days when the temperature is slightly above freezing. This past month, for example, I wore a lighter J.Crew jacket on a day when the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees. I figured because it would be in the low 40s, I could break out one of my old coats that were collecting dust in the closet. But I struggled to be outside! I tried to walk to Starbucks during lunch to grab a coffee, and I turned around halfway because I was too cold. Perhaps this is because I am pathetic, but even if I am pathetic (which I am), the coat does make me feel extremely warm. So, do I need this coat to solve my eternally cold body temperature problem? Absolutely not. But is it nice to have? Yes.

Is Canada Goose worth it?

A Canada Goose jacket is a great thing to own if you 1) have the money to spend on it and 2) live in a place where the temperature is consistently below freezing during winter. Not to mention, as long as you purchase the coat from an authorized Canada Goose retailer, the coat will have a lifetime warranty. According to Canada Goose]

it will be "fully warranted against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product."