Rational Preparedness

Reviewing The Ultimate Survival Parka All Other Parkas Hope To Live up To

Expedition Parkas

I have a great deal of history with the winter cold.  I detailed that experience and what I learned from it in another article called, Why Everyone Needs A Survival Parka and What You Should Look For.  With this experience, I could tell the moment I laid eyes on the Canada Goose Expedition Parka, that I had found The Ultimate Survival Parka all Other Parkas Hope to Live Up To.  After that, I decided to take a closer look and share what I found with you, in this review.  I will sometimes point to parts of the other article when talking about this parka.   I found the parka on a website I had never heard of, simply called Backcountry.  You can see The Canada Goose Expedition Parka here for Men and for Women.  Later, I learned that Backcounry is a trusted website by the manufacturer.  I’ll go into this more at the bottom.

Why Is The Canada Goose Expedition Parka The Best Parka?

Why is this the best parka? From the top to the bottom, this parka is designed to keep you warm, comfortable, and alive in the coldest of winters.  It covers your entire core and then some.  It keeps wind out through it’s choice of materials and its design.  It blankets your body with a thick layer of well placed down insulation.  This is the part of the earlier article where I wrote about the elements of a well designed parka.   The Canada Goose is a winner on every count.

If you live in a cold place and you are just tired of feeling cold in the winter, this parka will completely cure you of that feeling.

Men’s Vs Women’s

The men’s and women’s parkas are close enough to the same that I will talk about them together.   In one fo the pictures, I saw, the waist of the women’s parka is drawn in giving the parka a more female shape.  This looks nice but it isn’t just fashion.  If a parka is two loose, your every movement will pump cold air in and out.  They’ve used the draw cords to draw in the waist to match the woman wearing it in the picture.  Both parka’s have this feature.

Why Everyone Needs A Survival Parka and What You Should Look For

Design Elements

The Shell and Closing The Window to Wind

The Shell:  The shell of the parka is made of Arctic-Tech Nylon.  It’s water resistant, (not that it will get wet when when it’s it’s cold enough to wear this parka) and impervious to wind.

Expedition Parka CuffCuffs: The parka has long elastic cuffs that your gloves will go over.  This overlap should keep out both wind and snow.

Zip up neck: the neck on this parka goes all the way up over part of your face.  When it is zipped closed, there isn’t a chance for wind to get in there.  This is far superior to a scarf. The neck has fleece inside, where it touches your chin and face!  One issue with zip up necks is that although they are the best at keeping wind off your neck, they can sometimes be uncomfortable.  Having a soft material in contact with the pressure points of your chin and face are a big help with this.

Wire in hood opening:  In the article where I talked about design elements, I pointed to the importance of being able to adjust your hood shape you can tighten it down without covering your eyes.  Most hoods have straps or cords that allow you to pull them out of your eyes.  This hood has a wire instead.  A wire allows for a more precises adjustment of the hood to match the shape of your head.  This allows you to cover more of your head and face with it, without covering your eyes. Because the parka’s shell and insulation are superior to any mask, hat, or face scarf you might be wearing, you want it to cover as much of you as possible.

The hood Sticks out past your face: Sticking out past your face means the hood can block wind and help to keep precipitation off your face.  In a calm day, it may even trap a bit of warmth around your eyes, which could help keep your eyelashes from freezing together when you blink.

Coyote Fur Lined Hood: Having a fur lining give the hood extra insulation where it is hard to put it, at the very edge of the hood.  It also aids in comfort and it just looks good.

Set-And-Forget Draw Cords:  The hood’s draw cords are set-it-and-forget-it.  This means once you get the hood adjusted how you like it, you don’t have to mess with it every time you put on the hood.  No tying is needed.  For maximum warmth, you throw up the hood and zip the neck closed.

Zipper Wind Cover: This is a common feature of coats of all kinds.  This one is held closed with Velcro.  There is no Velcro on the cuff to get stuck to if, if you wear the coat open and move your hand near the Velcro on the zipper cover.

Draw Cords and Snow Skirt: Keep the wind and elements out of your parka by closing it off at the edges.

Insulation: The Expedition Parka has a 625 fill of white Duck Down.  This is a nice thick layer of down insulation that will keep you warm into the coldest of weather.

Style:  Nearly all of the material on the coat is a single color.  Compared to some of the other Canada Goose coats that have black trim in paces, it’s just not as pleasing to look at as it could be with just a touch of a different color.  The parka comes in several colors, which may vary depending on where you buy it.


Is It Too Warm For Me?

SweatyMy primary concern about this parka, when I started reviewing it is, What if it is too warm?  Will I look like the guy in the photo, when I take my parka off?

Both the manufacturer and the Backcountry site say that the coat is for -25°F and below.  The way this is worded, it kind of seems like an upper temperature limit for wearing it.  After reading user reviews, I’ve come to the conclusion that is not what this means.  What they are saying is the coat is designed to keep you warm in that temperature weather or colder.

They are not providing an upper limit for how warm it can be and you still able to wear this parka.  What I saw in the reviews is that people are wearing the coat in Chicago.  That tells me you can wear the coat and make use of it just about anywhere that it is cold.  I’ve spent a lot of time there and I can tell you that most of the winter is above zero.

The neck on the coat lays open nicely, allowing your neck and upper chest to breath without wearing the coat fully open.  As I mentioned above, there are no Velcros on the sleeve cuff so wearing the coat all the way open would be comfortable too.  Finally, if you are absolutely too hot in the parka, it comes with straps inside, so you can wear it like bag over your shoulder.

I have different jackets, parkas, and coats for different weather.  Yet there is a great deal of overlap in when they can be worn.  With the hood down, and the neck I can wear my down parka up to 35 degrees.  Maybe I could wear it in warmer weather too but I’ve never tried it.  I only intentionally break it out when it is below 20 degrees.  Yet weather changes and when I travel, I don’t want to bring 4 different coats. So, I bring the down parka and maybe one other.

Each person’s body is going to produce a different amount of heat.  For the vast majority of people living in colder climates, where the weather spends a lot of time below freezing, this coat will not be too warm to own.

How Does Canada Goose Stack Up To Other Top Parkas? 

What Are The Top Parkas To Survive a Cold Weather Emergency?



About Canada Goose

The company was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1957.  I like that it is an old company.  When a company is old, it tells you they have been able to satisfy customers for a long time.  Satisfied customers are the lifeblood of a company.  In 1957, they were not selling these kinds of coats though.  They were selling woolen vests, Raincoats, and Snowmobile suits.  They did so under the name Metro Sportswear, LTD.

In the 70s, the founder, Sam Tick’s son-in-law, joined the company with this own entrepreneurial eyes. He invented the machine for blowing down into coats.  This began the company’s path to where it is today and to what it’s name is today, Canada Goose.

The Expedition Parka, in this post, was designed in the 1980s.  So it’s a design that has stood the test of time.  It was made for scientists at McMurdo Station in Antarctica.  It’s become popular for people doing extreme cold work, all over the world.   I did a google image search for Antarctic Explorers and I found people wearing Canada Goose Products.  Not all of them have the telltale brand patch on them.  The Expedition Parka has stood the test of time and Canada Goose has made many more since then.  I’ll talk more about that below.

The company continues today, to produce clothing that is the favorites of explorers trekking the coldest places on earth.  Film crews filming movies and documentaries taking place in these places find them to be a favorite as well.  You’ve likely seen their products many times, in movies, news stories and documentaries.  You probably even recognize them.  Now you know where they come from and where to get one for yourself.

Other Canada Goose Products


While I was browsing the Backcountry site, I found several other Canada Goose Products that are equally worthy of being called out as top cold weather gear.  Below is a sample of favorites that I found.

Canada goose makes many parkas, jackets, bibs, sweaters, gloves and basically anything you need to keep warm in the coldest of temperatures on earth.  At publishing you could find almost 60 of them at the link above.  Many of the products are just as good as the expedition parka but they have different designs.  Some are for a different purpose.

Canada Goose Whistler Parka – Women’s.

Canada Goose Whistler Parka - Women's   I picked this one because it keeps to all of the design elements that I talked about above and in the other article.  At the same time, it offers a cleaner look without all the pockets.  It just has more style.  It has bigger fur.  The belt gives it a nice look and it has a more feminine look to it.  See it at Backcountry








Canada Goose Snow Mantra – Women’s


Snow Mantra


Yes, I’ve got another one just for women.  I really like this Parka and I wanted to show you one for both men and women but for some reason they have discontinued it for men.  Although it looks a lot like the expedition, it is a superior coat.  

The parka is known as the “warmest coat on earth.”  It has everything the expedition has, and more.  I also think it has a nicer looking style.  Making the sides of the pockets black and having black other black features gives it a more pleasing look to the eye.  If I could get any parka in the world, this would be it, but I can’t, so it didn’t get picked for my ultimate parka.

The parka has thicker fur, which looks great and probably adds warmth.  It has more down, and this is a case where they likely had to switch to goose down to get the down as thick as they did here with a 675 fill.  It also has draw cords at the very bottom.

The parka has reflective tape, making you more visible to headlights.

I didn’t ask but it is possible that they discontinued this parka for men because it really is more than men need.  Men’s body’s having more mass might just be too warm in it.  If you are a woman and you want to have the absolute best money can buy, to keep you warm in the coldest of weather, this parka is it.   For more information on it, you can visit page I found it on here.



Canada Goose Snowsuit


Canada Goose makes snowsuits for Infants and Toddlers, (two separate products).  What better way to keep the little ones safe in the coldest of weather?  These snowsuits have many of the design elements I talked about above.

If you are thinking of getting one, they will likely have a significant resale value, which would make the cost of ownership less.  Because of the counterfeiting issues mentioned below, be sure to save your invoice from Backcountry to prove that you purchased the snowsuit from an authorized dealer and that you are not selling a knockoff.  This will make your posting stand out above the rest.






 Whatch Out For Counterfeits

counterfeitUnfortunately,  there are people out there who are counterfeiting these Canada Goose coats.  Their coats are up there in price with high end purses, watches etc.  Whenever you have that level of a product, there comes people trying to make money on the brand.  If you end up with a counterfeit purse you have something that looks like a real name purse but isn’t.  Maybe you even know it’s counterfeit and you don’t care.  Maybe you can fool your fiends with it and it’s fun because you saved money.

The value of the Canada Goose coat is not just in the name itself but in what that name means.  In this case, they are making top quality clothing that you can use to save your life in an emergency or to keep yourself warm.  They are not just a high fashion brand that most of your friends are going to know.  Getting it wrong means more than it not fooling your friends. There a risk that a fake coat will not be as good and won’t be there for you when you need it.

Canada Goose maintains a list of authorized dealers.  Before setting out to write this article, I consulted that list and made sure the store I was linking to, Backcountry was authorized.  I wanted to give you an Amazon link but I cannot.  Amazon is not listed as an authorized dealer and there are/were many reviews on Amazon saying the posting I was looking at was of a fake coat. 


About the Price

I was recently looking at the iphone X and quite floored about the price of it.  Here is an electronic device that you typically replace every two years and today, It’s a grand.  I started thinking about other things you could get for somewhere around price of an iphone X.  This Parka fits that bill.  My Down parka is 22 years old and this one is built better than it is.  If I were to wear this parka the same way, it would probably last just as long.  An iphone X costs $500 per year.  Depending on how you wear it, this parka might cost you $45 per year.  That seems pretty cheap for something that might save your life.  How much do you spend on air bags in 22 years?  Unlike airbags, this coat has function outside of an emergency.

Does This Review Even Need To Give You a Bottom Line?

If you got this far, reading this review, you already know I love this coat.  You already know this parka is the best coat out there.  It’s well designed, high quality, and it can salve your life, limb, or comfort.  I’ve chosen to point to you Backcountry because they sell a huge variety of them and because the manufacturer trusts them.  Be careful not to get lost in the huge variety of Canada Goose Parkas and freeze from inaction.  They are all good.  If you like one, that’s the one for you.  Just make sure if it’s a coat, it’s a parka and nothing else (for adults).  Once again, here is a link to the Men’s Parka and the Women’s Parka.

If I glow enough when talking about this; do you think one will show up under the tree?   😛


Under the Tree


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