We are barely halfway through what has been described as the coldest weekend in a generation in the Northeast, so clearly I am sharing this review of Canada Goose’s Mystique Parka at least a week later than ideal.
On days like today, when the low crosses into negative numbers, you should probably just stay home if you could, but if you suffer from cabin fever after being housebound by the snow and must get out, you need to get yourself a full-length down parka.
I don’t currently own a full-length down parka (though I used to), so have been borrowing the “Mystique Parka” (designed to be mid-calf length) from my mom, who has it in two colors. The style in size XXS measures 48″ inches in overall length, and is truly full-length on 5’2″ me, falling a mere 6 or so inches above the ground with my trusty Sorel Caribou Boots on (wear with Smartwool socks for maximum warmth). (You don’t want to wear this coat during an actual snowstorm, as the bottom will be soaked.)
Canada Goose, despite being ubiquitous and oversaturated, is reliable, if boring. The coat is filled with 625 fill power (fill power indicates the quality of the down; in this case, one ounce of down can cover 625 cubic inches) North American duck (which is pretty hilarious for a brand called Canada Goose) down (which is pretty good, but not excellent). The manufacturer claims that it can withstand temperatures -25°F and below, which I believe, because the coat has kept me quite warm (with a thick sweater and a Uniqlo HEATTech t-shirt underneath) in current Arctic-like conditions.
(More on the material: the outershell is 85% polyester and 15% cotton, and is finished to be water-repellent. And the removable hood is trimmed with removable Canadian coyote fur.)
The Mystique is fairly slimming for the style of coat, and won’t make you look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but it is still a down coat. The side pockets are lined with fleece, but in frigid temperatures, you will want glove like the UGG® Australia Tenney Gloves seen in these photos.
Some other details that I enjoy: the knit cuffs, the insulated wind guard (that separates CG coats from most Moncler coats, which are not wind-resistant), two interior pockets–one zippered and one drop-in, and interior shoulder straps which allow you to wear it as a backpack.
Of the $995 retail price tag (with few discounts for the “classic” styles even in warm weather), you are paying at least a 20-40% premium for the Canada Goose logo patch. You can buy coats filled with synthetic insulators or lower fill power down for $100-$300 (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), or even get a top-notch goose down coat for $500-$1000 (like the Arc’teryx Patera Down Parka, which I may buy if these temperatures return every winter; also sold at Zappos, Amazon, and Altitude Sports).
The coat is dry-clean only, and I would be wary of doing even that as the shell is coated to be water-repellent and wind-resistant. Ask your dry-cleaner if they have worked on CG coats before with success. You should understand that Canada Goose’s “Lifetime Protection” does not cover dry-cleaning mishaps: it’s one of those policies that are favorable in theory, but probably not actually usable.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, this style is rarely discounted and is excluded from ~95% of store-wide sales. As you’ll find, if you clicked on any of the links above, that sizes are often sold out in most colors after a cold snap.