There’s an old Icelandic adage that says “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”
You really can’t show true solidarity with Canada if you haven’t heard of the two biggest brands that are synonymous with Canada’s incredible winter: Mackage and Canada Goose outerwear brands.
Bottom Line Up Front Summary: Both of these companies appear very similar in style, but the better INSULATED jacket option (lower temperature ratings) is clearly the Canada Goose line available here. It’s more functional for outdoor use. That said, if you are looking for something a bit more stylish and wearable, then go with Mackage available here.
Main Differences Between Mackage vs Canada Goose
The main differences between Mackage vs Canada Goose are:
- Mackage places a greater emphasis on fashion, whereas Canada Goose focuses on long term performance
- Mackage jackets seem to be more prone to damage, whereas Canada Goose jackets are generally extremely durable
- Mackage is slightly cheaper, whereas Canada Goose jackets tend to be more expensive
- Mackage works great as typical winter wear, whereas Canada Goose is better suited to extremely cold climates
A Great Winter Jacket is Important…
Hibernating isn’t always good for you. Sometimes, you will need to go out and it is always best if you step out in something that looks warm and has been uproariously in vogue for the past few years now.
The ever-unforgiving winds that seem to bite your face make the simplest tasks an absolutely unbearable experience. Even if you step out for an hour or two, make a journey to work, or to a friend’s place, the harshness of winters can really feel like you’re walking through thorns attacking every exposed part of your body.
And the winter can be even more of a challenge if you have a dog that needs his/her daily walk. Without climate-appropriate attire, having the courage to have a wintery morning walk seems like an expedition through the Himalayas itself.
However, staying indoors all through the winter season and getting no sunlight can actually wreak havoc on your body and your circadian rhythm. At the very least, a person’s got to earn their livelihood.
For people like us, we need to see a winter coat as more than what it is. It’s a toasty little vehicle that can protect you from the biting winds outside.
Mackage vs Canada Goose Jackets: A Question Of Money
If you are the kind of person who wants to buy a jacket for life, or at least for many, many years, there really is absolutely no point in spending half that money on some lower quality jacket with synthetic down feathers, that has also been outsourced to a third-world country and simply does not deserve the kind of money you are throwing at it.
Just count how many winter coats have come and gone through your wardrobe because firstly, they didn’t have a high enough build quality to withstand wear and tear, or because they simply couldn’t hold up when the thermometers dropped?
Jackets that are relatively expensive, but that have the high build quality that you are looking for, are really a valuable purchase and so worth it.
Your perfect winter coat needs to essentially be the “last coat you buy.” That sounds like an ominous statement, but it’s actually just an emphasis on how high-quality coats will last you more than one season, over several years, and if maintained properly, possibly for the rest of your life. You cannot fake a good make. There is real science at play here, that keeps you warm.
If you look at the quality of the product you are buying and add other important features to buy a long-term outerwear product, such as durability and strength, you will actually realize that Mackage’s or Canada Goose’s jackets are extremely comfortable to wear even in extreme sub-zero temperatures, and they will keep you warmer than almost anything else out there in the market.
So if you do a side-by-side comparison of the build quality you are getting for these high-end fashionable jackets to any other brand, you really won’t be able to find anything cheaper in the market with the same kind of quality.
How to choose your Mackage or Canada Goose Jacket?
When you’re buying your new outdoor winter jacket, there are several important parameters you should take into account. You might notice, for example, that when you look at some of Canada Goose parkas, each description will tell you something called a fill power of the down.
Fill power refers to a means of describing the exact amount of space that the down occupies in inches. The more the fill power of the jacket, the larger the clusters of down that will result in more volume of air being trapped per square inch.
As we already know, warm air is the insulating material that is used to retain heat and protect us from the wind chill factor when we are out and about and about in our cold, harsh surroundings. This means that there is a higher insulation capacity of the down in question.
It is extremely important to note the ratio of down versus feathers when shopping for outerwear gear that has been insulated using natural animal feathers. Down comes from a bird’s plumage, and both Mackage and Canada Goose use natural bird plumage to manufacture the down layers that they add to their jackets.
The reason for this is that nature has provided for the best kind of insulation available to these birds, and you will not find a better quality when you look at man-made, ie: synthetic down. One of the reasons the plume is so warm and effective as an insulator is because it is lightweight and traps the most amount of air.
When you opt for cheaper brands in outerwear jackets and coats, you will find that they do offer some down options, but they also manufacture jackets that are made from synthetic materials. Many of the cheaper jackets are insulated using new and recycled polyester.
While there are definitely advantages to using polyester, such as the fact that it is water-resistant, however, it offers far less insulation per ounce and hence will not provide you with nearly the kind of protection that high-end brands like Canada Goose or Mackage can provide.
In addition, it is also far less durable – synthetic fibers can tend to clump together very easily especially when wet, causing uneven dispersion and creating pockets of areas where the cold can leak through into your jacket making you cold and compromising the quality of insulation in the process.
However, there are obvious negative effects of using products that are made from animal by-products. One such example of this is animal cruelty. You would definitely not like to buy a product that has been manufactured because of some animal being kept in inhospitable conditions and tortured to death.
Mackage, for instance, is a company committed to only using ethically-sourced down – meaning no live-plucking, no force-feeding, and only using the down of mature ducks. In addition to this, this company’s down is also sourced as a by-product of the food industry, meaning that ducks aren’t being hunted gratuitously for their plumage alone.
Your outerwear gear need not make you look frumpy or make you feel like you are the Michelin man. Splurge some of your money on something that you actually look forward to putting on, and feel good carrying. A good coat that performs well while also complementing your personal style can make getting bundled feel like a privilege rather than a chore.
Even though spending this much money on a mere jacket seems like a waste, we can assure you that that money will definitely be well-spent considering you are getting the best in the world in terms of design, build quality, durability, and insulation, as well as the quality of the down feathers.
Mackage is the direct competitor to Canada Goose, and this is the reason they are able to charge exorbitant prices for their jackets. However, as we explored above, the quality of these jackets definitely justifies the high cost, and you will certainly not regret buying these jackets.
Founded in 1999 by designers and childhood friends Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan when they were just 20 years old, Mackage has grown slowly over time to become one of the most prestigious contemporary outerwear companies all over the world.
After many successful years in the outerwear business for adult men and women, Mackage recently expanded, in 2012, to produce outerwear garments with the same design and functionality for children, through their Mackage Mini Collection.
In addition to these choices, in 2013, Mackage also came up with their special handbag collection which transformed Mackage into a modern lifestyle brand. How this company manages to make a puffy coat look sexy is beyond us, but we can certainly enjoy the result!
Dahan says the brand came to fruition because they noticed that they were living in Montreal and there was really nothing to wear that kept you warm but didn’t make you look like the Michelin Man. True to Dahan and Elfassy’s initial vision, Mackage’s down jackets are carefully tailored with cinched waists and narrower shoulders.
Mackage jackets start at $650 and go up to as far as $1850, and the brand insists this is for a good reason. Like we talked about above, its puffer coats are 90% down, and 10% feathers which are the best ratio you can get in the market as of now.
The coats themselves are comprised of six layers, each working to make the pieces water- and stain-repellent, windproof, breathable, down-preserving, and above all, warm. The feathers are coated with a textured polymer to increase durability.
Attached to every jacket from Mackage is a tag stating the lowest temperature a person wearing the garment can withstand. These labels mark coats as acceptable in temperatures ranging from 23 to -31 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what your needs and preferences may be.
Year after year, Mackage continues to garner a strong celebrity following. The modern brand is only distributed in the most exclusive boutiques, department stores, and online retailers so as to not dilute the brand and make it too ubiquitous.
According to Elfassy, “There are other winter coats brands out there that we compete with, but they are made for western European winters. Our coats are made for the blizzards of the North American winter.”
Mackage coats are designed to make sure that each detail provides a very specific benefit to you so that you get the very best in comfort, warmth, and protection when you are out and about and you can look good doing it.
These jackets are water repellent, and waterproof, windproof to reduce wind chill factor, breathable and air permeable and maintain warmth through their down insulation. They come with flap pockets that protect your hands if you need to.
Mackage offers a personal thermometer for your reference from which you can make your choice based on the average winter temperatures where you live. These temperatures range from 23°F to as low as -35°F. This way, it is easy for you to make your choice about which is the right category of the parka to choose from so you are not too hot nor too cold.
Pros of Mackage
- They offer a rabbit fur-lined collar for added softness and increased warmth.
- There are ventilation eyelets inside armholes for good breathability so you can stay comfortable when
- Insulated front placket for wind protection
- Wool rib-knit arm cuffs to block cold air
- The fur trim around the hood protects your face from the elements
- Detachable hood and fur trim for versatility
- Adjustable hood (back and/or front), block cold air
- Insulated hood to enhance warmth and protection
- Extended front hood closure, for storm protection
- Inside zipper placket, chin-protector.
- Inside double collar & vest, for extra warmth.
- Although these jackets are far from being cheap, they are more affordable than some of the competition
Cons of Mackage
- Not designed for extreme temperatures, more suitable for a standard winter environment
- Their fashion-oriented urban designs might not suit everyone
- Some customers report the jackets are running small. Choose your size cautiously
- Although slightly cheaper than the competition, these are still very expensive jackets
Mackage is known for combining STYLE with insulation. If you want something similar to Canada Goose, but with more fashionable accents and wearability, Mackage is a great combination.
Bottom Line Summary: Both of these companies appear very similar in style, but the better INSULATED jacket option (lower temperature ratings) is clearly the Canada Goose line available here. It’s more functional for outdoor use. That said, if you are looking for something a bit more stylish and wearable, then go with Mackage available here.
Canada Goose (previously also known as Metro Sportswear and Snow Goose) is one of the most reputable companies on the market with extreme outdoor wear.
The company was established in Toronto, Canada, in 1957. What started as a small family business is nowadays an iconic brand renowned and admired all around the world for producing some of the most exclusive expedition parkas and outdoor jackets of all times.
The brand focused on winter-oriented products from the very beginning. First, it produced mostly knitwear, snowsuits, and raincoats, but ever since the 1970s, the company has focused mostly on top-quality down jackets, which became extremely popular among all sorts of sportsmen, explorers, mountaineers, and the general public alike.
Over the decades, Canada Goose became a proud partner of various exceptional initiatives, projects, and individuals. In the early 1980s, they produced their first famous Expedition Parka.
The jacket was custom designed for the scientists working in McMurdo Station, Antarctica, so it was really meant to withstand some of the harshest weather conditions on the planet.
Nevertheless, it became so popular and fashionable among the general public that you can spot the model frequently even in the city streets. With some minor modifications, this iconic model is still being produced today.
In 1982, the Canada Goose jacket also accompanied mountaineer Laurie Skreslet on his journey to becoming the first Canadian to summit Mt. Everest. The brand later sponsored many similar expeditions, and it is also widely acknowledged for its partnership with PBI – a non-profit international polar bear conservation organization.
For many, Canada Goose has also become a symbol of status – luxurious apparel that helps them stand out from the crowd and show off their good taste and endless budget.
Nevertheless, the company stays true to its original values and takes its reputation among the real outdoorsmen very seriously. Unlike some of the competition, this brand really justifies its price with its quality and functionality. So, what goes into making a Canada Goose jacket?
First and foremost, all Canada Goose jackets always were, and, hopefully, always will be produced directly in Canada. This way you can really rely on the meticulous quality control and artful craftsmanship of Canada Goose’s carefully chosen in-house staff and collaborators.
This is visible pretty much on every little detail of the jackets: the perfectly precise hand-stitches, the unbeatable durability, the constant quality of the materials, and so on.
Speaking about the materials, they, logically, play a crucial part in the overall quality and durability of these jackets. Besides numerous technical fabrics, Canada Goose uses mostly their carefully sourced natural down, which provides the customer with unbeatable warmth and comfort. They also use linings made of real coyote fur.
Let’s take a look at one of the brand’s most popular models – the Langford Parka, which is one of their all-time bestsellers. This parka is characterized by its stylish hooded collar richly lined with exclusive coyote fur-trim. The parka is long enough to keep your whole torso protected from the wind and cold temperature.
It also has a nice variety of pockets that can conveniently accommodate all your small valuables. If you forget your gloves at home, you can also use the pockets to keep your hands warm, since they will fit in just perfectly.
Langford comes in nice earthy tones of limestone, tan, green, and also in universal black color. It’s a perfect example of Canada Goose’s simplistic and timeless approach to design and at the same time their total perfectionism with regards to comfort, durability, and functionality.
When it comes to price, Canada Goose is definitely one of the most luxurious and expensive brands within this niche. Although there still are some more expensive brands (like the European Moncler, for example), in comparison with Mackage, Canada Goose clearly comes out as the less affordable option.
Since both of these brands come with a lifetime warranty (repairs or replacements guaranteed), many customers eventually favor Mackage just for the sake of some savings. Nevertheless, in my honest opinion, the difference in price is too small to be taken into account as one of the key factors.
If you’re after quality, durability, and reliability, Canada Goose jackets are some of the best products you can currently buy. This company is impressively dedicated to its flawless reputation, which means that each of their products undergoes rigorous quality checks before they get to you.
If you don’t mind their minimalistic, not-so-fashionable design, and, most importantly, if you can afford them, Canada Goose winter jackets and parkas should be your number one choice.
Pros of Canada Goose
- These jackets are really rugged and sturdy, perfect for the harshest weather
- Revolutionary Fusion Fit sizing ensures a perfect fit for all body builds and proportions
- Perfectly insulated for protection from all elements
- Fully produced in Canada
- Responsibly sourced coyote fur trim keeps your face protected and looks stylish
- Many hand-stitched details
- Thorough quality checks of each product (13 control points)
- The company regularly donates to non-profit conservationist organizations
- Jackets are field-tested at temperatures up to -70 ° Celsius
- Life-long warranty
- Although these jackets are very expensive, their qualities justify the price
Cons of Canada Goose
- These simplistic sporty designs are not going to suit everyone
- The price is really high
- The variety is rather limited
- Online availability is sometimes problematic
A few tips for maintaining your coat
Make sure you definitely do not get the fur-trimmed hood soaked. The fur is a natural water repellent and is waterproof, however, it is always better to not let it get soaked as water can ‘set’ the fibers of the coat a certain way, and you will not be able to change that once it has dried up.
So it is best that you protect your coat so that you can allow it to protect you right back for as long as possible. Another tip is to make sure to only use very high-quality detergent manufactured specifically for use for down coats. If your coat gets dirty, do not throw it in the washing machine.
Just dab a little bit of the detergent onto the specific spot, and wash the stain off carefully. The perfect most ideal situation would be if you took excellent care of your coat so that it does not get spoilt in the first place, but a lot of times that really cannot be helped.
For light stains, try using a clean kitchen sponge. Hold the sponge under the water until it is completely wet, pour on a very small amount of mild citrus tableware detergent and squeeze the sponge a couple of times until it is foamy, but no more water will be dripping out.
Sponge over the affected spot until the fabric is wet, then rinse the sponge and go over the spot again in order to remove the detergent. Make sure you have removed all detergent as otherwise, you may leave another spot.
If you need to iron it, place another cotton cloth over it and iron over the target area for a few seconds only. Never place a hot iron directly over your expensive coat!
Preferably, try to smooth over the crinkles in your coat by the warmth of your hand instead of placing a hot iron as it may destroy the waterproof shell on top of your high-quality jacket.
Answer: Yes, both of these brands offer lifetime limited warranty on all of their products. If your jacket from either of these brands shows signs of poor production or material quality, you can always request a repair or replacement of the product. Fortunately, these jackets are really made to last, so most of the customers don’t need to use this option.
Answer: Yes, both of these brands use real animal fur on their jackets and parkas. Mackage usually uses racoon or rabbit fur, whereas Canada Goose is known to use fur from wild coyotes. Both companies have pledged to avoid any sorts of animal cruelty and claim to source their materials sustainably and ethically.
Answer: Both Mackage and Canada Goose specialize in producing super warm winter jackets designed to withstand the freezing temperatures, wildest winds, and endless downpours. Nevertheless, if you are planning to spend some time in extreme conditions, we recommend going with Canada Goose, since their jackets are 100% oriented on functionality and tested at temperatures up to -70 degrees Celsius.
Mackage or Canada Goose jackets? No matter which brand you side with, luxury coats are definitely an in thing that you will not regret purchasing. One way to think of it is like a car. You need a car to get around and make yourself comfortable while doing so.
If you are the kind of person who spends time outside, either because of public transport or because you love to spend time outside, your winter coat is an essential part of the gear that you need.
If people are willing to splurge any amount of money buying a car, then you can definitely justify spending $1000 on a high-end, stylish high-quality coat that is sure to last you about as long as an actual car would!
Do you agree with our comparisons? Which is your favorite brand? Or do you despise the idea of splurging $1000 on a coat altogether? Tell us what you think! We would love to hear from you.
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Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival skills. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.