For the last 10 years or so we have had 3 key brands fighting for marketplace dominance in the higher echelon winter parka category. Most will already know these brands - Canada Goose, Moncler and Parajumpers. I’ve known them all for a good 10 years at least possibly 20 or more for Goose and Moncler.
I think around 7 years ago now I ventured out to buy a quality parka - Moncler had a shop on Sloane street still, and Canada Goose was stocked in Harrods and Harvey Nicks, Parajumpers I could only find on the Internet really, although there were a couple of sometime stockists in the North of England, but with very little choice, and never the right size available.
I started on Sloane street and tried a number of coats in the Moncler store. Whatever I tried either pinched under the armpits - sleeves seemed very narrow cut too with little room for manoeuvre and alsoe had weird radial movement for the shoulders - a similar problem I have encountered with some designs of Belstaff jackets - in that it is somewhat and somehow difficult to lift your arms above your head - those jackets seem to be cut in such a way as to restrict movement. In any case I did my usual 5 Fs checks at Moncler (Fabric, Fit, Finish, Form, Function) and for whatever reason I wasn’t quite feeling it. I could not put my finger on it entirely, but a big part of it was the restrictive movement - and the fabric seemed prone to creasing too if I remember correctly.
So I next shot down the secret short-cut route to Harrods (Basil Street) and had a look in their menswear section for Canada Goose. There was a reasonable selection available and fit and finish seemed really good - they’re cut a lot looser than Moncler. The fabric also seemed more hard-wearing, and overall the garment looked like it would last longer and feel more comfortable than the Moncler, so nothing wrong with the quality here or any of the 5 Fs exactly. Yet there was something here that I felt that was missing - if you remove the badge from a Canada Goose coat, they’re mostly really standard and quite plain looking - there is no clever detailing or particularly smart technical features - it’s all a little plain vanilla. Canada Goose seems to be the most popular at the moment - particularly with the hip-hop and grime fraternities, but I don’t really see sufficient design differentiation - it seems to be all about the badge somehow?
What sets Parajumpers above these two brands is the technical quality of its garments and amazing attention to detail. The flagship coats benefit from really cool quick-release Snap-Hook neck fastenings borrowed from climbing harnesses - there are 2 versions - and both work really well. Then there’s all those hidden pockets, zipped-vents, and double-taping on snap fixtures to make it easier to open and close those poppers. The construction of the garments tends to be superior, with tailored pockets rather than the more typical patch pockets. Parajumpers definitely have a look of their own even without the badges. While I feel that Canada Goose and Moncler are slightly more generic.
I have selected 3 flagship 4 main-pocket-parka coats / anoraks - one from each brand:
In fact I actually don’t particularly like the button closure of the Kodiak - I prefer and have The Masterpiece Right Hand and Harraseeket which would be my top recommendations and they are even lower cost - each has its functional advantages. Both those coats presently look and function as good as new despite years of constant wear.
If you are about to buy a Canada Goose or Moncler coat, I would ask that you consider Parajumpers too. If you’re anything like me, you will surely be delighted with the right choice!