CHICAGO — Yes, people are still paying $1,000 for those rugged yet oh-so-fashionable Canada Goose parkas.
And no, you don't have to.
A few years ago, I invested in a very warm down coat from Eddie Bauer, and three years ago, my husband snagged a heavy-duty parka from The North Face. Neither cost more than $350, and both ticked off many of the boxes that make Canada Goose's coats so popular among celebrities and Northern city-dwellers.
The coats had fur-lined hoods, quality down, and understated sporty style that worked for Midwest living. And they were warm, really warm, especially when worn with a thin down layer underneath. They made subzero temperatures truly manageable and allowed a cold-weather wimp like me feel, if not invincible, at least well-protected.
With those coats in mind, I came up with a list of Canada Goose alternatives last fall. And now, with winter breathing down our necks once again, it's time for an update. The list prices for this year's picks range from $150 to $400 but bear in mind that sales can bring savings of more than $100.
Eddie Bauer Lodge Cascadian Down Parka
This relatively new parka doesn't have many online reviews yet, but the early word is highly positive regarding quality and style. We're swayed by its great looks and impressive temperature rating — and by Eddie Bauer's track record with high-performing coats. Available in fresh colors such as red-hot salsa, the Lodge Cascadian is rated to withstand temperatures as low as -45. $249, www.eddiebauer.com
Land's End Men's Expedition Winter Parka
"A must in the Midwest," according to an online reviewer from Omaha, this Land's End standard comes in men's, women's, kids and even pet sizes. Rated to -3 degrees and waterproof, it provides room for layering if you want to take it out on colder days, and gets a lot of love from reviewers in Chicago. The style is clean and classic in navy, or try red if you want a pop of color. $299.95, www.landsend.com
L.L. Bean Women's Maine Mountain Parka