One of the reasons this is a fashion item is that it’s a) expensive and b) used by lots of famous people. I’ll skip listing all the Hollywood nitwits that wear Canada Goose jackets when it’s fifty degrees out and refer you to the most famous Resolute wearer of all: Lance Mackey, Alaska’s Iditarod hero. Lance is sponsored by Canada Goose so if you see him mushing you’ll see him in a black Resolute parka. Now, it’s pretty cold in Alaska and I refer you back to the problem of “standing around.” You’d think that traveling overland for 1,000 miles would create some body heat but mushers are in large part standing on the rails of their sleds, getting cold. OK, so there’s more to it than that, but rest assured that to mush the Iditarod, you need warm clothing. And Lance uses the Resolute parka. That’s all you need to know.
But my job requires that I tell you more than that, so keep reading. The features of this parka are not for fashion. It’s all function, baby. There are several grab straps on the shoulders and back that are designed for rescuers to use to hoist the unlucky wearer out of water or a crevasse. Mesh pockets line the inside of the parka and on the off chance the purchaser couldn’t figure out what they were for, they come helpfully stocked with chemical warmers. The ruff of the hood is lined with coyote fur, and I’m sure there is some bitching and complaining about that and I’m not a fur-for-fashion supporter either; but if you’re in actual arctic conditions you’ll be glad to have it. Nothing keeps the warm air in and prevents frosting like real fur, so that’s what CG uses.
The parka is nice and long, almost to knees, to keep in as much heat as possible while allowing freedom of movement. The size Small fits me just fine and, though it’s by necessity a bulky piece, allows me to move around relatively comfortably. I have my doubts as to whether or not the parka is actually designed for a women’s body; it’s just too hard to tell with a pice this bulky so I guess it doesn’t matter. It fits fine, so there you go. It seems maybe a little longer than the men’s version but that could be just because I’m short. The Antarctic Geargal reports that she was able to hike around without getting too overheated even though there are no pit zips (because that would be stupid on an Arctic parka) and that the hooks located all over the jacket are useful for carrying things and clipping your mittens to the parka so they don’t get blown away. I liked the ID sleeve on the chest and the many fleecy pockets. I’m not wild about the velcro used on pretty much all the flaps, but I realize that its par for the course these days and that it’s probably better than snaps for cold conditions.
Our Resolute has had a lot of use in some pretty cold parts of the world, and it’s held up well. We have the red color so it can get dirty if you, say, crawl around in BIRD NESTS in it, but even after that debacle there are no scuffs, wear marks, or damage of any kind. The seams stay nice and tight and the burly zipper shows no sign of tweaking. If you’re using this coat as it’s intended, you really can’t afford to have the main zipper go bust, so it’s good to see a top quality zipper holding it all together.
I don’t think you could find a better piece for extreme cold. It’s not light, it’s not cute, it doesn’t flatter your figure – but it ensures that you’ll live another night when you really need to.