Given the almost infinite number of high-end outdoor gear brands, it can be overwhelming to comb through all the features and benefits of each brand and know which is best for you.
While some features don’t matter very much, like the range of color choices, others – like cold tolerance – are vital for determining the quality and durability of the product.
This article compares two of the most popular and well-known luxury outdoor brands: Fjällräven and Canada Goose. While both are luxury brands with average prices quite high for most people, Fjällräven offers more options on a limited budget. Canada Goose has higher cold tolerance and is more desirable in severely cold, dry environments.
But which brand is better overall? To answer this, we have to weigh a number of factors, including brand recognition, cold tolerance, comfort, versatility, and sustainability.
For simplification purposes, we will be comparing one of the most popular items for the brand: winter coats.
Founded in 1960 by Swedish entrepreneur Ake Nordin, Fjällräven produces outdoor gear, clothing, sleeping bags, backpacks, and accessories. Its products are used worldwide, particularly throughout Europe.
Materials & Manufacturing
Fjällräven has gained a reputation for its commitment to environmental sustainability, having created the sustainable material Eco Shell, which is created using recycled polyester and is durable, breathable, and waterproof.
Eco Shell features a thin polyester membrane sandwiched between two cloth layers, the polyester top layer causing moisture to bead and flow off the garment instead of being absorbed into the fabric. The membrane between the two cloth layers contains microscopic veins that transfer moisture from the inside layer – such as sweat – to the outside, where it evaporates.
Eco Shell is also resistant to grease and dirt, making it ideal for long trips outside where washing clothes isn’t always feasible. The cloth is lightweight and flexible, with its elasticity not decreasing its waterproof qualities.
Another one of Fjällräven’s patented materials is G-1000, which the brand created in 1968, just a short time after the brand was established. While its combination of recycled polyester and organic cotton isn’t in itself extraordinary, since both materials are commonly used in outdoor gear, G-1000 is unique in its weaving and waxing.
The weave of G-1000 materials prioritizes performance and durability, with the weave allowing for maximum sweat-wicking without allowing moisture to penetrate the fabric. Greenland wax is used on the fabric, which contributes to further waterproofing and resilience against dirt and grease.
Fjällräven products come in a range of prices, with some of the lighter jackets costing between $150 – $200, with some of the heavier down coats costing upwards of $700 – $900.
Canada Goose Overview
As its name suggests, this brand was founded in Canada in 1957 under its original name Metro Sportswear Ltd., before expanding into the European market in the 1970s under the name Snow Goose and then finally becoming Canada Goose. This brand’s products are used throughout the world, but most commonly throughout Canada and North America.
Materials & Manufacturing
Canada Goose is perhaps most known for its thick parkas, which are designed to withstand severe cold. The brand’s attention to detail and quality is one of the reasons they are hailed as one of the top luxury outdoor brands, and they swear by a 13-step quality control system.
Canada Goose is committed to sustainability, with their down following their trademarked Canada Goose Down Transparency Standard. White duck down is one of the most popular fillings for the parkas. Down has the advantage of trapping in warmth while resisting the severe cold, similar to animals in the wild.
Polyester and nylon are used for the coats’ lining and outer shells, which prevent moisture from penetrating the fabric.
Canada Goose has much higher prices than Fjällräven, given to most of its products being designed for severe cold while many Fjällräven products are lighter and designed for everyday use, including use in seasons other than winter.
The winter coats on the lower end of Canada Goose’s price spectrum fall between $750 – $850, while some of their other products are between $1000 – $2000. It’s also worth taking a look at their return policy to know what would happen if you purchase a jacket that you want to return.
Final Verdict – Fjällräven vs. Canada Goose
Both Fjällräven and Canada Goose are high-quality products committed to environmental sustainability. Canada Goose products are mostly limited to severe cold, while Fjällräven has a wider range of both light and heavy coats for all seasons.
Which brand to choose depends entirely on your environment, lifestyle, and budget. If you want to add more options to the mix, consider looking into the Herschel brand.