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Hands-on Gear Review
Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber Review
Cons: Polarized style, super expensive
Bottom line: A rugged, warm jacket with limited but impassioned appeal.
The Canada Goose Chilliwack is a high-end interpretation of a blue-collar staple. The ridiculously warm and durable bomber jacket style fills a niche that might just appeal to you. At almost $800, the Chilliwack does not have a deep customer base, but there is nothing else like it on the market. If you have the means and dig this form and style, the Chilliwack is a natural choice. Our Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Camosun is also a high-end piece of equipment, at a slightly lower cost and with broader appeal. Those that want the absolute warmest jacket you could imagine should check out the Top Pick, and sibling to the Chilliwack, the Canada Goose Expedition Parka. The Expedition Parka brings the same high-end construction and materials with an even warmer construction.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Winter Jackets for Men of 2018
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
In our overall scoring, the Chilliwack is nothing special. Remember, though, that every product that makes it into an OutdoorGearLab review is an excellent product. Because we buy the products we test and dedicate many resources to our comparative testing regimen, we are quite selective. We keep tabs on the entire market and select only the best available. If we were to compile a scoring chart of the whole spectrum of available winter jackets, the Chilliwack Bomber's relative score would look very different. It would be near the top, with the only products beating it being the same products that surpass it in this select list.
The Chilliwack is warm and rugged, with a loud style.
Canada Goose is known for making incredibly warm jackets. The associations are right there in the brand name. The Chilliwack isn't the warmest jacket they make, but it is still warmer than the most insulting products from some other companies. The Chilliwack is what we'd call a warm "all around" winter jacket. For even the coldest climates, the Chilliwack Bomber is as insulating as you'll need for walking between transit modes and while taking the dog out to pee. For more extended forays into the coldest of climates, only the sibling (and Top Pick winning) Canada Goose Expedition Parka is warmer.
The Best Buy The North Face McMurdo III Parka has a similar insulation thickness as the Chilliwack, but the cut of the McMurdo extends lower. Overall, therefore, we grant the McMurdo a slightly higher warmth score. The Chilliwack is warmer than the rest of the jackets we tested, including the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun.
Canada Goose has made the Chilliwack protective enough. Incidentally, "Chilliwack" is a Canadian suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. The external fabric is waterproof and thick. However, the plethora of seams and pockets, along with the fur-rimmed hood make it inappropriate for the wettest of conditions. Water will get through the seams and mat the fur. A jacket this warm is better suited to the coldest conditions anyway. Conditions in which liquid water is a distant proposition.
Arc'teryx makes the most weather resistant jackets in our test. The Gore-Tex fabric and immaculate, smooth construction of the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun and sibling Fission SV keep out the gnarliest of circa freezing wind and precipitation. The North Face Arrowood Triclimate is also better in wet weather than the Chilliwack, but is much much less insulating.
Our review team delivered a mixed bag of feedback on the comfort of the Chilliwack Bomber jacket. The short-torsoed design was the polarizing feature. Long torso testers found the jacket to ride up and leave room for drafts. Others just didn't like the shortcut. A select few, though, liked the unencumbered design of the "bomber" cut. Especially for sitting down in, the shortcut is less confining than a longer design.
The possible features of a winter jacket include the pocket selection, hood and associated adjustments, wrist closures, and other protective measures. With these, the Chilliwack is pretty well equipped. First, there are abundant pockets. Only the long-cut award-winning jackets have more pockets, like the Best Buy The North Face McMurdo III and Top Pick Canada Goose Expedition. The cuffs of the Chilliwack are simple stretchy knit cuffs. They keep the warm in and are comfortable. For truly sealing around gloves in nuking weather, the velcro cuffs of the Arc'teryx Fission SV are better. The Editors' Choice Camosun Parka has non-adjustable cuffs, like the Chilliwack. The Camosun cuffs are more carefully tailored, but both perform just fine.
The Chilliwack Bomber is the most uniquely styled jacket we tested. The pilot "bomber" style is bold and stands out. Universally, the feedback we got was strong. Some liked it while others certainly did not. No one was ambivalent about this Canada Goose product. The only other jacket that elicited such impassioned feedback was the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun Parka. One observer stated about the Camosun, "whoa, isn't that classy." All others found the Camosun neutral in styling.
This is a durable jacket. The rugged construction and down insulation could last a lifetime. Unless you are crawling into the engine cowling of a bomber for cold weather repairs, you are unlikely to exert enough force on the Chilliwack Bomber to generate more than superficial wear. The same can be said for the Top Pick Expedition Parka from Canada Goose. No other jacket we tested is as durable as either of these siblings parkas.
If the style works for you, this is an excellent all-around cold weather insulator.
Canada Goose jackets are expensive. There is no way around this fact. It is rare in our OutdoorGearLab reviews that a product exceeds the price of Arc'teryx's offering. Canada Goose does it. Though you get impeccable construction, super-durability, top-notch materials, and high-end performance for the price, we cannot in good conscience call the Canada Goose Chilliwack a "value" choice. This is a luxury item.
We dig the Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber. Our testers were polarized on the style and fit, but no one could refute the warmth and durability. Weather protection is compromised, but you won't use this much in wet climates anyway. The price is absurdly high, but if it tickles your fancy, you're likely to look straight past that number.
— Jediah Porter
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