In writing this review of my deliciously warm and delightfully stylish Toboggan Canada Christine K Parka, I have gone down a proverbial internet rabbit hole, determined to correctly define the terms “parka,” “jacket” and “coat.”
And while I now know that a parka is a knee-length, normally down-filled winter jacket, and that this term comes from the Nenets people of northern Russia, it has occurred to me that regardless, I would never say to someone, “Can you pass me my parka?” So moving forward, we’re just going to talk about my Toboggan Canada Christine K Parka as my new favourite winter jacket, mmmk? (Still not sure I can tell a coat from a jacket, mind you … )
The Toboggan brand first made its appearance in 1977, specializing in winter apparel. Re-branding the label as Toboggan Canada, two sons of one of the original founders are now at the helm. Toboggan Canada is based in Montreal with manufacturing overseas using sustainable down and bluesign approved textile practices.
After eight long years of being pregnant or actively babywearing, I’ve used some truly wonderful maternity coats to rock my bump and my baby carrier. And although these coats are designed to be used without a bump or a baby, it seemed silly to me to not pass these coats on to moms-to-be who could take advantage of that extra functionality. So it was time to finally get a winter jacket that would be just for me, and all my glamorous winter activities. (Such activities include but are not limited to scraping ice and sweeping snow off my van at -20°C; pumping gas in the midst of a snow squall; expertly wrangling all four kids into the van when one of the sliding doors is frozen shut; pushing three children up steep, snow-covered hills to the school bus stop; maneuvering an uncooperative shopping cart through a slushy parking lot; chasing twins waddling in opposite directions but both towards the street; taking out the recycling in the dark and falling flat on my face; and shovelling our condo’s walkways and sidewalks so we don’t have to pay someone else to.)
The key to enjoying the aforementioned glamorous outdoor activities is to be comfortable, and to be comfortable is to be warm, even when it’s so cold that your snot is freezing and the air hurts your face. My Toboggan Canada jacket keeps me warm so I can keep up with my glamorous lifestyle, even when it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
I was very impressed by the quantity of styles of winter jackets available from Toboggan Canada. (They also make children’s and men’s jackets.) Because I was specifically looking for a knee-length style (in other words, a parka), my choices were narrowed enough that I wasn’t overwhelmed. I chose the Christine because I loved the look of the quilted V seams: sophistication is my middle name. (It’s not, really … but it does start with an S!)
The Christine K Parka has a removable hood lined with cozy faux beaver fur and trimmed with fluffy faux silver fox fur. The hood is warm enough that I often skip my toque completely. It fully shields my face from the wind and snow, looking great up and down.
The two-way zipper allows me to unzip at the bottom so this trim coat isn’t too tight around my legs when I need to sit down or run away. The collar goes up nice and high, making a neck warmer unnecessary. (And frankly, the fewer extra winter accessories I’m toting around for myself, the better. My gloves are on a string for a reason.)
I love the rib-knit cuff on the sleeves of this jacket: the only thing that would make them even better is an inch more length and thumb holes! (I can’t be the only person who loves thumb holes?)
I don’t need a million pockets in my coat, as pockets are basically just a place for me to misplace my keys AGAIN. The Christine has one inner zipped pocket and fleece-lined front side pockets that have magnetic closures, which is kinda nifty!
Size-wise, I am somewhere between the measurements of a small and a medium. If I’d had a retailer nearby, I would have liked to try on the medium for comparison. I am 5’8″ and 140 lb, and I have a small-to-non-existent bust. I would not recommend a small if you are any bigger than me, as it’s tight for me at the shoulders. There would also not be any wiggle room for even an early pregnancy belly in my Christine coat! (Especially the early pregnancy belly I had with the twins!)
I expect to use my Toboggan Canada Christine K Parka for many years of winter wandering. Whether I’m playing with my kids in the snow or stepping out into the cold after a Michelin-star meal*, I’ll be suitably sophisticated and, most importantly, warm!
Shipping is free to Canada and the USA.
*This will never happen, but a girl with a fancy, faux-fur trimmed hood can sure dream.