The Official Coat of Antarctica
It’s very cold in Antarctica. At McMurdo Station, it can reach as low as -60 degrees, with 30-degree wind chill and dust-dry snow blowing from every direction. So when the US Antarctic Program sends some poor soul out there, they send them with one of the warmest coats money can buy—a synthetic monster known around the station as Big Red.
And as gentlemen with an abiding interest in warm coats and extreme temperatures, we felt honor-bound to track down exactly where they get them…
According to Elaine Hood of the USAP, the coats come from a surprisingly familiar brand: Canada Goose. Big Red is modeled off their Expedition parka, with a few crucial differences. The government-issue version is the only place you’ll get that cardinal-red model and the official patch—but most importantly, it’s filled with goose down instead of duck down, which offers a few crucial degrees of extra insulation.
Otherwise, the standard Expedition parka is closer than you might think—a comforting thought if you’re going to be facing down semi-Antarctic bluster anytime soon.
- — Russell Brandom