As a native of Detroit, the winter seasons from my youth were the epitome of harsh, brutal subzero temperatures of epic proportions. Frigid wind cascaded to and fro, numbing any exposed skin unfortunate enough to be left naked. Seemingly endless mountains of snow, slush, and ice lined the streets, thus making routine travel an unwanted adventure. Now, perhaps, this was a result of a distorted perception due to my repeated tours at Detroit bus stops in the dead of winter – Cass Technical High School was the destination of choice. Middle school was much more forgiving, as travel to the designated school bus pick-up location wasn’t as treacherous. Grades 9-12, well, not so much.
And so, among the arctic elements outside, daily expeditions were undertaken with the hopes of attaining a proper education. It was around this time (early 1990s) that a cold weather coat, the Triple F.A.T. Goose, was surging in popularity and adorning the backs of some of the coolest students at school. Filled with down feathers – the layer of fine feathers underneath a bird’s exterior feathers – these jackets offered supreme protection from the dastardly Old Man Winter. The insanely popular down coat inspired many competitors and became the trendiest piece of outerwear you could rock from December until March. However, after surging in popularity, the brand quietly disappeared.
During its extended hiatus from the marketplace, there was an ascension of many other brands that capitalized and enjoyed much success in the void that was left by Triple F.A.T. Goose. Yes, a gentleman still needed to protect himself from the cold, so other options became viable. Nevertheless, many people yearned for the return of their beloved “Goose”. Now the company is back and ready the reclaim the top spot for affordable down coats. With so many years out of the public eye, what will today’s rendition of Triple F.A.T. Goose resemble? And, will this updated version sufficiently compete with other brands that readily occupied the vacuum left by Triple F.A.T. Goose’s absence.
Well, the brand is reinventing itself and reintroducing the Triple F.A.T. Goose coat with a contemporary reinterpretation to the public. “We brought the brand back as a result of numerous consumer requests to revive Triple F.A.T. Goose. When relaunching the brand, we really wanted to create products that our consumers would love and to wow them with new features. This was really the motivations for the For Arctic Temperatures collection. This capsule consists of jackets that have premium details such as water-repellent fabrics, real coyote fur ruffs, a soft interior lining, and storm cuffs”, says chief executive officer of Turbo Holdings Inc., James Chung.
True, this new renovated and retooled Triple F.A.T. (For Arctic Temperatures) Goose is all about premium details and quality. First, let’s address the coat’s body. As a point of reference, the Hesselberg (pictured) will be examined for this article. Gone is the bulk and puffiness that were signatures of the original Triple F.A.T. Goose design. That being said, the new design still is robust and heavy in nature, but the silhouette is streamlined with a moderately close fit without being too restrictive. However, depending on personal preference, you may want to size up to allow more room. Also, driving could be cumbersome if you decided to wear your coat behind the wheel. While the extra cushion could be tempting, maintaining a proper fit beneath your seatbelt could be challenging. My suggestion: keep it in the backseat until ready for use.
Now, it has not been particularly cold here in Michigan, which is odd this late in the year. No complaints, but I have not been able to thoroughly vet the warmth of the Hesselberg. Nevertheless, I did take it out for a test run one night. I waited for a really chilly evening, and wearing only pajamas and a tee-shirt, I donned the Hesselberg and ventured off into the brisk night. And I must admit, I was completely – aside from mid-thigh and down – protected from the chill outside. The coyote fur-trimmed hood is HUGE – and I have a moderately large head. Your face will be more than protected from the blustery elements outside. The hood is constructed in a fashion where the rim can be softly bent and shaped to fit the contours of your head and retain adequate visibility. Because, as I previously mentioned, the hood is HUGE.
Another added benefit from the new collection is the storm cuff insert on each arm. Sewn into the inside cuff and extending outward like a fingerless glove when worn, it serves to block out any cold drafts that might find its way up inside your sleeves. And when combined with your standard pair of winter gloves, a gentleman will benefit greatly from the extra layer of warmth underneath – don’t worry, the material is thin enough to allow easy sliding under your regular glove. The zippered side vents underneath the sleeves allow you to moderately control the temperature of your body. Suffice it to say: I kept mine zipped!
- 80/20 goose down filling – meaning 80% goose down and 20% goose feathers. Goose down is one of the best and lightest insulators on the market. The air pockets between the down protects against loss of heat.
- 10,000 mm performance fabric, Teflon coated for water resistance.
- Fill power of 600. Fill power is the measurement of loft for down feathers. The higher the lofting power, the better a coat will be insulated due to the amount of air that can be trapped by the down. A fill power of 550-750 is considered very good.
- Coyote fur-trimmed hood that helps shield your face from skin-numbing wind. Coyote fur also doesn’t freeze or absorb, you know, in case your area gets hit with freezing rain or the like.
- Neck and pockets lined with soft fleece for more added warmth.
- Storm cuffs to block out sneaky cold air that likes to travel up coat sleeves.
With so many luxurious details, one would expect to pay a considerable amount of money for such an offering. In the case of the new collection from Triple F.A.T. Goose, look to pay half of what you may spend on a comparable coat. Quality down outerwear will fetch nearly $1000.00 and more. Here, the models offered range from $400.00 to $500.00. Relatively inexpensive when you consider that proper maintenance will extend its wintry service for countless years. Now, I would be remiss in my writing duties if I do not offer the following disclaimer. Because of the quality and performance of Triple F.A.T. Goose, there were troubling cases of theft during its height of popularity. Therefore, I would display an observant amount of caution when wearing one.
However, you need not worry about this contemporary version of being too flashy or garish. The reserved design and discreet appearance should ensure it retains all its classic appeal without becoming dated. Only the updated, signature Triple F.A.T. Goose logo on the sleeve reveals its identity. So, what does the future hold going forward. “Probably the most noteworthy and anticipated project is our expansion into the women’s and girl’s outerwear. We’ve already started the design process for these categories and the products are looking great so far. We’re excited for the launch of these new collection”, says Chung. If the men’s launch is any indication, the ladies will not be disappointed. Stay tuned.