There are a lot of options when it comes to jackets, and two separate camps of people when it comes to what is the "better" route for protection. First, you have to decide what is best for you: either you want to go with a lighter jacket and layer underneath with good base layers, or you can get a thicker jacket and you're all set. Most of the time, the base layer method results in a less expensive jacket - but don't be fooled, you can still spend a pretty penny by the time you're done.
We spent a lot of time debating what we wanted to do. I, ever-the-cold one (as I sit here typing this, the room is 23 degrees and I'm in a thick sweater over my shirt. I'm still cold.), had pretty much decided from the beginning that I was going to go with the thickest/warmest jacket I could find. Jeff, on the other hand, wanted to explore the option of getting some really good base layers and a thinner jacket so he had more freedom to control his temperature.
With that in mind, we started to look around and see what was available. The two main companies that people repeatedly suggest are Canada Goose and The North Face. Not surprisingly, also happens to be two of the more expensive lines of outerwear that you can consider. We were told that because Canada Goose is so "exclusive" there are *never* any sales - so whatever price you see, that's what it is no matter what store you go to. (There are plenty of sites advertising cheap jackets, but it is likely a knock-off and buyers need to be very aware. There is a section on the Canada Goose site that deals specifically with what sites are fake and how you can tell, etc. Basically, the moral of the story is - don't trust the internet and only buy Canada Goose from an actual store.) There were other brands too, and in our travels we came across so many it actually became quite overwhelming. It's always best to ask the people at whatever store you're at if you're confused.
You'd be surprised at how many stores carry a good range of (extreme) winter jackets in the middle of June. It's also not a very good gauge of how warm a jacket is when you try it on in the middle of the summer - because the minute you put it on, you're immediately hot....so learn to read labels, online reviews, etc. before making the decision. I also found it helped a lot to talk to people who are already in Nunavut and ask them what they recommend or suggest. Sometimes, just because it's the most expensive thing out there - doesn't mean it's actually necessary. I am very glad that we took our time and did our research.
After going to a few different stores and trying on countless jackets, we both ended up with a Canada Goose one. It felt the most comfortable on and was very well made. It was important to us to have hoods with real fur (sorry, animal-lovers) around the edge (it helps protect from the wind, and faux fur can freeze), as well as a below-bum length to keep a good portion of our bodies warm.
Jeff went with the Expedition in grey - here you can see him modelling it off with some awesome goggles we picked up from MEC when they were on sale for $30 with free shipping!
Trillium in black (I love the hand pockets on the chest - who knew that would be comfortable??) and my polka-dotted goggles that I love!