ProView – Mountain Hardwear Super/DS StretchDown Jacket

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Mountain Hardwear Super/DS StretchDown Jacket

Product Description: The product of 10 years of research and development, the Super/DS StretchDown Jacket’s stretch-baffle construction represents the future of down insulation technology. Created using a specially-made jacquard loom, the jacket’s face, back, and baffles are woven simultaneously as a single fabric, resulting in exceptional mobililty, durablilty, and warmth.

Price: $340 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (3)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Performance
    (4)
  • Fit
    (4)

Summary

This jacket is a game changer in the puffy jacket market and has become a staple in my wardrobe. After several months of heavy wear, the jacket has not fallen ‘flat’ as many puffy jackets do. It is just as lofty as the day I got it without being oversized. The StretchDown is on the heavier end of the spectrum for a puffy jacket and lacks some of the features I’d like to see, but it more than makes up for it in style and warmth!

Overall
4.2

Pros

  • Comfy fit
  • Tough fabric
  • Maintains Loft

Cons

  • Missing features
  • Overheats with activity

Typically when I hear the words “puffy jacket,” I think of a bulky, restrictive, and easily shredded jacket. Designed to be durable, warm, and stretchy, Mountain Hardwear’s stylish new StretchDown DS (Dynamic Stretch) Hooded Jacket completely changed my perception of what a puffy jacket should be.

From trips to the crag to casual Sunday hikes, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Hooded Jacket is extremely versatile and has become my go-to for everyday use and low-output, cold-weather activity. More recently, I put the jacket to the test on a short hike in Boulder, Colorado, and on an ice climbing trip in Ouray, Colorado.

Mountain-hardware-super/ds-stretchdown-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Fit/Comfort

Leave the old slippery, cold-to-the-touch puffy jacket at home. Stuffed with 800-fill NIKWAX Hydrophobic Down and constructed with stretchy knit fabric, this jacket feels like a warm hug. Despite having a ‘slim and active fit’, the knit fabric moves and stretches with you instead of restricting movement as most puffy jackets do. With that being said, I found the jacket to be a little short in the torso. The fabric stretches horizontally more than vertically, so the jacket tends to lift up when I raised my arms above my head.

Mountain-hardware-super/ds-stretchdown-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Look/Style

The soft, matte colors and slim fit offer a refreshing break from the oversized, bright puffy jackets we usually see with other brands. Mountain Hardwear left out the chest logo on this jacket but kept the signature geometric shapes that they’re known for which makes for a stylish and discrete jacket for everyday use. 

Mountain-hardware-super/ds-stretchdown-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Features

The StretchDown jacket features offset welded seams instead of the typical baffled grid pattern that you see in most puffy jackets. The welded pattern traps heat and prevents the down fill from migrating or clumping up. The lack of stitching adds extra durability and eliminates an extra entry point for wind or water. Internal drop pockets offer a great place to stuff gloves while climbing to keep them warm. It does lack some of the features you’d find in a more technical puffy like a belay zipper or an internal stuff sack, but for casual use, it has everything you need.

Weight/Packability 

Weighing in at around a pound, this jacket is on the heavier side for a slim-fit down coat. It doesn’t pack down very small so it would not be my first choice for a long trip in the mountains where space may be limited, but it is always my go-to when buzzing around town or doing lower output winter activities like single pitch climbing.

Mountain-hardware-super/ds-stretchdown-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Function/Performance

While the jacket is comfortable and kept me warm on my hike and climbing trip, I found that it really excels as a ‘wear around town’ jacket rather than a piece of technical performance gear. It did a great job of insulating during low-output activity such as taking photos, watching the sunset, or walking around the Ouray Ice Park, but I quickly overheated when we started moving fast or gaining elevation.

Mountain-hardware-super/ds-stretchdown-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Durability/Construction

This jacket is tough. I have brushed up against wire fences, fallen down icy trails, and scraped my arms against sharp rocks in this coat. The dynamic stretch polyester fabric shows no signs of wear, whereas my other puffy jackets wouldn’t have stood a chance.

The Final Word

This jacket is a game changer in the puffy jacket market and has become a staple in my wardrobe. After several months of heavy wear, the jacket has not fallen ‘flat’ as many puffy jackets do. It is just as lofty as the day I got it without being oversized. The StretchDown is on the heavier end of the spectrum for a puffy jacket and lacks some of the features I’d like to see, but it more than makes up for it in style and warmth!

Mountain-hardware-super/ds-stretchdown-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Shop the Mountain Hardware Super/DS StretchDown Jacket on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Lindsay Hastings has worked as a hydrologic technician for the United States Geological Survey for four years. As a field scientist, she has logged countless hours working in a wide range of conditions from sub-zero temperatures in the plains of Northern Minnesota and the high-altitude regions of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, to record-breaking heat in the deserts of New Mexico. When she’s not working in the field, you can find her chasing her next thrill through rock climbing, mountaineering, camping, ice climbing, trail running, or practicing photography in the mountains. Lindsay recently accepted a position on the USA Ice Climbing Team and will be competing in the World Cup tour both nationally and internationally this winter.

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