A warm and light down puffy jacket that is excellently form-fitting. It does not pull and tug under the armpits like many other down garments. Excellent for days in the wild when it’s too cold to take off your puffy even when your moving.
So the main selling point with this new StretchDown RS Down jacket from Mountain Hardwear is that the fabric is stretchy and the seams between the down-filled baffles are closed using expanding welds instead of stitching.
The benefit to this type of construction is that you can easily move around in the jacket without it pinching or tugging uncomfortably, something that anyone who has worn a traditionally constructed down jacket will be aware of.
Usually I never wear a down jacket while doing anything in the mountains. While their warmth to weight ratio cannot be denied the vast majority of them have no stretch in the material. When I’d put them on, throw on a backpack and cinch down the waist and chest straps, I simply couldn’t comfortably move my arms around. The main culprit was always near the armpits, the stitching would dig in and pinch.
So I was pretty interested to see if the StretchDown technology from Mountain Hardwear would solve this issue. Long story short, it does!
Through a Canadian Rockies winter I exclusively used the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown RS jacket as my primary puffy jacket for hiking, ice climbing and ski touring. It worked wonders. There is just enough stretch in the material so that I never felt like the jacket was becoming too tight or loose in any areas. Awesome!
Added to this it is also filled with 750-fill Q.Shield Down (hydrophobic) insulation so on days when I was working hard and getting hot I never noticed the down losing its loft from sweating. Snow and sleet also rolled right off which was a bonus.
I personally tested the StretchDown RS jacket which will retail for somewhere around $280, but there will also be a slightly cheaper version that is a bit heavier that will retail for around $250.
Light: The StretchDown RS only weighs about 400g’s (14 ounces)
Weather Resistant: The face fabric, 15D Ghost Lite ripstop nylon, sheds most precipitation that winter will throw at it. The down insulation is also treated to be waterproof
Warm: The 750-fill down kept me warm while belaying at the bottom of an ice climb or transitioning into downhill mode for skiing.
Cost: Reasonably priced for the technology included in the jacket
No Hood: The jacket version has no hood included. Thankfully this item will also come in a Hoody version if you need it.
Buy It If:
You’re tired of having to layer up because it’s too cold and then layer down because you’re too uncomfortable. Apart from being cozy you will not even notice you are wearing this jacket while moving. Really innovative jacket and form fitting.
Website: Mountain Hardwear
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