Review: Mountain Hardwear Super DS StretchDown Hooded Jacket

 Ready for an adventure!  The Super DS StretchDown  out on a test run at Nymph Falls Park.

Ready for an adventure! The Super DS StretchDown out on a test run at Nymph Falls Park.

Bring on winter.

Those who know me, know that I run cold. When you are warm, I am cold. When you are too hot, I am just right:) As an outdoor athlete this means I am always searching for gear that will keep me warm and comfortable so that I can enjoy my adventures in all seasons. Enter the Mountain Hardwear Super DS (Dynamic Stretch) StretchDown Hooded Jacket…just in time for winter.

The seasons are changing here on Van Isle and although we are still above zero, the temperature has dropped and the rain and wind have arrived, providing me with a couple of weeks of cool, fall weather to test out this unique down jacket. This jacket has kept me warm while coaching my early morning ELM Bootcamp classes in the crisp fall air, during evening walks in my neighbourhood and while out exploring local trails in the grey drizzle. I am beyond impressed and stoked to share my thoughts on this new hooded version of Mountain Hardwear’s popular DS StretchDown Jacket, with you!

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Little pockets of heat inside this unique grid pattern.

The features that stand out the most for me so far are all related to comfort and function.

Warmth. This jacket is unbelievably warm for the weight (only one pound!) and size. I was able to wear this jacket with only a single, long sleeve base layer during my early morning coaching sessions, during which I can get quite cold as I am not actively participating in the workouts. With the temperature dropping to 4 or 5 degrees celsius in the early mornings, this jacket kept me toasty warm through my core and arms. During my walks and hikes I had to open up the jacket to let some cool air in! This is THE warmest down jacket I have ever worn. How do they make this light, RDS down jacket so warm? It is in the stitching. By using a unique grid stitching pattern, instead of the traditional long channel, this jacket is able to trap and hold more warmth. And it looks cool too. Gold star.

Weight & Size. Weighing in at just 454grams, and packing down to the size of a baby chihuahua lol, there is no reason not to pack this jacket on all of your back country adventures. Throw it in your pack and bring it with you as a back up layer. If things go sideways you will pretty much have a mini sleeping bag to keep you warm with this jacket!

Stretch. You can move without any restrictions in this Dynamic Stretch jacket. The other down jackets that I have owned have always been static- without stretch and I am completely sold on this Dynamic Stretch Knit fabric technology. Sure, you don’t need stretch capability for your city outings or neighbourhood walks. But this jacket is designed for performance in the outdoors - movement in nature. This jacket allows freedom of movement during outdoor adventures be it climbing, setting up camp, using poles while skiing or hiking or anything you need to do with your body. Very cool technology. Sold.

Beading & Water Resistance. I love that this down jacket also has water resistant properties! The stretch material beads water beautifully and I was very surprised and impressed to see this during a soggy adventure hike. Once I started researching the technology of the jacket, I also learned that the down fill itself is water repellent. Woah! They actually treat the down with a Nikwax product to make it repel water, which is an awesome idea. This means that down jackets and Vancouver Island winters finally mix! This technology really does give you the best of the best - the warmth of down, but without the risk of being trapped in a giant wet sponge when you get caught in the rain. Love.

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Water repellent = gold star.

In addition to these key qualities, the Super DS StretchDown Hooded Jacket also boasts some bonus features that make it even better.

  • Tailored women’s fit - flattering. As for sizing, I am 5’5” and wearing the women’s medium in these images. It is a bit roomy for my personal preference and I think that a small would be a closer fit for me. However the medium works well for layering and for those who like a looser fit. You can use their sizing charts to find the best fit for you.

  • Unique grid stitching pattern- looks cool;)

  • Large hood size- fits over an alpine climbing or mountain bike helmet

  • Zippered hand warmer pockets - good size

  • One zippered external pocket- fits a phone and has a tiny internal hole to pull your headphone wire through. Perfect for days you want to rock the tunes.

  • One internal pocket - wide and deep to fit snacks, maps or anything you want to keep close to you for easy access.

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Even those giant plus sized phones will fit in this pocket!

Can you tell I love this jacket? If you want to stay warm and be able to move without restriction on your cold weather adventures, then I am certain that you will love this jacket too!

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Super Stretch and Super Cozy - it’s like a sleeping bag for your upper body;)

It is honestly hard to come up with anything negative or any con’s to this jacket. The one thing that would make it better for me, personally, is a way to cinch the hood so it fits snug. The open hood allows wind to blow in and I like to be able to cinch myself in, mummy style.

This video demonstrates just how much movement is possible with the Super DS StretchDown technology. So cool!

Here are some specs and other tidbits for you:

Mountain Hardwear Super DS StretchDown Hooded Jacket Specs

Details

  • Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™ uses factory applied fluorocarbon free treatment which stops down from absorbing moisture so it maintains insulation

  • Warm, light, incredibly stretchy knit fabric is vastly more comfortable than conventional down jackets

  • Groundbreaking stretch-welded channel construction traps more warmth than standard stitching

  • Active Fit. Trim, close to body fit to maximize warmth retention

  • Zippered handwarmer pockets, and two easy-access interior drop pockets

  • Smart dual-sided hem adjustment

Materials

  • Fabric Body: Dynamic-Stretch Knit (100% Polyester)

  • Insulation: NIKWAX Hydrophobic Down™ 800-fill RDS Cert/Fluorine Free

  • Insulation: RDS Certified Down

Measurements

  • Center Back Length: 25 in / 64 cm

  • Fit: Active

  • Weight: 1 lb / 466 g

Check out the Mountain Hardwear Super DS StretchDown Hooded Jacket at Altitude Sports here!

About Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear was founded in 1993 by a small band of outdoor industry iconoclasts. They saw the industry changing, compromising quality and dumbing down products to serve less technical users. Mountain Hardwear was founded to buck this trend in order to stay true to the needs of outdoor athletes.

Over the last 20 years, our independence and willingness to do things differently has driven innovation in outdoor apparel and equipment. You’ll see more Mountain Hardwear expedition tents on 8,000 meter peaks than any other brand. From the first taped soft shell jacket to the first tent with 180° views, our products combine cutting edge materials technology with unconventional design solutions.

We create performance apparel and equipment to empower outdoor athletes to live boldly.
— Mountain Hardwear Mission

Connect with Mountain Hardwear

Shop Altitude Sports

Ready to get your own Mountain Hardwear Super DS StretchDown Jacket? Head on over to Altitude Sports where you will find this awesome jacket along with thousands of other outdoor products, at amazing prices.

Website: https://www.altitude-sports.com/

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Happy Trails, friends!

SS