The first noticeable feature in Mountain Hardwear’s latest down jacket is that it has done away with traditional baffles entirely. Instead of stitching, the StretchDown DS uses an array of welds to create the channels that hold its 800-fill down insulation in place. The advantages of this are twofold; baffle stitching is a recurring culprit for durability issues, and the new welds do exactly what they’re supposed to do — they stretch. I purposefully tried to flex the jacket to its limits, Hulk-style, and never actually reached them. That alone makes the StretchDown a great option for active use. (It also gives the jacket a unique visual appeal.)
The outer shell material of the StretchDown is an equally stretchy fabric made from polyester that isn’t waterproof but does have a solid DWR treatment. The polyester does have a slightly chalky feel to it, which, depending on your preferences and how picky you are, might be slightly off-putting. Two zippered hand pockets, an exterior zippered chest pocket and twin interior gear pockets allow for ample opportunities for essential gear stashing. Whether the jacket is put to use on a trail or sidewalk — it’s a solid choice for both.
Best of all, you can pick one up for a fraction of its full retail cost just in time for fall over at Mountain Steals. There are currently a host of sizes and colors available.
Weight: 1 pound 3 ounces
Fill Material: NIKWAX Hydrophobic Down
Fill Power: 800
Shell Material: Dynamic-Stretch knit polyester
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