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Review: Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Jacket

Tim Emmett wearing the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Jacket

The new Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Jacket and Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Hooded Jacket brings us a new baffle design, eye-catching colours and is stretchier than Mountain Hardwear’s other stretch pieces in this category.

The logo-free knit polyester 800-fill down jacket stands out in a crowd with its unique pattern of puffy pockets. It’s part of their new stretchy line of outerwear products.

Mountain Hardwear says: “The StretchDown DS (Dynamic Stretch) Jacket features groundbreaking stretch-welded channel construction that traps more warmth than standard stitching. So you get the most comfortable down jacket available anywhere, in a sweet and even stretchier new pattern.”

Fit and Warmth

It’s a little bulkier than the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, but that’s a bit of the trad-off when using such stretchy fabric and Nikwax Hydrophobic Down for insulation.

The hooded version weighs 539g, compared to other jackets in the 800 to 850-fill zone: Arcteryx Cerium LT is 305g, Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer is 220g, Mountain Hardwear Nitrous is 328g and The North Face L3 is 380g.

It’s good to -10°C if you’re standing around and colder if you’re on the move. It’s a form-fitting jacket, but you can add a light layer underneath in uber cold temps.

There hooded version has an adjustment-free hood that moves easily with your head and fits snug.

The DWR treatment makes it water-resistant. There’s no cinch closures on the wrists or hood [in the hooded version], so some air will sneak in during high winds.

It’s perfect for long alpine climbs, but can be a great layer at chilly sport crags.

Construction and Features

We’ve never seen a jacket constructed like this before. The baffle patterns are made with flat-fabric welds, which break it up into a funky looking jacket, all while keeping the down where it’s meant to be.

It’s one of the nicest looking down jackets in terms of simplicity and usability.

It’s called StretchDown because it’s very stretchy, you have to wear it to believe just how much. The lack of stitching allows it to move with you dynamically.

There’s a bungee at the waist to cinch it up and no pit zips. There are three exterior zipped pockets and two big internal pockets.

What are welded baffles: It’s a construction technique that fuses the inner and outer pieces of fabric together to create a baffle that holds the down using heat, chemicals, glue or all three.

Benefits of welded baffles: Since there are no holes in the outer fabric from sewing, the jacket is more wind impermeable and water resistant.

Some brands say benefits include: lower weight, longer life span and durability and more warmth retention.


This is a great jacket and recommended to anyone looking for a comfortable, durable and stylish puffy.

It lacks some of the fancy features on other jackets, but the simplicity of the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Jacket won us over.

The Mountain Hardwear StretchDown DS Hooded Jacket