Our take Shimmying up and down the coarse limestone of the Atlas Mountain Range in Morocco would destroy most puffies, but Mountain Hardwear’s revamped Stretchdown DS jacket escaped with barely a scratch. An updated DWR-repellant 20-denier nylon/elastane shell—the previous iteration was 100% knit polyester—upped the ante on the jacket’s durability, as proven when our tester jammed his forearms into crags scrambling around the canyons of Morocco. By keeping the offset, welded seams and 800-fill down, our tester called the jacket’s lightweight performance over time “better than any other puffy” thanks to no leaking down or snagged stitches.
The details Small details like a zippered chest pocket and a helmet-compatible hood scored extra points, but our testers singled out the close yet maneuverable fit for special praise. “The natural stretch of the nylon in the shoulder area and under the arms kept the down from compressing during reaches,” he says. Thanks to two separate layers of stretch nylon/elastane fabric interwoven at baffle points, he reported zero failure points on the shell.
Trail cred “On a late spring hike in Morocco, I got caught in a vicious rain and hail storm and had to huddle outside of a shepherd’s shack to wait it out next to a soaking wet donkey,” one tester says. “I didn’t have a shell—only this puffy—but I stayed completely dry and warm for hours down to the high teens, as did the 800-fill hydrophobic down.”
$275 (hooded); 1 lb 1 oz. (M’s small); M’s S-XXL, W’s XS-XL; https://www.mountainhardwear.com/superds/