Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Plus Hooded Review

So my duck, is it curdling? So you want a warm down that won’t prevent you from flapping your wings as soon as your instinct tells you to migrate to the mountains? It is in this spirit that I opted for the StretchDown Plus Hooded Jacket from Mountain Hardwear with its dynamic fabric.

After a winter spent in different situations, here is my opinion.

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Plus Review

Mountain hardwear Stretchdown plus Hooded Jacket

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Technical Specifications:

  • Material: polyester
  • Filling: Q.Shield® Down 750-fill duck down
  • Weight: 607 g (in size M)
  • Number of pockets: 5 (3 exteriors, 2 interiors)
  • Hood: yes (exists non-hooded but not in a “plus” version)
  • Tightening: cord at the bottom of the jacket


  • Comfort and well-being inside
  • Excellent warmth provided
  • Beautiful blue color
  • Not having to fear drops and flakes
  • Versatile design


  • The absence of thumbhole cuffs
  • No compression bag
  • No tightening for the hood

Heat and Insulation

The first of the criteria normally is the thermal power of the down jacket. Even if it is not the warmest from Mountain Hardwear like the Nilas Men's or the Absolute Zero, the StretchDown Plus provides all the warmth you need to be comfortable.

The down jacket is broken down into several bonded “sausage” compartments to better retain heat compared to the seams and thus limit thermal bridges.

Mountain hardwear Stretchdown plus Review

Depending on the dynamism of the activity, it is ideal for temperatures between -5° and 10°C. Just to be precise, here are various felt experiences:


  • With just a 1st “D4” layer (with the fatigue of the day… and the evening… …) = comfort up to 5°C
  • + A monkey fleece = comfort down to 0°C
  • + A monkey fleece + a ghost whisperer micro down jacket = comfort down to -10°C


  • With just a warm technical 1st layer = comfort at 5°C
  • + A monkey fleece = comfort down to -5°C
  • At worst, I still have my Millet Elevation Airloft at the bottom of the bag and the combination is truly impressive! And obviously, in dynamics, we will shamelessly access negative temperatures.

Overall, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Plus down jacket insulates well from the wind and light rain. The hood is then very appreciated and keeps you warm. The polyester fabric is water repellent. To ensure excellent insulation, Mountain Hardwear treats its downs with its Q-Shield water-repellent technology. This feature ensures robust insulation even when the jacket is wet, maintaining its loft and providing excellent insulation by repelling moisture to the outside. This helps the jacket stay dry and retain its full heating power.

When the weather really gets bad or when the environment is rougher, I don’t take any risks, I put on a gore-tex type hardshell jacket over it, just to perfectly protect me.

To Wear and Use

Here we touch on the big highlight of the down jacket! The Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Plus is super comfortable to wear! As the down jacket is made of stretch polyester, which seems to be very resistant to abrasion, the fabric stretches according to the movements and it hardly moves.

Its fitted cut snugly embraces the body, extending to mid-buttocks, making it ideal for keeping the lower back warm even in situations where extra coverage is desired. And a cord allows you to tighten the bottom of the down jacket.

Mountain hardwear Stretchdown plus Review 2

The light blue nylon interior fabric is absolutely delicious to touch! Whether it is for the pockets or the hood, the impression of caressing silk is sensational! Concerning the hood, no problem was noticed. It perfectly encompasses the head without suffocating it and leaving enough space to turn it. Thanks to the stretch, you can even wear a helmet. A cotton edge defines the outline, including the end of the sleeves, and the chin is well-protected by a fabric piece at the end of the zipper. This design ensures there is no risk of the skin on the neck getting caught or irritated.

Regarding the small details, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Plus jacket has many pockets: on the outside, 2 large for the hands and a small pectoral (zipped), and 2 very deep inside to put gloves, hat, wallet... All the edges exposed to friction (cuffs, hood, central zipper, chin) are reinforced and protected so you don't feel anything. Even if the cuffs are tight, I would have appreciated small thumbhole cuffs, especially since the fabric is stretchy.

Another small regret: I was used to compressing my ghost whisperer in my own pocket. Here it is not and there is no bag to carry it. At the same time, I quibble there because the down jacket has a suitable compressibility. And in our time, it is unfortunately not the plastic bags that are missing…

For What Type of Use?

The Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Plus hooded down jacket is a warm jacket with stretchy fabric. It is therefore especially designed for the practice of winter sports where the arms need freedom of movement, such as on snowshoes (skiing and mountaineering if not too dynamic or in very cold weather).

And since who can do more can do less, I use the StretchDown Plus down jacket just as much statically, especially at the top of a ski touring race and possibly on the way down. Even if I prefer an all-terrain hardshell at this time.

Tips: Over the seasons, the insulation loses performance. To maintain your down jacket, you can clean it by reinforcing the waterproofness with a hydrophobic treatment of the feathers with specific Nikwax products. Outdoor clothes are expensive, so it is a good idea to extend their lifespan!

The Verdict

Because of its versatility and comfort, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Plus Hooded Jacket has become my go-to winter down jacket. I take it with me on my mountain outings just as I wear it in town in very cold weather. Thanks to this technology, it retains very good thermal insulation even when exposed to humidity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the jacket suitable for everyday wear around town?

This jacket is specifically designed for outdoor enthusiasts engaged in climbing, backpacking, and similar activities. If you're looking for a jacket for casual urban use, other brands like Columbia or Patagonia may offer more budget-friendly options.

What is the purpose of the large hood?

The oversized hood is intentionally designed to accommodate a helmet, making it suitable for climbing and backpacking activities. While some users find it humorously large for everyday use, it serves its purpose for outdoor enthusiasts.

How does the jacket fit, and what is the sizing like?

The jacket has a slim fit but offers nice stretch. Some users find it more slim-fitting compared to other brands. The unique non-standard pattern provides a distinctive matte look without the shiny appearance of some competitors.

How does the jacket perform in windy conditions?

The jacket features an adjustable drawcord around the waist to keep out drafts, enhancing its performance in windy conditions. It can provide a cozy and wind-resistant experience.

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