2017 Apparel Guide: Timeless and Trending Puffies

It can be hard to keep up with the latest outerwear trends. From fit to functionality, puffies, baselayers and hardshells undergo small design tweaks every year and we are here to help you parse out the gear that best fits your backcountry needs.

For our 2017 Apparel Guide, we focus on the timeless and the trending. These are classics that we know and love, alongside the best in new materials, styles and tech. For our next installment of the Apparel Guide online, we introduce puffies, some with new tech, others with a cozy familiarity.




Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Hooded

$290 – mountainhardwear.com


Mountain Hardwear takes a new approach to puffies with their StretchDown technology, prioritizing range of motion alongside warmth with their stretch-welded channel construction. In layman’s terms, that means Mountain Hardwear employs an inner and outer stretch fabric—as opposed to most puffies’ less elastic, ripstop materials—for a more forgiving and comfortable coat.

The proprietary polyester material is then welded into compartments. By ditching the stitches, Mountain Hardwear aims to increase the coat’s warmth (stitching creates holes in a jacket, after all), and the welding accommodates more flex than do traditional stitches. Those compartments are filled with Q.Shield Down, Mountain Hardwear’s name for fibers that are treated to be water-repellent and retain loft even after exposure to the elements. 

As a result, say goodbye to Michelin-man fit. The StretchDown is form-fitted without feeling skintight, and between the fabric and the welded seams, it accommodates everything from pole plants to après dance moves. Plus, the two front pockets are roomy enough to hold skins and a PB&J, and a chest pocket stores the inevitable odds and ends.

Bottom Line: The StretchDown Jacket is warm and comfortable and is revolutionizing the world of puffies.

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