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October 2018

Viking Tested: Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Jacket

For a while I struggled with knowing what is the proper jacket to buy, I wanted a “one-jacket-for-everything” kind of deal. The truth is, when it comes to Canadian weather, there really isn’t one jacket that works for everything – but there are jackets that are extremely versatile. Sometimes a versatile jacket can be hard to find and that’s why I am introducing you to the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Down jacket. It can be used as an everyday wear, a mid layer or an outer shell. With its added down filling, this jacket is built for warmth, comfort, is tough on rain and is a great option for all weather types.

This innovative stretch down jacket was built to withstand the cold alpine wind and snow by adding 750 fill-power down Q. Shield insulation which provides water resistance to any light rains or sticky snow.

Q.Shield Down is a giant leap forward in down technology. The down fibers are infused with water resistant coating which helps maintain insulation during wet weather activity

Some of the specs include:

  • Weighing in at 1.1 lbs for light transportation
  • Insulated hood
  • Stretch knit fabric for comfort and easy movement
  • Decent size chest pocket for easy access
  • Large front pockets for hand warmth
  • Inside open face pockets for technology storage – protection from moisture
  • Q.Shield Down
  • Welded channels to capture more heat
  • Fits true to size

Personally, when choosing a jacket, it’s important for me to have a hood, waist hand pockets, media pocket and water-resistant materials. These may seem like very basic features, however, they are important for staying warm.

The first day I tested this jacket the weather was very unpredictable so I put on a light-weight fleece-lined hoodie underneath. As a result, I found myself very warm very and reducing layers! When we reached a higher elevation, I layered back up again. Even with high winds at the summit, I stayed warm while eating lunch and taking photos. I valued this the most as it is easy to stay warm while you’re hiking at an incline and your blood is pumping, but being at a standstill is the real question. How long can your core stay warm in negative temperatures, high elevation, and wind gusts while not really moving? We were at the summit for about an hour before our fingers started to get chilly, but this jacket still kept my core warm! Like I said at the beginning, there is no “one jacket for all conditions” but there are jackets that can be used over, under or solo – this is definitely one of them!

Whether you are extremists or an everyday urban walker, you need the right jacket to protect you from these harsh Canadian winters. A good jacket is something I would never compromise on as it can make or break any winter activity. Find a jacket that is comfortable, breathable and right for you! The knowledgeable staff at Valhalla Pure Outfitters fitted me in this amazing Mountain Hardwear StretchDown because they believed it was the right jacket for my lifestyle. I’m thrilled to say they couldn’t have found a better match for me! Let them help you find the jacket that is right for you and your lifestyle!

Available in store and online at

The Mountain Hardwear StetchDown Hooded Jacket is available for Women and Men:

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Mens CanadaMountain Hardwear StretchDown Womens Canada

Written and reviewed by:

Leah Szucki - Originally from Manitoba, she grew up with not much hiking to do! So when she moved to Alberta, and discovered that there are thousands of hikes, and things to explore throughout the Rocky Mountains she was instantly overwhelmed. Not knowing where to start, what to bring, what defines a scramble, WHAT ARE SWITCH BACKS?! She has since started a blog with all sorts of resources and stories for people just like her. Check it out at You can also follow her adventures on Instagram here: @leahtylerszucki

Photos provided by:

Brooke Willson @brookewillson

Hannah Purkis @88hannah88