(Photo/David Young)

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Shacket Review: The Shacket Trend Is Worth Trying

Just in time for those cool fall days, Mountain Hardwear’s Light Shacket is one versatile layer that offers lots of warmth, too.

What do you get when you combine a shirt and a jacket? A “shacket.” The StretchDown Light Shacket is the latest addition to Mountain Hardwear’s line of StretchDown jackets and pants. And if you’re familiar with the high-tech stretchy down fabric, then odds are you are going to be a fan of this new shacket.

For those who don’t know the brand’s StretchDown material, the Light Shacket is a great introduction point. Part jacket, part flannel shirt, part puffy coat, the Shacket is like wearing a warm blanket that stretches with you and also looks stylish. You can wear it open or closed, so it’s versatile too.

In short: From the coffee shop to the office to the trails to basecamp, this Shacket will keep you warm in style. If you are looking for more warmth than a flannel, and lots of versatility from fall into winter, check out the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Shacket.

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Shacket Review

MH shacket fall
(Photo/David Young)

Whether sipping a latte on the patio or a mug of whiskey by a fire in the woods, the StretchDown Light Shacket ($230) is ideal for any cool weather scenario.

Mountain Hardwear released the StretchDown Light Shacket this September as part of its fall 2022 line. The Shacket includes Mountain Hardwear’s exclusive interwoven stretch baffle construction and 700-fill RDS-certified down.

This means the Shacket will provide warmth down to around 20 degrees. The Shacket is a button-down — there are no zippers on this — which is different from other StretchDown items such as the pullover.

StretchDown Light Shacket Specs

  • Fabric: 20D Durable Stretch Doubleweave, 86% nylon, 14% elastane
  • Fill: 700-fill RDS-certified down
  • Weight: 15.2 oz. (size medium)
  • Hardware: Snap buttons, Velcro breast pocket closures
  • Pockets: 6 (2 chest, 2 hand pockets, 2 internal drop pockets)
Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Shacket Review - button down
(Photo/David Young)

The snaps do mean that cold air will seep through the material easier — it’s not airtight. The two hand pockets and cuffs also have snaps on them, making it versatile enough that on warmer fall days you can leave the Shacket unbuttoned and get a bit of ventilation while wearing it.

As a result, this is more of a casual layer as opposed to a technical piece of gear. It still offers the ideal balance of technical, stretchy warm down in a casual design, which makes it perfect for car camping trips, cool autumn hikes, and cold days around town.

If you are looking for technical hiking or climbing layers, check out our favorite down or synthetic jackets instead.

Hitting the Road With the StretchDown Shacket

MH shacket in fall
(Photo/David Young)

I tested out the StretchDown Light Shacket on a September day trip to Denver. Thanks to the ability to stuff the jacket into one of the buttoned pockets, it is easy to transport in a backpack or duffel.

I tossed the Light Shacket over a T-shirt and wore it unbuttoned as an additional layer. I got an XL that fit true to size. The engineered construction of the StretchDown moved seamlessly with my body while keeping me warm.

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Shacket Review - internal pockets
(Photo/David Young)

It reminded me of a Rumpl, a popular puffy blanket — if the blanket was designed as a shirt. The four pockets and stow drop pockets inside offer plenty of space to carry daily items such as keys and a sunglasses case.

Being a huge fan of flannel shirts in the fall and winter, I really loved the shacket because it has the feel of wearing flannel, but offers the protection and warmth of a down coat.

The square pattern of the interwoven stretch baffle down also gives a unique casual look to the Shacket, which is sure to turn some heads.

Who Is the StretchDown Light Shacket Intended For?

If you love the outdoors and don’t want to hole up by the fireplace when cold weather hits, then the StretchDown Light Shacket is for you. This is a versatile down shirt designed like a jacket that is easy to layer or throw in your pack. Mountain Hardwear had created an overbuilt layer that seamlessly combines a shirt and a jacket.

Whether you wear it over a T-shirt or thermal base layer, the Light Shacket adds cozy warmth to any fall or winter outfit. Any situation that you can wear, say, a flannel in — from waiting for the kids at the bus stop to backyard fire pit sessions — you can wear this Shacket.

Conclusion

Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Shacket Review - packed
Packing up the StretchDown Light Shacket. Our XL size was surprisingly packable; (photo/David Young)

By definition, the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Shacket is not quite a jacket and not exactly a shirt. It’s a versatile layer to throw on during the fall shoulder season months.

I wore the Shacket for fall walks around the neighborhood as the temperatures dropped into the low 50s. It’s easy to toss on over a T-shirt, and it keeps me warm and dry even in a light afternoon shower.

When I tested it out while walking through the woods, the Shacket fit right in. It works well as a layer of protection from the elements and added warmth.

The Shacket is now a fixture on my coat hook where I can easily toss it on for a quick trip to the mailbox, a backyard barbecue, or a fire pit session. The versatile Shacket works equally well for each activity while looking different from a traditional flannel or puffy jacket.

From quick trips to the corner coffee shop to hanging around basecamp, this Shacket will keep you warm in style.

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Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Pullover Review
A Shoulder Season Favorite: Mountain Hardwear StretchDown Light Pullover Review
One of the best parts of fall is getting to pull out all of those cozy hoodies and jackets as the air temps drop and the trees drop their leaves. One of our favorites is the Mountain Hardwear StretchDown pullover. Read more…

David Young
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David Young is a freelance writer based in Fort Collins, Colorado. He specializes in outdoor writing and has a degree in journalism and English. He has more than two decades of experience writing for daily newspapers and working in public relations. David enjoys all that Colorado has to offer from mountain biking and fly fishing to backcountry skiing and backpacking.