Sierra Designs Super Stratus Jacket (Women’s) ReviewNovember 22, 2013
- Attractive cut
- Hood is helmet compatible or cinches tightly around head
- Well designed thumbholes
- Two outside pockets and three inside including one zippered stash pocket
- Good value for a decent performing down jacket
- Thin material against stomach
- Exposed wrists on reaches
- Feels tight under armpits
- Pocket zips too small and thin
If you’re looking for a fitted down jacket for mostly resort skiing that can stand alone or be paired under a storm shell for average winter temps, this is for you. It has an attractive, fitted silhouette and cool features, and 160 grams of down treated with hydrophobic finish.
The Sierra Designs Super Stratus Jacket is not as warm as the Montbell Frost Smoke Parka or the Patagonia Hi-loft Down Sweater. After about 10 minutes at 31 degrees, the material felt cold and thin against the Icebreaker wool baselayer I wore. The thin material in the pockets felt cold against my hands as well. The hood, however, felt warm and snug against my head. A fleece or wool layer would increase warmth.
The Super Stratus has an attractive, women’s-specific cut. It looked the most tailored on me and was roomy enough to layer underneath. It felt a little tight across my back and upper shoulders when raising my arms overhead and the neck zipped up tight so it might be hard to have a zip-neck baselayer and neck warmer on. My wrists were exposed when I reached my hands up until I used the thumbholes.
It packs about the same size as the Patagonia Hi-loft down sweater, though not as warm. All in the all, with the features it has, it’s fairly compressible.
Sierra Designs says the jacket weights 13.8 oz. With its stuff sack, I recorded 15 oz. The features add weight (compared to the bare bones Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, weighing in at 7 oz.), so this is not for the backcountry skier concerned with shedding ounces. It’s best for the resort skier who makes occasional forays out-of-bounds and yo-yos back in bounds.
The Super Stratus has some nice features, similar in variety to the Columbia Powerfly. Features include thumbholes with cool stretchy cuff binding, articulated hood, hand warmer pockets, an internal stash pocket and two interior dump pockets.
The Super Stratus (with the second lowest MSRP of the group) is a good value for resort-oriented down jacket. It has some added features that some of the other down jackets don’t have, but that said, it also weighs more.