The versatility of synthetic puffy jackets can’t be understated. 90% of the time, it’s my go-to choice for just about everything in the winter. With the latest Mountain Hardwear Kor Strata Hoody, you get a durable outer shell with lightweight Primaloft Gold Active insulation. In short: it’s a keeper.
Mountain Hardwear Kor Strata Hooded Jacket Features:
- Mechanical stretch nylon ripstop shell with DWR
- Primaloft® Gold Active insulation (60g weight)
- Articulated fit with seamless underarm gusset
- Two hand pockets and single chest pocket
- One-handed toggle to adjust hem
- Form-fitting hood
- Streamlined, alpine fit
- Weight: 355 grams (men’s medium)
- MSRP: $220
Find the Kor Strata while it’s hot (err… cold)
The formula is pretty straightforward here. A quality nylon ripstop outer shell with Primaloft Gold Active insulation — all wrapped in a stretchy, comfortable package that can be worn all day, everyday in cold weather. As opposed to natural insulation of yesteryear, this stuff is durable, warm and breathable.
While the Kor Strata Hoody isn’t technically a running jacket, I didn’t shy away from testing it at that level of performance. So, aside from the usual dog walking and winter hikes, I hit the trails with the Kor Strata Hoody to test its performance limits. But first, let’s talk fit and function.
Mountain Hardwear calls this an “alpine fit” which means that it’s fairly streamlined. Honestly, it’s how a jacket like this should fit. It shouldn’t be baggy anywhere, but it also shouldn’t be restrictive. They have done a great job of balancing all those needs and the size medium sits perfectly in every way on my 5’11” and 170 lb body. The only exception (and this is common) is the sleeve length. For added coverage, I’d love to see another inch on these to stay put better with winter gloves. The simple cuffs are great overall and would work better with the aforementioned extra sleeve length.
As far as cinching down the hem for added protection, it’s as simple as a one-handed pull with the embedded toggle. It’s a breeze. The two front hand pockets are oversized and awesome. For backcountry touring, I can stash my skins in there — just barely. The right pocket does double as a stuff sack should you wish to make packing it away in a backpack even easier. The chest pocket is nice and can be used to haul your phone — even while running. Your phone will settle a little below the ribcage, which isn’t the most comfortable thing, but it works if needed.
Most of all, the articulated fit shines with the Kor Strata Hoody. Once you put it on, it just feels like home. Additionally, for running or snowshoeing, etc. it moves with you and never gets in the way.
I prefer hooded jackets — I’m from Seattle and a hood is the only way to go — and this hood is just about as perfect as you could want. When zipped, the collar sits just below the chin and stays out of the way. With a streamlined fit, the hood does a great job of moving with your head, but extreme movements to either side will result in blocked peripheral vision — nothing too crazy though. Because it is so streamlined, you do have to unzip the jacket slightly to get the hood on. This is good, actually because it ensures that the hood doesn’t blow off your head when the gale’s of November come blowing.
Speaking of wind, this jacket is really outstanding at blocking the wind. Again, it’s no hardshell, so it is somewhat air permeable, but it’s so minimal you’d be hard-pressed to notice. I find it a touch warmer than the comparable Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket. The outer shell is more durable and features better water resistance (DWR treatment) than the Nano Puff as well.
Now, back to performance. Again, I took this out for several cold weather trail runs over the past couple of months and while it’s not optimized for running, it does a great job. Primaloft Active insulation helps maintain temperature and breathability — even when pushing hard. I found it to be warm and cozy without overheating in temperatures from 20-35 degrees. And, more mellow activities, like walking the dog at night, the Kor Strata Hoody keeps me warm into the 20’s just fine. It’s my go-to for nightly dog duties.
These days, just about everything in the outdoor industry is in short supply — especially if it’s good. With the Mountain Hardwear Kor Strata Hoody, you’ll have to keep that in mind. They do offer it in a jacket, pullover and vest, but get it while it’s hot.
- Primaloft Gold Active insulation performs quite well
- Remains stink-free after repeated uses
- Outer shell is durable and water-resistant
- Overall fit is awesome as outer or mid layer
- Attached hood is streamlined and efficient
- Sleeves could be longer
- Product availability is getting thin
The Bottom Line: Mountain Hardwear Kor Strata Hooded Jacket
The Kor Strata Hoody is a killer do-it-all option for all things cold weather. As a daily driver, it’s easy to live with and it also is quite capable when pushed to the limits. If you venture out in the cold to go hiking, snowshoeing or even running, the Kor Strata is a great choice. It feels lightweight and moves with you while maintaining excellent warmth and breathability.
Buy Now: Available from Moosejaw.com