Sierra Designs has been a Gearflogger fave for years. Our first experience with DriDown was their Gnar Lite jacket, which has been first in rotation when Fall weather hits. Now the choice is tougher with the new Super Stratus DriDown jacket, SD's warmest backcountry piece. DriDown, in case you've been on a desert island, is a treated down that resists moisture longer, dries faster and insulates better when damp. And oh yeah does it work as advertised.
The SS is basically is the Gnar Lite on steroids, but in a good way (don't do drugs kids!). The SS runs true to size and has a more generous cut, more poofy-goodness 800 fill DriDown, and a drop hood. The single-cinch-cord hood is fully helmet compatible, even with the higher volume models out there – yeah, I'm looking at you Petzl Meteor.
The hem has adjustable cords in each pocket and has a longer drop as well, which combined with the two-way zipper makes the Super Stratus a killer belay parka. The sleeves have a little extra length and elastic cuffs with thumb-holes that are helpful in belay-slave mode too, providing a little extra warmth over your hands while you wait for Hangdog Harold to GTFO the rope.
Pockets are standard: inside zipped chest with cord port and two exterior zipped hand warmer pockets. On the inside are also two big open dump pockets with a a little secret: a fabric loop that you can use to clip hats and gloves and stuff in if you're really worried about losing it. If you're looking for an over-jacket for belay duty or any cold weather application, the Super Stratus is a fantastic jacket at a great price.