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REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka Review

A versatile and high-performance winter jacket with plenty of warmth and weather protection at a great price
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REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka Review
Credit: Jason Wanlass
Price:  $299 List
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Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 28, 2024
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Warmth - 30% 6.0
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 8.5
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Versatility and Style - 10% 6.0
  • Construction Quality - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The perfect defining word for the REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka is balance. It earned our Best Buy Award for its appealing price and numerous design features that allow it to perform at a high level. It also packs a strategically mapped blend of 850-fill down and synthetic insulation. It's weather-resistant, reasonably durable, and warm enough for moderately cold weather. Comparatively, it's warmer and more rugged than a lightweight puffy jacket, but not as substantial as a full-scale parka, making it the perfect layer for day to day use, or for high energy activities like winter hiking or shoveling snow. Its most outstanding feature is its engineering, which gives this jacket many added features.
REASONS TO BUY
Warm
Reasonably priced
Waterproof
Fits most body types
Lightweight
Hybrid insulation
Durable
Breathable
REASONS TO AVOID
Not for severe cold
Lacks style
Less durable shell
Strange shape
Odd fit
The Stormhenge is one of our favorite jackets from this round of testing, and we think it offers great value. However, availability may be somewhat erratic in between the 23/24 and the 24/25 winter seasons. We will watch for the Stormhenge's update in Fall 2024 so that we can retest it and share our opinion.

Editor's Note: We recently tested the latest version of the Stormhenge and updated this review on February 28, 2024, with our findings.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards   Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $299 List
$110.83 at REI
$159.83 at REI$162.48 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$163.73 at REI$69 List
$69.97 at Amazon
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Bottom Line This jacket delivers warmth and weather resistance at a lower price than its competitorsExtreme cold weather protection with a relatively affordable price tagWith long-lasting down insulation, cozy construction, and a value price, the Fordham is a competitive all-around contenderA great daily grab-n-go jacket that is versatile enough to accommodate most winter activitiesAn affordable jacket that performs well enough and offers a surprising array of features
Rating Categories REI Co-op Stormheng... The North Face McMu... Marmot Fordham Patagonia Downdrift Wantdo Waterproof Snow
Warmth (30%)
6.0
9.0
7.5
7.0
5.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
8.5
7.5
7.5
7.5
7.0
Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.5
6.5
Versatility and Style (10%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.5
Construction Quality (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.5
6.0
Specs REI Co-op Stormheng... The North Face McMu... Marmot Fordham Patagonia Downdrift Wantdo Waterproof Snow
Shell Fabric HydroWall 2L DryVent 2L 100% recycled nylon NanoPro (100% post-consumer recycled polyester) 100% recycled nylon 100% polyester
Insulation and Fill Power 850-fill goose down, recycled polyester fibers 600-fill down 700-fill down treated with Down Defender 600-fill down Synthetic
Measured Interior Temperature 73.5 °F 79 °F 78.6 °F 76.9 °F 72.6 °F
Fill Weight Down: 180 grams, polyester: 80 grams Not specified Not specified Not specified Not specified
Removable Hood No No Yes Yes Yes
Hood Adjustments 2 side drawcords, 1 rear drawcord 2 side drawcords, 1 rear drawcord 2 side drawcords 1 rear drawcord 2 side drawcords
Pockets 2 zippered waist, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered interior media pocket, 2 stash drop-in 2 zippered chest, 2 top-entry Velcro flap, 2 zippers side-entry waist, 1 zippered interior media pocket 2 zippered handwarmer, 2 flap waist, 1 zippered internal media 4 non-zippered top-entry waist exterior, 1 zippered interior media 2 zippered waist, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered interior media
Weight 1.92 lb (2XL) 3.31 lb (XL) 3.24 lb (2XL) 2.53 lb (2XL) 3.29 lb (2XL)
2-Way Front Zipper Yes Yes No Yes No
Weather Resistant Features Cinchable hood and hem, water-resistant shell, spandex cuffs Faux fur lined hood, cinchable hood, DryVent waterproof membrane, adjustable cuffs Integrating hood flaps, cinchable hood and hem, adjustable fleece lined cuffs, rugged front zipper flap, water-resistant shell, Cinchable hood and hem, snap-closed hood, rugged front zipper flap, water-resistant shell, Water-resistant shell, cinchable hood and hem, adjustable straps, spandex interiior cuffs, powder skirt
Available Sizes XS - 3XL S - 3XL S - 2XL XS - 2XL S - 3XL
Social or Environmental Certifications Produced in a Fair Trade certified factory, contains recycled that meet the Bluesign criteria, Climate Neutral brand certified Non-PFC DWR finishes, 100% recycled waterfowl down insulation Shell is 100% post-consumer recycled polyester Shell made from NetPlus Nylon derived from 100% postconsumer recycled fishing nets and coated with PFC-free DWR finish, fabrics are Bluesign approved, 100% recycled duck and goose down insulation None specified

Our Analysis and Test Results

This extra-length parka uses hybrid insulation to keep you warm and is loaded with high-quality fabrics and design features that help it perform as well as more expensive options while being lighter and less expensive.

Performance Comparison



rei co-op stormhenge down hybrid parka - testing out the breathability of our stormhenge as we day hike...
Testing out the breathability of our Stormhenge as we day hike through the foothills of Utah.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Warmth


As its name suggests, the REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka is stuffed with a blend of synthetic insulation and 850-fill goose down. This combo insulation maintains its loft and provides decent warmth. It also packs the one-two punch of being lightweight (thanks to the down fill) and able to keep you warm even when wet (synthetic insulation). Although warm enough for most winter days, the Stormhenge certainly isn't the toastiest on our list, so during the coldest snaps, you'll want a little more warmth in the form of your favorite base layer or a thick sweater.


The Stormhenge hybrid insulation is much more than a simple mix of down and synthetic fill. When it comes to engineering their products, REI has a knack for details, and this jacket's insulation is strategically mapped for maximum performance. For example, the cuffs and lower part of the sleeves (more likely to get wet) are lined with synthetic insulation, which does a better job than down at retaining heat when wet. This insulation mapping process is applied throughout the jacket with the aim of keeping you drier and warmer. That said, the Stormhenge is certainly not our first choice for a polar expedition, but during our day-to-day testing, we did notice the benefits of this hybrid insulation concept.

Filtering water at a nearby stream. The Stormhenge's hybrid insulation is strategically mapped throughout. Lower sleeves and cuffs are stuffed with synthetic fill to prevent them from “wetting out” like down -- or losing their ability to insulate when wet.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

At first glance, we assumed the Stormhenge was not going to be the warmest jacket in our testing group, and our side-by-side warmth tests confirmed our assumptions. During our standing test, we stood for 20 minutes in 18°F nighttime temps. The Bluetooth thermometer near our chest maxed out at 73.5°F, which was on the lower end when compared to the rest of the heavier products we tested.



Our attire for the warmth test was normal street clothes, consisting of jeans, running shoes, and a long sleeve T-shirt. Although we stayed warm enough, our upper body was tense and noticeably chilled, with defined cold spots on our back and shoulders. Overall, we feel the Stormhenge does not insulate well enough for extreme cold (any temperature below 20°F), especially prolonged exposure with limited movement. However, its performance increased during more rigorous activities such as shoveling heavy snow, sledding, skating, or hiking.

Zipping up with our Bluetooth thermometer to find out just how warm this coat is.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Also worth noting is this jacket's breathable fabrics. During our warmth test, its interior maintained 23.8% humidity, which is one of the lower readings of the bunch. It shows this jacket allows sweat to escape more effectively, keeping you drier and warmer and decreasing the chances of chilling.

Strategically placed hand-warmer pockets sit lower on the jacket in order to remain accessible even when wearing a hip belt.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

The hood is roomy enough to keep the entire head warm and fit a beanie underneath. Since it is helmet-compatible, it runs a little large and requires a bit of cinching in order to stay in place. We appreciated the Stormhenge's more detailed features, including fleece-lined hand warmer pockets, an insulated neck rib, and even a separate insulated shoulder baffle, similar to those found in sleeping bags. This baffle is quite unique and helps prevent warm air inside the coat from escaping.

This jacket has a large insulated collar AND an additional insulated shoulder baffle. Combined, the work in unison to trap warm air around the neck, shoulder and upper chest.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Another impressive but often forgotten feature is an adjustable hem. The Stormhenge has a great one that is effective and easy to use. Two exterior drawstrings allow the hem to be cinched tightly around the waist. This reduces airflow and keeps warmer air trapped against the body's core.

Showing off our adjustable hem. It quickly cinches closed and goes a long way toward reducing air flow through the largest opening of the jacket.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Weather Resistance


Parkas are relied upon to provide all the weather resistance needed during brutal winter storms that can be windy, snowy, and wet. The Stormhenge uses a proprietary waterproof and breathable nylon shell that does an excellent job at keeping water out, earning it top marks for weather resistance.


Down insulation is warm, light, and very packable, but it can lose its loft and warmth when wet, which again, makes this jacket's hybrid insulation desirable. During our water tests, we exposed the Stormhendge to more moisture than we probably should have by standing under a pouring shower head for nearly 3 minutes. To our surprise, this jacket showed more water resistance than any jacket we examined in our latest round of testing. The outer shell and hood completely rejected even the smallest drop of water, and the front zipper was entirely waterproof.

Gold medal performance. Not a drop of water absorbed into our jacket during a three minute deluge.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Coincidentally, we were lucky enough to conduct our wind tests on a windy day in January, when wind speeds reached 30 mph. While standing in the cold, we were impressed at the ability of the Stormhenge to effectively block the wind. This jacket's tight-fitting elastic inner cuffs, drawstring hem and hood, and a reverse-stitched (and seam taped) nylon shell worked in unison to keep the wind in its place. During the tests, we didn't notice any air leaks; however, the Stormhenge is simply thinner than heavy-duty parkas, so it definitely would have its limits in the worst wind storms. For this reason, we held back on giving it our best scores for this metric.

Making good use of a Utah winter storm -- yes, it was as miserable as it looks.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Comfort


The Stormhenge is a moderately comfortable jacket to wear. The thin inner lining fabric is made of nylon, which gives the garment a technical feel, and the insulated neck rib is cozy. We also like the stretchy wrist gaiters and fleece-lined handwarmer pockets.


The Stormhenge is lightweight and rests effortlessly on the body. In fact, sometimes we didn't feel we were wearing a winter jacket at all. It's roomy, which allows for turns and twists, and the interior lining feels silky and inviting, like a down sleeping bag. This jacket's roominess nicely accommodates several additional layers without feeling cramped. Its collar and hood are comfortable, and the sleeves are long and wide enough that they don't catch under the armpits or crawl up the wrists when extending the arms overhead.

Adjusting tire pressure following a cold snap. We tried to test this...
Adjusting tire pressure following a cold snap. We tried to test this jacket in as many real life settings as we could find.
Playing a game of Twister with stream bank boulders. Despite being a...
Playing a game of Twister with stream bank boulders. Despite being a bit over-sized, this jacket was easy to reach, bend, and twist in.
This jacket is oddly shaped and tends to run large, but this never impeded our ability to move.

The one consistent complaint we received from testers centered on this jacket's odd shape — it's somewhat wide and boxy. The result is a garment that doesn't always match the contours of the human body. While this is a common fit pattern for winter jackets, the dimensions of the Stormhenge are noticeably exaggerated through the midsection, giving it a flared, pear-shaped fit. We didn't like the feel of how this jacket loosely draped over our bodies, and when sitting down, the excess fabric bunched up around our stomach and chest. That said, this more generous cut allows the jacket to accommodate a large variety of body types. It just doesn't look very tailored on thinner frames.

Sitting was the only thing we didn't like to do while wearing this jacket. Excess fabric liked to bunch up around our mid-section and made us feel like Jolly Old Saint Nick.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Versatility and Style


The Stormhenge Parka has an unremarkable style due to its boxy, straight cut. Sometimes, loose-fitting garments can be stylish, but they have to be overtly urban-focused. This jacket looks more like a technical piece, with puffy insulation and a waterproof shell, but its flared cut is more reminiscent of a rain poncho. The result is a garment whose style doesn't perfectly fit into any situation.


However, some users will like an understated style. This jacket blends in with the crowd and probably won't win any fashion contests, but it won't lose either. If you're looking for a coat that you can wear in a wide variety of situations, or if you don't want to take any fashion risks, this is a good option.

Although comfortable, we didn't like the flared shape of this jacket.
Although comfortable, we didn't like the flared shape of this jacket.
We did like the extra coattail in the back, which hung down over the...
We did like the extra coattail in the back, which hung down over the hips and butt.
It misses the boat when it comes to form-fitting or super trendy, but we still liked the overall look and feel.

Construction Quality


We had no serious problems with durability during our testing period for the Stormhenge. The nylon outer shell is thick enough to brush up against abrasive objects without being torn, and the rest of the jacket is well-made. REI holds its products to a higher standard, so we weren't overly worried about the quality of this jacket. Our tests backed up these assumptions. We didn't offer the Stormhenge our highest marks simply because it's designed to be a lightweight jacket, so it just doesn't have the same clout as the more substantial parkas in our lineup. We test our products side by side, so by default, we couldn't offer it our top scores.


The Stormhendge has great zippers. We tested them all. The larger main zipper and the smaller pocket zippers are made from quality plastic and are built to withstand years of use. We rarely had a snag, and each zipper is reinforced and protected so that it's reasonably waterproof. We had no problem keeping our phone or wallet safe and dry on rainy days.

rei co-op stormhenge down hybrid parka - storing our wallet in the interior pocket before things got serious...
Storing our wallet in the interior pocket before things got serious at the car wash. All of the zippers on this coat are top-notch and reasonably waterproof.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

The entire exterior of the Stormhenge is reverse stitched and all seams are taped and sealed (like the seams of a tent). The result is a smoother shell with greater resistance to tearing, snagging, leaking, or popping a seam. The shell is also laminated with REI's HydroWall 2L membrane, which allows it to be waterproof but breathable. All said, the Stormhenge's shell is lightweight, durable, and built to do battle with serious weather. At its core, it's an outdoors jacket — made for hiking or snowshoeing through the forest — so it simply performs at a higher level. With these kinds of credentials, the Stormhendge can certainly provide you more basic winter protection as you run the daily hamster wheel.

Staying warm and dry as we do normal stuff, like spraying off the road salt on a cold winter afternoon. We love the versatility of this jacket -- one day we're wearing it to run errands, the next day we're taking a winter hike.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

When we compared it against jackets of similar weight and design, we felt the Stormhenge had a little more brawn. That said, it's designed to be a lightweight parka, so its thinner fabrics could break down over time. Both the shell and the liner are made from durable nylon and performed rather well during our snag tests. We also noticed this jacket's top-notch stitching. We counted 12 stitches per linear inch along every seam. This stitch pattern is on par with other high-quality jackets.

Using a paper clip to test shell and liner fabrics and count stitches.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Should You Buy the REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka?


The REI Co-op Stormhenge Down Hybrid Parka offers outstanding weather resistance, but its lightweight design produces only average warmth. It's expertly engineered, offering the design features of high-end jackets, but at a much more attractive price. If you're looking for a very solid jacket that will keep you comfortable down to about 25°F, this jacket is an excellent option. Likewise, if you want a multipurpose winter coat engineered for outdoor recreation, but basic enough for routine daily use, the Stormhenge is a very reasonable option — unless you prefer a sporty slim fit.

Packing things up. This jacket is relatively lightweight and compressible enough to easily fit into a backpack, duffel, or piece of luggage.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?


The Stormhenge Parka performs well across the board, often swinging well above its weight. However, it is not the most stylish or the warmest. If both of those characteristics are important to you, you may have better luck with the The North Face McMurdo Down Parka. If you're on a super tight budget, check out the Wantdo Waterproof Snow Jacket - Men's. It offers the same versatility as the Stormhenge at a fraction of the cost. However, it ranks lower in construction quality. Another affordable option is the Tommy Hilfiger Men's Hooded Puffer Jacket — just know it doesn't offer the same amount of weather resistance and warmth.

rei co-op stormhenge down hybrid parka - enjoying the sun on a chilly winter's day.
Enjoying the sun on a chilly winter's day.
Credit: Jason Wanlass

Jason Wanlass