Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Down Jacket
This amazingly light jacket has the ability to insulate…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $255
This amazingly light jacket has the ability to insulate in very low temperatures, and packs down into it's own pocket. It's easy to stash in any sized pack to have it there just in case, which makes it my new 'can't live without it' piece of gear.
- Ultra light
- Very warm
- Very packable
- Not very water resistant
I bought this jacket on sale on Black Friday for about $70 off and I love it. It's my new 'can't live without it' piece of gear. It is so light and warm that it makes you feel like you are enveloped in a warm cloud minutes after putting it on.
It fits me wonderfully, and the arms aren't too long. (However, I am 5'1", so this means that some of you longer armed ladies might be unhappy with the length. I would recommend trying it on if you can before purchase.)
It is very comfortable as a puffy, as well as a mid layer underneath a shell. You hardly notice it is there, other than the warmth it provides. In the effort to cut it down to around 7oz (?!), Mountain Hardwear elected to remove any adjustability in the sleeves, waist, and hood. The sleeves and waist did not bother me, but I do sometimes wish the hood could cinch up tighter on windy days. The hood does not fit over a helmet for skiing.
The jacket does have a DWR coating, but it won't resist any more than a light drizzle. It's forte is either cold, clear days, or being worn under a shell. My favorite combo is the GW with a water resistant soft-shell. You don't even feel like you're wearing a mid layer — very comfortable and very warm. It breathes well, even without pit zips but you definitely want a wicking layer underneath if you are doing any sort of strenuous activity.
Heat is well managed by zipping and unzipping the front, and zipping it back up as soon as you stop — before you start cooling down — keeps you nice and toasty. It's also great to sleep in if you are a cold sleeper, or trying to add a few extra degrees to your sleep system. It doesn't feel restricting, even in a sleeping bag.
I have been wearing this like crazy this winter, both on the trails and around town, and it looks like new. However, I would recommend care when squeezing through granite passages or other sharp or rough surfaces. Some durability has been sacrificed for weight.
The two pockets are nice and roomy, fitting gloves or keys or whatever else you normally put in a pocket. I also have yet to experience a caught zipper. The coat does pack into its own pocket, but it does take a lot of shoving to get it in there. I normally prefer the "shove it in the bottom of your day pack" method. It's just easier.
I have only had this jacket for 2 months, so I can't comment on long term durability, but up to this point it almost looks new and I couldn't be happier with this little powerhouse of a puffy.
Surprisingly warm. I am 5'10" 185 lbs. 42 chest; 33…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $230
- Tight fitting hood
- Fragile fabric
I am 5'10" 185 lbs. 42 chest; 33 arms; 34 waist; 16.5 neck . I bought a Large. I can fit this over layers (shirts, sweatshirts, midweights), but it also fits under my shells (Arc Beta AR in M and Marmot Pro Tour in L).
I bought a Patagonia Ultralight Hoody and this at the same time as they were both on sale. Luckily I live in the country with no neighbors because I probably looked pretty goofy going out and doing walking laps in my yard alternating between the two to see which I liked better.
My conclusion was that the Ghost Whisperer was better. The temps were about 0-5°F with a light wind and the hood with elastic stays tighter around your head and keeps you warmer. I also felt less air seep through the stitching. I think the Patagonia is better looking and the hood is better looking just as OutdoorGearLab stated. The Pat is the better coat for around town, but the Whisperer is more effective.
The material is light and fragile so I will almost always have it under a shell.