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Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket down insulated jacket

Warm, cozy, one of my favorite pieces of gear.


  • Warm
  • Compressible
  • Lightweight


  • Wish it had a hood

I bought the women's Phantom Jacket last winter because I needed a beefier insulated jacket for my winter backpacking trips. I am always in search of items that are not only of excellent quality, but also don't unnecessarily compromise space or weight in my pack.

This jacket compresses very well, and is super light! That being said, it's amazingly warm. I have easily taken this jacket down to 0-degree temperatures, with a mid and base layer and been comfortable.  

While the collar on the jacket is pretty tall, and very soft on the inside, I do, however, wish this jacket had a hood. It seems to be difficult to find the same gear for women that is available for men. Often I can get away with men's cut clothing, but jackets are sometimes tricky because I have hips.  

At the time I bought the jacket, it came closest to the warmth-to-weight-to-compressibility ratio that I could get from Mountain Hardwear, and I ended up sacrificing the hood component. My understanding is they now offer jackets more similar, with a hood, which I may end up researching to add to my collection :)

I have not had any problems with the material of the jacket tearing, though I do not tend to be hiking when I'm wearing it (it would be way to warm!). I do however have one seam that started to come undone between one of the baffles.

Fun note: the jacket comes with its own stuff sack, which is sometimes useful. Also, the left pocket is a normal size, but the right pocket is HUGE. Runs almost the entire vertical chest length of the jacket. So if you need to carry anything longer (map, snacks, water?) you could easily fit it into that pocket. There is also a vertically zippered chest pocket.

I bought the Medium in the red (not sure the exact name of the color), and that color is gorgeous. Fit is perfect for me.  5'-8", 150 pounds, size 10 hips.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $150 =/- via prodeal

I purchased this jacket to wear around camp during winter hikes. although i have not worn it in single digit or sub zero temps yet, it has become my favorite insulated jacket. At 16oz. it is a few ounces heavier than other jackets on the market, but the additional features make up for the added weight. I chose it because the fabric was more durable than its ultra light competitors and has more features. it has a trim athletic fit so it is not bulky if worn under a shell or on its own around town, micro chamois fleece lined hand warmer pockets, micro chamois fleece around the inside collar, and adjustable velcro cuffs. the jacket comes with a stuff sack and compresses down to about the size of a nalgene bottle. it has convenient one handed hem and lower back draw cords that are easy to use with gloves, an inside zip pocket and a chest pocket. this is a really great jacket.

Fabric: superlight 15D ripstop nylon
Fill: 800
Price Paid: $225.00

If I had to do it over again I would not have purchased this jacket. Not because it's poor quality. It is well made and VERY light (I wouldn't dare put the jacket through rough hiking). That's what I wanted. A jacket to take backpacking in the colder months for warming up at camp, and that's it. I didn't need a jacket with reinforced this and that.

All is good except for the hem length! I'm six foot and I got a large. The hem is too short! The jacket barely goes past my waist. So whenever I bend over or sit down the jacket raises above my pant line. This, as you might guess, lets in cold drafts! This would be okay if I was wearing bibs, but I don't wear bibs backpacking, even in winter. If they had made the hem one inch or so longer it would be PERFECT!!!

Price Paid: $190

This is a great jacket. Got it right before a snow trip to the Sierras and it kept me warm as could be. I am 6' 190 lbs and the large was a perfect fit but this jacket is a little on the short side.

Wore it at rest at camp down to around 12 degrees with a thermal and a fleece and had to keep it unzipped to keep from being too hot and sweating and was still extremely warm with it unzipped. The jacket is very light and compresses very small.

I am a little worried as to how well the 15d shell will hold up as it seems quite thin. I will definitely avoid brush and campfires.

I wish this jacket had a water resistant shell for damp conditions but overall I am very pleased so far with this jacket.

Fabric: 15D Ripstop Nylon
Fill: 800 Fill Down
Price Paid: $169

Love this jacket. I work in a gear store in Kentucky and got this on pro-deal.  worn it to alpine trips in New Hampshire, cold weather camping, climbing (often too warm), belay jacket, biking around the city, and general town use.

An earlier review said that the shell wasn't water resistant but i beg to differ. i have worn this piece in light to medium rain and several snowstorms and have yet to have any water seep into the down fill.

Ultralight, super compressible, fully adjustable. i had no problem with hem length, i'm 6', 180 lbs, and wear a size medium. perfect for everything, no complaints. A-plus.

Price Paid: $90 on pro-deal

This morning is the first cold day for this winter...19 deg's and the wind is a steady 25 I dress using three layers. wow way too much.

This jacket is REALLY warm and totally wind proof. My morning walk is a three mile easy loop and after a mile I was wishing I had had only my base layer and the jacket.

The other reviews are dead on right. This is one great piece of equipt, plus I got it at a big discount.

Price Paid: $110 US

I bought this jacket for winter insulation. I have used this in Alaska snowshoeing in minus conditions and have been toasty warm. Great alone for camp warmth or as a midlayer under a shell. Light enough to carry as a back-up coat. Very, very light. Nice touches like the lined collar and pockets. well made. Excellent for most cold weather sports. I found it too warm above 40F.

Price Paid: $169

I love this jacket for a pillow and warmth. It fits reasonably well but is short on waist. It is very light and so far seems to hold up to light wear and is holding its loft. The pockets are awesome for warming hands and kept me warm in 0 degrees with little but t-shirt underneath hanging out.

Fabric: ripstop nylon
Fill: down
Price Paid: $125

Quite possibly the most perfect single piece of gear I own. Amazingly warm 800 fill down, superior compressability and lightness. MH has shaved off every square millimeter of extra physical size to give you an amazing alpine insulation layer.

Fabric: nylon exterior
Fill: 800 fl down
Price Paid: $157

Terrific jacket. Light, warm and incredibly jacket I've ever purchased.

Price Paid: $190

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Price MSRP: $260.00
Historic Range: $75.30-$400.00
Reviewers Paid: $110.00-$190.00
Weight 15.9 oz / 450 g
Center Back Length 28 in / 71 cm
Body Fabric 20D Nylon Rip
Insulation Piumino 800 fill
Price MSRP: $260.00
Historic Range: $0.01-$400.00
Reviewers Paid: $150.00
Weight 14.4 oz / 409 g
Center Back Length 26 in / 66 cm
Body Fabric Lunar Ripstop AXF™
Insulation 800-Fill Goose Down
Product Details from Mountain Hardwear »

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