A hooded jacket that finds that narrow balancing point between warmth, durability and weight. Perfect as a belay jacket for rock and ice climbing, a ski touring mid-layer or as an ultralight jacket to always have stuffed into a corner of your pack for when the mountains are a little chillier than anticipated.
I had the opportunity to test out the Ghost Whisperer Down Hooded Jacket on a number of cold mornings and evenings over the past few months. In all instances I was pleasantly surprised with just how quickly I warmed up once I put it on.
While this might be a common theme among most down jackets lets stop for a second and mention that the Ghost Whisperer Down Hooded Jacket only weighs 7.7oz’s (219g’s). For comparison, that’s about 44ml’s shy of a completely empty Nalgene Bottle.
To add to this, Mountain Hardwear has also used a special “Whisperer 7D x 10D Ripstop” face fabric that doesn’t give the impression that you need to baby it. On a recent Fall climbing trip in California I usually climbed at least the first pitch in the morning in the Ghost Whisperer jacket, jamming my hands up to my forearms in some cracks. Every time I let go of my hold to move upwards I expected to see a puff of feathers as I pulled my arm out of the crack. It never happened. I’m not saying it won’t happen eventually, but the durability I’ve experienced so far is as good, if not better than other, heavier, insulated jackets I use.
In my opinion, more than the fact that this jacket is Ultralight, the main benefit of this jacket is the balance it has achieved. It has enough durability to be functional, light enough to carry everywhere and warm enough to be of use as an insulated jacket when you need it.
Features and Benefits:
Additionally, unlike many other light down jackets, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Jacket uses Q.Shield Down which has been treated to resist losing its heat retaining loft when it gets wet. The features of this jacket have been paired down to provide you only with what you’ll need and expect to save on weight. The cuffs are elasticated to keep out drafts but aren’t adjustable. The hem has a single drawcord toggle to cinch it instead of the standard two. The hood is fitted to be snug around the face as it doesn’t have any drawcords to tighten it and there are two hand warming pockets at the sides, one of which can be used to stuff the jacket inside so you can clip it to a harness or store it in a backpack.
Overall I am very happy with this jacket. It’s front and centre of the layers I will be using when cold weather is expected.
Weight: It weighs 7.7oz’s (219g’s), which is about the same weight as 3 Clif Bars or a single cup of water. You get the idea, it’s really light.
Warmth: I felt noticeably warm as soon as I put this jacket on. It keeps out wind and does a great job of reflecting my bodies heat output back into my core.
Durability: The 7Dx10D face material is excellent. Resists snagging well and stood up to abrasion tests against coarse granite rock while climbing in it.
Features: All the features you need, the addition of a hood on this jacket is excellent also as many ultralight down jackets don’t feature them.
Fit: I imagine it can be incredibly difficult to design a jacket to fit a wide variety of body types. For myself personally I found this jacket a little baggy around the torso but a perfect fit around the chest, shoulders and arms.