Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer

Cost: $320  

Product description: The world’s lightest full-featured down jacket. The sub-eight-ounce Ghost Whisperer Down can be compressed into its own pocket for easy storage. It’s been designed with the essentials in mind: Q.Shield™ DOWN 800-fill insulation resists moisture and maintains warmth, stealth elastane binding inside cuffs seals out moisture, toggle hem adjusts easily.

Product specifications: 

  • Q.Shield® DOWN resists heat-robbing moisture and retains maximum loft even when wet
  • Low profile quilt pattern to create heat trapping down channels for extra warmth
  • Lightweight warmth makes it incredible for layering
  • Single interior toggle hem for easy adjustment on the fly
  • Soft, “Butter Jersey” cuffs have elastic binding to seal off cold and moisture
  • Zips into its own pocket for compact storage
  • Built-in secure loop for carabiner attachment to harness when stuffed
  • Stowable in pocket
  • Imported
  • Fabric Body: Whisperer 7D x 10D Ripstop
  • Body Fabric Content: 100% Nylon
  • Insulation: 75 g. Q.Shield™ Down 800-Fill
  • Center Back Length: 28 in / 71 cm
  • Apparel Fit: Active
  • Weight: 7 oz. / 197 g.

Bob's impressions: I don't want to sound like a shill, but I'm crazy about this jacket. My two most important criteria in buying a jacket of this type were that it needed to be very light and quite warm - and that's exactly what I got with the Ghost Whisperer (along with a name that's too long and a bit pretentious, but those are things I can live with). It's expensive, it has to be said, and I will admit that I got mine on sale. But I can honestly say this is a jacket for which I would pay full price - which, I know, is easy to say when I didn't have to. I even really like the color (I have the one pictured above).

I was a bit worried at the start that the very thin material might tear at the slightest mishap. But it's held up quite well after several excursions. I do try to be careful with it, and I don't wear it while hiking (worried about what the pack might do to it). But it handles the knocks around camp nicely so far. I also like the fact that, for that light weight, I didn't have to sacrifice things like zippered hand pockets with internal waist tensioners and a stowaway pocket. Keep in mind that the weight cited here is for the non-hooded model. In colder conditions I wear a beanie, and my shell is hooded for those occasions when the sky begins to fall.

Bottom line: this is an excellent piece of gear that is, in my opinion, worth the scratch. But if you can get it on sale, well then, that's just a no-brainer.

Italics indicate manufacturer's remarks and details.