Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Lite Jacket uses the same shell fabric as the renowned Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket, and is one of the lightest minimalist running shells available. It’s wind and water resistant qualities outperformed many jackets in its category, making it an ideal cold weather or emergency shell for gram-counting athletes.
Weather-shedding Mountain Hardwear’s 15D Ripstop Z-Grav fabric is incredibly wind and water resistant—moisture beads on the surface even after prolonged exposure. Like many other jackets in this test, the Ghost Lite let water in at each of the non-taped seams starting at the third minute of our shower test. While perhaps not your jacket for a heavy downpour, the Ghost Lite is sufficient for light precipitation.
Breathability The Ghost Lite’s minimalist design features no vents. The body fabric is paper-thin and allows air to pass through, while sealing out moisture (except at the seams). Because the Ghost Lite had such water and wind resistant fabric, our testers concluded it would be most appropriate in colder settings, such as an emergency shell for alpine running.
Function A lightweight yet effective hood storage system gives the Ghost Lite an advantage over other jackets in this category. Behind the neck a sewn loop held with Velcro is tucked in a small pocket. With the hood rolled toward the neck, the Velcro loop secures it in place using the hanger loop. The Ghost Lite also features a waist toggle to prevent updrafts within the jacket. Simply tugging on the draw cord cinches the rear of the jacket, leaving the front of the waist fabric flat.
Fit/Comfort The Ghost Lite fits true to size on our size medium male tester. The arms of the jacket provide adequate length to accommodate a wide range of motion. The hood of the jacket is elasticized on the fabric’s edge. Testers found this was not a sufficient method for holding back the elements, as it would leave a gap depending on the user’s head size, or obstruct peripheral vision.
Packability A zippered chest pocket inverts to envelop the Ghost Lite when not in use. Because of the size of the pocket, the jacket does not pack down quite as small as other jackets in this test, although still highly compressible. In this case, the user trades a large packed size for having better pocket space. If rolled, this jacket will only take up a few cubic inches.