Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer (Women’s) ReviewNovember 22, 2013
- Best in show for warmth-to-weight ratio
- Looks space-age cool
- Good mobility
- Good storm protection with fitted hood and high neck
- Glove-friendly zipper pulls
- Compresses into a Nerf football-sized stow pocket
- No inside pockets
- Tiny zippers reduce weight but feel delicate
If you are looking for a highly compressible down jacket with incredible warmth-to-weight ratio, then the Ghost Whisperer is for you. What it sheds for weight (burly zippers and inside pockets), it makes up for with high mobility, a snug fit and an airy, yet warm feel.
Even though the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer weighs 4 ounces less than the Montbell Frost Smoke Parka, it’s nearly equal in warmth. The down looks really lofty. The only quibble I have for warmth is that the fabric around the hand pockets started to cool down (unlike the fleece-lined Montbell). The draw cord pulls the hem nicely around the hips, the wrists fit snugly as well as the hood. All in all the Ghost Whisperer is an apt name for this jacket that’s almost as light as an apparition.
The Ghost Whisperer has a women’s specific cut but feels roomy in the chest and able to accommodate layers. The arms are long (the longest of the jackets tested) and I appreciate how the jacket stays down over my waist when I raise my hands overhead. The low profile hood fits snugly on the head yet tight around a helmet. The single pull drawcord cinches well around the waist.
The Ghost Whisperer fits into its own stow pocket and becomes about the size of a brick. It’s extremely packable for weight-conscious outdoor enthusiasts.
It’s the lightest of the group of seven jackets and weighs a mere 7 oz. It feels really light and airy and has the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of the group.
For such a lightweight jacket, it has a surprising number of features. First, the sub 8oz jacket has 850 fill of Mountain Hardwear’s Q.Shield or water repellent-finished down. The fabric is made from a tight ripstop nylon weave and is more durable than it looks. The zipper pulls are glove-friendly but the front zipper is thin (as are most of the others in the group) and occasionally catches the nylon fabric. The jacket also has a single pull hem draw cord and a low profile hood.
The Ghost Whisperer is the second most expensive jacket in the group tested (just behind the Arc’teryx Cerium LT) but it is the lightest (by 2oz) and most compressible of the group. It has the best warmth-to-weight ratio and has a surprising number of features for such a lightweight jacket. All in all, if you’re looking for those attributes all wrapped up in a cool space age package and can spend over $300, than the Ghost Whisperer is a good choice.