Overall Rating: 4/5
On a multi-day expedition early this year I found myself suffering slightly due to packing too few layers. I’d packed a few really warm items such as my trusty Icebreaker hoody and Buffalo jacket but they didn’t do the job at the time so when I got home I started shopping for layers. A down body-warmer, zip up mid-layer and another chill killer were on my list. The Ghost Whisperer was retailing for around £250 at the time and that was more than I was willing to pay (the main reason I could not give a higher rating) but within a month I spotted a Hyper Blue one on sale and got one for just under £150. Still a lot but I thought it would be worth the gamble as all my other Mountain Hardwear items have performed well over time.
Advertised as ‘the world’s lightest full-featured down jacket’ I cannot disagree. It is amazingly light, with a medium weighing in at just 214 grams. This is Q-Shield Down 800-fill insulation, which in simple terms means that the down has been treated and has permanent water repellent properties to ensure it remains warm even when moisture is involved. In the changeable British climate this factor is really important. From what I can see the priority of the jacket is weight, which as I stated is exceptional. However, with this in mind the down fill is not going to be enough in cold conditions to keep you warm as an individual jacket and other, cheaper jackets would be better if this is what you are looking for. As part of layered clothing, its size and weight make it a great choice.
As with every other Mountain Hardwear jacket I’ve used the Ghost Whisperer stuffs into its own stow pocket to reduce size and allow for easy storage in packs. I’ve always found this helpful and the cylindrical shape of this one once stowed is really useful when trying to fill those annoying voids when packing for expeditions. There are other great features on the jacket such as stealth elastane binding inside cuffs which adds to comfort and keeps moisture out too. The insulated strip behind the zip and hem at the top to protect your chin are in addition to two good warm pockets.
With all the great features, hi-tech design and low weight I completely understand why this jacket has the price tag. However, this is going to price the majority of people out of it especially considering there are thicker, warmer down jackets out there for less. Personally, I really like Mountain Hardwear kit in general and this is no different and I have made sure it’s one of the first things ready to pack each time I get ready to go outdoors.