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An insanely lightweight windshell jacket is always a good thing to have at hand or in pocket. It'll keep the worst of the weather off and make a massive difference to body temperature with the minimum of weight penalty. The Mountain Hardwear Women's Ghost Lite Jacket weighs a tiny 86g and rolls into its own pocket when not required. Refreshingly, it's not styled like a crisp packet either.
Made from uber-light 15 Denier Ripstop Z-Grav fabric, which comes from only one fabric mill in the world, in Japan, the Ghost Lite is a genuinely featherweight jacket. The fabric itself is treated with a durable water repellency to keep showers at bay. Pared down to keep that weight benefit, it nonetheless has a hood and a zipped pocket, as well as a tab to roll away the hood if not required. The shape is sleek and athletic but made a bit more interesting and feminine by the addition of a drawcord which creates a sort of peplum affair. A simple way of adding interest to the shape without either a weight penalty or impact on performance.
As this is a non-cycling-specific jacket, the fit and cut are a more general 'active cut' rather than featuring a dropped tail etc, but there's plenty of length in the sleeves and body to mean that on the bike there are no problems. The fabric is comfortable next to skin, highly breathable and genuinely effective at keeping both wind and showers off, although it's not a jacket you would choose for prolonged wet weather conditions. That's not what it's aimed at though, anyway. It's a jacket that will almost certainly spend a lot of its life curled up in a jersey pocket, making its presence felt as little as possible until needed at rest stops or on descents. As such it's spot on.
It may seem a lot of money for a windproof jacket you hope you'll not wear most of the time, and it's definitely at the expensive end of the spectrum, but it's made from very high quality, high performance fabric and it's well designed and insanely light. Multi-sport enthusiasts would probably feel more benefit from the design and could probably more easily justify the investment. However, a bit of shopping around will turn it up for quite a bit less than RRP.
Superbly light, comfortable and effective wind shell but at a cost that may not appeal to some
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Make and model: Mountain Hard Wear Womens Ghost Lite Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Graphite
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Primarily aimed at runners and cross-trainers
Mountain Hardwear say:
"Weather-resistant running and cross-training shell that weighs only 3 oz. A hooded jacket simply can't get any lighter. Weighing in at a mind-bending 3 oz., the Ghost Lite is so featherweight and airy that training in it is a pleasure, even in adverse conditions. Able to compress down into its own pocket to wait until the weather turns, this jacket is an athlete's dream."
Spot on for lightweight protection and additional warmth when either cycling, running or even walking
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
15D face fabric is water- and wind-resistant
Compresses down and stows in its own pocket for unbeatable packability
Low profile, hood has elastic binding to seal off cold and moisture
Hood stow system at back collar
Body Fabric: 15D Ripstop Z-Grav
CBL: 29 in / 72 cm
Apparel Fit: Active
Weight: 3.1 oz / 88 g
Available in sizes XS-XL
Machine washable at 30
Very well made from superior quality fabric.
Very effective at keeping out wind and showers while remaining lightweight and breathable.
As long as the fabric is washed frequently enough in technical wash, in order to preserve both breathability and water repellency, this should last for years.
Very comfortable to wear, both in terms of skin contact and also breathability.
Expensive but made using advanced technology and fabrics that don't come cheap. Cyclists who also run will make better use of the investment perhaps.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Shape, fabric, weight, breathability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, given the extra cost involved over other similar products.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, particularly one who also runs.
Use this box to explain your score
The jacket is versatile and effective, comfortable next to skin, but it does mark a significant investment.
Age: 43 Height: 1.65m Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.