Down jackets provide different levels of insulation, and the Mountain Hardwear Hooded Phantom sits between the ‘warm but heavy’ options and the very ‘light micro-baffle’ models, which makes it ideal as a mild winter jacket. The benefit of it not being quite so warm as others is that it is very light, so you won’t mind packing this into your rucksack. The shell fabric provides some water resistance, but not as much as the heavier jackets. The design has two large zipped pockets, which are slightly lower on the body than some, so they are more easily obscured if you have a rucksack on. The cuffs are elasticated so you cannot get a snug fit with them to lock in warm air while blocking draughts. The Mountain Hardwear Hooded Phantom’s hood is a little disappointing as although it fits well and can be easily adjusted it does not turn with the head as well as others, while the peak takes on a horrid tangled shape that looks awful and is just not what you’d expect for this price. On the plus side you get a nice brushed lining around the chin area, and the hood drawcords are neatly tucked away inside.
Outer 20d ripstop nylon
Insulation 850 fill power 90/10 down
Weight 472g (size men’s L)
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes XS-XL
The Mountain Hardwear Hooded Phantom provides a good degree of insulation for mild winter conditions and is very lightweight, but some design details mean it is not perfect – which is a pity at this price.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2013