Lightweight and simple, the Mountain Hardwear Women’s Ghost Whisperer Down Vest offers more than a whisper of warmth for your core when you’re hiking on a crisp fall day. When weight and space are issues, this vest only costs you a 1/4-pound and a few inches. High-powered 800-fill down keeps you toasty when you’re spotting a member of your cragging crew, finishing off the garden for the season, or being shown around campus by your (gasp) own child. Down insulation is how this vest weighs as much as your favorite treat from the drive-through. Feathers and plumules get together and create a labyrinth in which lots of air gets trapped. The trapped air stands sentry against cold air entering and warm air escaping, providing warmth without a lot of weight. Typically the labyrinth collapses when down gets wet, the air pockets disappear, and all the warm air rushes out, leaving you a cold, wet, shivery heap on the sidewalk. The folks at Mountain Hardwear said “enough,” and created Q-Shield Down. Down fibers are infused with permanent water repllency, helping the feathers retain loft when exposed to moisture. So long as the feathers have loft, they can create the lattice structure, create air pockets, and keep you warm. In case it starts to spit before you’ve reached your destination, the down in the Ghost Whisperer won’t give you the cold shoulder. Sewn-through quilting keeps the down in place and minimizes the amount of fabric used. Two front hand-warmer pockets do just that, or you can stuff the vest into a pocket for a sweet little package of warmth and easy packing. This vest will serve you well under a hardshell on a mild winter day or over a body-skimming hoodie when you’re running errands on a lousy fall day.