Middle layers can be both heavy and bulky, but they don’t have to be. I’m a fan of cotton and wool, but they just don’t work for me when I travel. They take too long to dry when I’m caught in the rain and they take up too much room in my backpack. The new fabric sport fabrics are even odor resistant which is a huge plus when I travel with only one change of clothing.
Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket by Mountain Hard Wear: (Also listed under jackets)
Shell and Lining, 100% nylon; Down and Feathers, 90% goose down 10% feather; Made in China, quick drying.
“The world’s lightest full-featured down jacket. The sub-eight-ounce Ghost Whisperer Down can be compressed into its own pocket for easy storage. It’s been designed with the essentials in mind: Q.Shield™ DOWN 800-fill insulation resists moisture and maintains warmth, elastic binding in cuffs seals out moisture, toggle hem adjusts easily.” (Mountain Hard Wear Website description) and it is absolutely correct. This jacket weighs next to nothing and fits into any bag, even when the bag is totally full. It also fits easily under another jacket. On colder days I wear it between the lolë middle layer (see below) and the my outer jacket.
My down sleeping bag is not meant for extreme cold weather; saving on weight and size. I stay cozy camping in the mountains on cold nights by wearing my ghost whisperer over my “Cuddl Duds” that double as sleepwear and a super thin, lightweight under-layer for warmth during cold days.
The jacket is perfect for traveling between different climates, i.e. New Jersey in the winter to California. It keeps me warm in New Jersey and doesn’t weigh me down in California. This is not meant to be a winter snow parka. This is meant to be a middle layer. It doesn’t block the wind well. It is meant to insulate, not to protect.
One of the many benefits of being Mike paragliding and being his Mum is that I get to take advantage of his access to the Mountain Hard Wear employees store. Otherwise I would not be wearing this very costly jacket. It’s worth every penny. I can’t imagine being without it. It is far too versatile for the kind of diverse traveling I enjoy.
An added bonus are the two zip pockets and the high collar!
I’m not sure how long this link will work. I’m sure they will change their styles and models. Link to Mountain Hard Wear page.
Zip middle layer by lolë:
90% nylon, 10% elastane, Made in Vietnam
4 way stretch , wicking, UPF 50+, quick drying
One zip pocket, raglan sleeves with gentle gathers extending to the stand-up neck. Extremely comfortable, light-weight, silky against bare skin and compacts to the size of a softball. I bought it during a close-out sale and it has become one of my favorite garments both at home and when traveling.