With a full review of the Mountain Hardwear Geist Vest already completed, it was time to flog the Geist Jacket. With the extra-long Winter/Spring this year in Utah, this jacket has gotten its fair share of use and remains one of my preferred running jackets.

Mountain Hardwear Geist Jacket Features

  • Highly luminescent reflective print for ultimate visibility
  • Ghost ripstop stretch fabric
  • Knit mesh in high perspiration areas
  • Inherent stretch in both fabrics for mobility
  • Full front zipper with chin guard for comfort
  • Hand pockets with earpiece cord exits
  • Entire garment stuffs into self pocket for packability
  • Colors: Red (tested), Titanium, True Blue
  • MSRP: $110

Mountain Hardwear Geist Jacket Review

Now that I’ve had several months to test the Geist Jacket, I’ve come to appreciate many of its great qualities. For starters, the Ghost Ripstop fabric is ultralight but still very durable and water-resistant (thanks to a DWR treatment). Water just beads up and rolls off and wind is kept at bay.  With this ultralight shell, it doesn’t provide much in the way of insulation. So, even though it does shed water and wind, a warmer base layer will still be needed on cold days on the trail.

I’ve used this shell for trail running, road running and road biking with much success. Its 6 oz weight feels downright feathery and moves uninhibited (thanks to its stretchy fabric) with your every move. As is typical with Mountain Hardwear products, the Geist features an athletic fit. I’d daresay the fit of the Medium is absolutely perfect in every aspect on my 5’11” 165 lb frame.

After long runs, the mesh back panel on this jacket does absorb a decent amount of moisture, but does dry quickly. I’ve also noticed that the fabric unfortunately retains a bit more body odor than other comparable jackets. A bit of an anti-microbial treatment or odor-fighting fabric may be in order.

I appreciate the pockets with simple rubberized zipper pulls (no cheap rope loops here), but the chest pocket was either placed in the wrong spot or was the wrong size to carry anything of significance, like a cell phone (not out of the ordinary, but worth noting).

The collar is well-designed. Sometimes, the collar height is too tall or diameter too large, but the Geist sports a low-profile collar that’s built with dual-sided stretchy fabric. The interior uses the wicking soft mesh fabric that’s used in the underarms and back panel for a soft feel next-to-skin and the exterior uses the shell fabric used elsewhere. This combination provides excellent coverage and comfort.

Good Geist Jacket

  • Ultralight feel
  • Efficient cut… I’d daresay “perfect”
  • Excellent water protection… rain just rolls right off
  • Reflective print helps night visibility
  • Collar height and soft fabric is perfect
  • Simple, effective zipper pulls
  • Stuff pocket packs it all down to nuthin’

Bad Geist Jacket

  • Provides minimal warmth… good when all you need is wind protection… bad when it’s downright chilly
  • Can get a little smelly after a good run or two

Bottom Line: Mountain Hardwear Geist Jacket

The Geist Jacket is a killer entry into the ultralight athletic shell market. It’s built for high-energy activities, so it sheds wind and rain/snow while remaining breathable and comfortable.

Buy Now: Search for the Mountain Hardwear Jackets at Backcountry.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I was considering buying one of these jackets but am a little put off with the retention of body odor that you mention. How bad is it?

  2. Every jacket absorbs a fair amount of odor after use, but this one seems to be a 1-2 use jacket if you use it for hard core workouts. I don’t typically stink things up, but this jacket is a 2 use max jacket for me. I have yet to find one that’s much better though.

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