Even as the days grow warmer, a long day on the trail requires something to get you through the early morning chill.  Something that will stow away easily once the sun comes out.  Something light enough to easily carry for the rest of the day.  Something like the Mountain Hardwear Geist.

Mountain Hardwear Geist Vest Features:

  • 100% windproof Ghost ripstop stretch body construction
  • Wicked taper mesh back panel
  • Durable Water Repellant (DWR) finish
  • Center back length 28.5” (72cm)
  • Front zipper with chin guard
  • Vertical chest pocket with media cord exit
  • 3M ultra-high reflective highlights on side and back
  • Weight:  3oz (94g)
  • MSRP:  $90

Mountain Hardwear Geist Vest review

The Geist is an update (and a German translation) of the popular Ghost vest and jacket, which were built for lightweight durability.  Mountain Hardwear updated those models with minor style adjustments, and somehow managed to make the vest nearly 25% lighter without sacrificing durability or performance.

Ripstop nylon fabric provides excellent wind resistance on the front panels, while fast drying knit mesh on the back provides moisture transfer and ventilation for temperature regulation.  The mesh features Chitosan fabric to help with odor control, although it will still retain some funk if you happen to leave it in your car all day after a hard 20-miler (Guilty!).

Rear view; mesh panel, reflective accents

Both fabrics have inherent stretch properties to allow freedom of movement, and the entire garment has an enhanced Durable Water Repellent finish to repel light rain.  The narrow cut and longer than average back length make this suitable for mountain biking as well as running, although the tail isn’t as long as you’ll find on most cycling-specific apparel.

The entire vest is incredibly light and soft, and barely feels like an extra layer over the top of a tech shirt.  However, it retains warmth quite well, providing more than enough insulation to ward off the early-morning cold before stripping to a single layer.  It’s also comfortable enough to wear for several hours if the sun decides to sleep in for a while.

I’ve experienced each of the above scenarios; most frequently, I wear the Geist vest and arm warmers with a T-shirt before sunrise, then tuck them into a pocket once the morning heats up.  With its super-thin construction, the vest compresses very small, and at a mere 3 oz, it’s hard to tell that there’s any additional weight in my pack.

Honestly, there’s not much to dislike here, so I’ll just describe one pet peeve:  since the material is so lightweight, if you’re running through a cross-breeze, the collar has a tendency to get blown upward onto your cheek.  When I tuck the collar inside out – problem solved.

Good Geist

  • Amazingly lightweight and comfortable
  • Very thin for easy layering
  • Good heat retention
  • Compresses very easily

Bad Geist

  • Not enough protection for harsh cold or wet conditions
  • No key clasp
  • The collar thing

Super compact for easy storage

Bottom Line: Mountain Hardwear Geist Vest

Combining minimal weight with high durability and performance, the Geist Vest is an ideal accessory for increased core protection from mild to moderate conditions.

Buy Now: Find Mountain Hardwear at REI

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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  1. Pingback: Mountain Hardwear Geist Running Jacket Review - FeedTheHabit.com

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