Are you ready to go this light?

Are you ready to go this light?

OMM regular Johan tries out the NEW Mountain Raid Jacket and half sleeping bag. Find out what he thought.

By Johannes Guasden

Whilst competing in the OMM 2015 I was lucky enough to borrow a test set of their new sleeping system; the new Mountain Raid Jacket and Mountain Raid 1.6 PA Half Bag.

First impressions are fantastic, both the jacket and half bag fit nicely together into a small dry bag. The half bag packs down to, surprisingly, about half the size of the existing Mountain Raid 1.6 full bag, whilst the jacket packs into its own pocket giving a total pack size for both the bag and jacket of about 3L.

The Mountain Raid Jacket is OMM’s “heavyweight” insulation jacket. The jacket has a Primaloft fill and you can really feel the quality in the way it’s been made. Once worn it can be cinched down tightly at the hem and hood to trap plenty of warmth. The fabric used for the inner is comfortable next to the skin and the outer beads water well enough to repel a short shower. All in all, the jacket is exactly what you want to keep you comfortable at the overnight camp, but with the added bonus of not having to carry the extra bulk and weight of both a full sleeping bag and jacket.

When sleep finally calls, the half bag is attached to the jacket via four poppers on either side, completing the sleeping system. Whilst only the shortest of people could realistically use all four poppers, at 5’9” I utilised three poppers on each side, and found that the bag remained securely attached throughout the night. The half bag 1.6 utilises the same primaloft weights as its full-length counterpart; 60gsm on the bottom and 100gsm on the top. With this spec, my legs felt comfortably warm whilst also wearing thermal leggings, but it felt that a lighter spec would probably feel a little cold for me. Again, the inner and outer fabrics felt high quality; the only issue experienced was that the shiny fabric used for the outers of both the bag and jacket meant that there was some sliding down the tent through the night.

I would thoroughly recommend pairing it with a decent sleeping mat however, as when used with a duo-mat it was just a little too cold to really drop off properly. This also ended up with frequent turning throughout the night to get cold parts of my body off the floor, and as I’d “cleverly” pulled my arms inside the jacket and then had my partner zip up the jacket for warmth, I ended up rotated within the jacket. Due to this I managed at one point to almost strangle myself with the hood, and proceeded to flail for a couple of minutes in a fairly ineffective and panicked way.

So to wrap it all up (if you’ll excuse the pun) – I found the OMM Mountain Raid Jacket and Half Bag to be an excellent light weight sleeping system which also takes up minimal pack space. The ability to use the jacket separately throughout the evening allows you to remain warm and comfortable until bed-time, at which point the half bag can be easily added for sleeping. For a good OMM’s night sleep.

NEW Insulation for this winter

Stay warm this winter with our new insulation

Primaloft GOLD® when lightweight is critical

NEW for winter 2015! We are pleased to present our NEW insulation range. We have created 2 new products to complement the existing Rotor Smock, the Mountain Raid provides a higher level of insulation and Rotor Vest provides a lighter alternative.

All 3 products use the highest quality Primaloft GOLD® combined with PointZero windproof shell. This provides incredible warmth and is exceptionally windproof whether you’re in the desert or on a wet and windy moor.

Pack weight and size is a consideration for all of us who love the outdoors and the new range provides you with options depending on your requirements, activity and location.

Please leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!

NEW for winter 2015 the Mountain Raid is the ultimate insulation layer for cold and damp conditions. Perfect for when you’re sitting around the camp and the cold sets in. At only 390g the Mountain Raid balances warmth with pack weight and size for a truly versatile jacket. The PointZero® fabric provides a windproof layer and Primaloft retains its’ warmth when wet. The 100g fill provides the highest insulation in the OMM range. As an additional feature for those of you who demand the lightest multi-day pack we have created a half sleeping bag to connect to the Mountain Raid. This provides an alternative to a full sleeping bag and insulating layer to reduce your pack weight further. Find out more about the Mountain Raid jacket…..

NEW for winter 2015 is the Rotor Vest. At 135g it’s the lightest Primaloft GOLD® insulation on the market. So light and compact that it will barely be noticed when worn or in your pack. Ideal as a functional layer or warm insulating piece to be added when you get to camp.

The Rotor Vest reverses into a stuff pocket in the chest reducing pack size further when on the move. Available in 4 colour options the Rotor Vest is a truely functional piece and suited to any activity. Find out more about the Rotor Vest….

  • Windproof and insulates even if wet
  • Loose laid outer shell
  • Primaloft® GOLD – 40g
  • Primaloft® Luxe loose fill collar baffle to create an effective seal
  • YKK chest zips increase ventilation and pocket access
  • Chest pocket reverses to create a stuff sack
  • Drawcord hem
  • Colours Black, Blue, Grey, Purple
  • Fabric PointZero® / Primaloft Gold®
  • Full Weight 135g
  • Sizes XS/ S / M / L/XL

The Rotor Smock is a classic OMM product; versatile, durable and warm when wet. At only 260g the Rotor Smock provides incredible warmth from it’s Primaloft GOLD® fill combined with the PointZero fabric and you get an unmatched warm and windproof layer.

Particularly suited to cold/damp conditions it’s quick drying and stays warm when wet. The Rotor Smock is amazingly versatile and is quite happy in the desert or at the bottom of a crag. Find out more about the Rotor Smock…..

REVIEW: Phantom Waist Pouch

OMM Phantom Waist Pouch

The OMM Phantom Waist Pouch is a simple, single compartment, “bum bag” ideal for shorter runs. With enough room for lightweight waterproofs, a hat, and gloves and elasticated pockets on the wings the 3 litre capacity provides just enough room for the essentials

OMM Phantom Waist Pouch tested and reviewed by James MacKeddie

OMM are legendary. The Original Mountain Marathon run premier races across Europe and build their range of clothing, storage and sleeping systems specifically for this most eccentric of British running past times.

Imagine signing up for a race. You don’t know where it will be. There is no potential to scope the course, speak to previous finishers or stash extra kit. But don’t worry, you’ll be told at the last minute and given maps and coordinates on the day.  Throw into the mix the requirement to carry everything you need to spend a night on the fell side and run two days; so tent, sleeping mat, cooking system, clothing etc etc…. and this is compulsory. Ditch your kit and you’re out of the race.

There are many who may think such runners are bonkers; mad individuals who wish to punish themselves for the sake of it. To me, it’s legendary and something I need to experience first hand.

 

The bungee works brilliantly for compressing the pocket when not full. I loaded it with my phone, car key, 2 gels, energy bar and 500ml soft flask, and there was lots of room to spare. Rather than feel the contents bounce around when running, the bungee cord held everything in place, giving the feel of a much smaller waist pack. Thumbs up!  If I were to max out the pockets capacity, or say it rained and my hardshell is soaked, the bungee will happily hold it on the outside, saving the contents getting drenched (if you’ve used a waterproof liner).

The two large stretch mesh side pockets can take an energy bar more, essentially those items you need to hand. With key loops in either, you can secure those easy to loose items for piece of mind. Cram them will gels, bars, GoPro and save fumbling around when moving fast and light.

Topping this off, reflective detailing aids being spotted at night, whether racing up a scree slope with a mountain marathon partner, or pounding the pavements of London on the commute.

The Leanweight Dyneema chassis hugs the body, with adjustment straps either side of the main buckle, providing a customised fit, keeping the point of contact central. The rear mesh aids ventilation and does not absorb much water when wet.

  • Being H2OMM compatible, it works with OMM’s own hydration option.What does this translate to in the real world?In short; a comfortable, light and adaptable waist pack, which will hug your back when on the move. I’ve run up hills, charged down descents and cruised along flats, and not once did I have to worry about the security or comfort of the contents around my waist.But, the only thing I can think of is hydration. In a market ever more reliant on hydration packs, soft flasks and hand held bottles, where do you place yours. I put my soft flask in the main compartment, but given there is no way of securing this, it is dependent on what else is accompanying it. Furthermore it runs the risk of leaking onto the other items.The Phantom lives up to its name, just like in the opera, it’s an enigma. As soon as you see it, it is gone, allowing you to run freely, with all the essentials you will need for a fell or trail race.

Read the full article by James Macat http://www.myoutdoors.co.uk/adventure-zone/trail-and-ultra-running/652-omm-phantom-waist-pouch-tested-and-reviewed#on-test

REVIEW: PHD v YETI v OMM – Sleeping Bag Review

PHD v YETI v OMM – Sleeping Bag Review

by Ian Corless Read the full review here

If you are running a self-sufficient race or if you are going fast packing, a sleeping bag is going to be an essential item. The need to carry all your supplies in your pack quite simply means that you are constantly having a battle against weight and functionality.

It’s fair to say, that for most people a 20 ltr pack has now become the ‘norm’ for multi-day adventures and they vary considerably. But hey, we are not here to talk about packs, we are here to discuss the sleeping bag that will go in the pack and importantly provide you with warmth and comfort during the night so you feel fresh for the following day.

I have just returned from working (3rd consecutive year) at the Marathon des Sables. Arguably, MDS as it is affectionately known is the daddy of multi-day racing. To draw a comparison, it holds the same allure and respect that Western States holds for the 100-mile distance.

Now in it’s 30th year the race has seen it all. Today, the British contingent are the most represented nation at the race, closely followed by the French. Following online forums as the 30th edition came close, one question was repeatedly asked, ‘What sleeping bag are you taking?’

It was a good question and on the face of it, a question that could easily be answered by each person clearly writing the name of their chosen product. However, nothing is ever that simple and sleeping bags (along with which pack) may very well have been the most argued and discussed topic prior to the race.

One thing was apparent from a British perspective. Three names repeatedly cropped up –OMM, PHD and YETI. Armed with this information, I decided to take all three to the MDS and test them, ‘in situ’ and feedback my thoughts

THE TEST

Before I get down to the nitty gritty, I must clarify certain things. Firstly, the weather at MDS in 2015 was quite variable, we had warm days, plenty of variable wind (including sand storms) and at night temperatures dropped considerably towards the end of the week.

I alternated between bags and in particular on the first night (particularly warm) I slept in all three bags for approximately 90-120 minutes each. Also, I did this on the coolest night which coincided with the longest day.

So that you can draw comparisons, here are my personal body stats:

  • Height : 5ft 9in.
  • Weight : 73 (ish) Kg.
  • Waist : 32″ inch.
  • Shoulders : 40″ chest.

It will soon become apparent why the above stats are important. Each night I used a sleeping matt and a small travel pillow. I also had a TNF down jacket that weighed 250g as an optional ‘warmth’ layer if required. For consistency I used a ‘Exped’ dry bag for all my sleeping bags. It does add extra weight (36g) but I like the security of a bag like this protecting my sleeping bag from the elements.

OMM provide two sleeping bag options, the 1.0 and the 1.6 (as tested). As you would imagine, OMM want to make a bag or bags that are light, functional and pack small. I like two key things about the OMM bags: they are cheap in comparison to the competition and the filling is not down. By using Primaloft the OMM is functional in varied weather and as such, this bag can get wet and it will still remain warm. This does not happen with down! Of course, rain in the Sahara may well be far from your mind but remember, MDS is just one race… I am sure you will use your bag for may adventures.

OMM say:

The bag is made from a combination of materials to ensure maximum performance. The Purist bag for the Minimalist, The shell is made from PointZero, It has a DWR treatment to the fabrics face to give it a degree of water repellency and also extra stain resistance. The synthetic insulation is Primaloft Gold to give the best warmth to weight ratio available on the market, we have used different weights per panel to ensure the best technical usage of the fill. The base sheet is filled with Primaloft Gold 60g, we then put the Primaloft Gold 100g on the top sheet. The footbox is also shaped and filled with Primaloft Gold 100g to keep the feet warm. The construction is also considered as we have a loose laid outer shell and the inner stitched through to the insulation again this is to maximise insulative value and eliminate cold spots.

OMM do not provide a rating for their bags and this does cause some issues for many people. I can understand why, no rating does leave a question mark on how warm the sleeping bag will be. The bag is mummy shaped with a short zip that sits in the middle of the bag and not at the side. It has a drawstring hood and is silky soft to touch. As mentioned this bag is fast drying and has an element water repellency.

The bag only comes in one size, so, if you are taller than 6ft it’s not the bag for you. In addition, as with all the bags in this test, they are designed to be minimalist and therefore some compromises must be made. When zipped up I personally had little room to move around in the bag, this was not a problem for me. However, if you have a big chest and shoulders you may want to make sure that it’s comfortable. At £170 this bag is a bargain and I would really recommend it. On the warm nights at MDS, particularly the first night, I was able to open the zipper which allowed me to get air to my torso and cool down. On the coldest night, I zipped up, put my head inside the hood and I used the draw string to keep out any drafts. I took a TNF lightweight down jacket but did not need it, however, the addition of a sleeping bag liner or lightweight thermal top and pants would be recommended for the coldest MDS nights

Read the full review by Ian Corless Read the full review here