Reviews You Can Rely On

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket Review

Constructed with a super stretchy material and offering superb mobility, this is the ideal rain shell for demanding activities
mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review
Credit: Mountain Hardwear
Price:  $250 List
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 20, 2022
77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 16
  • Water Resistance - 30% 7.0
  • Breathability & Venting - 25% 8.0
  • Comfort & Mobility - 20% 9.0
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

We love the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic for its high level of mobility and freedom of movement. It is perfect for any demanding user looking for a rain shell that will let them keep doing whatever activity they enjoy. Constructed with an extremely stretchy exterior while offering a very pleasant interior "feel" and some of the better breathability in our review, this jacket is built for active use in inclement weather.
REASONS TO BUY
Super stretchy material
Above average breathability
Nice interior feel
Lightweight
Stuffs into its pocket
REASONS TO AVOID
Average weather protection
Easy to overtighten hood and squeeze ears

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Super stretchy material, above average breathability, nice interior feel, lightweight, stuffs into its pocketSuper light, ultra compact, trim fit, excellent breathability, weather protection compared to others in its weight class, stuffs into a pocket, hood moves very well with its userUnmatched stretch, mobility, freedom-of-movement, good breathabilityIncredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volumeBetter breathability than others in its price range, decent ventilation, roll away hood, nice pit zips, affordable
Cons Average weather protection, easy to overtighten hood and squeeze earsAverage weather protection overall, no pockets, no clip in point on stuff sack, elastic wrist loops are basic, trim/athletic cut doesn't facilitate layeringAverage weather protection, you might find the slim fit doesn't accommodate layeringWets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interiorNo chest pocket, not quite as breathable as models that use non-coated membrane
Bottom Line Constructed with a super stretchy material and offering superb mobility, this is the ideal rain shell for demanding activitiesIf you participate in activities where every ounce matters and you also need excellent weather protection and breathability, few can match this model for its weightThe stretchiest rain jacket we have ever tested, it provides unmatched freedom of movement and great breathability, making it ideal for cool weather activitiesOne of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional featuresA great jacket that offers above-average breathability, with an excellent price tag
Rating Categories Mountain Hardwear S... The North Face Flig... Rab Kinetic 2.0 REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Marmot PreCip Eco
Water Resistance (30%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Breathability & Venting (25%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Comfort & Mobility (20%)
9.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Mountain Hardwear S... The North Face Flig... Rab Kinetic 2.0 REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Marmot PreCip Eco
Measured Weight (Medium) 10.5 oz 7.25 oz 12 oz 12.5 oz 13.5 oz
Waterproof Fabric Material 2.5 layer Dry.Q propriatary material 20D FutureLight 3L Proflex 2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite NanoPro
Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 1 interior 2 hand 2 hand 2 zip hand pockets
Hipbelt Friendly Hand Pockets No Yes Yes No No
Pit Zips Yes No No No Yes
Helmet Compatible Hood No No Yes No Yes
Stows Into Pocket Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

With great breathability, excellent packability, and some of the better freedom of movement in our review, this is one of the more versatile jackets for "summer" focused activities like hiking and backpacking.

Performance Comparison



mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - the stretch ozonic was our top pick for any activity that demands a...
The Stretch Ozonic was our top pick for any activity that demands a high degree of mobility. All of our testers loved its stretchy fabric, top-tier breathability, and cozy feeling interior.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Water Resistance


Regardless of the activity, your rain jacket's water resistance is among the most important factors. The Stretch Ozonic was among our favorite jackets, as it struck a nice balance between weight, comfort, and weather resistance.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - the stretch ozonic uses mountain hardwear's proprietary dry.q...
The Stretch Ozonic uses Mountain Hardwear's proprietary Dry.Q membrane in a 2.5L construction.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

The Stretch Ozonic uses Mountain Hardwear's proprietary Dry.Q membrane in a 2.5L construction. The Ozonic uses a 50D Stretch Ripstop outer, which is in the middle of the road as far as thickness goes for our review, and 100% Recycled Polyester throughout the entire garment.


In our testing, the Stretch Ozonic kept our testers dry when faced with a prolonged drizzle or even light to moderate rain. However, in more sustained and heavier rain, it would begin to wet out to the point where the outer fabric would become saturated, and we would begin to feel wet inside from water either getting through or a lack of breathability.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - the stretch ozonic worked great for lighter drizzles or shorter...
The Stretch Ozonic worked great for lighter drizzles or shorter stints of heavier precip, but for truly extended periods of moderate to heavy rain, we'd choose a different jacket.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

We noticed this more in high-wear areas like the shoulders and the back of the hood. As a whole, the Stretch Ozonic scored in the middle of the pack, and there are a few other contenders that kept testers dry for longer.

Hood Coverage

We found the hood performance to be about average. It cinches nicely around the head and maintains a decent amount of peripheral vision. The cinching system also accommodated a variety of different-sized heads and headwear. However, it wasn't big enough, at least in a practical sense, for a bike, climbing, or ski helmet.

While we loved the hood design on the Stretch Ozonic, we found that...
While we loved the hood design on the Stretch Ozonic, we found that it was very easy to overtighten the hood to the point it would hurt our ears (especially if we were wearing glasses).
The hood moved well with our head and maintained a decent level of...
The hood moved well with our head and maintained a decent level of peripheral vision.
The Ozonic's hood sports a nice design, but if you cinch it down too tight, it can be uncomfortable.

Breathability and Venting


Breathability is one of the Stretch Ozonic's strongest attributes, particularly when compared to models of a similar price. Our review team found this model to be among the most breathable, confirmed in our side-by-side Stair-Master tests and while hiking, backpacking, and climbing. This was the jacket our test team reached for the most for aerobic-focused activities.


To help move moisture and dump heat, the Ozonic features two 13" long pit zips centered on the armpit. These pit zips featured one-way zippers that start from the bottom and thus were lighter but less versatile than other models which featured a two-way zipper. However, we often care about the fabric's breathability more than a given model's ventilation features.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - the pit zips, coupled with the ozonic's above-average level of...
The pit zips, coupled with the Ozonic's above-average level of breathability, makes this a great option for folks who often find themselves sweating inside their rain jacket.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

We appreciated Mountain Hardwear's proprietary Dry.Q membrane's ability to wick moisture and move it through the jacket. In our tests, it kept us from feeling swampy, even when working hard. We found this particularly nice while hiking uphill in the rain with a heavy pack. Sure, our backs got a little sweaty but not much sweatier than a t-shirt would have gotten under the same circumstances and energy output levels. As a whole, we found the Stretch Ozonic one of the more breathable models in our review.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - the polyester dry.q membrane and 2.5 layer construction provide good...
The polyester Dry.Q membrane and 2.5 layer construction provide good breathability, making the Ozonic a great choice for folks who frequently wear their rain jackets for aerobic activities like hiking or trail running.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Comfort and Mobility


One of our favorite things about this jacket was its stretchy material and a less clammy feel than most others in our review. From a comfort feel standpoint, the Ozonic's stretchy fabric felt smooth against the skin even if we were wearing short sleeves underneath.


The fabric lining of the pockets is also soft. This model features two handwarmer pockets lined with comfortable material and a chest pocket that even fits a smartphone. However, if we over-tightened the hood, it pinched our ears, particularly when wearing glasses.

All of our testing team LOVED this model's stretchy material and...
All of our testing team LOVED this model's stretchy material and appreciated how nicely it maintained our range of motion nearly regardless of activity.
Freedom of movement is one of the biggest reasons you buy this...
Freedom of movement is one of the biggest reasons you buy this jacket and with its super stretchy material and dialed cut we think it offers some of the best mobility of any model in our review.
The Stretch Ozonic offers a great range of motion.

The Ozonic's stretchy material facilitated some of the best range of motion and freedom of movement of any rain jacket we tested. Climbers and other people who need a higher level of mobility from their rain garments will appreciate this jacket.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - the large external chest pocket is big enough for a smartphone.
The large external chest pocket is big enough for a smartphone.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Fit

The Mountain Hardwear Ozonic's fit is in the middle of the road as far as a trim versus roomy cut. It is trim enough for more aerobic activities but has enough room for most people to layer a light puffy or a thick fleece.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - this jacket is trim yet still offers enough room to layer a light...
This jacket is trim yet still offers enough room to layer a light puffy coat or a sweater.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Weight and Packability


At 10.5 ounces for a size medium, the Ozonic falls in the lightweight (but not insanely light) category. Compared to most 2.5 and 3-layer rain shells, this is a below average weight. With that said, some rain jackets weigh as little as 6.5 ounces. While those models are lighter, you certainly get more breathability, mobility, and comfort by going with this model for the extra 4 ounces.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - this model packs down inside one of its pockets, which features a...
This model packs down inside one of its pockets, which features a reversible zipper and thus doubles as a stuff sack for the jacket. Here the Stretch Ozonic is zipped into its pocket next to a 1-liter Nalege, for scale.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Regarding compressibility and the ability to "pack down," this jacket is more compressible than most and packed away small enough for most hikers and backpackers. We liked that it compresses into one of its pockets and stows via a reversible zipper to a size just smaller than a 1-liter Nalgene.


Durability


This model's 50D stretch ripstop material is on the thicker side, and its polyester construction (polyester being inherently more durable than nylon) proved a bit above average for abrasion resistance. This jacket's DWR lasted slightly longer than average and performed better and for longer than others in its price range or that used 2.5-layer proprietary materials.


Should You Buy the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic?


The Stretch Ozonic is a versatile and comfortable shell with a stretchy construction that makes it great for activities requiring a higher level of mobility and freedom of movement. It's perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, and ski touring. While we love this jacket for aerobic activities where weight and freedom of movement play a role, it isn't as tough or as good for truly extended periods standing around in heavy rain as some other jackets.

What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?


While this model offered good overall performance and weather protection, the Arc'teryx Beta still wins out for pure weather protection and breathability. If weight and compressed volume are your biggest factors, then we'd recommend checking out the Outdoor Research Helium. For a solid rain jacket that doesn't break the bank, check out the REI Co-op XeroDry GTX.

mountain hardwear stretch ozonic jacket rain jacket review - we love the ozonic for its mobility, breathability, and pleasant...
We love the Ozonic for its mobility, breathability, and pleasant feel. It offers respectable storm protection and a very reasonable weight, but you can buy a jacket that is both lighter and offers a superior level of storm protection.
Credit: Ian Nicholson

Ian Nicholson
 
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