Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket Review
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Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket
|Price||$129.99 at Backcountry|
Compare at 4 sellers
|$300 List||$174.96 at Backcountry|
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$169.00 at REI
|$52.73 at REI|
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|Pros||Super stretchy material, above average breathability, nice interior feel, lightweight, stuffs into its pocket||Super 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 user||Unmatched stretch, mobility, freedom-of-movement, good breathability||Incredible price, Gore-Tex, solid weather protection, excellent hood design, weight and packed volume||Better 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 ears||Average weather protection overall, no pockets, no clip in point on stuff sack, elastic wrist loops are basic, trim/athletic cut doesn't facilitate layering||Average weather protection, you might find the slim fit doesn't accommodate layering||Wets out quicker than other Gore-Tex models, two layer design isn't as long-lasting, clammy interior||No 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 activities||If you participate in activities where every ounce matters and you also need excellent weather protection and breathability, few can match this model for its weight||The stretchiest rain jacket we have ever tested, it provides unmatched freedom of movement and great breathability, making it ideal for cool weather activities||One of the best values you can get for a piece of rain gear, this Gore-Tex model is packed full of functional features||A 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%)|
|Breathability & Venting (25%)|
|Comfort & Mobility (20%)|
|Weight & Packability (15%)|
|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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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