Ensuring that my kit was high quality, that is, does the job it’s meant to do, and lightweight, I packed a few recommended items from the OMM shop. OMM stands for Original Mountain Marathon and as well as organising a popular event, they also make and sell mountain marathon clothing, sleeping systems and packs.
I took with me the new OMM Halo pants, OMM Kamleika Jacket, OMM Mountain Raid hooded jacket and OMM Raid sleeping bag. This blog review takes a closer look at the OMM Halo pants and OMM Kamleika Jacket. See my OMM Mountain Raid jacket and sleeping bag review.
On test: OMM Halo pants
The waterproof pants weigh an incredibly light 80g. The pack into a tiny size by stuffing them into a small inside pocket. I have not been more impressed by the size and weight of an item for a long time.
Other features include:
- Two-layer waterproof fabric.
- PointZeroH20 fabric
- Minimal taped seams
- Articulated knee
- Taped seams
- Smooth fit elasticated waist
- Velcro ankle tabs for easy entry
- Reflective logos
- Internal stuffpocket
- See OMM.
The trousers also look totally funky. Maybe they are not to everyone’s taste but they are so much more fun than the boring black waterproof trousers you see in shops.
The trousers are sold in unisex sizes so they are not that flattering but I am not sure I need my waterproof trousers to fit snugly.
They work a treat, too. I have never liked wearing waterproof trousers, especially when moving fast in the hills. They usually make me sweaty and annoyed. But the OMM Halo pants are so lightweight that you hardly know they are on. They do not make a loud rustling noise either, like other trousers seem to.
They keep out the rain yet still breathe (technical details: 10 m hydrostatic head; 10,0000 G/m2 breathability). I have worn the Halo pants in heavy rain and they do a great job of keeping out the rain.
The chances are they have a DWR treatment and that will wear out with use but I will simply re-waterproof with treatments such as Nikwax.
The Halo pants have now become my must-pack summer waterproof trousers. They fit into a tiny pocket in my rucksack and I hardly notice I am even carrying them.
A couple of things though. While the Velcro ankles allow for running footwear to pass through, you’ll need to remove walking boots to get the trousers on.
Also, the fabric is lightweight and thin. I am not sure how robust these rousers will be for general hill walking activities especially in Scotland where there is a lot of abrasion form rocks and heather etc. I think the trousers are best reserved for mountain marathon type events and for occasional use in the summer mountains, rather than likely use in the winter mountains.
On test: OMM Kamleika Jacket
This women’s specific jacket weighs 225g and is made of a soft and quiet face fabric. It has a full length zip and a hood.
Other features include:
- 4-way stretch
- Waterproof and breathable (20m hydrostatic head; 18000 G/m2 breathability)
- Fully adjustable peaked hood
- Reflective detail (sleeve and rear)
- Active-style cuff
- Dropped back
- Two extra large hand/map pockets
- Zip garage on all zips
- Buy OMM Kamleika jacket.
While the Halo pants are unisex fit, this jacket is female-specific. And it fits beautifully. I find OMM female clothes are a little on the small size so I went for a medium instead of my usual small. I am glad I did because the extra bit of room allows me to wear layers underneath.
The shape of the jacket is perfect for slim females (don’t expect to fit large bosoms inside!).
The jacket is wonderfully quiet to wear. If you have ever worn a jacket that rustles with every movement you’ll know how refreshing it is not to have to deal with this.
The dropped rear, adjustable cuffs and fully adjustable hood are great details. I found the hood a bit tricky to adjust at the start, but once I worked out how to use the toggles it was easy.
The hood as a stiff peak so even when fully adjusted close to the face it keeps its form. One thing, however, is that when you pull the hood in tight to stop it falling down in wind or rain, the elastic forms large loops at the side of the head. I am not sure if there is a way to stop this happening but I found the loops a distraction.
There are two useful hand pockets. Purists looking for a very lightweight jacket might suggest that pockets and zips add extra weight but I like to be able to access things from pockets and have a place to stow bits and pieces. An alternative is the even lighter Halo jacket.
My view on the jacket is that I need a jacket that will be properly waterproof and long-lasting. I thought the Kamleika looked more robust and versatile than the Halo.
The Kamleika also has a brilliant four-way stretch to the fabric, which makes it very easy to wear longer-term rather than just for an emergency downpour. I am not saying he Halo jacket is a poor choice, it’s just that I think I’ll get more wear from the Kamleika because I will use it for a variety of different activities.
Already, I have been choosing to wear the OMM Kamleika for summer Munro bagging.
Certainly, the Kamleika does an excellent job of waterproofing. I have worn it in heavy rain and it keeps me nicely dry. It is also breathable and that is a bonus when moving fast in a mountain marathon or generally in the Scottish mountains.
One thing to note, though, is that when you try to get the jacket on with wet or damp hands/arms the fabric is quite sticky inside. I struggled to get my arms through. It’s a small thing but it could be frustrating if you are trying to pull on the waterproof jacket at speed. Make sure your hands are dry or wear a pair of dry liner gloves when pulling on the jacket. Or, simply, take your time!
The price of £180 might seem quite high but this is a fully seamed, waterproof and breathable running jacket and you pay quite a lot for that.
Also read: 21 top tips for a mountain marathon.