In a fit of what can only be described as a massive overestimation of my own abilities, I signed up for this year's OMM the other day.
Not wanting to carry my full-on mountain waterproofs and my current running waterproof being a cheap-Chinese knock-off now largely held together with gaffa tape, I'm in the market for a new waterproof jacket.
From reading blogs, and talking to my more experienced (and in case he's reading) better looking OMM partner, the ones that I have my eye on are:
- Men's Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket
- Men's Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket V2
- Inov 8 Stormshell
- Salamon Bonatti
I'm a little concerned that the above might be too light from the OMM. Crux was recommended but they seem only to have a few ex-sample items for sale in their outlet store, all of which are too big for me. https://crux-outlet.online/shop/category/shell-clothing
Any thoughts UKC collective? Views from those with direct experience of the jackets appreciated, likewise wildly off-topic recommendations.
My standard is the OMM Kameleika for running. It is soft and comfortable and doesn't rustle. However it is not the greatest for really horrible conditions (small hood and quite short at the front) and I will use a more traditional Goretex jacket in the winter. As I had some Salomon discount to use up I recently bought the Bonatti Pro - this is very comfortable. A bit noisier than the OMM and seems very waterproof at the moment (worn in recent typhoon-like rain), but I suspect it will need to be treated pretty carefully to remain this way! If you are just buying for running and are careful it is super light, but if this is a more general purchase a more general purpose jacket may be needed. I have no knowledge of the others in your list. I was tempted by the OMM events, but my wife talked me down - being only 3 weeks after a big race
I have the Salomon Bonatti. IMHO the hood Is pretty poor, no adjustment whatsoever and relies on an elasticated band across the forehead to hold it in place (it doesn't, it flops over my eyes so I have to wear a peaked cap when using the hood)
Absolutely fine for training runs in the rain (when paired with peaked waterproof cap) and for mandatory FRA kit, but I wouldn't fancy doing the OMM in it.
Thanks for the well thought out reply SouthernSteve. It's good to hear that you rate the Kameleika. I had looked at it, but had subsequently read a few reviews which suggested that the build quality had declined in recent years. It's just for running, I've other general purpose jackets, so will look at the pro version and keep the Bonatti in the list. Interestingly the Pro is hugely discounted on Salomon's website at the moment.
Ah thanks, something to think about there. It's hard to find a shop near me with one available to try on.
> IMHO the hood Is pretty poor
That's a good point. I nearly always wear a peaked hat as I wear glasses so my review might have been deficient!
At a tangent, I went through a similar process and recently bought the Montane VIA Minimus Stretch Ultra.
I used it in an ultra race and found that it was too light. The face fabric on the outside 'bobbled' under where my race vest sat. The inner membrane wore away under the arms on both sides. The hood doesnt have a volume adjuster at the back, so I found it was a bit of a faff to get it to sit right. I managed to return it and got a refund.
I dont think that it is a poor quality jacket. Just that any super light jacket will suffer, if subjected to prolonged and repetitive abuse.
That's really good to know thank you. I looked at one of those the other day in store. It looked like a great jacket but after chatting to a few people more experienced than me it was decided that it was too light. It's good to know that the decision has been validated
Original Kamleika was a truly exceptional jacket.
The latest incarnation, on the other hand, might have well been built, by a child, out of kitchen roll, sellotape and silly string.
Ha! Yes, I'd read a few reviews to that effect. What a shame. I wonder if OMM build quality has declined generally or is it limited to that jacket?
Not sure what you mean about your OMM partner....
I will shout for the Montane Atomic jacket. Great value and robust enough for OMM without being a full on heavy weight.
Plus, seemingly, they last forever.
I think the Inov8 is a good shout too.
> Ha! Yes, I'd read a few reviews to that effect. What a shame. I wonder if OMM build quality has declined generally or is it limited to that jacket?
My Original OMM kammleika water proof trousers were amazing and lasted over a decade of abuse. The new stuff doesn't seem the same and I have heard many bad things!
I second that, i have the Bonnati pro, they are good jackets for that just in case use if it looks wet but if it was going to be bad and i knew i needed to wear it i would take something else.
I thought i had seen the new OMM Kameleika was rubbish, my Mrs has the older version and it seems bomproof and pretty warm as a bonus too.
OP, the Alpkit Gravitas seems to get OK reviews, might be worth a look
Cheers for the advice. Further research tempts me towards one of these Montane Meteors
Can't suggest a specific make/model, but I picked up an end of line Haglofs gram comp gortex jacket in 2015 and it's still my go-to poor weather jacket, keeping me warm and cosy on several OMM elite courses and January trigger races. The hood is a textile engineering marvel. Starting to delam a bit now but can't complain after 6 years of abuse (rrp £250, sale price £125). I'll probably look for a new one after this winter and Haglofs will be top of my list. I also tend to look for named fabrics (gortex, eVent, the right pertex for some items)
As for super lightweight minimus type 'tracing paper' jackets - great for putting in the bumbag on a sunny day just in case/needing for a kit check. Don't waste your time/money, or risk your safety, if it'll be needed for more than a light drizzly couple of hours with minimal exposure risk. Seeing people rely on these things in proper ming on proper mountains really makes me worry about their knowledge/judgement/safety.
(Pulled out of OMM2017 Elite after selecting wrong jacket and getting cold after getting lost on Garamara for 40mins. Jacket was light but not super lightweight. Fine when running but not when standing still. Had I been in the Haglofs would have been fine. That was the OMM that got away - should have won)
> I have the Salomon Bonatti. IMHO the hood Is pretty poor, no adjustment whatsoever and relies on an elasticated band across the forehead to hold it in place (it doesn't, it flops over my eyes so I have to wear a peaked cap when using the hood)
> Absolutely fine for training runs in the rain (when paired with peaked waterproof cap) and for mandatory FRA kit, but I wouldn't fancy doing the OMM in it.
Seconded! I have one too and hate the hood. Felt okay in the shop but useless on the hill. Either covers my eyes or falls off depending on which way the wind is blowing.
Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.
Similar to what others have said - avoid lightweights like Minimus or so forth for the OMM. When weather goes pear shaped you’ll regret it.
FWIW, I use either an OMM Aether (eVent) or an older Goretex Paclite jacket from Patagonia that is just at its end of life
Marmot precip is worth a look, not specifically marketed as a running jacket, but quite a good balance of weight and venting, a bit more robust than some of the ultralight running waterproofs, and reasonable price. Also, possibly a slightly looser cut than some running specific jackets, arguably a good thing for the OMM as you may have occasion to wear all your warm kit under a waterproof!
I've got one of those, a great pack option, and pretty robust and reassuring. Picked it up cheap from Sports Pursuit
Be aware, the sizing is generous to say the least! I'm 6ft 2, 15 stone and the XL is vast on me..
> Cheers for the advice. Further research tempts me towards one of these Montane Meteors
I recently bought a Meteor for use as bad weather running top with possible MM use. Really impressed with cut (I'm definitely on the 'slim' side) and attention to detail - very solid bit of kit.
I also bought a Minimus shortly afterwards. Lovely and light but a very different fit (baggy arms...) I used it on the SLMM and it was completely fine, but I think it'd be a bit lightweight for proper bad / cold weather. I do expect to use this a lot for general running when I can relatively easily get back to shelter.
Thanks Dave, I went for the Meteor in the end. As an aside, I was extremely impressed with the service from Montane. It turned up this morning, looks solid and has a good cut for my body type. Heading out to Dartmoor for a run this weekend so hopefully I'll get to try it out.