With summer backpacking in full swing and fall backpacking just on the horizon, the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 OutDry Backpack is a solid carry to have.
Spontaneous downpours and fast moving thunderstorms be damned. With a three-layer OutDry® membrane for the main compartment and top pocket, the Ozonic 50 guarantees that your stuff will stay perfectly dry, no matter what the weather throws your way. The top lid is removable and reversible.
The pack is still fully waterproof without the top pocket. Tons of compression straps keep your load stable. The HardWave suspension is extremely comfortable and fully customizable. You can un-velcro the back panel to add extra inches if need be. The fully padded hip belt with two zippered pockets means the pack doesn’t hurt and snacks are handy!
The hip belt buckle is offset to allow for precise pull-forward adjustability. Two mesh slip pockets let you stash water bottles and other little knick knacks. A large front stash pocket with drainage lets you keep wet things and important things.
At approximately 3 lb and 13 oz, this is kind of a heavy bag if you’re counting ounces… or if you’re petite like me. That’s almost 4% of my body weight! For an empty pack! But the whole waterproof part is pretty awesome for keeping things dry during summer storms and when I was too lazy to stick my pack inside my tent at night.
However as someone who is five feet tall with a short torso, I found that this pack wasn’t really sized well for me. It was pretty miserable lugging around nearly half my body weight (all about those luxury backpacking trips right now, guys) with an ill-fitting pack on multiple trips.
The mesh side pockets aren’t too durable with slightly abrasive stuff, like metal parts on tripods. The mesh is all ripped up now and doctored up with duct tape. Lastly, if you’re a water bladder person and you like carrying lots of water, this isn’t designed to hold large and full bladders well.
It was a struggle fitting a full, 3L water bladder into the bladder compartment, and it distorts the back panel a bit. I was constantly loosening the straps and fiddling with the fit after water bladder insertion.
If you’re a tall person and you’re looking for a fairly affordable, bombproof backpacking pack or really large daypack, the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 OutDry pack is an excellent contender. If you’re petite, maybe look elsewhere.
Photos from backpacking Meiss Lake, Mokelumne Wilderness.