I have more shells than I can count on both hands in my closet. It’s a problem, I know. But in my mind, every shell has a time and place for use. What do I turn to when I need a lightweight shell with pit zips and hand pockets? Lately, it’s been the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket.
At 8.4 oz, this thing is light. For a mere 3.3 oz more, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket has pit zips and zippered hand pockets, compared to the Outdoor Research Helium Hybrid at 5.1 oz. It’s basically a cross between the Helium Hybrid and the Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Jacket. Mountain Hardware’s Dry Q® Active 40D 2 5L Stretch fabric is waterproof in the heaviest of downpours and while still incredibly breathable. Two zippered handwarmer pockets are harness- and pack-compatible. Velcro cuffs mean nothing is getting into your sleeves. A 2-way adjustable hood with structured brim keeps the elements from falling into your eyes and all over your face. The Ozonic Jacket also has two pit zips.
I absolutely love this jacket. This officially replaces the Helium Hybrid as my lightweight go-to shell. This jacket lives at the bottom of my pack, moving from commuter bag to day pack to multi-day backpacking pack waiting for inclement weather. I use it to block out wind on long bike rides along the waterfront in San Francisco. I use it to keep mosquitoes from destroying my body. This thing is about as breathable as it gets. I’m never drenched in my own sweat, even after the most strenuous exercise. The only thing I would change about this is longer pit zips like the full length ones on the Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket, but more zippers means more weight. So ya gotta trade off somewhere.
Buy through Mountain Hardwear, CampSaver, REI, or Amazon for $200. Also available for men here and here.
All non-GoPro photos by Renée Vargas.
This was sent to me for review.