Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 ReviewMay 10, 2017
- Very good water resistance
- Simple and efficient body design
- Small top brain pocket
- Stiff frame
- Some seam concerns
The Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 Outdry tied for third in this test set. It’s best feature is its namesake Outdry technology, which gives it the best water resistance in the set. It’s biggest concern are some seam concerns, particularly at the top of the shoulder strap.
The comfort of the Ozonic 70 Outdry is impacted by the stiff frame, which restricts the natural movement of the spine. The upper and mid back sections are padded with blocks that may not fit well with all back shapes, and there is a gap between the upper back block and the start of the shoulder strap padding. The waist strap is lightly padded, and uses a strange cinch system that keeps all the adjustment on the user’s right, on the male side of the buckle. There is a seam between the lower back padding and the waist strap that can cause some rubbing. The shoulder strap is attached to the frame on the bottom with two pieces of webbing, which can be simultaneously adjusted with an innovative loop cinch system.
The Ozonic is better at compressing than expanding, which is limited by the the roll-top closure on the top of the body compartment and the narrowness of the compartment. The compressibility is also limited by the brain buckles, which connect to the body at a relatively high point. There are two gear straps on the bottom of the seat, and they feed through a loop halfway across, which helps with fastening skinny solo tents. There is a large back sleeve with one zippered pocket and one open pocket. Thanks to the Outdry system, the body compartment can be accessed only at the roll-top closure at the top of the compartment. The brain is removable for those looking to shed a few ounces.
This category proved to be one of the Ozonic’s worst, since the waist straps only provide a very basic level of pivot. The body compartment is relatively narrow, which leads to a high center of gravity, particularly when the the bag is over-packed. A lateral Z-cinch on each side and back sleeve provide a good level of compressibility.
The plastic buckles on this bag are light but also sturdy, thanks to an internal reinforcement on all of the female side buckles. The seams are probably the sturdiest in the test set, and the seat is definitely the most reinforced of the set. It didn’t rain enough during the Ozonic’s field test to put Mountain Hardwear’s “100% waterproof” claim to the test, so we loaded it up and put it in the shower, and can confirm the claim’s validity, which helped earn this pack top marks.
The Ozonic has two small hip pouches on the waist strap, one of which is mesh while the other is water resistant. There is a whistle on the sternum strap. The back of the pack has two gear loops for trekking poles or technical climbing gear, both of which can be used with either of two medium sized loops.
Scott Morris guides backpacking expeditions and hiking trips for Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. He is a writer, traveler, and runner. Scott tests backpacking equipment.