Do you need a full-length front zip and big pockets? If not then you could slash your jacket weight by wearing a smock instead. The OMM Cypher is a smock that weighs in at just 266g, and it could be just the job when weight really does count.
The Cypher is stripped down to the bare essentials, so you just get a hood, one small chest pocket for a compass and a short zip for ventilation. The design is free of too many seams as these add weight and reduce breathability. The hood is particularly good as it has a large wired peak, and the fit and movement with the head are outstanding. You can’t roll the hood down and secure it at the collar, though. There are a couple of reflective patches on the sleeves so you can be seen during the night sections of a mountain marathon too.
But perhaps the most important feature is the fabric – eVent, a well-proven material that has excellent breathability and durability, due in part to its three-layer construction. So in terms of condensation it is far better than all the two-layer fabrics such as Gore Paclite for example.
If we look at the weight, the OMM Cypher Smock is only 266g (men’s L). There are some Gore Paclite jackets that weigh less, such as the popular Haglöfs Ozo Pullover at 212g, but because it’s only two-layer fabric condensation is a real problem. So weightwise this may not be the lightest option, but it has other benefits.
The price is pretty good too at £180, as other lightweights come in at around £200. Better still perhaps is that if you do want pockets and a full-length zip you can get it in the form of the OMM Cypher Jacket for 280g and just £200. For hill-walking I’d certainly prefer the jacket, but if I was stripping down for a massive Munro-bagging trip I’d happily take thesmock.
Material 3-layer eVent
Weight 266g (size L)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. (01524) 822084; www.theomm.com
Whichever way you look at it, the OMM Cypher Smock is one of the best lightweight tops out there for the hill-walker or mountain marathon competitor.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2010