OMM Classic 25 (2013)

The OMM Classic 25 is a well-established classic sack that was originally developed for mountain marathons but is equally at home during any lightweight mountain trip. It has a Duomat inside the back of the sack, which can be used as a sleeping mat, thereby saving the weight of carrying a dedicated sleep mat. Apart from this, there is no mesh or padding on the contact areas of the back system, so it is not the best for comfort, but the shoulder straps and hipbelt are padded so at least these areas are more comfy. You don’t get top tensioning straps on the shoulder straps either, so this may not be as stable as others, depending on how the sack fits you. For the body of the sack you get a main compartment with a conventional lid that has a single buckle closure, making it quick and easy to use. The lid gets a Velcro-closured mesh pocket and a zipped pocket, and both are well-sized and useful. There are also three mesh pockets around the sack and compression cords, so you can stash gear on the outside and compress the load. Functionally the OMM Classic 25 is a good rucksack for general lightweight hillwalking, although it does lack the finesse of others in this price range, and you can get lighter sacks and others that are comfier.

Capacity 25 litres
Weight 670g
Internal compartments 1
External zipped pockets 3
Wand pockets yes
Hydration pocket yes
Men’s/unisex back sizes one size
Women’s back size no
Website www.theomm.com

 

Verdict

The OMM Classic 25 is a good practical lightweight sack for general hillwalking and mountain marathons, but others provide extra benefits including lower weight and more comfort.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2013


OMM Classic Marathon 32 2010

The OMM Classic Marathon 32 sets the standard for mountain marathon and hill running events by being incredibly well-thought-through and functional. At 680g it isn’t the lightest pack available, but the added weight works hard: the back panel pulls out to form a half-length sleep mat, and side bungees and outside netting can be used to stash waterproofs and clothing that you might need to access quickly on the hill. It’s an incredibly comfortable pack with straps that flex well around your shoulders and easy-access side pockets for stashing water bottles or gear you might need on the go. Our long-term testers have found these to be very durable packs, and weight can be stripped out further by removing the sleeping mat and side bungees.  But the OMM Classic Marathon 32’s sleeping mat is probably only for the hardiest of wild campers and (as we discovered) it’s not great in cold weather. To wild camp with this pack you need a strict lightweight ethos, so it might limit you to day walks if you can’t keep overnight gear down to this capacity, although our recent tests suggested it was closer to 36 rather than 32 litres.

Capacity 32 litres
Fabric nylon 80gsm; 210T fabric
Features Universal Gear Rail: carries everything from axes to poles to skis; hydration-compatible in internal pouch or front compression pocket; bottles can be carried in mesh side pockets; lean weight can be achieved by removing side elastics and Duo-Mat
Weight 680g
Made in Far East

The OMM Classic Marathon 32 is a simply brilliant rucksack for hill races that works well for lightweight overnight trips. Check this out alongside the inov-8 Racepro 30LT and Osprey Hornet 32.

Review by Matt Swaine
First published in Trail magazine September 2010


OMM Villain 45+10 2010

Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) was set up in 1996 by Mike Parsons, who originally owned Karrimor. Today Mike has moved on to greater things, but the OMM range of packs are recognised as modern classics. The OMM Villain takes what was great about Karrimor in its heyday and gives it a modern twist.

Design
I bought an orange Karrimor Alpiniste in the late Eighties, used it for Alpine and UK routes and to this day I still love that sack and still use it. The OMM Villain is based on the proven design of the Alpiniste, but with the advantage of being lighter. The teardrop profile is the key to the design, as this keeps the sack out of the way when scrambling. Better still is the single buckle lid, which is faster to use than twin buckled lids or rolltops. You get that massive snow-lock extension too, which means you can over-stuff this sack as and when needed. A side zip has been added to the main compartment and also a Multi-sport Compressor panel to stash gear. The back system is clean and simple, very much like the old Karrimor Alpiniste from which this sack has evolved. But importantly it is lighter than of old. Also the sack can be stripped down to 710g by removing various parts, which is useful for summit assaults from huts in the Alps.

On the hill
I’m not a fan of side zips into main compartments so I never use this feature, though I can see that some may find this useful for stashing gear inside the pack but outside of a waterproof liner. But I do like the OMM Villain 45+10’s Multi-sport Compressor for stashing wet waterproofs. The side compression straps have quick-release buckles, which make them useful for attaching trekking poles when scrambling, or rollmats when camping. The drawcorded wand pockets are ideal for pole handles too. The back system is not as well-padded or as comfy as other modern sacks. Also the shoulder straps and hipbelt lack the integral support offered by others. The result is that this is not quite so comfortable or quite as stable to carry as other sacks. Having said that, it depends how comfy and stable you need the sack to be, as I’ve found this perfectly adequate. The back system does not allow as much airflow as others, so this tends to feel a little sweatier than some and certainly in warm weather I’d prefer a bit more airflow. One of the best features of this pack for lightweight campers is that an OMM DuoMat sleeping pad can be used to replace the back system padding. This effectively means the padding of the rucksack becomes your sleeping mat.

Capacity 45-55 litres
Fabric Dyneema
Features Leanweight chassis back system; removable lumbar pad; removable internal back stiffener; removable front compressor; top tensioning straps; compression straps; wand pockets; external lid pocket; twin ice axe/pole attachment points; hydration system-compatible
Back sizes 55cm
Weight 1160g (710g stripped)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100
Stockist details tel. (01524) 822084; www.theomm.com

Verdict
The OMM Villain 45+10 is very functional, lightweight; can be stripped; quick-release compression straps; sheds snow easily; extendible lid with extension baffle to keep rain out. But the back system is not as breathable as designs that encourage more airflow; doesn’t feel as stable or as comfy as others. It’s an ideal hill-goer’s sack when weight is the priority, but others may be better for Alpine use and comfort.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine April 2010


OMM Classic Marathon 32 2009

The OMM Classic Marathon 32 is a well-thought-out, light, stable unisex rucksack for walkers and adventure racers. It’s not the lightest walking/running sack we tested, at just over 700g, but it is a better design. It fits medium back lengths well, and the shoulder straps flex well around a ladies’ narrower top half. Poles, axes and skis can be secured to the gear loops. A side bungee is good for combining compression with carrying quick-access layers. The front stash sack can accommodate a helmet. The back panel is basic and padded with a removable 144g Duomat 45, an 80cm half length sleeping mat. A 4 litre Trio Chest Pouch can also be attached. But the integrated sleep mat is only warm and comfy enough for those who don’t feel the cold or bumps, but it does make a useful sit mat. It is hard to alter the chest strap height (but this means it won’t move while running). The top mesh pocket could do with a zip rather than Velcro closure for securing small items. Walkers might not need the mountain marathon features.

 

Fabric nylon
Features medium back length; lid has zip and mesh Velcro pockets; hydration-compatible; mini daisy chain loops front top and bottom; removable sleeping mat as backpad; shoulder straps flex to fit women’s frame; front mesh pouch fits helmet; 2 large mesh side pockets; comfy padded hipbelt with 2 large snack pockets; whistle chest strap; reinforced base
Weight 716g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100
OMM – tel. (01524) 822084; www.theomm.com

Verdict: The OMM Classic Marathon 32 is a superbly designed rucksack that’s sack suitable for both walking and adventure racing.

Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine July 2009


OMM Villain MSC 45+10 2008

This rucksack is very lightweight with plenty of capacity (and this can be stripped down to 710g by removing various parts the sack). The back system is very simple with an internal removable stiffener and some padding in the lumbar area and shoulder straps. The sack is nice and stable and narrow, making it ideal for scramblers. The compression straps and wand pockets are ideal for stowing trekking poles too. The front compressor panel is good for stashing a waterproof, while its pocket stores smaller items. The side zip on the main compartment is useful to access items stowed outside a waterproof rucksack liner, but inside the pack. The lid has a single buckle so it is fast to use, while a good snow-lock extension keeps the elements out. A very useful sack for hill-walkers, scramblers and lightweight backpacking. But the back system does not allow as much airflow as others, so this tends to feel a little sweatier than some alternatives. Other heavier sacks may prove to be more durable over time and benefit from additional features. Some may prefer webbing top tensioning straps rather than the light cord used on this sack.

Capacity 45+10 litres
Fabric Dyneema
Features Leanweight chassis back system; removable lumbar pad; removable internal back stiffener; removable front compressor; top tensioning straps; compression straps; wand pockets; external lid pocket; twin ice axe/pole attachment points; hydration system-compatible
Weight 1160g (710g stripped)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 40
Verdict
A superb modern classic lightweight rucksack that is at home when hill-walking, scrambling or lightweight backpacking, but some may want extra comfort.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2008