The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic is a versatile jacket. It is one of the most comfortable and breathable jackets we tested. This, combined with its packability and decent water resistance, meant we found ourselves reaching for it regularly when we were heading out in less-than-ideal weather where we knew we'd be moving and working up a sweat. The water resistance was pretty impressive for how soft the fabric feels, but for those regularly getting out in uber-wet conditions for extended periods, there are a couple of rain jackets that repelled water longer.Editor's Note: This review of the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic was updated on October 4, 2022, to reflect updates to the product and additional data.
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, breathable, versatile, not crinkly, soft hand feel
Cons: Hood doesn't offer great coverage
Manufacturer: Mountain Hardwear
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Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic - Women's
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|Pros||Comfortable, breathable, versatile, not crinkly, soft hand feel||Excellent water resistance, whole size/pit vents, great range of motion||Excellent breathability, great mobility, comfortable||Exceptionally packable, lightweight, breathable, good mobility||Simple but functional, hood packs away, good value|
|Cons||Hood doesn't offer great coverage||No stow pocket, heavy||Zipper catches storm flap, pit zips felt stiff at first, fabric took up water||No vents, no hand pockets||Small zipper pulls, internal fabric can stick to bare skin|
|Bottom Line||An exceptionally breathable and comfortable jacket for active adventures offering a full range of motion while repelling light moisture||Built to withstand the elements while on the move, this jacket offers a great balance of water resistance and breathability||This comfortable, breathable jacket has great mobility and is a good fit for those looking to explore in light to moderate precip||A great emergency layer that is feather-light, compresses into a tiny stow pocket and punches above its weight for breathability and water resistance||A solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research As...||Rab Downpour - Women's||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Weight and Packability (15%)|
|Specs||Mountain Hardwear S...||Outdoor Research As...||Rab Downpour - Women's||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...|
|Measured Weight||9.7 oz||10.5 oz||10.6 oz||5.6 oz||9.2 oz|
|Number of Fabric Layers||2.5||2||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Material||50D Stretch Ripstop||50D Polyester||50D Polyester||30D Ripstop Nylon||100% Ripstop Nylon|
|Pockets||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand, 1 chest||2 hand||1 chest||2 hand|
|Pit Zip Length (in)||11||20||14||N/A||10|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stows into Pocket||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic is a work of technological genius, managing to meld great mobility, the best breathability, and decent water resistance into one very comfortable rain jacket, thanks to the generous cut and the 2.5-layer 50D stretch ripstop fabric.
Water Resistance is a key component when choosing a rain jacket, so we took the Ozonic out in every type of precipitation we could, from fine mist to tropical downpours. We also performed side-by-side lab tests to evaluate the water resistance of the fabric and zippers, as well as the hood coverage. For how soft, lightweight, and flexible the fabric is, we were pleasantly surprised with its water resistance. There are a couple of top contenders that kept our testers dryer for longer, but for those looking to prioritize mobility and breathability for active adventures, this is a great choice.
The Ozonic worked great for keeping testers dry in lighter precipitation from a mist to light rain. In sustained and heavier rain, a few other top contenders kept testers dry for longer. Running around in a tropical storm for a few hours, one tester noticed her skin was a bit damp under the jacket. The Ozonic was one of the first jackets to show that the fabric was taking up water, but it took longer for the water to actually penetrate the fabric and soak through to the shirt underneath, and soak the paper towel in the pockets. We also found that the hood coverage was not quite as good as some other options. It only tightened around the top; the bottom gapped some, letting in a bit of water. The coated zippers performed reasonably. While not the most water-resistant of the jackets tested, the Ozonic sat comfortably in the middle.
Breathability is where the Ozonic really shines. The lightweight 2.5-layer fabric was one of the most breathable on our controlled uphill hike, even with the vents zipped up, and when we did open the vents they quickly dumped all excess heat. The fabric was able to wick moisture and expel it through the membrane, keeping the wearer from feeling swampy, even when intensity increased and the tester began to sweat. This especially came in handy while hiking in Hawaii in a storm with warm temperatures, allowing us to stay comfortable and dry.
We regularly found ourselves reaching for this jacket when we knew we would be breaking a sweat but still wanted protection from the elements. And while this jacket is not quite as wind resistant as a few other jackets with stiffer outer fabrics, we were pleased with the wind resistance in all but the most howling gales. For a rain jacket, the Ozonic's breathability is pretty hard to beat.
Comfort and Mobility
The Ozonic was also the head of the pack in the field of comfort and mobility. This was one of the easiest jackets to move in. Mountain Hardwear achieved this with a slightly more relaxed fit and flexible fabric with a bit of stretch, so whatever activity you're pursuing, your motion won't be restricted. The roomy cut has a slightly longer hem and longer sleeves, making it a good option for taller folks. The relaxed fit also gives the most room for layering underneath, and we found our down puffy fit comfortably underneath when the temperature dropped. It should be noted that the fabric is a little thinner than others, so on its own, it does not offer very much warmth when the mercury plummets.
The garment feels light as a feather and is quiet as a mouse, thanks to the lightweight fabric. The softer, more flexible fabric feels smooth against the skin when wearing shorts sleeves underneath, and the cuffs and chin are less abrasive than many other options. The fabric lining of the pockets is also soft. The two hand pockets and one chest pocket are all easy to access and roomy enough for a phone and plenty of snacks. There are also key clips in both hand pockets. The drawcords around the bottom hem tighten from both sides, making it easy to evenly distribute fabric around the hem. The only aspect we were less stoked on from a comfortability standpoint was the hood. It only tightens from the back, and the elastic loops around the top of the head like a crown. We found this somewhat uncomfortable, as it applied a little pressure to the ears.
Weight and Packability
Weighing in at only 9.7 oz, this was the third lightest jacket tested and is very packable, making it a good option for when weight and size are important considerations. The lightweight fabric is a huge factor in keeping the ounces down on this garment.
The garment stashes in the rectangular chest pocket, making a compact package measuring only 9" x 4" x 3.5" inches. The fit is tight, but the mesh pocket lining is a bit stretchy, so it is one of the easiest to stow and unpack quickly. When stowed, the jacket is easy to stash in a nook in a backpack or suitcase. It was so light, small, and easy to pack that we were happy to tuck the Ozonic into its own pocket and chuck it in a bag as a just in case option.
With this model of the Ozonic, Mountain Hardwear upgraded the fabric from a smooth stretch 40D 100% nylon fabric to a slightly heavier 50D stretch ripstop fabric made of 100% recycled polyester. We found the new fabric to still be flexible and stretchy, and we saw no signs of abrasion at the completion of testing. We did find that the DWR coating had to be revitalized a little sooner than many other models.
All materials are high quality, the zippers ran smoothly (we loved the sealed zippers on the front), and the drawcords were easy to use and functional. This jacket held up well during our test period.
Should You Buy the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic?
Overall, we were impressed with the crossroads of comfort, breathability, and water resistance. While this was not the most water-resistant jacket tested, it excels at at managing internal temperature and moisture levels, and its stretchiness provides a full range of motion, making this a great option for those seeking a jacket for active pursuits.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
The Outdoor Research Aspire II offers better water resistance for a longer duration, and while it can't match the Ozonic's ultra-breathable fabric, the full-length pit zips offer excellent ventilation while moving. The Rab Downpour offers decent breathability at a slightly lower price tag for those looking for maximum breathability on a tighter budget.
— Jessica Albery
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