I’m generally a pretty big fan of OMM gear, and have been since their KIMMlite days. Light, no nonsense kit, and not afraid to innovate.
When they brought out a fully waterproof softshell, with their own Gelanots fabric, I was intrigued and bought one. It did well for a couple of years abuse, eventually dying as a result of a crash on my bike, and a victim of the stretchy nature of the fabric, meaning the seam tape prematurely peeled away.
I was happy enough to go out and buy a new one though. In the intervening years, OMM had spent some time developing the second generation of their smock. This had new, nice feeling, but less stretchy fabric. I bought one, and got on we’ll with it instantly. As a light, minimalist top, I didn’t use it frequently, but it was near perfect for the job it was designed for. The only minor flaws were slightly too-short arms and a peak that would have benefited from wire.
It was a sad day then, when before Christmas, the jacket failed. I was out running in the Peak, in pretty vile conditions, which took a turn for the worse. I tugged the smock on, back to the wind. Upon zipping it up, something wasn’t right. The zip briefly jammed before running free. The teeth on one side separated from the zip fabric, and left me with a zip that would not stay done up. Great. Luckily, I had an easy escape option, and headed straight down, jacket inflating with cold wind rushing in through the gaping, billowing fabric.
Now, I’ve had the smock for three years (I bought it at the 2009 event). A reasonable length of time, but I really hadn’t used it a great deal. Disappointing. OMM weren’t willing to offer any form of replacement (it would have been nothing more than a good will gesture), so I’ve been left looking for a replacement lightweight waterproof shell.
-small pack size
-sturdy enough for a full day out in rain
This left me with a few choices, largely either Haglofs, Montane or Berghaus, with a few outside contenders, like The North Face (who seem to have come through their “look GRRR on the high street years”, and started turning out lovely kit again). In the end though, a bargain deal meant I have gone with another OMM product. Their eVent jacket, in a fetching canary yellow. First impressions are good. Sleeves are longer, everything else is right. It’s maybe a little baggy in the body, but I can forgive that if it performs.
I will also be sending off the old jacket to Lancashire Sports Repairs for a new zip…