Jared Hargravewrote a review of Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket - Men's on May 25, 2015
Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
We have had a very wet spring so far in Utah, and I have had ample time to test the Stretch Ozonic in a downpour. So does it pass the waterproof/breathable test.
USES: Mountain Hardwear calls the Stretch Ozonic a wet-weather backpacking shell, but I mostly used it on mountain bike rides, trail runs, and walks around the park in the rain. April and May have been chilly and wet in the Wasatch, and I have been glad to have the Stretch Ozonic on hand.
WATERPROOFINESS: This shell is everything MH claims as far as keeping out the wet. At first glance, I thought there is no way this piece is waterproof, it is too flexible and light, almost like thin paper. Usually one relates waterproof shells to garbage bag, plastic feeling material. But my doubts were put to rest the first time I stepped out the door in a downpour. Water beads up on the shell and sluffs off. My under layers never saw even a hint of moisture. I was duly impressed.
BREATHABILITY: Top notch. To test that out I mountain biked and ran in the shell, but also boot packed up Suicide Chute in the Alta backcountry and skied down. It was a warm day, almost t-shirt weather. But the Stretch Ozonic breathed extremely well, especially after opening the pit zips for added air flow. So not only is this shell a good summer jacket to ward off the rain, it also doubles as a backcountry skiing layer as well.
OTHER DETAILS: What I also love about this shell is how light it is. It weighs almost nothing (9.7 oz) and packs down super small, ideal for throwing in a pack for just in case. I have been carrying it around in my mountain bike pack and on after-work hikes so I am never without an emergency waterproof layer. Plus, it looks good with a slim cut, minimal pockets and clutter, and colors that are not too crazy.
GRIPES: My only gripe is that there is not much in the way of wind protection. On that backcountry tour on Mount Superior, we were greeted with cold, ridgetop winds that cut right through the shell. After slipping on an insulated mid layer, I was fine, but know that the Stretch Ozonic will only keep the water out. Wind? Not so much. That being said, you should carry a warm mid-layer on alpine outings anyway, so brutal wind should not be a problem if you?re prepared. I consider this lack of wind-proofiness the cost of breathability.
FINAL WORD: Overall I'd say The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket is pretty much the essential waterproof/breathable shell for spring, summer and fall alpine pursuits. It will keep you dry inside and out, will not overheat, and packs away small until you need it. Do not go backpacking without one.