When your trip plans include multi-day treks to Alpine objectives consider the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 Backpack. Rugged dependable quality that is able to withstand unpredictable weather is a standard Mountain Hardwear is known for. This new pack is that reputation molded into a simple minimalist design with an amazingly comfortable suspension system.
Picking the Right Pack for Your Outdoor Style
Every year that I build up my experience in the backcountry and refine my needs I get a better understanding of what kind of gear suits me the best. For a backpack I knew that with the type of trips planned in the coming season I will need a larger more rugged pack than my current 48L.
I would need something that would handle multi-day excursions, endure the unpredictable weather of the PNW and be designed for the Alpine. That is where the Ozonic 70L Outdry comes into the picture from Mountain Hardwear. I have a few pieces of gear from this manufacturer including my Skyledge2 UL tent so I was confident in trying this pack out.
First Impressions : Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 Backpack
When I received my new pack the first thing I noticed was the weight and size of the pack. For a 70L backpack it doesn’t have the typical bulky and heavy feel to it. The pack still comes in at just a touch over 4 lbs but for a multi-day rugged backpack it comes in below it’s competition.
Shortly after my pleasant surprise on the light weight I quickly noticed the simplicity in detail. Mountain Hardwear did a nice job of giving the backpack plenty of options and functionality but without compromising a minimal look and feel. The ice axe loops, the side mess pockets, removable top compartment, hydration bladder compatible and sleek external rear pouch.
My final first impression was the out of the box fit and comfort. The waist belt has to be the nicest and most comfortable one I have tried with the backpan fitting my shape and back nicely. One quick change to the easily adjustable shoulder straps and the waist belt was sitting nicely on my hips. It should be noted that I like the fact they have the waist buckle of to one side and doesn’t dig into your mid section.
Taking the Ozonic 70 on an Alpine Day Hike
Warm weather and clear skies providing all the incentive that was needed to get out and put the new Ozonic pack to the test. The challenge of the day would be a first spring ascent of Mt Arrowsmith in the heart of Vancouver Island. As this is a day hike I chose to load up the pack with as much volume as I could without creating any unreasonable weight.
As a result I jammed every down coat and jacket I could find into the pack to try and fill out the entire pack. I added my ice axe easily to the external strap and loops. Conveniently I placed a few snacks in the waist belt pouches, my water bottle in the side pockets and in the top compartment my extra gloves, gps and inReach. (Never head out without your 10 Essentials)
For a day trip it would have of course made more sense to have taken one of my 30L packs but the goal was to test the Ozonic out. However in this case it worked well and I was extremely impressed that one could use a multi-day large pack but have it feel light on my shoulders and snug fitting. As a result I didn’t feel fatigued by it’s size and rather it felt like a much smaller pack than it was.
We spent the entire day in the snow and even had a bit of sleet come down on us at the end of our trip. The Outdry material kept everything in my pack dry and secure. As an additional neat fact I should mention that the external pouch holds a snow shovel perfectly even though it wasn’t designed for this. This spot also might work well to hold your crampons (if properly protected) but I chose to put my inside the pack.
In the side pouches I kept my water bottle on once side and on the other side I kept my closed cell foam seat pad for sitting in the snow. The top compartment quickly unclipped and the roll closure system allowed easy access to the main compartment. I thought it might be nice to have a side full length access zipper but this might compromise the waterproof feature of the pack.
Bonus Feature and Versatility
One of the uses that this pack will be utilized for in the future for me will be as an approach pack. Overnight hikes to reach summit objectives spanning over three days is typical where I will need climbing gear and my backpacking gear. As a result my pack will be very full and the large 70L is needed to fit everything in. However a big bulky pack is not the best choice for an alpine ascent.
This is where the Ozonic has versatility. For the hike in expand the bag fully and it will handle the largest of loads. Once at camp the top compartment can be removed from the pack and the compression straps on the sides, top and bottom cinch the Ozonic to half it’s size. As a result you can confidently achieve your mountain summits with the same pack you used to hike in.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
In conclusion of my very adventurous first outing with the Ozonic backpack I would be confident in recommending this pack to others. I will need to of course put it through it’s paces with a bit more weight and on multi day trips which I can report back on in the future.
The waterproof worry free material and large volume capacity with sleek design are the clear Pros of this pack. I worry about how the side mesh material might hold up in the thick bush of Vancouver Island and this would possibly be it’s only Con.
Official Mountain Hardwear Details and Specs
- Rainroom tested for 24 hours, the OutDry™ construction of the main compartment is guaranteed waterproof
- Removable, zippered top compartment holds internal security pocket and key clip
- Easy-to-reach side pockets for water bottles and other essentials
- Customizable suspension provides 3-inches / 8 5-cm of torso adjustment
- Reversible top pocket is seam taped and can be removed and clipped into front shoulder straps to carry wallaby pouch style
- Pack Weight S/M: 4 lb 2 oz / 1.87 kg
- Pack Capacity S/M: 4174 cu in / 68 ltr
- Pack Dim S/M: 32 in x 13 in x 13 in / 81 cm x 32 cm x 32 cm
- $339.99 Canadian
I review and support companies that support my efforts to continue to bring you photos, stories and adventures of the Mindful Explorer. Altitude Sports recognizes my efforts (thanks guys!) and will occasionally provide me equipment to power my trips and future outdoor pursuits. I however will not take inferior product that I do not believe in strongly or would not normally choose to use myself. My integrity is your guarantee.