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.

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 Outdry Backpack Gear Review

The Ozonic 70 is rugged and ready for the Alpine – photo Kayleen VanderRee

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.

Mountain Hardwear Gear review Ozonic 70 outdry backpack Chris Istace

The Ozonic 70 with patented Outdry waterproof technology

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.

Mountain Hardwear Gear review Ozonic 70 outdry backpack Chris Istace

Convenient front storage pouch for access to snacks or supplies without having to dig into the main compartment

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.

Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 70 outdry backpack Chris Istace

Rugged, form and function for any conditions – photo Kayleen VanderRee

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

Disclosure

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.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Miss Mazuma says:

    I am a total gear junky so I had to comment. Though alpine hiking isn’t my thing (I seriously shiver in 70 degree weather…and I’m FROM CHICAGO!!), long distance hiking is. Weight is always my first priority considering my size and body frame every lb counts – 4lbs is fabulous for a bag of this size. Though 70L is a tad too big for what I do, the rest of the specs here are spot on! I have about 5 more years to FI and my main focus after that is the AT in 2023. By that time I’ll be 45 so I hope my knees can hold out! Until then, my old standby the Camino De Santiago awaits me. I hiked it every year for 4 years but haven’t been back in 2. It’s time!! 🙂

    • Chris Istace says:

      Love long distances and I hope to get a bit of the ULW scene under my belt this year, I have been watching everything Andrew Skurka has lol. This pack 70L pack can really compress and removing the top lid doesn’t decrease function, makes it smaller and drops weight. Typically I have pulled off all my multi day trips on a 45L back but felt using a waterproof 70 will allow me nicely to get everything inside. As well in winter I pack more layers and lightweight bulk so having the room is a plus. Don’t forget my trad gear and ropes, ice axe and crampons….. now you know why I want to go ULW and trek some more ! Way lighter gear and 40L packs LOL

  • Patrick H says:

    4LB is light for a bag that rugged and full of features! I love how it seems to sinch down so well when you’re not using it to its full capacity! Interested to put my eyes on it sometime this summer adventure season!

    • Chris Istace says:

      With the ability to remove the top compartment section it can be run even lighter. I like the design of the harness as you don’t even notice the weight making that 4lbs feel even lighter.

  • sindreste says:

    Great review! Can you post a picture with the capacity at maximum? Rolltop just about closed I know this sacrificing the waterproofness, but makes me curious if this might just replace my Arc’ Altra 85 and my 30l Camelbak daypack

  • Mark says:

    I am about to buy this pack, I just have one question. Is there a compartment on the bottom of the bag to hold your sleeping bag, it looks like there is one but it isn’t stated anywhere.

    • Chris Istace says:

      Hi Mark, no the bag is one big compartment. I really like it this way myself as I put my sleeping bag in a gtx stuffsack and pack my tent loose around it.

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