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October 2022

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket & Dynama Ankle Pants

Gear Reviewer: Min Wenig

Women's Stretch Ozonic Jacket

When shoulder season arrives, having the right rain jacket for varying weather conditions can help prevent a potentially miserable adventure. I typically like to keep two shell jackets in my closet—one heavier duty jacket (3L) for those all day rains and one that is a packable and lightweight emergency shell (2.5L) in case of an unexpected shower.

The Stretch Ozonic Jacket is a 2.5L shell that packs incredibly well within its chest pocket. Weighing in just over half a pound, it’s an easy choice to keep in your backpacking and hiking kit when cutting down on pack weight. For all those with long limbs and torsos this jacket is for you! It’s longer back and arms provide a fairly spacious fit—great for layering in a cozy mid layer during the colder months. For those with shorter arms and torsos (like myself) the jacket has adjustable cuffs and dual drawcord hem adjustments perfect for reshaping it to fit your build. As a 125llb 5’3” female, I wear the XS rain shell. Having initially tried the S, which is my typical size, I had to size it down and still had plenty of room for underlayers and movement.

I love to see 100% recycled outdoor clothing—this shell jacket being one of them! More and more we get to see upcycling in our clothing and I am always eager to support companies that are contributing and committed to sustainable efforts. I was blown away and surprised as to how comfy and soft the fabric is! Typically 2.5L shells feel plasticy and crinkly—but this jacket felt smooth and was very quiet all the way along the trail.

The stretch to the jacket and the more spacious fit provided me without any restriction in movement from climbing around on boulders along the river to trail running on the way back home. Breathability was fantastic and allowed for a slower heat built up. The only concern I had with the jacket was that the breathability (which I liked!) affected the wind resistance. When not on the move or in a sheltered area, I found the wind came through—however it was a quick fix to add a mid layer providing an extra layer of protection. The duo combination worked like a charm and protected me from the wet and the wind.

This versatile jacket has many great features while maintaining its light weight factor. The hand and chest pockets were spacious and the chest pocket could easily fit my phone so I wasn’t left wrestling to get it in while on the move. The under arm zip vents, and adjustments on the cuffs, hem, and hood, were features that hit all the bases. Rated 50D—slightly above the typical 40D of middle ground waterproof jackets—it provides a slightly thicker fabric while still being lightweight. I was grateful for the ripstop fabric which is practical. For example when I hiked through densely packed underbrush, I didn’t have to worry as much about the shell ripping because the fabric was reinforced.

Overall, the Stretch Ozonic Jacket is a great staple rain apparel piece. Its versatility and stretch is pretty amazing and I find that I appreciate its features along the trail, which may not be found in a lighter shell. It’s one of those pieces that I tend to forget I have on because it’s so light and I’m not sounding like a candy wrapper each step of the way.

Women's Dynama High Rise Ankle Pant

Having a few too many leggings in my wardrobe and not enough pants, I found the Dynama High Rise Ankle Pant to be versatile for both climbing and hiking in the mountains as well as being a casual pant to wear around town.

As a shorter individual with a 28” inseam, these pants were a great fit on me for a full length pant! I didn’t have to hem them, which was a welcome bonus. I was able to fold the pant legs up as I typically like them sitting an inch or two above my hiking boots as well being able to push them up above my calves to wade in water. I did find that the pants run a bit on the larger size—if there was one thing that I would hope for would be a drawstring as I had a bit of gapping in the waist.

The pockets were able to fit my iPhone and I really appreciated the width and depth of the pant pockets. I find that it is sometimes difficult to find secure pockets with the right depth and angle.

The stretch and material quality made the pants lightweight and breathable, which I was grateful for halfway into a long hike. I’m a huge fan of high waisted bottoms so these pants score big for that particular feature. They are a relaxed fit pant, which was a nice switch up from my usual tight fit leggings.

The minimum UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) for clothing is 30 and the Dynama pant has a 50 rating. These pants were great protection from the sun along the hike but were lightweight enough that I didn’t overheat in the pants because they were breathable. Not only that but the UPF for the pant is chemical free—I again applaud Mountain Hardwear for their sustainable efforts in being able to provide quality ratings while cutting out chemical additives.

The Dynama High Rise Ankle Pant also has a PFC free DWR finish that repels water. These man made chemicals (PFCs) are often found in durable water repellent coatings and are something to try to avoid when looking for clothing items that are described as being water repellent. I always find comfort wearing clothes with fewer potentially harmful chemicals on my skin for long durations. The pants are made primarily out of nylon—so they are fairly water resistant and durable prior to having the DWR finish.

Overall these were comfortable pants to wear on the trails as well in the city for an evening climb. Having a good pair of light and durable pants in my hiking and climbing wardrobe is a necessity and Mountain Hardwear did a great job with the quality of these pants.