+ Ultra lightweight, simplicity, superb hood
- Long term durability, breathability, expensive
Made from the latest Gore-Tex Paclite fabric this is a weight fetishist’s dream jacket. Haglofs’ clever smock design means the jacket, excluding hood, is only produced from two pieces of fabric. This results in minimal seam taping, hence reduced weight and improved breathability (as seam tape will never be as breathable as bare fabric). It’s squarely aimed at fast and light movers looking for the lightest, most packable fully waterproof shell around and there are none better at the moment. The face fabric, to which the Gore membrane is laminated, is exclusive to Haglofs and is extremely light, which with the minimalist design gives a genuine weight of 175grams for the test size medium. Body cut is slim, as would be expected, and features are sparse to save weight. It does have a laminated front chest pocket, (not big enough for an OS map) and an astounding hood with unusual external compression system.
There is compression adjustment by a toggle at the back of the head, which thankfully doesn’t get in the way when worn under a bike or climbing helmet. Dual toggles adjust the peak position, but in windy conditions I found the peak a bit too floppy and some other reviewers including PTC, have modified their Oz’s by inserting speaker wire into the peak brim. Check out their sites for details on modifications, however, the 2010 Oz, now called the OZO will feature a stiffer peak.
There are thumb loops in the sleeves to keep wrists covered while running, scrambling or on the bike and an adjustable elasticated hem. The fabric was very waterproof during testing, though breathability struggled when working really hard and the inside often felt damp to the touch (not to be confused with leaking). Paclite has a habit of breathing well then suddenly being overwhelmed, creating a damp inner surface. However, those that understand fabric technology will understand that internal condensation is crucial in how Gore-Tex fabrics work, so some should be expected. Additionally, I’ve always been of the mindset for fast moving sports, that if it’s cold enough to need a full waterproof shell, as opposed to a windshell, then chances are you’ll be (or should be) wearing a long sleeve wicking baselayer, so you simply won’t feel any clamminess next to your skin.
Anyway, if weight and pack size are your priorities in a waterproof shell and you want the assurance that your jacket will protect you from the heavens when they open, then look no further, the Haglofs Oz Pullover is a stunningly good jacket. As the 2009 Oz is fazed out and replaced by the 2010 OZO then there are many bargains to be had, in fact a quick search reveals it at half price here. Get there quick!