OMM Classic Marathon 32L –
|Weight: 720 grammes (measured
lightweight pack with Leanweight chassis, 80gsm 210T fabric
with reinforced lid, Universal Gear Rail, hydration bladder
compatible – either in internal pouch or front compression
pocket, two mesh side pockets, sternum strap with whistle
buckle,.zipped belt pockets, removable side elastics,
axe/ski fittings and Duomat, saves approximately 175
What’s It For?
Based on the Original Mountain Marathon Company’s classic 25L race
sac, the 32L is larger and slightly longer and designed with maximum
versatility and minimum weight in mind. That means you could
conceivably load it up for a superlightweight alpine ski
mountaineering epic or strip it down for a mountain marathon.
Most obviously though, it’s either a large and very lightweight
day or weekend pack with a plethora of extra carrying options making
it extremely versatile.
The Techy Bits
The OMM’s buzzword is ‘Lean Weight’, which basically means their
packs are strippable to create an even lighter version, say for a
summit attempt – in the case of the 32L, that means you can strip out
the Duomat, which forms the back system, along with the side elastics
and the axe/ ski fittings and save yourself another 175 grammes.
What’s interesting about the 32L is that it’s anything but
minimalist, but through the use of very light fabrics and materials,
OMM has still kept it well up in the weight weenie stakes.
The back system, for example, is very simple, with padding
provided by folded into four, lightweight, closed-cell foam mat
housed in a sleeve. Shoulder straps use a lightweight foam/mesh
construction and the fabric is ultralightweight, super-thin 210D
stuff except for the reinforced base and back central section.
Not radical, but certainly thorough. Last but not least, the pack
has a veritable rash of storage pockets, gear loops and compression
How It Performs
Our test sac’s done a mountain marathon as well as being used for
day walks and the odd long mountain bike ride and it’s sailed
serenely through it all like the classic thoroughbred it is.
As with any minimalist sac, you have to give some thought to
packing carefully – heavy objects in the lid pocket, for example,
will flop annoyingly if you run – but the internal Duomat gives a
surprising amount of cushioning and once the pack is loaded and
compressed, snugging up the straps pulls everything tight and stable
into your back.
It helps compression if the sac is fullish, but the twin side
cords and the main back pocket, which also compresses inwards are
pretty effective in use. We were a little concerned by the absence of
top tensioner straps, but in practice, it doesn’t seem to make a
The bottom line is that even though 32-litres is a tad large for
most runners, you can load it up knowing that bounce will be minimal.
While we’re talking capacity. there’s plenty of external storage and
it works. You can, for example, reach the side mesh stash pockets
without taking the pack off, the back pocket has side entry so you
don’t need to un-do the lid buckle for access and so on. We love the
belt pockets too, ideal for carrying frequently used items and on the
There’s also a veritable smorgasbord of carrying options for skis,
axes, poles and so on, in the form of upper axe loops and the lower
‘Universal Gear Rail’, a sort of horizontal daisy chain.
It’s all mostly simple, but effective. We did have a few quibbles.
The side compression cords and top axe loops use the same cord and
grips, so it’s easy to pull the wrong one when compressing the sac –
colour coding would be a nice touch – and like all back-hugging
packs, it can feel warm when the going gets hot, though at least the
non-foam back panel doesn’t turn into a sponge.
And we suppose we should point out that lightweight kit won’t
stand the same level of abuse as heavier stuff, so if you’re prone to
thrutching up dank gullies or Scottish mixed routes – much the same
thing – you may be better off with something else.
Given the heritage of The Original Mountain Marathon Company
and legendary founder Mike Parsons, you’d expect the 32L to be well
sorted and you won’t be disappointed. It’s simply a very efficient,
very light, large-sized day pack that’s tremendously versatile thanks
to well thought through additional storage and carrying
Compress it down for bounce-free fast-moving performance or load
it up for a lightweight weekend-packing trip, the 32L does it all. A
classic of its kind. If you need less capacity, the 25L is identical
Light, effective and extremely versatile.
Erm, compression cord confusion and that’s just about