Whilst competing in the OMM 2015 I was lucky enough to borrow a test set of their new sleeping system; the new Mountain Raid Jacket and Mountain Raid 1.6 PA Half Bag.
First impressions are fantastic, both the jacket and half bag fit nicely together into a small dry bag. The half bag packs down to, unsurprisingly, about half the size of the existing Mountain Raid 1.6 full bag, whilst the jacket packs into its own pocket giving a total pack size for both the bag and jacket of about 3L.
The Mountain Raid Jacket is what one would expect of a medium-weight primaloft jacket made by OMM. The jacket as a whole feels very well put together, and once worn can be cinched down tightly at the hem and hood to trap plenty of warmth. The fabric used for the inner is comfortable next to the skin and the outer beads water well enough to repel a short shower. There is a double zip on the chest-pocket, but it seems this is a design artefact from the rotor vest carried across by the factories. All in all, the jacket is exactly what you want to keep you comfortable at the overnight camp, but with the added bonus of not having to carry the extra bulk and weight of both a full sleeping bag and jacket.
When sleep finally calls, the half bag is attached to the jacket via four poppers on either side, completing the sleeping system. Whilst only the shortest of people could realistically use all four poppers, at 5’9” I utilised three poppers on each side, and found that the bag remained securely attached throughout the night. The half bag 1.6 utilises the same primaloft weights as its full-length counterpart; 60gsm on the bottom and 100gsm on the top. With this spec, my legs felt comfortably warm whilst also wearing thermal leggings, but it felt that a lighter spec would probably feel a little cold. Again, the inner and outer fabrics felt high quality; the only issue experienced was that the shiny fabric used for the outers of both the bag and jacket meant that there was some sliding down the tent through the night.
Overall, the sleeping system feels well put together, with just enough insulation for a night’s sleep in late October. I would thoroughly recommend pairing it with a decent sleeping mat however, as when used with a duo-mat it was just a little too cold to really drop off properly. This also ended up with frequent turning throughout the night to get cold parts of my body off the floor, and as I’d “cleverly” pulled my arms inside the jacket and then had my partner zip up the jacket for warmth, I ended up rotated within the jacket. Due to this I managed at one point to almost strangle myself with the hood, and proceeded to flail for a couple of minutes in a fairly ineffective and panicked way.
So to wrap it all up (if you’ll excuse the pun) – I found the OMM Mountain Raid Jacket and Half Bag to be an excellent light weight sleeping system which also takes up minimal pack space. The ability to use the jacket separately throughout the evening allows you to remain warm and comfortable until bed-time, at which point the half bag can be easily added for sleeping. From my experience, I would suggest coupling the Mountain Raid with a decent light-weight sleeping mat (I’m looking to invest in a Klymit Inertia X-Frame) and a pair of mittens to keep your hands warm throughout the night which should allow you a comfortable OMM night’s sleep.
The most important message however, is that I will certainly be investing in the Mountain Raid Jacket and Half Bag for future Mountain Marathon events. Cracking equipment, well worth the money if you want to reduce the weight of your kit in an effective way.