OMM, which stands for Original Mountain Marathon, is probably the only outdoor brand where two people wearing an OMM backpack on the tube will nod at each other. You see, OMM isn’t a brand, it’s a community. These two people will probably have either done the OMM, or are planning to do the OMM. They’re distance runners with a serious love of the outdoors.
There are now several editions around the world, including the OMM Lite, but the original race still takes place every year. It’s a two day event which involves navigating round a series of checkpoints. This might sound fairly innocuous, but it’s widely known as the toughest mountain marathon in the world. The big crux is that you have to carry enough food and equipment with you for an overnight camp – this means tent, stove, sleeping bag and mat, and the rest.
“It wicks moisture away from the skin brilliantly thanks to its two-layer construction."
Now if you’ve just checked the name of this bag again, yes, that 25 means 25 litres. We’ve taken more than that on an amble around Ambleside. Yet having completed our first OMM using this backpack and not being particularly experienced is cutting weight, we can vouch for its usefulness.
Some of this is down to clever touches in the bag that means you can cut weight. For example, the stability of the backpack is down to carbon poles, ones that can be removed and replaced with tent poles – we took the Nordisk ULW and these poles worked brilliantly. More stability and padding is added by using a (very) thin folded sleeping mat (I still took a Therm-A-Rest – not quite being ready for that level of hardcore activity).
There are few times when a backpack will take such a hammering as on the OMM, so this gear has to be bulletproof. This is thanks to the virtually indestructible Dyneema chassis. The straps have to work, and survive, it also has to be versatile enough to be used in all manner of ways.
Everyone packs their bags differently, and everyone will stuff different things in different areas, but this backpack will suck it all up. Impressive as it is, it’s even more astonishing when you realise it only weighs 625g (leanweight 425g) with belt pockets, compression straps and waterproof material. Wow.
OMM Phantom 25 Trail Running Backpack Stats:
- Price: £120
- Weight: 625g
Shot on location in Chamonix
- Thanks to our accommodation partner Adventure Base