A marathon in the mountains? Now that sounds like my kind of marathon! In the United Kingdom the Original Mountain Marathon Company (OMM) has been organizing these marathons for a few decades. Adventure racers conquer picturesque yet challenging miles of terrain through the mountains.
This company sponsoring these annual races also manufactures some apparel and gear; highly technical stuff that suits the needs of guys and gals running 50+ miles in the rainy and wet British Isles.
I was asked to test one of their Kamleika Smocks, and let me say when the package arrived from the U.K., I was immediately impressed before I even put it on. The “smock” is what would be called a waterproof outlayer. But this one is designed to be lightweight, extremely water resistant, and highly functional for intense conditions. I’d call it a perfect addition to any hiker’s pack! If it were distributed in the U.S. I know that trail runners and city runners alike would love this product!
Putting it to the test
- The coolest thing about the smock is the extreme water repellency. Here I am testing it – watch how the water beads right off!
Here’s what makes the OMM Smock so great:
- Extremely soft fabric. It is soft to the touch, very stretchy (rare quality for a waterproof layer) and extremely quiet. A lot of water resistant and water proof apparel gets noisy as the fabric rubs. That’s not what I want to be hearing as I’m on a peaceful hike or trail run!
- Fully taped seams. Talk about waterproof! I tested mine on a misty Southern California day, and I was bone dry at the end of my hike. I then decided to turn on the sink and test to see how the Kamleika Smock could handle a steady downpour… it just beaded up and rolled right off! Unbelievable!
And what I think could be improved:
- Reflective decals. The reflective decals on the arms and back are a great idea for safety reasons, but I found that when I wore the smock on a night run, the decals weren’t as reflective as I would have expected.
- Well designed hood. The hood has a stiff brim to keep out rain and sun, but it also rolls up when not in use.
- Thumb loops. I love this feature! A lot of running and yoga wear have these nowadays and it definitely helps keep your hands protected from the elements.
- Extra long length. I can’t wait to test this out on a rainy day cycling. The back of the smock comes down over my rear, but if I don’t need it that long, there is a cinch cord that will keep it snugly at waist length.
If you’re in the U.K., there are several places to buy OMM products: U.K. list. It isn’t distributed in the U.S., but I’ll keep you apprised as to when they start selling their products stateside!