New waterproof for ultras - advice, please?

The time has come to get a new jacket, I think - I have a very light showerproof (Ronhill Trail MIcrolight) and a heavy uber-cold jacket that's far too big since I lost weight (Paramo Velez).

Kind of thinking between an OMM Kamleika or a Montane Minimus. Worried the Minimus might be a bit light, and also that the Kamleika might be a bit heavy - also not clear how they'll stand up to extended use wih a pack. First use in anger will be The Wall in June, and the training for that.

Any experience with those two, or something different would be ace.

Would have put this in the gear thread, but seems more likely to get a response here...



  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭
    Minimus is an awesome jacket. I have both that you have mentioned.
  • Hagloffs LIM is one of my prized items of kit. The one thing i haven't changed for quite a while.

  • Thanks WiB - which do you think is the more robust? Just reckoning if I'm going to be running 69 miles with a pack (and presuming I keep on with the ultras, which I hope I will), would you think one a better choice than the other? Assuming eventually I'll aim to have a pop at the Bob Graham round or something similar...

  • WiBWiB ✭✭✭
    I have used both over ultra distance, carrying kit and even on the BGR route! Not a full round though. They both work very well. Minimus packs down smaller and i get less damp from sweat in it than the OMM.
  • Nice one - thanks again - think you've just helped me decide - Minimus it is. Costs less and in stock at my local running shop.

  • Although I also have both and prefer the OMM, not much difference in weight or packing but I like the elastic cuffs and stretchy material on the OMM it's quieter too!
  • I personally use an Arcteryx alpha smock. I have taken a few tumbles in it and slid down some muddy banks with no adverse consequences.  I will give you a couple of thoughts about what makes a good ultra running jacket. 

    The hood is the feature that makes or breaks any waterproof jacket for me.  You should be able to rotate your head in any direction, without it impairing your vision.  Try it on with the hood fully toggled up at your local running shop before you buy it. 

    Both the jackets you have mentioned are excellent choices on paper, but for my money personal compatibility is the key. 

    Arrangment of pockets is also important.  Will you be able to conveniently acess them while you are moving and wearing a pack?

    Weight should be less than 300 grams.

    When you try the coat on, tighten the cuffs around your wrists.  Can you reach upward to a point above your head without the cuff pulling back, or the jacket lifting over your midriff?  If not then you might be able to find one with a better fit. 

  • Went to check out the Minimus - was impressed, but the waist is quite short - hands over head means it rides up above Mr Tummy Button. Can't find a real shop with a Kamleika in to try, thinking about ordering one for a check - did try an XL which was way big on me - shop said they wouldn't be getting any more in as they were thinking about replacing it with something else. 

    Checking out the stats, the Minimus is mildly more breathable, which is a plus... intersting to hear that the Kamleika makes less noise...

    Decisions, decisions...

  • I have, and like, the Minimus, but haven't tried the others, so can't give any comparisons, I'm afraid. But I first wore the Minimus on New Year's Day in 2012, in pouring rain, and got back to the car with my top half dry and comfortable... It's also light enough that I don't mind carrying it in my backpack on pretty much all my long runs, as a "just in case" (for either rain, or prolonged period immobile while waiting for rescue, if I get injured).

  • Got the OMM Kamlieka and love it! Soft, stretchy (in 4 directions!) and above all russling


  • It can pack into its breast pocket
  • Touie2. You mean theoetically, right?image

  • I got caught in falling wet snow at about 0.5C yesterday in a 3+ hr long run. After getting gradually wetter even with a Montane Featherlite (windtop) I popped in home for 5 mins, put on some dryer clothes, including a Kamleika smock, and the rest of the run for the last 75 mins was a pleasure. It's quiet, a decent length, thumb loops (which I used over gloves to help keep them dry) and one breast pocket.

    It's news to me it would pack into its breast pocket. I doubt that but I will try. I usually carry it in a small stuffsack to prevent rubbing in the rucksack spoiling the water-repellent surface. In the same sack I usually have a pair of OMM trousers and I have used that combination also for long-distance walking tours.

  • I've packed it into the breast pocket once but usually I keep a pack of tissues in the pocket so can't do it! Mine is an extra small smock one not sure if that makes a difference or if larger sizes have larger pockets!!!
  • The Ron Hill Trail Tempest jacket gets a good write up in the latest Trail Running magazine.

    In fact, there is a whole section reviewing waterproof jackets in the magazine.

    Might be worth checking out.

  • +1 for the minimus. very light, doesn't get too hot as its very breathable, good hood with easy to use toggles and a good front pocket which fits an OS map no problem. it does rustle though!

  • Have to say that I was more concerned about wind (not that kind LLB). A delayed Xmas pressie of a running jacket meant it took ages for me to find somewhere they had plenty of stock and choice and sizes and COLOUR. Eventually went to Cotswold Outdoors who ordered some in and I could try out. Eventually plumped for the Berghaus Attrition which is a bit heavier (abt 200gms) but stiffer for the wind and side vents and lots of pockets. In the sale at mo as well which helped. Tried several times and it's fabulous. I know they look at it for the mountain ranges but the runs I'm doing don't seem to be taking me much round council estates!

    I've accepted that I'll probably need two coats as they seem to suit three seasons ie dropping summer or winter. But given the summer we had I could have done with this then.

    Tried it several times. Just not feeling that wind at mo image I found the lighter running ones a tad flimsy and I don't think it will give me much protection on events like the Winter 100. If we do end up with a warm/scorchio weather then my cheap and cheerful goretexes will do the job. Firm believe of you get what you pay for (albeit my pound head torch from poundland is still awesome image )
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Haven't tried many jackets because I very rarely wear them. Most of them do seem to be too short. I have the Kamleika jacket (latest version) and like it for stretchiness 4-ways and quietness.  It does get a bit clammy inside so eventually I will be looking for something more breathable ('extremely' rather than 'very').  I find folding it into the hood most convenient. 

    To save weight and for potentially better waterproofness (less zip), buy the smock rather than the jacket.

    Also got the OMM Cypher jacket (eVent) which is the most breathable jacket I've ever worn but it is more suitable for hillwalking than running, I feel.

    Something you definitely want to consider though are the Kamleika trousers.  They are superb.  Again stretchy and quiet and feel like ordinary running tights when wearing but completely waterproof.

  • Oooooh T Rex! I was wundrin about about the OMM pants as a late Christmas pressie to self (I have the jacket, not smock & very happy with it). I didn't try the Minimus.

    From lurking elsewhere I'd like to say I'm glad to read you're getting back to running T Rex, after the clavicle. My young lad did his in October. He played football twice in December, was upended & now off for 6 weeks image.


  • I like the minimus though haven't run with a pack yet. Nice to have a well thought out hood you can actually run in. Breathability isn't perfect, but pretty impressive. Just to add a bit of confusion the Inov-8 Raceshell looks good too, more along the OMM lines fabric-wise.

  • Went and plumped my pennies down for a Kamleika Jacket this very lunchtime. Just preferred the fit at the end of the day over the Minimus, though it was a close thing. 

    Also found an OMM Sonic Smock on teaBay, which arrive in the post today - Pertex Quantum, thin or what? image

    Which to try first... reckon the Sonic will get some use tomorrow lunch time when I'm out with the work folk. It really does stuff into it's own collar... how bizarre. image

    Thanks for all the grand advice folks, a mine of usefulness as ever.

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    jim n - I thought they only did tip tackles in rugby?  Mine was a fairly bad break with one broken end resting just underneath the skin.  Feels horrible.

    You've been spending your hard earned pennies then, pbab?

  • Ran in my Kamleika last night in the wind and driving rain. tried the hood up for the first time and it worked great!

  • Wow these things are quite expensive, aren't they? I have a single-shell jacket that I use in wet/cold weather that I bought off a sale rack at a race a couple of years ago for about £15. Any more than that I seriously overheat. I see some races specify "GoreTex or similar", but I'd boil in a GoreTex jacket! Walking outings only for that.

  • You pay for the jacket's breathability as well as waterproofness.
  • I use a Mountain Equipment Gortex pro shell. Fantastic bit of kit. £200 normally which is nuts but paid £90 for a cosmetic second so a real bargain.

    I tend to wear gortex only in proper rain/snow . For wind stoping I use a Montain Jetsream pertex top . The pretex stops the wind with max breathability so zero sweat build up. This garment weighs almost nothing but is not waterproof.

    For Most Ultras I carry both  jackets , so always run in comfort. Most runners opt for only carrying a full waterproof which will never be as breathable as pertex. If conditions get really serious I wear the gortex pro shell over the pertex.


  • Interesting info Ian - I tried out the OMM Sonic Smock today - it's waffer thin, but kept the wind off in a gale and crazy breathable. I know it's DWR treated, but wouldn't want to trust it in a proper downpour - at stuff all weight, it makes sense to take it along as well - nice advice.

  • I've recently bought the Haglofs Endo jacket with a view towards the UTMB and Laverdo later this year, I'm a big fan of Haglofs anyway but first impressions are really good, excellent construction with fully taped seams, single chest pocket cuts down on extra weight, hood is firm enough to stay in lace when needed with a really clever wiring system.

    All in all I'm impressed, it's not cheap but it compared to the mountain hardwear effusion I was originally going for
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