OMM's Classic Marathon is a super lightweight pack (715g) that doesn’t skimp on features, including wraparound mesh, bungee side compression straps, a hydration sleeve and two zippered-lid pockets.
Most ingeniously, the Duomat that forms the back support can be removed to create a (very) minimal sleeping mat. Even if you’re not a lightweight fetishist, the other design perk is that it can then be collapsed right down and stashed in a pannier.
We particularly like the way the roomy side-zippered pockets, perfect for stashing with snacks, are easy to reach on the move. The generous use of mesh is a real bonus too, great for accessing waterproofs quickly. So what are the drawbacks compared to heftier designs?
Inevitably, the material is less abrasion-resistant, so more care is needed. Packing it properly also has a big impact on comfort and while it contours nicely around the back, there are no deep ventilation channels.
OMM stands for Original Mountain Marathon, and the manufacturer organises the annual British mountain marathon fell-running event (formerly the Karrimor Mountain Marathon). The pack is a direct descendent of the Karrimor KIMM AR35 pack which was designed by OMM's Mike Parsons.
That pack was a favourite at early Polaris mountain bike orienteering events and the Classic Marathon steps straight into its formidable shoulder straps.