Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:06

OMM Phantom Waist Pouch tested and reviewed

Written by James MacKeddie

OMM Phantom Waist Pouch

The OMM Phantom Waist Pouch is a simple, single compartment, "bum bag" ideal for shorter runs. With enough room for lightweight waterproofs, a hat, and gloves and elasticated pockets on the wings the 3 litre capacity provides just enough room for the essentials.

An ideal lightweight running bum bag for fell running, nountain biking and cycle touring with just enough room to store the absolute essentials and easily accessible pockets. Combine it with a short back rucksack for more extended runs.

What the manufacturers say:

A lightweight waist pouch which is comfortable for everything from a fell race to long and short runs. Elastic compressor/garment carry on top wraps over front to compress and secure whole pouch whilst moving. Use alone, or team up with a shorter back length pack like The Last Drop or Adventure 20. Elasticated pocket on each wing for quick access items like energy fuels.

Price: £25

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  • Single zipped compartment
  • Elasticated pocket on each wing
  • Compression elastic
  • High wicking mesh back panel
  • Security Key clip in both hip pockets and internally
  • OTMA (On the Move Accessibility)
  • Running Active Fit
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OMM Phantom Waist Pouch tested and reviewed by James MacKeddie

OMM are legendary. The Original Mountain Marathon run premier races across Europe and build their range of clothing, storage and sleeping systems specifically for this most eccentric of British running past times.

Imagine signing up for a race. You don’t know where it will be. There is no potential to scope the course, speak to previous finishers or stash extra kit. But don’t worry, you’ll be told at the last minute and given maps and coordinates on the day.  Throw into the mix the requirement to carry everything you need to spend a night on the fell side and run two days; so tent, sleeping mat, cooking system, clothing etc etc…. and this is compulsory. Ditch your kit and you’re out of the race.

There are many who may think such runners are bonkers; mad individuals who wish to punish themselves for the sake of it. To me, it’s legendary and something I need to experience first hand.

But back to the task in hand, the OMM Phantom Waist Pouch. OMM have become synonymous for stripped back kit, built to be light, fast, minimal and adaptable. 115g is pretty dam light!

The Phantom Waist Pouch has a capacity of 3 litres, with a main zippered pocket and two side mesh pouches. On top of this, there is a large bungee cord which can either compress the main pocket or be used to hold waterproofs, spare layers or small objects.

The bungee works brilliantly for compressing the pocket when not full. I loaded it with my phone, car key, 2 gels, energy bar and 500ml soft flask, and there was lots of room to spare. Rather than feel the contents bounce around when running, the bungee cord held everything in place, giving the feel of a much smaller waist pack. Thumbs up!  If I were to max out the pockets capacity, or say it rained and my hardshell is soaked, the bungee will happily hold it on the outside, saving the contents getting drenched (if you’ve used a waterproof liner).


Multiple uses, well thought out.

A YKK Aquaguard weatherproof zip tops off the large pocket, with two zippers, allowing access from either side. Given the pouch is designed to be used on the move, this increases usability.

The two large stretch mesh side pockets can take an energy bar more, essentially those items you need to hand. With key loops in either, you can secure those easy to loose items for piece of mind. Cram them will gels, bars, GoPro and save fumbling around when moving fast and light.

Topping this off, reflective detailing aids being spotted at night, whether racing up a scree slope with a mountain marathon partner, or pounding the pavements of London on the commute.

The Leanweight Dyneema chassis hugs the body, with adjustment straps either side of the main buckle, providing a customised fit, keeping the point of contact central. The rear mesh aids ventilation and does not absorb much water when wet.

  • Being H2OMM compatible, it works with OMM’s own hydration option.

    What does this translate to in the real world?

    In short; a comfortable, light and adaptable waist pack, which will hug your back when on the move. I’ve run up hills, charged down descents and cruised along flats, and not once did I have to worry about the security or comfort of the contents around my waist.

    But, the only thing I can think of is hydration. In a market ever more reliant on hydration packs, soft flasks and hand held bottles, where do you place yours. I put my soft flask in the main compartment, but given there is no way of securing this, it is dependent on what else is accompanying it. Furthermore it runs the risk of leaking onto the other items.

    The Phantom lives up to its name, just like in the opera, it’s an enigma. As soon as you see it, it is gone, allowing you to run freely, with all the essentials you will need for a fell or trail race.

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