Quick Test : Ozone Ozium

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Quick Test : Ozone Ozium

A friend arrived in Pokhara and mentioned that he had the Ozium in my size which i could test fly, up until now i would say that by a pretty large margin the Advance Lightness was the most comfortable harness on the market (for those that like a more reclined position).

Out of the bag the feel of the harness is good with nice relatively sturdy materials used for both the main structure as well as the externals (earlier i had seen the real X-alps version which was made even lighter and i wouldn’t expect the almost glider material externals to last very long), one thing that i noticed at once was the very light almost see through lycra type material on the leg cover, i have to say that i had my initial doubts about warmth in this thing at altitude. 
Once hanging in the simulator i found that the settings out of the bag were pretty much spot on, i only adjusted the very top back strap about 1.5cms and it was ideal. 
Putting in the rescue you feel a little doubtful about the whole zip closure method that Ozone have used, but once closed its solid and the zips don’t open under pressure (unless you have not started the zip closure at the appropriate place and even then it requires quite a bit of pressure). My light weight rescue was almost swimming in all the space that is in there, which would accommodate most rescues not only lightweight. 
Takeoff, is relatively uneventful, i was pleasantly surprised that the main problem which had plagued the lightness, where the harness would ride up and crush your you know whats, has been resolved. The leg strap mounting position has been widened and moved further back on the Ozium which solves this (on the lightness you had to launch hanging over your rescue to avoid getting the guillotine action of certain parts of your body). Getting into the leg cover which due to the lycra comes a little higher than I’m personally used to requires a slightly different method but this is no huge hassle and simply requires getting used to, even though your hanging there your not in a huge rush to get in as your supported comfortably. The foot plate looks like it would give in under added pressure, but even in rougher air when more pressure was placed on it there were no signs of flexing, so big thumbs up.
Flying in the Ozium feels great, you really don’t feel like you have a harness under you. The amount of support that you are getting from the harness distributes your body weight across the entire harness in such a way that i didn’t have any “hard points” of pressure during the 5hr flight. 
Weight shift is fast and easy while at the same time not being over the top twitchy like at times in the lightness.
The rescue handle is not in the most natural position to find, it feels slightly too high and far back. but this is only my opinion. The handle itself is nice and stays securely in place when not needed.  
Now for the amount of time and effort not to mention the expectations of the public, i have to say that the “flight deck” has come out as quite a large….. i mean small disappointment. Really? thats the best you guys could come up with? ok for those gram counters out there I’m sure that it looks appealing but once you consider the extra weight of the bungee cord and plastic adjustment slider you would be better off making something a little better and user friendly as the current one is for a lack of other words, unique. Granted this system gets the instruments all the way out of the way during takeoff, it is sitting on your chest most of the time, which would be ok for someone that hasn’t got a need to look at their instrument too often but for someone in a comp checking and rechecking their instruments it is in a slightly awkward position. 
The trailing fairing could have been made to ride a little higher on the pilots back to create a more streamlined tail section. but this is my personal view as i like the profile of my WV X-alps harness.
The leg cover even at altitude actually faired quite well and i didn’t feel much air coming through the almost see through material.
overall a nice light package that is responsive and in general a pleasure to fly, no matter if its for a hike and fly or the next epic adventure in the back country. If Kortel don’t get a wriggle on with releasing the Kolibri I’m guessing that i will be getting hold of one of these for myself, i just hope i can get hold of the original X-alps lighter version for the upcoming X-Pyr race. (Users need to remember that even though the construction and materials used are pretty good, this is a light weight harness and still needs to be treated with a lot of extra care compared to a normal one).


8 Comments

Ed Cleasby

February 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Excellent write up and photos. I agree about the odd position of the reserve handle, seems to be clipping my elbow. The Advance L flightdeck fits perfectly by velcroing onto the Ozium one …. almost made for it. Yes ….. the back pocket does seem to end low ….. not that you notice in the air, but it just spoils the aesthetics.

Incidentally, a really good and informative site that I wasn’t aware of until now.

Jorge Duran

February 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for your review. I have to agree the flight deck was such a disappointment for me that I will not get an a ozium because of it. Dare I say it worse than the one on the Lightness!

I am waiting for the Lightness 2 to come out and see what the designs looks like. I hope is an Ozium with an Impress 3 style flightdeck.

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parakros

February 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Also i forgot to mention the speed system, the line that is used is a little too thin and the lycra of the cocoon snag on each other making a quick application of speed bar a bit of a hit or miss.

Serge

February 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm

thanks for the informative review!!

Can you compare Ozium to WV GTO in terms of roll-stability?
Which wing did you fly with Ozium?

I have sold my lightness because it was too roll-unstable in big conditions with certain wings.

Ozium is more like a regular board harness (like GTO for example)?

thank you!

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    parakros

    February 23, 2014 at 2:26 am

    i was flying the boom sport on this occasion, i normally fly the WV X-alps Race.

    the Ozium feels much nicer compared to the lightness in weight shifting, its progressive and you can hold what ever position you like. i was flying in med turbulence but had no feeling of being thrown around like on the lightness. it feels like you are sitting deeper in the harness on the ozium which helps settle it down while still remaining active.

    comparing to the WV, they fly quite similar in terms of stability and weight shift, the ozium is in more of a reclined position (like the lightness). overall ozone has looked at what people were saying about the lightness and have improved on it.

    i would still encourage anyone interested to test fly it as each bum is different 😉

Andrew Horchner

February 27, 2014 at 8:08 am

Great feed back on the Ozium. I got mine the other week and got straight into it with no adjustments. My leg loops are all the way out to stop the ouch’s with the jewels and to stop the difficulties with getting the feet into the pod after launch I have attached a small shockcord with small connector to attach to my back shoe loop.
I agree with the reserve handle seems high and back! Will be giving it a good going over in Annecy at the Bornes to Fly 2014 and the training along the Redbull X Alp’s 2013 course.
It’s my first light pod and am impressed! !

Kent

July 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Hi Stan, you also tried the Kuik 2 Pod. Which one gives better weight shift and feeling for the wing?

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    parakros

    July 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Hi Kent,
    in all honesty the kuik 2 is probably for people that like a more seated position, plus its heavier and in all honesty there are several new harnesses hitting the light pod market this season that will be a better option, you can get the kuik fairly reclined but it will affect the overall feel and appearance if you go closer to a full reclined position similar to other harnesses on the market. Kuik has higher hang points, so in terms of weight shift the Ozium is more sensitive/effective, in terms of feedback from the glider they are pretty even, they simply do it in a slightly different way.
    Next would be a question of what kind of wing you would be flying? what conditions your flying in? how you like to fly your glider?
    if the glider your on is already fairly twitchy or sensitive to changes in weight shift you may want a harness that will mellow that out or vice versa.

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