The Ozium 2 is an ultralight pod, meaning it comes in a class of sub 3kg pods, so weight is a key selling point. Let’s get that out the way: it’s 2.76kg for the M size in the configuration we recommend: 570 speedbag, full protection. That’s above the Strike (2kg) and Genie X-Alps (2.4) and just under the Lightness 2 (2.95). The prices in this segment currently share this hierarchy, converse to the usual trend in ultralight sports gear.
The design is more of a refinement of the Ozium 1. The Ozium has been a popular choice for pilots on a budget, and although it's aerodynamic and compact, it has not held up that well to abuse; I have noticed a fair amount of repairs going on. You must be aware of this when you venture into the ultralight realm: you get less use out of some of these products, in exchange you get compact gear that is a pleasure to carry up a mountain or from the back of beyond.
The Ozium 2 is a completely reclined style of pod harness, opposed to the Strike which is more upright. The reclined position takes more getting used to, so is not recommended as a first pod harness. It feels like you are standing up the whole time, but you are lying almost flat. There is good support along the length of your body, but turning requires a twist in your hips, rather than the weightshifting one buttock into the seat. It’s undoubtedly an aerodynamic position to fly in, and once you get used to it, the hammock can be very relaxing.
It’s comfortable enough during flight, in an ‘economy class’ kind of way, with pressure points on the outside of either thigh, inside the groin area (legstraps) and minor kinks in the back area. Every pilot will have a different experience of this. I found the comfort improved when you filled the storage area, used the full foam protector, and stuffed things into the ballast storage area under the seat (it folds around your legs because there’s no seat board).
Although Ozone recommend inserting a polycarbonate plate on top of the light foam protector, Carlo and Nancy reported that this was uncomfortable and planky. The other reason we don’t recommend this combination is that the lightweight protection which is offered as the standard option is wholly inadequate for general use. It covers a narrow section in the middle of the harness – any variation in impact angle from straight down will result in serious injury. The full protection presently costs very little more, and offers a more comfortable harness with proper dense foam.
It’s easy to get into the pod thanks to the included bungee cord which slips neatly into your shoelaces. Although the legstraps are slender, they are fine to hang in during toplanding and ground handling, because they are made of soft webbing, which also helps the Austrialpin buckles slide into place easily.
The pod skirt is secured by two string closures looped over bobbles, which look a bit precarious, and indeed one popped off during my first flight. Not an essential safety feature, but a little frustrating.
The great improvement in the Ozium 2 is the inclusion of a real flight deck this time instead of a loose plate which you wore looped over your neck. The position is functional, and although the area is limited, you can easily add the larger Forza flight deck which just plops in place and sticks down. There’s a useful zipped pocket behind it which is accessible in flight. It’s filled with some light shaping foam which you can remove.
Two side pockets provide a place to put your gloves, and nothing else, because they are not zipped.
The reserve is to the side, and although the handle seems to be reasonably secure, one of the pins released during my handling of the harness, and the magnetic keeper kept slipping out. The reserve container has a nice ‘bomb-bay door’ that opens along two zips for a hassle-free deployment.
Ozium 2: In the air
The Ozium 2 offered a calm and secure feeling in the air, although it was quite active in roll, up to a point. If you try and drive a big weightshift turn you can only put in so much input and then you begin to slip inside the hammock. But within the first part of the roll range, the harness moves quite a bit, making it a medium-high feedback harness that transmits a lot of information from the wing to the pilot. You might be looking for this. On the pitch axis it was remarkably stable, coming back to a balanced position quickly. It seemed yaw stable for a pod harness, though there’s the usual caveat when it comes to fully reclined pod harnesses: if you spin your wing or have some major collapse you need to sit upright to rotate with the wing or you’ll rapidly get twists.
When coming in to land it felt effortless to drop my legs and touch down, and comfortable enough to dangle, despite the narrow legstrap webbing.
Ozium 2: Who’s it for?
For experienced pilots who are familiar with pod harness flying looking for a lightweight and compact harness with adequate comfort and packing space for XC flying and exploring, the Ozone Ozium 2 is a practical choice. It’s pleasurable to fly, very sleek, functional with minor points that could be improved. Go for the medium grade speedbag and full foam protector.
As well as the Ozium 2 harnesses, we have many of the Ozium 2 accessories in stock.
Reviewed by Greg Hamerton
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Ozium 2: Video Review