Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Jacket
Size Tested: Large
Weight: 720 grams (large)
Fabric: HellyTech Professional
- HellyTech Professional 3L fabric
- Helmet compatible hood with one-hand adjust
- Two harness-and-pack compatible hand pockets
- Elastic hem adjustment
- RECCO reflector
Reviewer: 5’ 10”, 185 lbs.
Days Tested: 10
Locations Tested: Canterbury Club Fields & Treble Cone, New Zealand
The Odin Mountain Jacket is Helly Hansen’s top-of-the-line, high-performance, winter shell, and overall, I was impressed. This jacket has well-designed features, it kept me warm and dry, and there’s nothing on it that feels extraneous.
Now, let’s talk details.
At 5’10” and 185 lbs, I typically go for a Large jacket, but I would consider making an exception with the Odin and dropping to a Medium. The body and shoulders are generously cut, to the point where the size Large felt almost baggy. If you prefer a slimmer fit and you’re on the fence as to which size to get, I’d suggest sizing down.
Overall, I think the Odin is cut nicely. As a photographer, I spend a good deal of time putting my backpack on and taking it off, getting into awkward positions to take photos, and then packing the whole mess up to ski down to the next vantage point.
I never felt restricted by the Odin, and the jacket cuffs never rode up over my gloves, leaving me with exposed wrists. I think this freedom of movement is due in part to the long cut of the sleeves (25.75 inches) and the back panel, as well as the slight stretch in the Odin’s fabric.
Helly Hansen markets this fabric as “full stretch construction.” Hand-stretching individual sections (back, sides, sleeves, etc.) leads me to conclude that this basically means there’s four-way stretch woven into each of the jacket’s critical panels. Having worn apparel both with four-way stretch (the Westcomb Apoc), and without four-way stretch (an old Eider Gore-Tex 3-layer, Dakine Shifter, Flylow Lab Coat), I can definitely say that I prefer the former.
Finally, the jacket is cut long with a straight-cut hem (it measure 27.5 inches from the collar to the hem). When you’re active and moving around, the hem of the jacket doesn’t ride up and leave you with exposed plumber’s crack.
My ideal jacket is one that doesn’t sport too many bells and whistles, and the Odin comes pretty close to that ideal. Let’s start from the top.
- The Hood
The hood easily accommodates my ski helmet and works well even when I’m bareheaded—while testing the jacket during an unusually warm, rainy period in New Zealand’s winter, I did use the hood quite a bit when walking around outside.
The one-hand adjust works exactly as advertised, and the visor kept rain out of my face. While I tend to prefer a wire insert in my jacket’s visor, the Odin has a stiff fabric in its visor that worked well. I found that the Odin’s hood doesn’t limit my peripheral vision—I couldn’t see any part of the hood when it was on.
The roomy twin chest pockets are a nice addition. I hate fishing around in a single chest pocket for the goggle wipe or chap stick that invariably ends up at the bottom of the pocket, and having two pockets means that I never overstuffed either of them. Plus, these pockets are very large. It’s nice to not deal with a tiny pocket that you can’t access when you’re wearing gloves…
I wear a backpack a lot while skiing, so having pockets that are open for use while wearing a hip belt is nice. Thankfully, the Odin’s twin hand pockets are placed placed high enough so that they’re clear of any hip belts or harnesses you might be wearing.
Pit Zips / Zippers
The Odin features pit zips with low-profile, waterproof zippers, and easy-to-grab pulls. I run hot when I ski, especially when I’m bootpacking, and I found that that Odin’s pit zippers were large enough to provide effective venting when they were open.
My one gripe with the Odin is that it doesn’t have a zipper pull cord on the main zipper. Yes, I can fix that problem with a piece of string, but I’m not sure why this jacket doesn’t come with one.
The Odin does have a removable powder skirt that will attach to Helly Hansen pants. It’s a nice option to have.
The Odin features a Helly Tech Professional fabric laminate sandwiched between a DWR-coated exterior fabric and an inner protective liner. As I mentioned before, it has four-way stretch.
A pet peeve of mine with many waterproof, breathable shells is the use of excessively hard, crinkly fabric. Helly Hansen, on the other hand, used an outer fabric that is supple, quiet, and slightly stretchy. Very nice.
The inner fabric doesn’t feel plasticky or clammy on the skin, something I appreciated while I was wearing the Odin over a T-shirt during a warm hike. The inner fabric is also very smooth and it slips on over layers easily—I’ve worn other jackets that have tiny ridges on the inner protective fabric that tend to catch on base layers.
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