Odin Mountain Jacket from Helly Hansen REVIEW

The Odin Mountain Jacket from Helly Hansen is the ticket for the steeze conscious gnarlers out there that still need their gear to perform in the mountains. I put the Odin Mtn jacket through its paces skiing in Japan and India and from sushi bars to sheppard huts, deep pow to dark chutes, this jacket had my back.

The Odin line from Helly Hansen is their high performance line dedicated to those who need their gear to be functional and reliable. The Odin Mountain jacket has a few key features that aren’t just a marketing gimmick, but are well thought out ideas that make sense and work.

Firstly, the reinforced, welded rubber shoulder and hip patches are a subtle but valuable feature. Put in places that receive a high amount of abrasion, they help protect against pack straps or ski edges when slinging your skis over your shoulder. That isnt to say the Helly Tech O2 fabric isn’t tough or durable in its own right, it means you aren’t going to have relegate this jacket to use for chopping wood or getting the milk because it leaks at the shoulders like any good jacket will eventually do.

The Helly Tech O2 I found to work fine as a shell material. There may be more breathable fabrics on the market, but these are far more fragile than the bomber Helly fabric. I even managed to cheese grate myself at speed on a gravel road where the day before there was snow (but we won't go into that) and didn't even so much as scuff the outside of the jacket.

The jacket is cut so as not to inhibit your movement be it ski touring, ice climbing or reaching for that grab. Chris Davenport uses the Odin jacket and I can understand why. The jacket fits a little big I would say, with room in the chest for drying a pair of gloves or skins while wearing a few layers underneath. The sleeves are long so that when you raise your arms above your head the cuffs don't slide to the middle of the forearm and let in snow or wind. This you will really appreciate when boot packing a couloir or swinging a shovel digging a snow pit.

The hood is fully adjustable and accommodates a helmet for those who understand that one shouldn't be scared of falling, but of things ie. rocks and ice, falling on you. There is no fancy soft material to protect your chin on the inside of the zipper, but I never once had any issues with the zipper. The YKK AquaSeal front zipper is bomber and much more robust than many zippers found on other jackets. All the pit zippers and pocket closures are water resistant and welded, and the pockets are positioned to be accessible while wearing a pack. The chest pocket is accessible from the inside for those with music and headphones. There is another mesh pocket inside for drying gloves or goggles, or just keeping your energy bar warm, but not a melted, gooey mess.

The only drawbacks I found were that the jacket wasn't quite as light as some other shells, and the zipper was a little difficult to slide one handed, but both these things were a consequence of added durability.

The jacket also has an interchangeable powder skirt and insert for zipping into the Odin pant for the deep days. You can also shave a few grams and not use a skirt at all. Throw in RECCO reflectors and the Odin Jacket is a really solid garment for getting after it in the mountains.

To check out the rest of the Odin line and other gear from Helly Hansen, go to www.hellyhansen.com