Helly Hansen Odin

Hardshell jackets in review – the Odin 9 and Verglas Infinity from Helly Hansen

Why do we need hardshells jacket? As an outermost layer, it keeps everything that’s underneath dry and in some cases isolates too. Layering your clothings has been the best method to solve problems of staying ventilated, dry and isolated, adjusting to your situation. Ideally, this outer shealth should have all the functions together – breatheability, isolation shelter in the pocket. A rain jacket keeps the moist out, but thats about it. It feels often more like you are wrapped in plastic. Hardshells do it differently.

I was given an opportunity to test two norwegian Hardshells from Helly Hanssen. The Odin 9 and Verglas.

Odin 9 Worlds Infinity Jacket

Helly Hansen uses their LIFA Infinity Pro™ technology in this jacket for a three-layer fabric construction for extreme waterproofness and breatheability. This technology has an “everlasting” water repellant protection which revolutionized reproofing the jacket with chemical treatment after use. The jacket is constructed in such a way that it is compatible for layering, it has vent zippers, adjustable hood and cuff adjustments and a Recco reflector that makes the user searchable to rescuers.

My verdict:

This jacket accompanied me on diverse road trips to the mountains of the french Alp and spanish Pyranees. The jacket kept dry even after hours of pouring rain upon a lugging backpack on the shoulders. No water seeped through, the joints and zippers were well sealed and taped and I welcomed the zipper under the arms to let all steamy vents escape. Nothing worse than having the wet coming from outside and swim in your own pespiration. Handling this jacket while it’s not worn was tricky. It was stiff. Almost too stiff. Packing it would mean leaving a wee bit more allowance than usual for the jacket. It didn’t seem to want to be packed, however all this sturdiness has an advantage. The jacket isolates in really strong winds and acts as a shield against those moist conditions. I combined it together with some of my merino sweaters or a polartec fleece pullover that isolated the rump. The Odin did it’s part by keeping all the warmth inside, the breatheablity performed well in winterly conditions on my touring ski or at one time when we climbed while a ghastly icy northern wind blew 100 km/h. It was nice to know that this jacket keeps you “safe” from all the weatherly extremeties outdoors, and that it isolates yet breathes. The hood is big enough to be worn with a helmet and the shield at the front tip prevents the water from dripping onto your face. Two strings behind allows you to adjust the hood with or without helmets on. At home, I took the jacket along during my bike trials. However, the light white-silverish colour didn’t keep well after a dirt ride. The womens Odin 9 jacket compliments the feminine figure well with a tapered waist, long enough to cover part of the ever freezing behind. I missed a two-way zipper up the front. Weighs about 590 g and priced at around 500 €. Material: 100 % Polypropylen

Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket

Core performance-driven mountaineers looking for a lightweight and comfortable protection while braceing out wet rainy weather can look closely at the Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket. This jacket uses recycled face fabric and undergoes a PFC-free durable water repellent treatment offering a responsible and superior professional grade performance. Just like the Odin 9 Infinity Jacket, this jacket has Recco reflector for more safety when you need to be rescued.

His verdict:

The last hardshell hung on a tirolean bush light years ago, and it did wonders to his confidence to own one once again. The highlight of this jacket is how feather light and comfy it felt, which was perfect to pack in the backpack for all trips. It’s softy feeling makes it easy to roll the jacket into a tiny bundle before it disappears in the bag. There are ventilation zippers under the arms, the zippers are taped and sealed and the hood comes with a shield at the front tip. This shield however kept on falling flat into the vision, no matter how we adjusted it. In the end, he left it bent up to keep it out from sight. The jacket acts great as an outer layer against the shelling rain or wind. The two way zipper pockets on both jackets enables you to reach the stuff in your pockets comfortably from above, without having to unbuckle the backpack waist belt. However, the two way zipper here also makes it difficult to remember if you have zipped up the pockets or left the wrong side open. When everything falls out, you realise that it was still opened. The jacket weighs about 523g and is priced at 400 €. Material: 54 % Polyester (recycelt), 46 % Polyester

The RECCO®-Reflektor is a system used by mountain rescuers to search for Users wearing these reflectors. These reflectors are small passive transponders that sends a signal without needing to use any energy or activation, it is made out of a diode and antenne. When not disrupted, these reflectors can last a lifetime. It’s a perfect helper in rescue operations e.g. during an avalanche or to locate users in a quick time within a span of 1km² from the helicopter. This reflector is integrated in both the Verglas and Odin jacket.

About Helly Hansen

“Founded in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen continues to develop professional grade apparel that helps people stay and feel alive. Through insights drawn from living and working in the world’s harshest environments, the company has developed a long list of first-to-market innovations, including the first supple waterproof fabrics more than 140 years ago. Other breakthroughs include the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s, the first technical base layers in the 1970s, made with Lifa® Stay Dry Technology, and today’s award winning and patented H2Flow™ temperature regulating system.

Helly Hansen is a leader in technical sailing and performance ski apparel, as well as premium workwear. To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit www.hellyhansen.com. “

*Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. 

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