Helly Hansen Odin Guiding Light Jacket Review
With the Odin line, Helly Hansen has taken its considerable experience in the technical outerwear industry, and created a collection of products that is perfect for the outdoor professional and demanding consumer. Featuring Helly’s highest-end fabric, Helly Tech Professional, the Odin Guiding Light jacket offers extreme weather protection in a very lightweight and breathable package. The Guiding Light jacket is designed as a bare bones, waterproof shell for all-seasons use, and performs this role admirably. You won’t find many bells and whistles, but that also means you won’t find things that get in the way.
The Helly Hansen Odin Guiding Light Jacket is made of a very lightweight fabric that makes the jacket feel almost like it isn’t there. From the moment I put it on, I knew it would make a great shell for layering under, because of the light weight and lack of bulk. All the seams are flat, and there are no discernible bumps on the inside that can make layering a pain. I appreciated the athletic cut of the jacket and elongated backside, aiding in active pursuits. I am a size Large, and found it be true to size for me without any odd fit issues. Overall, I’d say Helly did a great job with the fit of the jacket and I couldn’t find anything to complain about.
As the Odin Guiding Light is a minimalist performance jacket, there aren’t many features to review. Having said that, the features Helly Hansen did choose to include, were well-executed. A nice-fitting touch of the Odin Guiding Light Jacket is the taper in the cuffs that removes some fabric on the inside part of the wrist to allow for a little more range of motion.There are only two pockets on the jacket, and fortunately they are huge. They have long zippers and a big compartment for storing whatever you’d like. Personally, I prefer having a few smaller pockets for organizing things like my phone and keys, but I understand how these add weight and complexity to what is intended to be a simple design. Underarm zippered vents allow for added airflow when the weather warms up or you are working hard. A helmet-compatible hood is permanently attached to the Odin Guiding Light, and features three adjustments points. I wore my Smith helmet with the jacket, and the hood covered it nicely, although I would have liked the bill to come down farther toward the front of the helmet. Another thoughtful feature on the jacket are the reinforced shoulder pads. Helly Hansen put an extra patch of material on the shoulders to help keep shoulder straps and skis in place, and to provide added protection against friction from these items. Definitely a nice touch for the working professional who places heavy value on gear durability. Finally, I should mention that all of the zippers are water-resistant, which should come as no surprise with a waterproof shell like this.
I tested the Odin Guiding Light Jacket in both active and casual conditions, and found it to be an excellent performer. It is stylish enough to wear year-round as a rain jacket, and makes a good wind- and snow-protective shell when combined with a mid-layer in the winter. As a ski jacket, you will love it if you seek ultimate simplicity, but may find yourself looking for more features if it is going to be your resort jacket. The cut and fit allowed the Guiding Light Jacket to move great while making turns on the hill, and the light weight and breathability were as good as I’ve experienced. I definitely missed having a powder skirt for those deep snow days, but then again, the jacket wouldn’t be as versatile if it had one. Because of the design and materials used, the Odin Guiding Light Jacket is equally at home backcountry ski touring or hiking in the summer.