1. Helly-Hansen Odin Mountain 3L Shell Jacket
Helly-Hansen Odin takes its name from the Norse god himself. Odin fancied himself a traveler, making his way around Norse mythology, spreading his name, and shaping the world into what it is today. This hardshell jacket isn’t going to turn you into a shapeshifting otherworldly being, but it will protect you from the elements comfortably no matter what season it is.
This is a tough jacket, it’s incredibly durable, especially when comparing its price to some of its more pricey competitors. It’s made from Helly Tech’s professional 3-Layer Lightweight fabric. The secret to the comfort and protection this jacket lends to the wearer is right there in the 3-layer fabric.
It’s waterproof and windproof, so you’ll be guarding yourself against the elements pretty proficiently without breaking a sweat. You could be way up in the mountains getting your butt handed to you by high-speed winds, while it’s raining sideways, and this jacket will hold up against that pretty well.
Keeping yourself warm and dry is usually what makes or breaks a good backpacking trek. To get a little more technical, you’re going to be getting a jacket made with a pure 100% polyamide face and back along with a C6 DWR and microporous membrane. This is where all of that breathability comes from without sacrificing the waterproofing you need from a jacket like this.
On a less technical note, this jacket is just a joy to wear. There are ergonomic pockets, angled ever so slightly so you can just slip your hands in without having to finagle your arms just right. That saves you the slight but compounding frustration of reaching into pockets that are just slapped onto a jacket with less attention to detail.
It’s things like this that make it a comfortable and easy-to-wear jacket no matter how long you’re planning to be out on the trail. If it’s for a couple of hours, you’ll be cozy during nature’s temper tantrums, and if you’re long haul backpacking or hitting the backcountry, this jacket will continually find ways to impress you. It’s not like one of those pieces of clothing that wait until you’ve got a long day ahead of you to show you its flaws.
It’s reliable, flexible, and versatile. If you’re looking for a hardshell to throw over yourself when you’re out on the trail, you’re going to love this one right here. Small details like its perfect compatibility with Helly-Hansen’s bib pants, the woven backing, or the removable snow skirt set this jacket apart from its rivals, all without bankrupting you in the process.
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