This sustainably produced waterproof shell is packed full of added features and though it comes with a high price tag, we think it’s high-performing enough to last you a lifetime
Waterproof and breathable with pit zips
Built-in safety whistle and RECCO reflector
Plenty of zipped pockets
Peaked, helmet-compatible hood provides great coverage
Can’t access pocket with backpack hip belt zipped
Collar a little irritating when full zipped with hood down
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Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket: first impressions
More and more, what consumers want is trusty protection from the elements without leaving too much of a dent on the planet, and Helly Hansen has heeded that call with this waterproof jacket. Though super lightweight, this jacket is a true shell and will fend off the worst of the weather using a membrane with their LIFA technology that's blissfully free of PFCs.
The recycled fabric is highly breathable and pit zips help you dump heat if you’re up to high aerobic hijinks in the hills and need to cool off. Though it’s light and packable enough to come along as your rain layer on any hike, a helmet compatible hood also makes it a worthy outer layer for winter sports.
• List price: $525 / £420
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes: S - XXL men’s / XS - XL women’s
• Weight: 370g / 13 oz (women’s small)
• Materials: 100% Polyamide
• Colors: Azurite, Deep Canyon, Blue Fog, Black, Malachite
• Best use: Hiking, winter sports
When the heavens open, the adjustable peaked hood provides brilliant coverage against a driving rain, though we do find the collar slightly annoying when it’s fully zipped with the hood down. Other than that detail, the jacket is comfortable, roomy enough for layering, and has some great bells and whistles added. There’s a hiking whistle attached to the zipper of the chest pocket if you need to call for help, and a RECCO reflector built into the hood if you’re exploring in avalanche prone terrain.
Two zipped hand warming pockets are roomy enough, though tricky to reach when you have your backpack on, but you can also use the chest pocket. The price may seem eye-watering, but a lot of technology has gone into making such a high-performing jacket and of course, the idea is that you take good care of it and make it last a lifetime.
Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket: in the field
I’ve tested enough Helly Hansen gear to expect a lot out of every garment, which is perhaps both a blessing and a curse for them, but unsurprisingly this jacket hasn't let me down.
I received it to wear during a gear-testing trip with Arrochar Mountain Rescue in the Arrochar Alps of Scotland. Fortunately for us, Storm Babet was hitting Scotland that day, so though we couldn’t venture as high into the mountains as we might have liked, we definitely got to put this jacket through its paces.
Here’s how it performed:
Sizing and fit
I’m usually a small and that’s what I tested and even though it’s a little roomy, it’s ideal for layering over a fleece. Some people might prefer to size down for a more streamlined fit as I think Helly gear might run a little large, but your regular size is probably more functional. On my body, it comes down to about mid hip and doesn’t have much of a drop tail.
Waterproofing and breathability
This jacket defends against a sideways Scottish rain with fully waterproof fabric, zip garages, taped seams and a peak hood that offers extraordinary coverage when it’s zipped all the way up. The hood takes a little adjusting and seems huge, but I’m really glad for it when the rain hits.
I’ve also worn this as a shell on dry but cold and windy days up high and managed to get up a good sweat without even needing to unzip the pit zips so I definitely rate its breathability for skinning and winter hiking.
Weight and packability
Shells can often be stiffer and heavier, but this one manages to pack all the punch of a shell while being really lightweight and pretty packable. I’d think nothing of rolling this up and stuffing it in my daypack for any hike.
Comfort and storage
The one area where I find this jacket a little uncomfortable is when I have the zip all the way up but the hood down. It just makes the collar that bit too high where it’s squashing my nose and a bit too stiff to be comfortable around my face and throat. It’s fine when the hood is up, but when it’s down I need to unzip it to my collarbones, which I don’t always want to do when it’s cold and windy.
There’s ample storage with three roomy zipped pockets, but I can’t access the hand warming pockets when I have the hip belt of my backpack fastened.
Extra features and value
Helly Hansen has become an industry leader in mountain safety, relying on mountain professionals to help them design their gear, and this jacket boasts an emergency whistle and RECCO reflector in addition to shelter in a storm.
For me, those features in addition to the performance and sustainability focus really add a lot of value. I can understand that the price tag might give you sticker shock, but if you plan to wear this for decades and not just a season, you can definitely consider it an investment in a lifetime of adventure.
Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket: the bottom line
If you’re in the market for a high-performing technical shell for rugged adventures, there’s a lot to love about this jacket, and it should stand up to the test of time. We recommend trying it on first to see how the collar feels to you, but if it’s comfortable, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck and the eco-creds definitely help.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.