These comfortable midweight shell pants are sturdy enough to hold up against most days in the mountains without weighing you down
Windproof and water repellent
Four way stretch for comfort and movement
Three roomy, zipped pockets
Adjustable waist and hem
Too warm for summer hiking
On the pricey end
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Helly Hansen Women’s Odin Muninn 2.0 Shell Pants: first impressions
These women's hiking pants are made for hikers who don't want to stop hiking just because summer has come and gone. These midweight shell pants offer enough protection that you won’t need to wear rain paints outside of torrential conditions, and enough warmth that you won’t have to pair them with thermal underwear when it’s not frigid out either. They’re windproof and water-repellent for blustery days, but breathable for those steep slopes and have four way stretch so you can easily move in them. Fit with a RECCO reflector for safety, these pants were designed with feedback from mountain rescue teams.
• List price: $200 / £160
• Gender specification: Women’s
• Weight: 17 oz / 510 g (small)
• Sizes: XS - XL
• Materials: Shell: 91% Polyamide, 9% Elastane
• Colors: Black, Blue Fog, Darkest Spring, Lav green
• Best use: Hiking
The adjustable waist means you can tailor these to your body without wearing a belt, and snap adjustments and zips on the trouser hem mean you can fasten them over larger winter hiking boots. We found them to run a little on the large and long side, but with all the adjustable options that wasn’t a problem for performance. If they get muddy, you can hose them down in the shower meaning you don’t have to wash them every hike, and three large zipped pockets have plenty of room phones and maps. These are a bit warm for summer hiking, but you can certainly wear them for three-seasons and stay pretty comfortable in rainy, snowy and cold weather.
Helly Hansen Women’s Odin Muninn 2.0 Shell Pants: in the field
I’ve been wearing these hiking pants exclusively on my hikes for the past three months, including mild days in Wales with the Western Beacons Mountain Rescue team and some very cold, wet and snowy days in the Scottish hills and I’ve found them to be extremely reliable for cold weather hiking.
Here’s how they performed:
Sizing and fit
When I first put these on, I wasn’t super thrilled with them. I usually wear a small and I found the small to be a little large and a little long, plus they’re not the most flattering on me. However, the adjustable waist means I can tailor them to my size, and since I’ve been out in some snowier conditions, I’ve been glad for the longer leg and adjustable hems which mean they don't drag in the dirt. The website shows them as fairly snug-fitting, but they’re quite baggy on me, which I personally prefer for movement and also so I can layer them over thermal underwear if need be, but you might be able to size down if you like them tighter.
These aren’t completely waterproof, but they’re treated with a DWR spray which has kept me pretty well protected against some sideways rain of late and they don’t take on water and get heavy like some of my hiking pants. It also meant that when I came home covered in mud after a few falls recently, I could just rinse them off under the shower and wear them again the next day, which I consider a huge bonus. They’re not big, thick insulated winter pants but will keep a cold winter’s wind off no problem which means I haven’t got cold in them.
Breathability and comfort
Because I live in Scotland, not all winter days are cold, or even cool, and lately I’ve been out on some milder expeditions where I’ve been able to get pretty warm. These are definitely breathable for a sweatier adventure, but I’d find them too warm for summer.
Thanks to the four way stretch and soft lining inside the waistband, I find these really comfortable. Some shell pants are designed to be worn over long underwear and can have odd scratchy details, but these have no such thing.
Storage and durability
These trousers have two zipped hip pockets and one very deep zipped thigh pocket that is plenty big enough for an iPhone, map or guidebook. They’re also really sturdy, being a midweight shell. I’ve taken a few tumbles on some steep muddy slopes lately and they’ve held up.
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.