I've completed my IR for the Helly Hansen Fastpack Jacket.
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Helly Hanson Odin Fastpack Jacket
Test Series by Shane Williams
Initial Review: April 10th, 2013
Field Report: June, 2013
Long Term Report: August, 2013
Name: Shane Williams
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Height: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
As a child I lived in the last house on a dead end street. Just beyond my house was a wilderness area. I started hiking and exploring there, and I've never stopped. I started backpacking in the South Eastern Appalachian Mountains, including portions of the Appalachian Trail. Today I primarily hike in the Colorado Rockies. My pack weight is approximately 30 (13.61 kg) to 50 lbs (22.68 kg). I often carrying more gear than necessary hoping that I won't need it. I enjoy weekend excursions into the High Country with friends and lower elevation day trips with my family.
Manufacturer: Helly Hansen
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.hellyhansen.com/
Listed Weight: 8.47 oz (240 g)
Measured Weight: 8.47 oz (240 g)
Test Size: Medium
Test Color: Cobalt Blue
Listed Materials Helly Tech® Professional fabrics
MSRP: 300 USD
Awards: All-Purpose Ultralight Backpacker magazine Gear guide 2012
HELLY TECH® Professional
Waterproof and breathable fabric
One hand cord adjustment
Fully adjustable hood
2.5 ply light weight construction
Vent through pockets design
(Courtesy of Helly Hansen)
Helly Hansen's Odin Fastpack Jacket is a light weight wind and water proof shell designed to provide protection from the elements. It's constructed from Helly Hansen's proprietary "Helly Tech Professional" material, which is a triple layer fabric. The manufacturer states that this fabric acts as an outer layer membrane that prevents water molecules from getting in, but allows moisture molecules to escape. This triple layer material is comprised of a waterproof breathable fabric between an inner layer of fabric and an outer layer fabric. The inner layer is a 100% polyurethane and the outer layer is 100 % polyamide. This is a diagram of the fabric as stated on the manufacturer's website.
(Courtesy of Helly Hansen)
(Courtesy of Helly Hansen)
As I reviewed the product specifications for this item, I noticed that there seems to be a slight discrepancy between the details listed in the Product Features list and the HellyTech technology page. The product specifications state that this is a 2.5 ply construction, yet by the definition of the HellyTech Professional material, it's stated that this is a 3 ply material. The manufacturer does list the HellyTech Performance material as a 2.5 ply material, but the reflective print along the sleeve of the Odin Fastpack Jacket clearly states that this is a HellyTech Professional material. The Odin appears to be made of all the same material, but I suppose it's possible that there are two types of materials used in its construction. I've contacted the manufacturer requesting clarity as to which material was used and which ply it is. I hope to have an update from the manufacturer in my upcoming filed report in June.
Tailoring The Fit
The Odin has a series of 5 adjustment cords that can be used to tighten down the openings to reduce exposure to the outside elements. The first adjustment point is positioned on the backside of the hood. This hood adjuster has a pinch clip as well as a pull tab for easy adjustments. The second and third adjustment points are on the left and right front just below the hood. These adjusters have a pinch clip that and a pull chord that also has a solid plastic pull tab. The fourth and fifth adjustment points are located on the inside bottom hem and have a left and right adjustment which are offset from the front zipper.
In addition to these shock cord type of adjusters, The Odin is also equipped with a hook and loop adjustable cuffs around the wrists. These cuffs have two separate Velcro type of closures. The first is a round patch which is intended to keep the flap attached to the jacket when the cuff is in its standard configuration. The second is a longer patch that is intended to be used when the cuff needs to be tightened down.
Ventilation and Pockets
A key feature of a reliable shell is keeping wind and more specifically water out. Another key feature is allowing bio-moisture to escape. The Odin Fastpack Jacket does this by providing two rather large ventilation zippers on the left and right front panels. Ideally these can be opened up to allow moisture to escape. These ventilation shafts also serve the dual purpose for creating large pockets on the inside. I will be interesting to see how this functions while trail running in a downpour. Perhaps the fabric is breathable enough to allow the sweat to escape without opening the ventilation zippers. However, if it isn't it would seem like opening these for ventilation would allow water from the outside to leak in.
Front ventiliation zipper
Pocket from the inside view.
Zippers and Seams
All of the zippers on The Odin comes equipped with YKK Aquaguard water resistant zippers, which means that there is a polyurethane laminated tape that's used to seal and reinforce the bond to the jacket. The zippers also have stylish pull tabs to make it more functional. The seams are all double stitched and it looks like there is a very thin layer of coating over the seams on the outer layer of the jacket. The inner layer appears to be a standard double stitch.
Front zipper and pull tab
Internal double stitch seam
Points for Style
This jacket also has a few a stylishly placed adorners that are reflective. On the top left panel, just below the collar bone the name "Helly Hansen" has been printed. The upper portion of the left sleeve there is a triangularly shaped design (known in Nordic mythology as Odin's triangle or Odin's knot) and the name "ODIN" is printed just below it. On the lower portion of the left sleeve the same reflective font states "HellyTech Professional", denoting the proprietary material with which the jacket is made. Lastly the back of the jacket has a larger version of the same Nordic mythological symbolism.
Helly Hansen's Odin Fastpack jacket has made a remarkable first impression! The jacket is super light and does indeed compress down to almost nothing. When I put it on, I immediately loved the fit and feel. When ordering I used the sizing chart on the HellyHansen website and purposely sized it to fit snug. The sizing chart was very accurate and it fits like a glove. I look forward to getting out on the trails with this shell and seeing how it performs when stacked against the elements of the Rocky Mountains. This concludes my Initial Report, come back and find out how The Oden performs in the field with my Field Report due in June, 2013
A special thanks to backpackgeartest.org and Helly Hansen for conducting this test series.