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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Helly Hansen Hybrid or Guide Light > Test Report by Derek Hansen

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Photo courtesy Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen — Odin Guide Light Pant

Test Series by Derek Hansen

TESTER INFORMATION

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NameDerek Hansen
Age37
GenderMale
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg)
Email Address pix-obfuscated
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical overnight pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), each of which includes food and water. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.


PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer Helly Hansen, Norway
Year of Manufacture 2013, made in China
Manufacturer’s Website hellyhansen.com
MSRP US$160
Listed Features
  • Highly breathable softshell
  • Full stretch construction
  • Clean Scandinavian design
  • All zippered pockets
  • Adjustable bottom leg
  • Welded thigh pocket
  • Adjustable waist
  • Belt loops
Manufacturer Recommendations

None listed.

Measurements
Specifications What They Say What I Say
Weight 16.5 oz (470 g) 16.2 oz (462 g)
Colors Ebony
Size Tested Men's Large (Other Sizes Available: S, M, XL and 2XL)


INITIAL REPORT

16 Apr 2013

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Helly Hansen Oden Guide Light Pant is described as a "durable softshell" that features a full stretch, breathable, quick-dry nylon fabric. The area around the knees is reinforced with a second layer of fabric that is welded to the outer layer, so the seam is nearly invisible.

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There are two front zipper pockets and one lower pocket on the left side. This third pocket is a cargo pocket, but it is on the front of the pant not the side. The pant features a hook and two snaps along with a front zipper to secure the pant. The three pocket zippers have reinforced pulls.

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The waist has five belt loops. There are also two tabs with hook-and-loop attachments that have an elastic pull to adjust the waist band.

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On the bottom of the pant legs is a single elastic shock cord and cord lock. The shock cord is kept from dangling by a channel of fabric that runs inside the pant leg.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

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I love the close, smooth fit around my hips and thighs. The pants are actually flattering. I love how the pants fit around my body. The pants look great and feel wonderful.

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One thing that really sold me on the pant was the pockets. I don't like bulky pockets and the Light Hiker is just perfect. Instead of using mesh or the same 4-way stretch material that is common in hiking pants, Helly Hansen uses some firm fabric that doesn't stretch. I love that. The pockets give me confidence that I won't poke holes or lose items inside. The secure zipper is also reassuring.

I wasn't expecting to like the adjustable bottom leg, but I really like it. I can pull the leg up over my knee to modularize the pant into shorts or capris if necessary.

INITIAL SUMMARY

I'm already in love with these pants. The fit and feel are fantastic, as is the movement.

PRO—Great fit. Great adjustability in waist, leg. Great feel. Great pockets.

CON—None.

FIELD REPORT

25 Jun 2013

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I've used the Odin pants on three backpacking trips and a few day hikes, totaling 11 days and more than 20 miles of backpacking.

Apr 17: Old Caves Crater, Arizona. I did a few day hikes around the cinder hills, each about 3 mi (16 km) long. The elevation change was 1,400 ft (427 m). The wind was very strong, gusting at times to 40 MPH (64 km/h), with temperatures around 40°F (4°C).

May 17-18: Walker Lake, north of Kachina Peaks. Elevation was 8,000 ft (2,438 m) with overnight temperatures in the 50s°F (10°C). I did about two miles (3 km) of day hiking.

Jun 4-8: Whitehorse Lake and Camp Raymond Boy Scout Reserve. I spent a week out with my family doing some car camping for various summer camp events. Conditions were dry and hot with temperatures in the lower 90s°F (30s°C). I completed a 2 mi (3 km) day hike and accumulated about 5 mi (8 km) of hiking on various events.

Jun 14-15: Oak Grove Trail, Southern Utah. I went on a backpacking trip with my nephews and mom in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness in the Dixie National Forest up the Oak Grove Trail. Elevation was around 8,000 ft (2,440 m) and the temperatures ranged from 90s°F (30s°C) to 50°F (10°C). This was a short 4 mi (6.5 km) trip.

Jun 21-22: Sycamore Rim Trail. I completed a 12.4 mi (20 km) backpacking trip with the troop. Elevation change was 1,400 ft (427 m). The Daytime temperatures remained a mild 85°F (30°C), but overnight it dropped to a chilly 35°F (2°C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

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Appearance - The pants have retained a sharp, clean look over the past few months. I've had to wash the pants about 4 times during this period and they still look good as new.

Weather Resistance - I haven't had a chance to test the pants during a storm yet, but while backpacking the Sycamore Rim Trail, we came to a spring with two small ponds near the middle of the trek. I took the opportunity to wade through the water, which was about knee deep, to soak up some water and cool down. The pants readily absorbed the water and retained much of the water for the remaining few miles and hours we had left on the hike. By the time we reached our vehicles, the pants were dry.

Comfort - These pants continue to impress me with their comfort. One thing that really wins me over with these pants is that I don't notice them while I'm hiking. To clarify, nothing on the pant rubs, itches, pinches, or pokes, providing a very relaxed fit and feel.

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Durability - On my backpacking trip in Southern Utah, the trail was completely overgrown in places with scrub oak covering the trail and making it difficult to wade through. In sections it was if we were bushwhacking it was so bad. The brush and scrub oak was really scratchy, and those in my group who wore shorts have the marks to prove it. Thankfully, I had the Odin pants and I was spared any scrapes. The pants held up wonderfully and came out without a scratch or mark that I can see.

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One thing that I've tried numerous times with these pants is to cinch up the ankle a little and pull up the legs into long shorts or capris. I've found that when I do this, I prefer the capris version the most because the elastic band tends to get uncomfortable over time when around my upper leg. With the capris variation, the elastic band settles just above my calf. I hiked for hours and never noticed or felt discomfort in this configuration.

The zippered pickets continue to work great and I love how they work and feel.

The only minor annoyance is the front clasp. On a few occasions, the snaps have popped leaving just the hook attached.

With temperatures in the 80s°F (30s°C), I was a little worried I might overheat with these pants, but they performed just fine. In fact, I didn't feel overly hot despite hiking in the hot Arizona sun and high elevation. Soaking the pants in the ponds felt great and they did dry within a few hours of hiking.

FIELD USE SUMMARY

The Odin pant continues to perform well and I love wearing them! I have no real complaints aside from the snaps popping, which is infrequent.


LONG-TERM REPORT

26 Aug 2012

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I've worn the pants on a few overnight trips and a few day hikes, totaling more than 80 miles (129 km) of backpacking.

June 26-29: Heber Valley Camp, Utah. Another family reunion in Northern Utah. While we slept in cabins, we did go on a few day hikes, totaling about 4 mi (6.5 km).

Jul 2-3: Mount Timpanogos, Utah. I took my son and nephew backpacking up Mount Timpanogos for a total of about 15 mi (24 km). Elevation gain was about 5,000 ft (1,524 m). We camped at 10,000 ft (3,048 m).

Jul 15-20: Arizona Trail, Arizona. I took our Boy Scout troop on a 50-mile (80 km) backpacking trip (final mileage was closer to 55 mi (86 km) along the Arizona Trail. We had about 1,000 ft (305 m) of elevation gain and very moderate temperatures, thanks to the monsoons.

July 31-Aug 4: Lake Powell, Arizona. Family vacation on the lake. The temperatures were around 90°F (32°C).

Aug 9-10: West Clear Creek, Arizona. I backpacked a short 8 mi (13 km) down into West Clear Creek for an overnight hammock camp. The temperature was a pleasant 70°F (21°C).

Aug 23-24: Marshall Lake, Arizona. The elevation was 6,500 ft (2,000 m). During the night, the temperature dropped into the mid-50s °F (10 °C) and we had drizzly rain all weekend.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I don't normally wear pants at all in the summer time, and sometimes I wished I could have left the pants at home. However, the Odin pants are very versatile, thanks to the cinch cord in the ankle area. Most often, I wore the pants in capri mode where I pulled up the leg around my calf.

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This actually worked well for ventilation, but allowed me to quickly pull the pant legs down if the trail went through some bramble and I wanted more protection on my legs. While backpacking Mount Timpanogos I found this especially useful as we hiked through the brush, but also when we reached elevation and the temperatures cooled.

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On West Clear Creek, the canyon is so choked with willows and bramble that it is quite the ordeal to make any progress. There were some rose hips with thorns, but they didn't do any damage to the pants.

The pockets are one of my favorite features. The zippers work great and the pocket material feels great; no snagging and no tearing.

On our 50-miler (80 km) trek, we took a section by canoe, and naturally everyone tipped their canoes. After a few miles down the lake, thunderstorms approached and we soon had to portage out and we were caught in a few hours of pounding rain. Once we got to camp, I was able to change into some dryer clothes. The pants actually dry fairly quickly, and within a few hours everything felt dry.

FINAL SUMMARY

I love these pants, and they are going to be my go-to clothing as I enter the fall and winter. I think the pants are a little too warm for summer trekking, although the cinch on the ankle does provide a way to "convert" the pants after a fashion. At higher elevations, however, the pants really made an impression and I liked having the extra coverage.

PRO—Great feel. Dries quickly. Versatile.

CON—None.


I would like to thank Helly Hansen and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.



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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Helly Hansen Hybrid or Guide Light > Test Report by Derek Hansen



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