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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Helly Hansen Odin Muninn or Huginn Pants > Test Report by Andrea Murland
Helly Hansen Odin
Field Report - December 12, 2017
Long Term Report - February 13, 2018
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, Nepal, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Description & Initial ImpressionsThe Helly Hansen Odin Muninn Pants are a stretchy softshell pant for all-season use. The manufacturer tells me that they are supposed to be windproof, breathable, and water repellent, with a DWR coating. The softshell apparently has 4-way stretch, and the fabric does stretch a bit in all directions. To me, the material feels like a slightly hard-faced mid-weight softshell.
The design of the pants seems very good for active use. They have a gusseted crotch, articulated knees, a front fly with double snaps, two front slash pockets, and a thigh pocket on the right leg. The bottom of the pants have a lace hook at the front and a 39 cm (15.4 in) long zipper, with snaps for adjusting the leg opening to regular width or cinched. On each side of the waistband is a hook-and-loop tab which is connected to a belt that is internal to the waistband, for adjustment. There are also beltloops for a regular belt. The inside of the waistband is a soft brushed tricot material, screen printed with some information about the Odin Series of apparel.
The pants have quite a distinctive look. The colour is a dark grey – more of a charcoal colour than what I would call “ebony”. However, the zipper on the thigh pocket, the large Helly Hansen logo on the front of the right leg, and the large logo on the back of the lower left leg, which says “ODIN” and has a symbol of overlapping triangles, are all a quite bright orangey-pink colour. The two logos are screen-printed.
The inseam of the size medium pants measures at 79 cm (31.1 in) long, and the opening of the legs (un-cinched) is 18 cm (7.1 in) wide.
Trying Them Out (Sizing!)I chose a size medium based on the size chart on the website, which lists only waist and inseam measurements. That seemed odd to me, as most women’s size charts list waist and hip measurements, but I didn’t worry about it too much at the time. I have a 78 cm (30.8 in) waist, so I chose the medium, which had a waist measurement of 74-80 cm (29.1-31.5 in). I could see that I was closer to the upper end of the measurement, but since every pair of pants I own is a size medium, and the next size range was 80-86 cm (31.5-33.6 in), I went with my usual size and the one I fit into on the chart.
When the pants arrived, I immediately tried them on. The waist fit very well, and I cinched the internal belt up slightly, but not much. The problem was that the hips and thighs of the pants looked like someone had poured me into them…thank goodness they’re stretchy. As this is going to be a test conducted largely in the winter months, I need space for some long underwear underneath, and I do like to be able to move in my pants anyway. I’m exchanging for a size large to see if I can get the hips and thighs to fit (which I will report on in my Field Report!).
I was not surprised to find that the size medium pants are too long. I wear pants with a 75 cm (29.5 in) inseam, and these were listed as having a 79-81 cm (31.1-31.9 in) inseam (they measured at the lower end of that range). With boots on, the pants bunch up around my lower legs, as the opening of the pants is too narrow to fall down on my boot very far. That means that they shouldn’t be dragging in the mud, but they look funny. The lace hook on the front of the pants could only hook to lacing above the ankle of the boots, which certainly seems odd. The size large are supposed to be longer, but maybe will also have a wider leg, so I will report more on this in my Field Report.
SummaryThe Helly Hansen Odin Muninn Pants are stretchy softshell pants that looks well-made and with many great features for all-season use. Right now my main focus revolves around the sizing of the pants and getting a pair that is wearable (I’ll hold off judgement about the next size fitting until I see them!). My first impressions are that the proportions are not compatible with my body shape, but I have my fingers crossed!
SizingAfter completing my Initial Report, I was able to exchange the size medium pants for a size large. I was happy to find that the size large fit comfortably in the hips and thighs, with space for medium-weight long underwear underneath. Sizing up also increased the other proportions, however. The waist was now quite large, though I was able to cinch it in using the internal belt. I had the waist adjustment tabs right at the edge of their range, with very little of the hook-and-loop meeting. The inseam length on the size large is 84 cm (33.1 in), which is 5 cm (2 in) longer than the size medium. The un-cinched opening of the legs increased only 1 cm (0.4 in) to 19 cm (7.5 in) wide.
Field ConditionsMost of my use of the Muninn Pants over the past two months has been on an 18-day trek in the Khumbu region of Nepal. During that trip, I wore the pants for 18 days straight of hiking, covering approximately 180 km (112 mi). Temperatures were highly variable, ranging from -13 C (9 F) on cold mornings at high altitude up to around 20 C (68 F) on sunny days when down lower. Hiking altitudes ranged from 2800 m to 5545 m (9185 to 18,192 ft). Weather conditions on the trek were consistently amazing, and skies were generally clear in the morning with clouds in the afternoon. There was no rain over the course of the trek, though I did take the pants out in a light snowstorm one evening.
After my return from Nepal, I took the pants out on one short snowshoeing trip at home, for about 5 km (3 mi), at a temperature around freezing. I also wore them for one Search & Rescue practice.
ObservationsFit & Comfort:
Once I got the right size, I found the Muninn pants to be reasonably comfortable. In the size large, there weren’t any areas that were too tight, so I was mostly dealing with a couple of areas that were a bit too big. I was able to comfortably wear mid-weight long underwear under the pants. I did appreciate that they were on the looser side of comfortable in the hips and thighs, as it made it easier to maneuver in and out of them in all sorts of strange places that were not the most private of bathroom spots. It was also nice to have a bit of space in the thigh to make the thigh pocket functional. I was able to keep my phone in there for easy access and it didn’t bother me at all.
The waist I was able to cinch down with the internal belt, but I was right at the edge of the range of the hook-and-loop tabs. I could have had the waist a bit tighter, but it was ok to start. I found on the first day of my trek that there was so much of the tab loose that it was catching on my shirt. As this loose part of the tab has the hook side of the hook-and-loop, it was not only annoying but also destroying my shirt. I found some safety pins in my pack and pinned the tab to the belt loop on each side to keep it against the waistband. As I wore the pants day after day and they stretched out, I was also able to cinch the internal belt past the range of the hook-and-loop and just pin the tabs into place.
The excess length of the pants didn’t really cause me any problems, but it made it look like I had pants that didn’t fit. As the leg opening is fairly narrow, the pants didn’t fall past my ankles, so they didn’t drag on the ground when I had shoes on. I was thankful for that, as it made it slightly easier to keep them out of the yak dung everywhere. With shoes off, the pants end up under my foot, with the cuff somewhere under my arch. That was annoying while getting dressed in the morning, as the snaps and zipper are quite uncomfortable to stand on, but it was a short-term occurrence. Twice I cinched the bottom of the pants down, when entering temples where I had removed my shoes. Being able to quickly cinch them down was convenient for walking around in socks, so I appreciated that feature, though I never used it while walking. In fact, I can’t actually cinch the pants around my hiking boots.
The fabric itself is soft and comfortable. The waistband is comfortable, even under the waist belt of my pack, and has a nice length of rise.
These pants have had a lucky couple of months, weather-wise! In Nepal they saw dust, dust, and more dust, but no rain. I did go for a short walk in light snow once, and the snow didn’t stick or wet out the fabric. In wind, they seemed to break most of the chill, though my legs were getting very cold on one windy afternoon, and I stopped and dug leggings out of the bottom of my pack to put on underneath. One thing I struggled with a bit in Nepal, early and late in our trek, was being too hot. In the sun, up around 20 C (68 F), I found the pants to be uncomfortably hot. I found myself sweating around the waistband and behind the knees, and wishing for pants that were lighter weight or would let a bit of a breeze through.
The Muninn pants have held up pretty well to being worn for 18 days straight! The fabric through the legs and bum show no noticeable signs of wear, despite being dragged against rocks and bushes. The area under the waistband that sits under my pack has a tiny bit of pilling. The area with the most wear is on the waistband in front of the waist adjustment tab. Since I had the belt cinched down so far, the hooks on the tab were sitting and rubbing against the waistband in that area.
The pants have been washed twice in a washing machine in my regular laundry with regular detergent and hung to dry. They have also been washed once by a porter in some fashion…probably by hand in cold water, and laid out on rocks to dry.
I found myself turned off a bit by the vibrant logos on these pants while I was hiking in Nepal. I didn’t mind the pink zippers, but the large H/H logo and ODIN text on the back of the leg could have been smaller or more muted.
SummaryThe Helly Hansen Odin Muninn Pants are a nice mid-weight softshell pant, especially for when it’s not too hot out. They have performed very well so far in terms of function and durability. The fabric and waistband are comfortable, but the fit is not ideal for me, as the pants are too big in the waist and way too long for me. Hopefully in the next couple of months I’m able to get these pants out in some nastier weather!
Field ConditionsOver the past two months, I have used the Helly Hansen Odin Muninn Pants for four Search & Rescue practices and three snowshoeing/hiking day trips. The Search & Rescue practices were two to three hours long, involving some wading around in snow and walking around outside. Temperatures at practice ranged from around freezing down to around -10 C (14 F). The three snowshoeing/hiking trips varied in length from 5 km to 16 km (3.1-9.9 mi). Only one of those trips was purely snowshoeing, with the other two being a mix, as I took my snowshoes on and off with snow conditions. The temperatures on the hikes topped out around freezing, and the coldest was around -15 C (5 F) with a -25 C (-13 F) windchill.
ObservationsFit & Comfort:
I don’t have much new to say about the fit of these pants. I appreciated having the larger size as I was wearing the pants with long underwear underneath in this colder weather. The waist was still large, but I noticed it less with some layers tucked in.
I still found that the narrow opening of the leg was annoying. If I put on my winter boots with these pants, I have to struggle quite a lot to get the pants over the top of the boots at all.
I didn’t have any occasions where the pants were too hot during these two months of winter! I wore them with either lightweight or midweight long underwear underneath all the time. I appreciated the partial wind-breaking ability of these pants, especially on the day when the cold wind was howling at the summit. My legs were still cold, but it was manageable.
The fabric of the pants sheds cold snow well. It was too cold here to really get a sense for how they would do in wetter conditions.
I tried to use the lace hook to keep the pants down and avoid wearing gaiters on my first snowshoeing trip. The very first step I took where I sunk into the snow, the pants rode up at the back and I filled my boots. The lace hook kept the pants down in the front, but since the pants don’t fall very far down on my boots to start with, the lace hook wasn’t enough to keep the pants down at the back.
I have been much nicer to my Muninn Pants over the past two months than earlier in the test! They survived sitting on a few more rocks and walking through some snow, but I didn’t do anything extreme to them. Other than the bit of pilling mentioned in the field report, the fabric of the pants is in very good condition.
I have washed the pants an additional three times in my regular laundry and hung them to dry.
SummaryThe Helly Hansen Odin Muninn Pants are a well-designed mid-weight softshell pant with nice features and a good fabric for a wide seasonal range. Unfortunately, there were just too many things about the fit of the pants that wasn’t right for me for me to love these pants.
Nice weight of fabric for moderate temperatures
Comfortable fabric & waistband
Break the wind and shed cold snow
Hip to waist ratio was very wrong for me
Legs too long with no alternate lengths
Legs very narrow at the bottom
Very bright & large logos
Thanks to Helly Hansen and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test these pants.
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Reviews > Clothing > Pants and Shorts > Helly Hansen Odin Muninn or Huginn Pants > Test Report by Andrea Murland
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