HELLY HANSEN ODIN HUGINN PANT
TEST SERIES BY STEVEN M. KIDD
February 13, 2018
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Steven M. Kidd
5' 9" (1.75 m)
185 lb (83.90 kg)
Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 30 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lb (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover from 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I also do several annual outings lasting four to five days covering distances between 15 to 20 mi (24 - 32 km) per day. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Helly Hansen Odin Huginn|
Manufacturer: Helly Hansen
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://hellyhansen.com
MSRP: US $190
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 18.1 oz (513 g)
Color: Ebony (Black to a deep charcoal grey)
Sizes Available: S - XXL
The Odin Huginn pants are part of the Odin Professional Collection. Helly Hansen is a Norwegian company, so it clearly fits that Odin was actually a God in Norse mythology and Huginn and Muninn are twin ravens that flew about the earth and returned to their king with reports from below. The Muninn pants is the female counterpart to the Huginn!
These are a softshell pair of pants designed to be soft, flexible and waterproof. The water resistance is provided by a PVC-free durable water repellent (DWR). The pants are windproof and they offer what the manufacturer refers to as both a dynamic and active fit. The design allows for comfortable movement in varying conditions and all-day comfort. Articulated knees also add to the comfort.
|Brushed Tricot Inner Waist|
The Huginns have both a gusseted crotch and a soft brushed tricot at the inner waist. All zippers are YKK® with a low profile a reversed coil. The waist has both a zip and a two snap closer and each front hip offers a zippered pocket as well as one on the right thigh. The website claims the left back hip has a zippered pocket. The pair I received has no rear pocket. The manufacturer stated that all the zipper pulls are custom designed with sure grip Bemis laminated construction. The images on the website appear to have yellow zipper pulls, mine are black.
The lower legs have zippered closures with a laminated cuff a single snap for un-cinched wears and two snap adjustments tightening around the ankle. Another feature is a shoe/boot lace clip on the front center hem. There is an integrated webbing belt with hook and loop adjusters and three belt loops that allow for an additional belt.
The pants arrived in a simple clear plastic bag and I excitedly removed them and inspected. I found the quality to be impeccable. The stitching and seams all appeared well done and they looked nice. The color is Ebony, but it looks like a deep charcoal to me. I noticed the Helly Hansen double-H logo on the upper right thigh and the pants name, Odin and thee triangles, on the rear left calf. The logos had a sheen to them, but did not feel like silk screens. I felt they looked nice and didn't stand out too much.
|Image Courtesy Helly Hansen|
I ordered the Size Medium designed to fit a size 34 - 36 in (86 - 91 cm) waist and with a 32 - 33 in (81 - 84 cm) inseam. My waist measurements are generally 33 in (84 cm) for casual wear and 35 in (89 cm) for dress wear. My inseam is 30 in (76 cm). I figured these would work perfectly and in fact the fit quite well in the waist. However, in the hips and the thighs the pants softshell material stretched very snug. The crotch was not uncomfortable and the lower legs were very spacious. Although the inseam was a little long, they fit well with both boots and trail runners if using the cuff snaps and the lace hook. I reverted to the website images and notice the pants actually appeared loose on the model. I've added an image courtesy of the manufacturer's website to show how they fit on the model. This was certainly not the case with me. They stretched and did not hurt, but didn't seem to have that "dynamic and active fit" the website mentioned. When my wife made it home in the evening, I put them on and asked her opinion. She said; "If you are going for the skinny-jean look then you have nailed it"! I immediately decided I likely need to size up to a Large since that look does not fit my fashion style.
BackpackGearTest.org representatives have been in contact with the manufacturer and they will be switching out the Odins for a size Large. I have yet to receive them, so I will report on the fit of that pair during the Field Reporting portion of the test series. I do have a few questions that will have to wait for their arrival to be answered. They are primarily on the fit in the waist and the length. The stated waist for the Large is 36.5 - 38 in (93 - 97 cm) and the inseam is 33 - 34 in (84 - 86 cm). The waist and the inseam actually fit pretty well in the Medium pair it was the tight fit in the hips and thigh that didn't appear right. I won't speculate on how they will fit in the larger size, but I hope they offer more room without being too baggy or loose. Fortunately, they offer the integrated webbing belt that attaches with a hook and loop closure that should certainly assist if the waist is a little roomy.
The material is nice and comfortable. If I have any fears, one may that they may be too warm on long trail days above freezing. The soft waist, gusseted crotch and articulated knees are all features that I will enjoy! The zippers all slide smoothly with no snags or pulling. I find them to be a well-made product.
I'm excited for the new pair to arrive, hopefully with a better fit and to get out on the trail soon with the Odin Huginns. I have two outings planned over the next three weeks, so hopefully I will get some trail time in them in the near future.
Roses are that they are a well-designed product and impeccably made. Thorns are currently around the sizing in relation to the web site size chart. My Field Report will answer how the next pair works out.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
19-22 October 2017; South Cumberland State Park, the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. This was a 4-day/3-night outing with temperatures reaching around 70 F (21 C) in the day and dropping to the high 30's F (~3 C) in the evenings. The weather was crystal clear and I never once deployed the rain tarp over my hammock. The outing was broken up as follows: We spent the first night in the campground at Foster Falls, Tennessee and hiked the 14.5 mi (23 km) Fiery Gizzard trail the following day. We then drove to the Savage Station Campground near Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee for another evening before hiking out 8.5 mi (14 km) to Hobbs Cabin and returning on the Plateau trail on the final day for a total distance of 33 mi (53 km).
|Arriving at Foster Falls|
24-25 November 2017; Land Between the Lakes near Cadiz, Kentucky. This was an overnight outing to celebrate #OptOutside with both my children and a few other hammock camping friends. The in and out covered around 6 mi (10 km) with daytime temperatures reaching around 55 F (12 C) and evening temperatures dropping to around 36 F (2 C). We hiked from Sugar Bay down to Higgins bay on the North-South Trail spending the night on the island just several yards outside Brown Cemetery.
6-10 December 2017; Suwanee River, Florida. This was a 5-day/4-night kayaking trip from River mile markers 113 - 76 (Dowling Park River Camp to a Branford exit). We spent evenings at Lafayette Blue Springs, Peacock Slough and Adams Tract. The first two days were wet and rainy with high temperatures around 45 F (7 C), but it felt much cooler on the river. A massive cold front came through on the third evening that dumped a ton of water on us while dropping snow all over the south. It dried up and even became sunny by the final day, but the clear weather brought a low of 29 F (-2 C) that final evening. Our plan to paddle in short sleeve shirts and swim trunks did not occur! Rather, we spent most days in waterproof-warm attire!
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
When the pants originally arrived they were entirely too snug in the hips and thighs, so I contacted the manufacturer and secured a pair in size Large. These were 1.5 in (4 cm) longer than the Medium size. They are long enough that I won't wear them around the house barefoot or they will drag under my feet. They are notso long that I can't wear them on the trail with trail runners or boots. The cuff snaps also help to keep them out from under my feet. They, however, will cinch up around my ankles as can be noted in the accompanying images. It's a problem I often have to deal with in pre-sized outdoor wear due to my height! The waist is definitely looser and I will need to cinch the inner belt and likely wear an external belt. They are a little long for me and a little loose in the waist, but not so much that I cannot wear them on the trail.
|Brown Cemetery, Land Between the Lakes|
Throughout the Field Reporting portion of the test series, I've had the opportunity to wear the pants to several outdoor sporting events that were either cool, damp or both. I've also used them on three distinct outings that couldn't be more different.
On the October outing the days were way too warm and the miles were excessively long to wear a thick softshell pair of pants or I'd have been sweating to no end! However, since I was basically base camping for the first two evenings and the temperatures were cool in the evening they were a great addition for wear around camp. The final night I didn't wear or take them to Hobbs Cabin in an attempt to save a little weight on the trail, opting for a pair of down pants for camp use that evening. That stated, wearing them around camp on evenings that I would normally wear down pants was perfect! I was never too cool.
The day after Thanksgiving, they were the only pants I took for the trip and wore them all day and into the evening except for sleep. They were comfortable and although the days were a little warm, I did not sweat. I was sleeping in a Cuben fiber tarp/sock that creates a warm environment, so I did remove them for bed. It was here when I was splashing around in the lake with my son and dog wearing a pair of waterproof boots that I also happen to be testing that I enjoyed how easily they repel a splash of water or two!
Finally, on the river trip I had hoped they would be primary wear on the river to protect against paddle splashes. However, full out rainstorms, wind and cold weather drove me to wearing them only at night in camp and wearing a tight base layer under a Gore-Tex EWCS setup for protection against the elements. Fortunately, on those rainy evenings we had several ways to remain protected from the weather. One evening there was a cabin on stilts and we also pitched a large tarp. Another night offered screened cabins that we could hang out in, while keeping us away from the weather. Again, in conditions like these I would normally wear my down pants with a lightweight rain pant over them for warmth and protection. The Odin's worked out perfectly in this scenario! I did remove them at bedtime and opt for down and the air was simply so moist and I didn't want to take any chances bringing damp conditions into the hammock.
Overall, I have been impressed with the Odin Huginn pants. The Large size is definitely a little long for me, and although I'd prefer them to be offered in a shorter size, I can make them work with both the lace clip in the front and the cuff snaps on the side. They don't drag the ground, but they do bunch up a bit at the ankle based on my height. That is really the primary thorn I have concerning them. The waist is a little large, but I can snug them up with the hook and loop adjustments and a belt (if needed). I never used a belt on the four nights of the river trip!
|Suwannee River, Peacock Slough River Camp|
The looser thigh and hips on the larger pair were definitely a key! They are comfortable to hike in, and I'm definitely looking forward to getting more extended hiking use in the colder winter months that are coming! They have kept me warm enough when I'm idle at camp to temperatures just above freezing...specifically if I'm hanging out around a campfire. As far as hiking, I am sure my high temperature comfort limit is likely going to be in the mid-50's F (~13 C). Anything warmer than that and I'll likely perspire too much to be comfortable.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
27-28 December 2017: Appalachian Trail, near Damascus, Virginia. I went out for an overnight on the AT while visiting my parents over the Christmas holiday season. I hiked 5 mi (8 km) in one day and returned on the same path the next morning, as I had parked in the well-known town. Temperatures were frigid, averaging 17 F (-8 C), but wind chills were near 0 F (-18 C). It wasn't super fun hanging out in these temperatures alone. If I'd had a buddy with me I may have hiked all the way back into Tennessee, but decided the one-nighter was enough.
16-17 January 2018: Private land near Arrington, Tennessee. We had a rare 3 in (8 cm) snow here in middle Tennessee, which shut the school system in this southern state/county down for over a week! One evening my kids had cabin fever and I took them out to the woods in our neighborhood. We have plenty of untouched wooded acreage in our subdivision and I have permission from our developer to camp on the property, so a fire on a 25 F (-4 C) evening was comforting! Normally we'd sleep in hammocks, but setup and take down was too rigorous an undertaking for a single night and I wanted to ensure the kids stayed plenty warm...and we had the dog!
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I did not get a plethora of backpacking time in the pants during the Long Term portion of the test series, due to holiday travel and career obstacles in January and February, but I was able to get plenty of use out of the pants. I spent nearly a week in southwestern Virginia that last week of December and the temperatures were well below freezing nearly the entire time. On the overnight outing, I wore the softshell pants in combination with a merino wool baselayer and was still chilly when I was not moving!
I also wore them several days when my family and I would go out and about in town down into Abingdon and Bristol. I wore them on one occasion with a baselayer and on another without any. The temperatures were frigid and I wore the baselayers with the Odin pants the day we walked around downtown Bristol on State Street, a street of shops that is Virginia on one side and Tennessee on the other. That stated, my legs were cool, but comfortable. The other day (when I wore no baselayer), I did not spend a ton of time outside; just going from the car to other shops I was chilled by the cutting wind. My message/opinion...the pants keep me warm in most situations, but in subfreezing weather with high winds, it is a good idea to also layer up!
I used them quite a bit during the week my kids were out of school during the snow. I wore them on that overnight and during some sledding and outdoor play. I even washed them and wore them to work as I travel the local area and I'm in and out of my car regularly throughout the day. They were warm and worked well in the sloppy parking lots I was regularly visiting.
In all, my opinion hasn't changed dramatically since the Field Report. The quality of the product is top-notch and I see them lasting me a long time. They are comfortable, although a little long and do exactly what they are designed to do. They even stayed relatively moisture free during sledding with minimal wetting out.
In summary, Helly Hansen has created a quality product in the Odin Huginn Pants. I foresee them lasting for some time, and I most definitely will keep this product in my winter gear kit!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.
My biggest and primary thorn in the product is based on the sizing. For a product at this price-point, I'd really like to see a broader availability of sizes! Again, I originally ordered a size Medium based on my measurements and although they fit me well in the waist and fair in the inseam/length the pants were entirely too snug in the hips and thighs. The size Large gave me the needed room through the thighs and hips, but was really large in the waist and entirely too long. The snaps for the ankles, as well as the hoop & loop adjustment option for the waist make them wearable, but they are realistically too large for me. More sizing options would certainly be nice.
That sums it up and this concludes my test series on the pants. I'd like to thank both Helly Hansen and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test the Odin Huggin Pant.
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