Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket | Review

This professional-grade shell is lightweight, durable and protective – and equipped with an innovative waterproof-breathable technology that claims to be one of the most environmentally responsible choices out there

Why We Chose It: Sustainable, innovative, lightweight but durable

Norwegian brand Helly Hansen makes a vast range of outdoor gear for sailors, skiers and hikers, as well as everyday lifestyle apparel and even industrial workwear. However, its specialist mountain range is called the Odin collection, and this is where you tend to find its professional-grade gear. According to the brand, Odin products offer “the most complete and purposeful weather protection, whilst also being lightweight and functional”.

OM editor Will using the Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell on the Cumbria Way in the Lake District. Photos: Joe Whitmore

The Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket is a case in point. It was developed with insights from the Squamish Search and Rescue team in British Columbia, Canada. The brief? To create an extra breathable shell that offers high-level protection from wind and rain. But in typical Helly style, the brand didn’t just stop there. They also wanted to make the jacket as sustainable as possible – using materials with minimum impact, from the fabric to the waterproof membrane to the water-repellent finish.

What Is The Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Jacket Best Suited To?

Since it was designed in collaboration with Canadian Search and Rescue Teams, you’d expect this jacket to be tough and protective, and you’d be dead right. However, unlike most hefty winter-grade waterproofs, this one tips the scales at just 400g (men’s medium). That makes it far more wearable and also more packable than the majority of its rivals, extending its scope of use from the harshest seasons through to spring and summer wear. So, this is a great year-round shell for hiking, hillwalking and mountaineering. It’s available in both men’s and women’s versions too.

Eco Credentials

The headline innovation is Helly Hansen’s new Lifa Infinity technology. The jacket boasts a fully waterproof/breathable membrane, bonded to a tough face fabric and a soft backer. In other words, it’s a similar three-layer construction to most premium waterproofs. Usually, some sort of chemical solvent is needed to bond the different layers together, but Helly have managed to achieve the same result without the use of chemicals, by heating and stretching the material.

That’s because the membrane itself is made from polypropylene, an evolution of the same fibres used in Helly’s famous baselayers. This is really unusual, since most waterproof-breathable membranes are composed of either PU (polyurethane) or ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, the stuff that Gore-Tex and eVent is made from). Production of both PU and ePTFE has significant environmental impacts, with ePTFe in particular being heavily criticised. Of course, polypropylene is a synthetic fibre just like polyester and nylon – which are all thermoplastics derived from petrochemicals. So it isn’t without its downsides either. On balance, however, it seems to have fewer negative impacts than alternative membrane technologies.

“There’s lots to like about this meticulously designed jacket.”

In addition to the membrane, the garment is built with sturdy, recycled nylon and finished with a durable water-repellent treatment that is free from harmful PFCs.

Construction and Performance

This is a well-built waterproof that is packed with mountain-ready features. The hood is fully adjustable and sized to accommodate a climbing helmet, while the elevated hand pockets are placed high up so you can still access them even if wearing a climbing harness or a rucksack hipbelt. A smaller external chest pocket will accommodate a phone, and the zipper incorporates a safety whistle. The jacket itself also has an in-built RECCO avalanche rescue reflector. Underarm pit zips provide ventilation when working hard, while chunky Velcro cuff tabs ensure a secure seal over gloves. Drawcord hem adjustment keeps out chilly gusts.

In the mountains, it feels protective and reliably waterproof, whilst being roomy enough to accommodate layers without feeling too baggy. There’s plenty of length in the arms and torso for good all-round coverage, and the hood has a stiffened brim to give extra protection for the face. The nylon face fabric is certainly durable enough for general mountain use, though it isn’t as burly as some of the most robust winter-grade shells out there (Helly’s heftier Odin 9 Worlds Infinity jacket being one such example). But as an all-season jacket it is an excellent bit of kit.


There’s lots to like about this meticulously designed jacket – not just its full array of features, but also the innovative waterproof membrane technology and the solid eco credentials. If you’re in the market for a quiver-of-one, all season shell, this is definitely worth a closer look.

Buy the Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket: £460 at HellyHansen.com 

Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell Jacket

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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