Odlo Aegis Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Waterproof Jackets

Odlo Aegis Jacket | Review

A featherweight shell that combines extreme packability and low weight with good waterproof-breathable performance and a streamlined set of features

Why We Chose The Odlo Aegis Jacket: Ultralight, packable, waterproof, versatile

Norwegian brand Odlo is probably best known for its extensive range of baselayers, but they also produce a variety of midlayers and shells too. The Aegis is a lightweight and functional waterproof: the sort of jacket that you might keep in the bottom of a daypack, ‘just in case’ the weather turns.

The Aegis is a lightweight and functional waterproof”

It compresses away to a tiny size, yet the PU-based membrane offers competitive performance, being rated at 20k/20k in terms of Hydrostatic Head and MVTR (the industry-standard tests for waterproofing and breathability respectively).

Who Is The Odlo Aegis Jacket For?

It’s an extremely lightweight and packable 2.5-layer shell that makes a brilliant ‘grab and go’ jacket for hiking, climbing, trail running and even for bikepacking. But the solid performance of the waterproof-breathable membrane places it above most entry-level jackets, making it an attractive option for fast and light backpackers too, as well as anyone looking for a slightly higher level of weather protection than you typically get at this price point. 

The Odlo Aegis is an extremely packable 2.5 layer jacket. Photo: Chris Johnson

Materials

The face fabric is 100% polyamide – more commonly called nylon to you and me – backed with a PU (polyurethane) waterproof-breathable membrane and finished with a raised inner print for improved performance and better next-to-skin comfort. As such, it’s a classic 2.5-layer waterproof shell, which is a solid choice for an all-round outdoor jacket with the emphasis on lightweight, packable performance.

“It’s a classic 2.5-layer waterproof shell, which is a solid choice for an all-round outdoor jacket”

If you want the technical data, the laminate is rated at 20,000mm Hydrostatic Head in terms of waterproofing, which is a competitive figure, especially in this price bracket. When it comes to breathability, the moisture vapour transmission rate is given as 20,000 g/m²/24h. That’s similarly impressive given the RRP.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson

Features

The jacket has a water-resistant laminated, reverse-coil main zipper with a small internal storm flap. There’s a chin guard at the top to minimise irritation too. You also get hem drawcords with adjustment at either side, and Velcro-adjustable cuffs. There are two zippered hand pockets. These do not use water-resistant zips, but they are covered by outer storm flaps to help prevent water ingress. The relatively simple hood has a rear volume adjustment that also helps to pull in the upper portion of the hood, though there is no separate face adjustment. You do get a nice, stiffened brim to help deflect rain though. It’s all pretty simple and straightforward, but well-thought-out. For example, with similarly lightweight jackets, you often find elasticated cuffs, whereas the Aegis has proper cuff tabs. The fit is relatively slim, with plenty of length in the arms and torso. 

Conclusion

The main selling points of this jacket are its low weight and high packability. It isn’t laden with features, but those you do get are streamlined and effective. Similarly, the waterproof-breathable performance is above average for this price point, making it a more protective option than most similarly-priced lightweight shells. Bottom line: if you’re looking for a ‘just in case’ multi-activity jacket to take on all your outdoor adventures, this is a bit of a winner that is also great value.

The jacket combines low weight with a streamlined set of features. Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Matt Jones, OM contributor and gear tester:

“I’m more familiar with Odlo’s baselayers, and to be honest I hadn’t tried any of their other kit before getting hold of the Aegis – in fact, I was only vaguely aware that they did other stuff.

“But I’d certainly trust the Norwegians to make decent outerwear, especially when it comes to waterproofing. After all, as the old Norwegian proverb says, ‘Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær’ (there is no bad weather, only bad clothes). It’s a phrase that Wainwright nicked in 1973 for his book A Coast to Coast Walk, but it certainly holds true.

“If I was backpacking AW’s coast-to-coast, this is the sort of jacket I’d definitely consider taking”

“In fact, if I was backpacking AW’s coast-to-coast, this is the sort of jacket I’d definitely consider taking, particularly if weight was a priority. It’s so light and packable that it hardly takes up any room in your rucksack – you could even stuff it in a side pocket or in the front stretch pocket of most trekking packs, with room to spare. But I found it to be surprisingly protective despite being such a featherweight, so I’d be confident that it would do a good job of fending off rainy weather in the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. In terms of performance and quality, it’s far more than a ‘just in case’ jacket.

“Of course, as a 2.5-layer shell, it’s always going to feel a bit clammier than a 3-layer jacket, but it’s not uncomfortable, and the upside is that you get that aforementioned lightweight packability. Plus, it’s the sort of thing you’ll probably be putting on and taking off rather than wearing it all day in driving rain.

“Lastly, this jacket seems fairly reasonably priced and I’ve also seen it being sold online at some knockdown prices recently too, so if you pick it up in the sale you’d have a bona fide bargain.”

Odlo Aegis Jacket

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