HELLY HANSEN ODIN System and Lifa Baselayer

Editor Cory McLaughlin

Just the Facts:
HH LIFA® MERINO is our warmest baselayer, perfect for any type of activity in cold weather. A unique 2-in-1 baselayer with 100% merino wool conbined with Lifa® Stay Warm Technology in a 2 layer construction. HH Lifa® MERINO delivers all the great benefits of merino wool fibers pluss the unique properties of technical Lifa(r) fibers.

• 2-in-1 baselayer
2-layer construction
100% merino wool exteriour
Lifa® technology interiour
1/2 Zip chest construction
Non itch
Flat lock seams


• 2-in-1 baselayer
2-layer construction
100% merino wool exteriour
Lifa® technology interiour
Lifa® Flow construction
Non itch
Flat lock seams


• Body mapped Tech Design for optimally placed insulation, protection and ventilation.
Polartec® Power Shield® softshell panels
Polartec® 200g brushed fleece in main body with air pocket perforations
PFC free DWR on polyester shell outer fabric locks heat inside the air pockets
H² Flow™ mechanical ventilation system for adjustable insulation level
Zippers in front for mechanical ventilation air flow
Ergonomically designed heat and ventilation zones
Open mesh inside allows air to flow between air pockets and body
Mesh protecting the construction during intense activities
YKK® zipped hand pockets
Tricot lined sleeves for improved movability
Brushed tricot inside collar
Bottom hem adjustment
CB length 75cm


• NEW for AW17, features a NEW Helly Tech Professional 3.5 layer stretch 70D x 70D fabric
20,000gm WP & 15,000gm moisture vapor permeability
Waterproof, Windproof, breathable & fully seam sealed
PFC free DWR
Hardshell active fit allows versatility for different layering systems and full stretch comfort
Designed to provide additional protection for inclement weather on extended trips and expeditions
CB length 76
Hood design allows room to fit over a helmet with adjustability points to tighten
Hood has internal laminated high visibility to be flipped outwards as required
Hood adjustments at center front with 2 side shockcord and locks and one back adjuster
Back neck collar facing bonded in brushed tricot, for soft comfort
Soft to the face brushed tricot chin guard with front zipper rollover
High visibility, performance stripe shock cord at center front and back hood
High position, lower pocket YKK® zippers allow harness compatible fit
Generous length underarm YKK® zippers with 2 sliders and pullers allow substantial venting adjustments
Left chest YKK® pocket with water resistant zipper and full lamination with internal bonded media cord exit
Laminated cuff adjuster with dye-cut hook and loop tape
Laminated low profile cuff design with minimal stitching
High visibility inner hem with two side shockcord and locks
Drop back hem construction for added protection
Articulated sleeves for increased mobility
Venting YKK® zippers reversed coil water resistant
Center front YKK® zipper reversed coil matte water resistant
Lower pocket welts are laminated with minimal stitching and easy to locate high visibility facings
Hand pockets, low profile YKK® reversed coil zippers
All zipper pullers are custom designed, sure grip
Full inner windfly behind centre front zipper
Inner waist shockcord adjustments provides extra warmth as the wind blows up
Bemis laminated construction
Bemis 3.5L tape, all seams
Center back and left chest, large scale, textured performance stripe, reflective heat transfer applications for maximum visibility in low light
Center back, high visibility laminated tape logo
Left sleeve transparent ODIN logo
High visibility, performance stripe shock cord enables easy location and quick adjustments
Eyelets are reinforced underneath to disperse stress when cords are tightened
Cordlock anchors made of gros grain ribbon keep loose cords contained
Unitex mini cord lock with handle, low profile design
Cord ends prevent fraying


• NEW for AW17 featuring Helly Tech Professional 3.5L and 3L
20,000gm WP & 15,000gm moisture vapor permeability
Waterproof, Windproof, breathable & fully seam sealed
DWR C6 + hydrophilic lamination
Hardshell active pant fit provides both comfort in 3.5L zones and hard wearing durability in 3L areas
Designed to provide additional protection for inclement weather on extended trips and expeditions
Inseam length – 84cm
Articulated knee pattern, preshapes the leg into an active fit
Crotch gusset pattern made of 3.5L stretch, incorporates additional freedom of movement into the leg
High visibility inner back waist
Front fly YKK® zipper of low profile reversed coil
Deep outer leg YKK® zipper opening with 2 slider and puller adjustments
Lower leg lamintaed cuff with 2 snap closure adjustments
Full inner webbing belt and lock front buckle over a snap
Back high visibilty hanger loop for easy storage
Dump cargo pocket on right thigh
HH logo above right thigh
All zipper pullers are custom designed, sure grip
Bemis laminated construction
Bemis 3L jersey backed tape and 3.5L tape, all seams

My Story:
If you have ever been into the elements for more than about 30 minutes you know that good clothing is one of the single most important items you need. When I was in the Army I learned of the priorities of survival and the first one is shelter. It is vital to shelter your body from the elements and a cold rain mixed with a high wind will drive this point right to the bone. If you are a serious outdoors enthusiast and you find yourself in the market for quality outdoor wear you need look no further than Helly Hansen (HH).

I often find myself in situations where my hiking or hunting clothing are also the best options for daily life. This is a very convenient problem to have as I can usually get away with buying high quality gear without regret or worry that Ill not get my use out of it. I believe this is the same experience you will have as you battle the sidewalks of the city during a winter storm or the gales of a mountain top adventure as long as you are wearing HH gear. There is a reason that so many professional outdoor enthusiasts trust Helly Hansen and I am sure you will understand it after your first outing.

My office job keeps me out of the elements these days and while some might think that to be a bad thing my bones do not complain. I do have to walk a considerable distance from the parking area to my office however and the weather can prove to be difficult. This was fortunate for me as a gear reviewer as it gave me my first test are for the SKARSTIND JACKET and ODIN FLOW JACKET system. I was very pleased with both the performance of these great jackets as I was of all the complements on how stylish they look.

The ODIN FLOW got the most use during my early season testing. It was very comfortable and seemed to be a great mid or even outer layer when on light adventures. I found that it is not a great outer layer as the material is not overly strong and I suffered a small tear after a small slip and brush with a pine tree. The FLOW is great when you are on the move but it is certainly not a strong insulating layer and is best suited for somewhat mild weather or it is a great layering piece ideally suited for keeping you dry as you sweat in moments of high exertion such as hiking.

My first outdoor excursion with the ODIN Skarstind jacket was at the Oregon coast. This was to be my experiment with the waterproof ability of the garment as I was nearly guaranteed to get wet at the beach, or so I thought. The weather was absolutely fantastic the whole time I was there and I was only able to test the wind breaking ability of the coat, which was fantastic. The wet stuff would have to come in the several weeks of wearing this coat in and out of the office during many different storms.

When it comes to baselayers they are not really a thing that you are going to see very often. They are the foundation of a warm adventure and while they are possibly the single most important part of a good layering system they do not get much attention as they are always hidden. My HH LIFA Merino top and bottom kept me warm on many hikes and outdoor adventures. During a very grueling pack out in the depths of the Idaho wilderness I was even able to give my base layer a rare peak at the outside world as I striped down to only my top while packing out a mule deer.

In the backcountry you need great clothing and base layers that are warm, comfortable, and anti-microbial. The HH LIFA top and bottom are all of those things.

The last item of this system is the ODIN Skarstind Pant. This is a piece of gear that comes into play when things are really nasty. A good waterproof pant is not something most people even think of until their legs are soaked. When you get out into the rain and snow and even heavy dew you need to keep your legs dry. The problem is that most waterproof fabric limits movement and that is not acceptable when you are trying to cover ground or maneuver down the mountain. This is where the Skarstind Pant truly shines! These pants are tough and up for the job no doubt. They allow full range of motion at all times. You are going to want to use them as lounge pants! I would recommend using a pair of gators to keep the bottoms secure and protected from wear. I used these pants along with my other items during a very cold snowshoeing trip and several winter hunts and found them to be as comfortable as they are functional.

In the end what I found from testing and reviewing the HH line of ODIN line products was that they stand a pillar of quality in a world full of lesser choices. These items are not going to be friendly to your pocketbook and the sting is going to be very hard for most people to get over but the quality will be there for years. In this case you certainly do “Get what you pay for!” If you have the means to buy the whole system or simply just one or two items I would recommend that you start with the ODIN SKARSTIND JACKET and SKARSTIND PANT as it is truly one of the best shell systems I have ever worn. Good luck out in the wilds and I hope this has helped you decide whether Helly Hansen is right for you.

Find them here:

What can be done better?
I really can’t think of anything I would change. These items will not be nice to your pocket book but they are of a quality that is, in my opinion, unrivaled. These products just work. The only caution I would give is that you may want to try and find a place to try some of this on before you purchase it as the ODIN FLOW JACKET was a little tight on me through the shoulders.

I give this whole line of HH products 5 stars.

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability


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