The Oden Veor takes the traditional down jacket and pokes some holes in the design, almost literally. Implementing unique back, pit and chest vents, the Oden Veor aims to enhance heat regulation and reduce moisture build up, while still providing warmth at a light weight.
Looking over the construction, the jacket is made of 25D nylon treated with DWR to help shed moisture and water, with 800 powerfill Allied down inside (humanely sourced). The jacket includes two zippered hand pockets, one zippered chest pocket, an adjustable hood with a flip out brim, stretchy lycra cuffs, and an adjustable waist. From there, things get a little more interesting. The back of the jacket is constructed with ventilated baffles for heat dissipation and also features two zippered chest vents that can be opened or closed to regulate heat build up. Under the arms are two stretchy but breathable softshell panels to help keep the pits dry and comfortable. The jacket also swaps down for Primaloft around the wrist, under the pits and around the mouth, to better handle the accumulation of moisture that often builds up in these zones from sweat. The jacket retails for around $349, give or take depending on where you look, and is available in a women’s variant too. It also includes a small stuff sack for packing it down.
What I liked
Helly Hansen has always produced comfortable outerwear, and the Oden Veor is no exception. The 25d nylon is silky smooth to the touch and glides across the skin effortlessly during activity, while the slightly fitted but still roomy interior provides plenty of room to move about unimpeded. The lyrca cuffs feel great, providing enough room for medium weight gloves to slide underneath, without being baggy or loose without them. The high quality down is light, fluffy, and provides a wonderfully snuggly feel overall. The hood fits well, with enough room for a beanie or buff underneath, and the fit as a whole leaves just enough room for an underlying fleece or overlying shell. The fit is great, the materials are smooth, and as a whole it’s delightful to wear.
When it comes to warmth, the jacket performs very well. The high quality 800 fill down is fairly generously provided and baffled in a way that produces no notable cold spots anywhere on the jacket. The baffles are thin enough that down covers pretty much the entire surface area, leaving no room for air leaks. The hood seals up like a sarcophagus, wrapping the entire head and sealing around the face, leaving no room for cold breezes to push through, and the back of the jacket is even extended past the waist to prevent any gaps that might otherwise form while bending over. I’ve tested the jacket down to about 12 degrees F, and managed to stay warm with nothing but a light synthetic mid layer (no base layer) underneath with just a little bit of activity. When paired with an outer shell or base layer, 15 degrees F while immobile should be warm and comfortable for most people.
Ventilation, is also quite good for a down jacket. Normally, down jackets limit the user to simply unzipping the jacket at the chest or just taking it off when things start to get a little stuffy, but this isn’t the case here. The soft panel sides and baffled back vents naturally dump hot air from the two places I normally start to sweat, and if things get too stuffy I can unzip the chest for a little extra flow. This really does help, especially while hiking in very cold conditions where taking the jacket off might not be an option (you should always shed a layer if possible to avoid sweating). Even while resting I found that I was feeling less overheated in my chest, and especially in the back thanks to these vents. When paired some backpacks the back vents are less useful as they’re forced closed under pressure, but otherwise they’re great and surpisingly never created any cold spots. The localized use of synthetic insulation around sweaty areas also helped keep the jacket dry and lofted in areas that could otherwise soak up sweat and flatten out, which was greatly appreciated.
This brings us to weight and packability, because the warmest jacket is useless if you can’t carry it. Again, the Veor does great. Despite the included hood, generous fill and the relatively thick, luscious baffles, it squeezes down to an impressively small size. This is largely due to the use of light weight 25D nylon and the and high warmth to weight ratio of the high quality 800 power fill down insulation. I was able to pack the jacket down to ball about 6 to 8 inches in diameter, depending on how I packed it, and it can be folded into something about the size of a couple bricks. It’s light enough for any day hike or backpacking trip, making it a viable “just in case” layer for shoulder season adventures. It can also be squeezed into just about any compartment of a pack, meaning sacrificing the space for extra warmth isn’t going to likely be a concern. After unpacking it, it springs back to life without issue, and even manages to resisting wrinkling.
Visually, I really like how the jacket looks. The baffles are more even and uniform than just about any jacket I’ve tested, thanks to the narrow, minimalistic baffles and consistency in the cuts. This results in a less lumpy, more consistent appearance. I also like that the baffles are angled slightly downward along the chest and back, peaking up into a pyramid at the top and flattening out at the waist. This not only follows the natural flow of the body, reducing bulges and such, but also makes the jacket look sleek and modern. Very nice. I can’t count the number of times people have glanced down to see what brand logo is attached to the chest of this stylish piece of gear.
Build quality is also top notch, with the nylon doing a good job of resisting moderate wear, repeated stuffings, and being worn while dragging in and out of vehicles and while working. So far, I’m yet to lose a single feather (impressive) and there is not a loose thread or fray anywhere to be seen. The zippers are also rugged (metal) and slide fairly easily for the most part. Care should be taken with briars and such, with the 25D nylon body, but very well built as a whole.
What I didn’t like
I did have a minor grievance with the hood, notably the section under the chin. At least with my neck, I found the length of the neck to be a bit too long (I’m 5’8″ and no giraffe either). While zipping it up completely, I found there to be too much tension pushing up into the bottom of my chin to comfortably place the hood under my neck as it felt like it was strangling me a bit. Instead, I found myself opting to wear it over my chin (rather comfortable thanks to the padded zipper), or simply leaving it unzipped a bit and letting my chin stick out. This lets in just a tiny bit of air, but it’s nothing to worry about. Now, this is very person specific and really isn’t a deal breaker for me as it’s quite warm and comfy the way I’ve been wearing it, but it’s worth pointing out. Taller hikers likely won’t see an issue here.
The zippers, while great quality, are small and sometimes tricky to find and use with gloves. I added some zipper pulls the to chest zipper (you’ll see it in the pictures), and am considering doing the same for the hand pockets also. It’s a cheap upgrade that made a big difference for me. I also had the occasional snag on the smaller zippers adorning the hand pockets and chest vents, but nothing I couldn’t work out. The main zipper down the front however has been smooth and works great.
I’d love to see the hand pockets moved up, to avoid being closed off my backpack straps.
Sometimes it’s the little features of a jacket that make it stand out. Great warmth, fit and aesthetics are always important, but lots of jackets check these boxes. Having a down jacket with options for venting not only makes it more livable, but also expands its usabe range. Typically, I can’t hike in a down jacket at all, even on flat trails, as I quickly start to overheat and sweat. However, with the Odin Veor, I can open up the vents and the jacket does a great job of mitigating my heat buildup, making it viable for light hiking when it’s very cold, working around camp, or just not overheating on a long commute. It’s warm, comfortable, and works equally well as a jacket both for urban, and less urban adventures. I had a couple minor complaints with the chin and some snags on the zippers, but overall, it’s an excellent jacket.
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I want to extend a huge thanks to Helly Hansen for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help. Our full disclosure can be found here.
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