I use Helly Hansen Odin Guide Light Pant on big winter hikes in the White Mountains and love them. They’re highly breathable making them perfect for winter hiking, climbing, and snowshoeing. I have been using them in temperatures ranging from 10 degrees up to 40 Fahrenheit which seems to be their ideal operating range. They’re too warm to wear above 40 degrees and too cool below 10 degrees without an additional baselayer.
The Odin Guide Light Pants have a distinctly technical cut. The pants have three zippered pockets, all located in front, that are positioned so that they can be accessed while using a sit harness or backpack hip belt. The waist rises fairly high which helps keep it from riding down gangsta style, with velcro-adjustable waist tabs to lock in the fit as well as wide belt loops. I use a flat webbing belt when I wear these pants, more out of habit than necessity, and suspect they’d hold up fine without one.
The pant legs provide plenty of space for quads and glutes, but taper from the lower thigh down to the ankle. I like this because the legs do not bunch up around the tops of my high gaiters and it means I can see my mountaineering boots below my knees.
The softshell fabric used in the Odin Guide Light Pants is extremely stretchable making this an excellent climbing and scrambling pant. The DWR is also bomber – just last week I was snowshoeing through deep snow drifts on a 17 hour winter hike and I didn’t experience wet pants despite repeatedly losing my balance and falling on the snow. I was pretty impressed by that performance and plan on using these pants for more mountaineering adventures during the rest of the winter.
With an MSRP of $160, Odin Guide Light Pants are not cheap, but you can find them priced 25% off with a little online searching. Make sure you also check out the other softshell pants in Helly Hansen’s Odin clothing collection which are designed for climbing, mountaineering and winter hiking.
Disclosure: Philip Werner received a sample pair of pants for this review.