Thrudheim translates to “world of strength” in old Norse. The Helly Hansen Odin Thrudheim Jacket is a fitting name for a jacket that brags many attributes in just about every category that matters for a storm shell. With lots of mechanical venting it has excellent breathability. Weather shedding is what we expect from a storm shell. And it’s loaded with nice features without being too heavy.
Made with Helly Hansen’s own Helly Tech Performance fabric, the Thrudheim Jacket deflected a full day’s downpour hiking in the rainforest of Vancouver Island. A brim on the hood helped keep most of the drops off of the face. A simple adjustment on the hood allowed easy adjustment so it stayed in place, even walking into a gale. While the membrane is proprietary it stood up to the elements like name brand equivalents. Helly opted for an environmentally friendly PFC-free DWR, which we’ve found to be less durable and long lasting, hence needs for more frequent re-treatment. Though, for some it may be worth for the environmental benefits.
The three layer waterproof-breathable membrane sandwich in the Helly Hansen Thrudheim has okay breathability on its own, but crack the pit zips and mesh backed pockets and the breathability is dramatically improved. The pit zips are particularly long creating really good air flow with or without a pack.
Helly created a nice middle ground between lightweight and features with the Helly Hansen Thrudheim. The fit is just roomy enough to add a few layers underneath, but not baggy when just wearing a T-shirt. The drop tail adds versatility for use on a bike. Pockets are positioned out of the way of pack straps and are big enough to fill with a lot of stuff or leave them empty for extra venting. There are reflective hits for city use. And there are plenty of nice touches that add to the comfort of wearing this jacket, including fleece on the chin guard, one hand function on the hood and a really clean, simple look. The only thing lacking is wrist adjustments.
In testing the Helly Tech Performance fabric over the years we’ve found it to be long lasting and tough for its weight. Seam quality of the Helly Hansen Thrudheim looks solid and attention to detail is excellent.
The Helly Hansen Thrudheim is hardly a heavy jacket for a storm shell, weighing 11 ounces. It packs slightly better than average, down to about the size of a small melon.
Ryan Stuart is freelance writer and jack of all sports—trail running, mountain biking, whitewater paddling, surfing, climbing, skiing and mountaineering—based on Vancouver Island. Follow his testing on Google+.