Jottnar Odin Hardshell jacket review: a no-nonsense, rugged hardshell built for serious fun in the mountains

The Jottnar Odin hardshell jacket has been designed for those who like to play hard in the mountains, but how does it shape up? Here's our review

T3 Platinum Award
man wearing Jottnar Odin hardshell jacket in an alpine landscape
(Image credit: Jottnar)
T3 Verdict

The Jottnar Odin will especially appeal to those who expect their gear to perform reliably in the harshest of conditions. It has a rugged build quality that will keep you comfortable and dry whether backcountry skiing, ice climbing or just walking the dog.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Excellent weatherproofing and breathability

  • +

    Great build quality

  • +

    Stylish, understated good looks

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Quite minimalist design won't suit everyone

  • -

    No insulation

The Jottnar Odin hardshell mountain jacket is aimed at serious mountaineers, climbers and backcountry skiers who are looking for a well-built and thoughtfully designed hardshell. If you're on the hunt for the best waterproof jacket or best ski jacket to keep you dry and comfortable in the most testing of winter conditions, it's well worth a look. 

The Odin has all the essential features you'll need for a hard day out on the hills – it's made from Jottnar's 'Skjoldr' fabric which offers a minimum hydrostatic head of 20,000mm, so it has no problem keeping rain and wet snow out, whilst a breathability rating of 20,000g/m2/24h will help you stay dry when working hard. It's also light (591g in medium) and packs away quite easily so you can readily stuff it in your backpack in warmer conditions, ready for use when things turn nasty.

Do note, however, that since it's a shell to stay 'warm' will require you to layer up beneath the Odin, so you'll need to take this into consideration when deciding on size – if you plan to wear a bulky fleece jacket or down gear alongside your base layer beneath it you may want to go up a size, as we did.

The Jottnar Odin sits one rung below the company's flagship hardshell jacket the Hodr, although the only real extra you get with the more expensive Hodr is extra pockets. There's also a sister jacket in the range, in the form of the delightfully named Grim, which differs from the Odin in having hand pockets rather than chest pockets. Read on for my full Jottnar Odin review. 

Jottnar Odin hardshell jacket product shot

(Image credit: Jottnar)

Jottnar Odin Hardshell jacket review: design and features

The Odin has a large hood that will easily accommodate a skiing or climbing helmet, and it's fully adjustable, plus it features a wire stiffened, adjustable peak, all of which ensures good visibility and unimpeded movement whatever you're wearing on your noggin.

A high collar with beard guard and soft microfleece liner adds to the protection from the elements, and the full-length YKK Aquaguard Vislon zip is water repellent and has an internal storm gasket; the same zips are used on the two capacious chest pockets, which are designed to be compatible with a rucksack and/or climbing harness.

Likewise, the well-sized pit zips are also water repellent, whilst elasticated cuffs with tough Hypalon tabs and Velcro fasteners are glove-friendly and easy to adjust. Further protection from the elements is provided through an adjustable, elasticated hem, and you can keep valuables safe inside the jacket in a zippered internal security pocket, or there's a large internal mesh dump pocket for stuff like hats, gloves, goggles and climbing skins (not all at the same time though!). You also get a small zippered lift pass pocket on the left-hand sleeve.

Jottnar Odin hardshell jacket close up

(Image credit: Alf Alderson)

Jottnar Odin Hardshell jacket review: performance and comfort

The Jottnar Odin has a well-considered design and a rock-solid build that inspires confidence when the weather turns foul – once you've got the hood up, the zips fully fastened and the cuffs and hem cinched up you feel really well protected from rain, snow and wind.

At the same time the cut of the jacket allows you to ski, climb or hike in comfort even when everything is battened down against the elements, and the generously sized pit zips and breathable Skjoldr fabric help to prevent overheating.

As mentioned already, being a shell, the Odin offers little in the way of insulation, but it's no problem to layer up beneath it as the cut is quite loose, and because it's both light and packable you can readily transfer it to your rucksack if you start to get too warm.

It's also a good-looking garment and comes in a range of colourways that vary from understated to not especially garish, so you can wear it whilst propping up the bar after your day on the hill without looking like Glenn Plake in an 80s ski movie.

Jottnar Odin hardshell jacket close up

(Image credit: Alf Alderson)

Jottnar Odin Hardshell jacket review: verdict

The Jottnar Odin is a no-nonsense, well-built shell for skiing or mountaineering. It has been thoughtfully designed to offer all the essential features to keep you dry and comfortable in the harshest of conditions, at the same time as working perfectly well for a relaxed day out on the slopes or an easy amble along your favourite footpath. It's not the cheapest of options, but it offers stiff competition for everything else in the same price range. If you're in the market for a serious mountain shell that will provide many seasons' use it's well worth checking out.

Alf Alderson
Alf Alderson

Alf Alderson is an adventure travel writer and outdoor gear reviewer who splits his time between the Pembrokeshire coast and the French Alps, where he is an 'ambassador' for the ski resort of Les Arcs.