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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
Compromises rarely make anyone happy. But this light, synthetic insulator rides the line between warmth and mobility so expertly, every tester loved pulling it on. The Odin Stretch lives up to its name: Thanks to a 90 percent nylon, 10 percent elastane face fabric, it kept us warm without restricting our movement on a nighttime hike up Colorado’s 12,522-foot Uneva Peak, when temperatures dipped into the low forties. (The insulation is a combo of synthetic PrimaLoft Gold Active and 40-gram fill on the side panels.) “I took a wrong turn on the way down and ended up having to scramble down a talus field, but the jacket moved with me so well that I almost forgot I was wearing it,” our tester says. It also breathed exceptionally well, thanks to a pair of thin underarm panels that vented excess heat, and when it started to drizzle near the summit, the DWR-treated, 30-denier shell shrugged off the rain. We dug the trim-not-tight cut, which didn’t hang off our tester’s 6’2”, 175-pound frame but didn’t bind around his chest, either (the women’s version is equally dialed). Two hand pockets and a chest pocket can each hold a smartphone or a pair of gloves. The Odin stretch is also packable: When he decided to jog the descent, it stuffed neatly into the bottom of an 8-liter running pack.
I loved the fit of the Odin jacket. The stretch (including the lining and insulation) allowed it to be form-fitting without being tight. This jacket looks great. The Odin is a quick pull-on for early morning runs and evening chills. No need to slip on a long-sleeved shirt, as the lining is super-soft and not cold and clammy. The DWR coating on the insulated main panels produced excellent beading of water. It also has a nicely contoured drop hem in the back. The hood is shaped nicely with a soft stretch edge, probably sized to accommodate a helmet, it but caught the wind as there were no adjustments to tighten it. The soft underarm panels are breathable but not water resistant at all. Alone, it performed well on cool (50°F) and windy days, and repelled light rain. As an insulating layer, it is quite cozy with a shell. As an around-town, day hike, and car-camping jacket or layer, the Odin is sweet to tuck into and great to be seen in.
The jacket is very comfortable and moves easily in working conditions. It's comfortable enough for added warmth while curling up in a sleeping bag. I think it is ideal as both a midlayer on really cold days, and for wearing on those days when the weather is changeable and you’re in sun one minute and in cloudy, windy rain showers the next. I like the beading and moisture-repellent properties. It breathes and wicks well. I also admire the warmth-to-weight ratio. The elastic at the wrist seems a bit weak and on one of the sleeves it seems to be stretching out after only a few uses. Ditto for the elastic around the hood; I would have preferred a drawstring to cinch the hood tight around your face. I also would have preferred to see larger pockets, or an interior breast pocket for storing gloves, stocking caps, or other items.