Helly Hansen Verglas – a light jacket for layering

After several months with the Helly Hansen Verglas, I’ve found it to be my ideal light jacket. Other than some blizzard-like conditions, I wore it nearly every day this past winter. It’s got a ton of smart features, and covers a wide temperature range. That last part is important, especially in Utah. A few weeks prior to the publication of this review, we had an afternoon high of 71, with snow predicted for that evening. With swings like that, staying comfortable isn’t always easy. But the Verglas worked perfectly for me.

Helly Hansen Verglas - image courtesy of Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen Verglas – image courtesy of Helly Hansen

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Features:

The actual feature list is so long, I’m covering just the highlights. Some other features are mentioned throughout this review. Panels are a mix of goose down and softshell fabric. Fill is 90/10 Goose down with 800 fill power and Primaloft® Gold at face. Down areas are covered by a lightweight 25D fabric. A double woven fabric makes up rest of the softshell. Both benefit from a DWR coating.

Softshell hood with a sculpted fit and warm to the face front protection
Hood has internal high visibility to be flipped outwards as required
Hood adjustments at center front with 2 side shock cord and locks
Inner neck high visibility hanger loop, easy to locate
Full inner placket behind center front zipper blocks wind
Channel hood cord hock for reduced weight and simplicity
Stealth venting YKK® zippers provide maximum comfort
Two inner dump pockets, formed from the back of the hand pockets provide ample carrying capacity
Ultra slim cuff with stretch binding
High visibility inner hem with one side shock cord and locks
Drop back hem construction for added protection
Seamless underarm construction providing exceptional range of motion and comfort under active use
Durable YKK® center front zipper has an easy to grab puller

Helly Hansen Verglas - image courtesy of Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen Verglas – image courtesy of Helly Hansen

Pockets and storage:

In addition to the two side pockets, there are inner dump pockets. They’re huge! Snacks, energy bars, my Bluetooth headset – they all fit with ease. If there is a downside, it’s that they make this slim cut jacket look bulky when loaded. The external pockets zip shut, and are big enough to keep your hands warm if necessary.

The hood:

I have a love/hate relationship with the hood. When I needed it, it worked great. But every time I bent over to pick something up, it would flop over and cover my eyes.

Testing:

First, I need to point out that my body seems to regulate temperature pretty well. I can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, without resorting to heating and A/C indoors. So one light jacket covers most of my needs until we hit the lowest temps outdoors. Even when only mildly active, the Verglas kept me warm in the snow. Zipped up over a long sleeve base, I retained body heat. On milder days, it was paired with a short sleeve t-shirt and left unzipped. Pair it with a shell, and you’re probably covered down to the kind of temps that make me want to stay indoors. Your results may vary, but for me, this jacket is a total win.

Final thoughts:

There’s a lot to like about the Verglas. Of course, there’s a lot to like about the Helly Hansen brand. If you haven’t visited their site, I suggest you do, and give their Fit Finder a try. Before buying this $200 jacket, you can input your stats, and the Fit Finder will suggest your size. Along with the recommendation, it tells you how the percentage of people with similar measurements that returned the product. For me, it worked perfectly. Apparently, 86% of customers like me kept theirs as well. And I’m sure that’s as much about fit as it is about function.

I’d like to thank the folks at Helly Hansen for providing the Verglas for this review, and their patience as well. This is a premium product, and it’s certainly performed well over this extended review.