This Helly Hansen Icon Jacket review was carried out by Mark Barber, on the slopes of Val Gardena, Innsbruck, and Jasna in Slovakia.
The Helly Hansen Icon Ski jacket retails at £700 and is a top of the range ski jacket for the brand. In comparison, Helly Hansen is to skiing what Aston Martin is to cars. And like an Aston Martin Vantage, the Icon ski jacket is beautifully understated but packed with features under the bonnet.
Like many of their jackets, the Icon has a great feature in the Life Pocket+. This is a chest pocket that cleverly keeps your phone warm even in the coldest of conditions. This may not sound like a big deal, but think about it; when your phone is cold it decreases the battery life and before you know it, your phone is dead half way through the afternoon. The Life Pocket+ helps preserve the battery life and could end up being life saving if you need to call someone in an emergency – or if you need to update your Facebook profile!
The Helly Hansen Icon Ski jacket is not your typical ski jacket styling and is a nod to Italian fashion. The Icon certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the slopes of Cortina where fashion and style are as essential as functionality.
Although all black, the upper half has a wool material on the outside. At first I was very dubious of the material as I thought it would soak through in wet snow, but I was proven wrong as it was all highly waterproof.
I really like the modified H²Flow that acts as a sophisticated air-conditioning system within the jacket. Air enters the jacket through air vents by the ribs, then the cool air is distributed through the jacket utilising strategically placed outlets down the back. These can clearly been seen on the inside of the jacket and I love the futuristic look of them. Not only that, it works really well and stopped me getting all sweaty – which was a good thing for my mates as we were shredding for 10 hard days on the trot!
On the flip side, the Icon will keep you warm on those cold mornings spent on ski lifts. I never felt cold during my whole time wearing the Icon ski jacket, including a powder day in Innsbruck.
Being a snowboarder, and one thing I would say is the style and cut would be a lot more suited to a skier. I prefer to have a little more movement overall. Also, found the hand warmer pockets a little bit too small. This is because when I have not got my backpack I usually carry a small bottle of water in one of the pockets and found it to be a very tight fit.
There is a good range of pockets including two on the outside of the chest and one on the inside. The goggle pouch is a good size and designed well enough that your goggles wont fall out. There is a ski pass pocket on the sleeve which is always handy. The snow gator is very discreet and is hidden within a zipped up pouch.
But going back to style, I do love the little subtleties such as the intricate pattern on the inside of the collar, and the slightly ribbed look on the upper arms. The tiny high-vis green strips on the outside pockets are a nice touch as well as practical.
As with most if not all Helly Hansen ski jackets, the Icon is also fitted with the RECCO system. This helps rescuers find you if you are unlucky enough to get buried in an avalanche. Of course, this does not take the place of a usual avalanche kit. Think of it as an addition.
To conclude, the price band for the Helly Hansen Icon ski jacket carries a lot of weight, and it is hard to say whether it is worth the price tag or not. One thing is for sure though, it is a suburb ski jacket that will not let you down. Although subtle, you will stand out on the slopes with it’s unique styling and it looks, and is, a quality ski jacket.
As you would expect it is full of features but none of them pointless. The H²Flow and Life pockets+ are excellent and will contribute to your enjoyment and functionality on the slopes.
If you can afford to fork out the cash, you won’t be dissapointed with the Helly Hansen Icon Ski Jacket.
- Helly Tech® Professional2 ply fabric construction
- 4 way full stretch fabric
- H²Flow™ System mechanical venting for optimal comfort
- Life Pocket+™ with Primaloft® Aerogel Insulation
- Fully seam sealed
- Waterproof, windproof and breathable
- Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR)
- Laser cut exterior air ports at back joke
- Primaloft® Gold
- Primaloft® Black Hi-Loft 80g in sleeves and hood
- Fully insulated
- RECCO® Advanced Rescue system
- Articulated arms and elbows for superior fit
- Zip-away stretch powder skirt
- Detachable helmet compatible and adjustable hood
- Dual hand warming pockets and two chest pockets with goggle shammy
- Wrist gaitors with thumb hole
- Internal pockets for goggles and electronics
- Ski-pass pocket
- YKK® Aquaguard® Vislon® water resistant zippers
Good for: Skiing
Rating: 9 out of 10
View the details on the Helly Hansen website.
If you are looking for ski trousers, check out our review of the Helly Hansen Backbowl Cargo Ski Pants
Mark is also the manager of Jamie Barrow (Britain’s fastest snowboarder)
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