Stay warm and dry on the trails with Helly Hansen hiking gear including the Verglas 3L Shell Jacket and Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket.
Good hiking gear is essential to keeping warm (or cool) and dry on the trails no matter the season. We recommend carrying a shell and puffy jacket year-round, and wearing a breathable, moisture-wicking top and abrasion-resistant hiking pants so you will be prepared for sudden weather changes. Recently, we have been testing Helly Hansen’s Verglas 3L Shell Jacket and Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket. Here’s how they measured up! (Spoiler: Their hiking gear is just as amazing as their ski wear!)
Disclosures: 1. Helly Hansen provided jackets for review purposes, but all words and opinions are my own. 2. This story contains affiliate links through which I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our website!
Helly Hansen Verglas 3L Shell Jacket
Helly Hansen Verglas 3L Shell Jacket in Skagen Blue (also available in Trooper, Lav Green, and Black)
We love that the Helly Hansen Verglas 3L Shell Jacket is waterproof, windproof, and breathable and has all thoughtful details you’d expect of a high-quality shell jacket:
- Helly Tech® Professional 3-layer fabric construction with DWR C6 + hydrophilic lamination is Helly’s equivalent to Goretex. After purchasing many Helly Hansen jackets over the years, I can confirm they are waterproof and durable!
- Fully-taped seams ensure no moisture leaks in, while pit zips provide ventilation to prevent condensation build-up. Pro tip: leave vents partly/completely open on ascents so you don’t overheat.
- A generously sized, adjustable hood fits over your climbing/bike helmet but also fits well without a helmet thanks to handy toggles at the front and back. The brim keeps rain off your face and high neck keeps cold air out.
- Adjustable wrist cuffs allow a perfect fit over gloves to keep warmth in and cold out. The velcro tabs are also helpful if you’re vertically challenged like me and find the sleeves a wee bit long.
- The shock corded lower hem may be adjusted from the cords in your pockets once you’ve put the jacket on! In seconds, the lower hem can be cinched up to keep drafts out. So convenient!
- Two large pockets easily fit your phone and wallet.
- Longer length for rain protection (see more below)
- Light weight
Since it is a shell, the Verglas 3L jacket allows room for layering, but fits well. At 5’3″ and 120 pounds, I take size Small and can easily fit a fleece or down jacket underneath, as well as a thermal long-sleeved top. Despite its stormproof material and bells and whistles, the jacket isn’t heavy. It packs down into its hood – and only 460 grams / 1 lb 0.2 oz (size Small).
The Verglas’s longer length provides great protection from the elements. I like that the back covers my butt so I don’t have to hike with a soggy bottom when it rains. 😉 While rain pants are awesome for camping, it’s often too hot to hike with in them. Long jacket for the win!
The Helly Hansen Verglas 3L Shell Jacket is an attractive technical jacket I will wear year round! It’s available in two colors, Skagen Blue (two tone, shown in photos) and Forest Green (solid color), at Helly Hansen.
Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket
The Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket is an ultralight (320 gram / 0.7 pounds) midlayer that can be layered with a shell or worn on its own. With a windproof and water resistant outer layer, and LIFALOFT™ 80 g insulation that is warm for its weight and maintains warmth when wet, it’s a great little jacket to pack on every adventure!
What we love:
- I love the slim fit of the HH Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket so I can layer it. In early spring, I wore this jacket with a thermal shirt underneath, and the HH Verglas 3L Shell on top but had excellent range of motion; the jacket is designed to move with you.
- PFC-free water-resistant fabric: no petroflourinated compounds were used in the Durable Water Repellent aka DWR coating
- Brushed lining of the hand pockets
- Large inner pockets are handy for keeping your cell phone warm.
- Hood for when I forget a toque (happens all the time in summer so I appreciate a hoody on windy summits)
- Shock corded lower hem to keep drafts out
- Stretchy hems on cuffs and hood
- The quilted pattern and color are so appealing, the jacket can easily go from mountain trail to café!
For extra warmth, keep the Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket in your backpack – or on you! It looks great and doubles as a midlayer on chilly days or outer layer. I recommend this jacket for late spring, summer, and early fall in Alberta (or year round in milder climates).
Find the Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hooded Insulator Jacket in Skagen Blue, Snow, Lav Green, and Black at Helly Hansen.
More Hiking Essentials
Complete your hiking kit with the following items:
- Abrasion-resistant hiking pants: The HH Women’s Veir Tur Pants are rugged hybrid pants “strategically designed to optimize free movement in rugged terrain.” Durable polycotton is used in areas subject to abrasion, while a stretchy softshell is used elsewhere so you can hike comfortably.
- Breathable, quick-drying, moisture-wicking shirt: Synthetic fabrics wick moisture and dry quickly so you won’t get a chill at the top of the mountain. We recommend the super light Helly Hansen LIFA Active Solen T-Shirt.
- Wool / wool-blend socks: Wool is naturally anti-odor, and wicks moisture to prevent blisters. The Helly Hansen Technical Hiking Socks are made from a merino wool/synthetic blend.
- Waterproof hiking boots: Look for midheight hiking boots with grippy soles. The Women’s Switchback Trail Helly Tech Boots are breathable and waterproof and have HellyGrip outsoles.
- Backpack: Get the one that fits you best and that can hold all your safety gear (see below). 28 -30L is suitable for a dayhike but I carry a 33 L-expandable to 40 L pack when hiking with my kids. The HH Resistor 45L Backpack is a nice option that can double as a backcountry camping backpack.
- The Ten Essential Systems: Pack everything you need to overnight it in case you get injured, lost, or delayed due to weather / natural disaster. Includes headlamp, sunscreen, bug spray, bear spray, first aid kit, and more!
- Trekking poles: optional but highly recommended for steep and long hikes