I received my Helly Hanson Verglas down insulator jacket in late September as the days began to shorten and Winter’s chill could be felt. The Helly Hanson Verglas 700 down insulator jacket is marketed as a light weight down jacket ideal for venturing outside throughtout the Winter. Having previously never worn a down jacket I welcomed the oppourtunity to compare the insulating properties of the Verglas hooded down jacket to the fleece jacket i would normally wear.
Weight: 470g (Size L)
The verglas is a 700 fill power goose down jacket aimed towards the outdoor enthusiast seeking an insulating layer that provides warmth and comfort. The collar is quite high due to the nature of the hood which allows the hood to be worn down as a high collar when zipped. There are three zips on the Verglas,two hand pocket zips and one main zip, all of them oversized and robust with a grip toggle which eases use especially with cold hands.
My biggest criticism of the Verglas jacket is the lack of a hood adjustment toggle, which is not included in this model.Vital heat is lost around the head due to its inability to fit tightly around the wearer. In a bid to counter the heat lost I’ve worn a hat or buff for a snug fit.
A draw cord is however provided around the hem to minimise the bellow effect, keeping cold from entering at the hem. I wore the Verglas on bitter cold mornings, summiting mountains in October when temperatures dropped to 2 degrees, wearing only a long sleeve base layer underneath. Previously I’ve only worn a fleece accompanied by multiple base layers, but this method left me restricted in movement with little or no breathability.
The pertex micro-light ripstop outer shell is treated with a DWR (durable water repellant) coating. The DWR does not however mean the verglas jacket is waterproof,it simply provides water repellence.
Throughtout the period of my using the Verglas I found the DWR resisted soaking out the jacket without reducing the loft of the down. During my experience using the verglas I had no tears, pulls or issue with the material apart from the occasional leakage of down which is a normal occurrence for all down jackets.
Fit and comfort
Overall I found the fit to be very comfortable.The Verglas Insulator is fairly form fitting and contours around the wearer but still allows free movement . The back extends down below the waistline, preventing the jacket from riding up while climbing.
While down provides excellent heat retention it could be argued that the warmth could be too much during exertion. Having worn the verglas down jacket while hiking I found I could adjust the main zip allowing ventilation and airflow.The waistband toggle can also be adjusted to ensure a closer and warmer fit if required. Ideally I wore my Verglas down jacket more on cold, dry days preferring to wear it under my waterproofs on wet days.
As a general rule of thumb Fill power ranges from 400 to 1000.
400-550 Average (Commonly found in fashion clothing)
550-750 Very good
950-1000 Superior (High end, extremely rare)
|Excellent warmth to weight ratio||No hood adjustment|
|Tough water resistant shell|
|Great fit and comfort|
Hood / Pockets
Given the oppoutuntiy I would always prefer a jacket with a hood,whilst the Verglas 600 down jacket has a hood its lacks the ability to adjust the fitting around the head.The hood however does fit well over the head and allow for a range of movement.Both pockets are genious deep fleece lined.
DWR treated Pertex microlight ripstop outer
Back length (Size XXL) 85cm
Weight: 470 g
Vislon zipped hand pockets
Soft snowstop lycra cuffs
Bottom hem adjustment
Lycra edging on hood
Vislon center front zip
Allied down 85/15 European goose
The Verglas is a warm, lightweight down jacket ideal throughout the year on a range of outdoor pursuits.The ripstop Pertex material is robust and hard wearing.
I found the Verglas down to be a very comfortable fit. I also found it to be an excellent boost to my sleeping bag’s insulation when camping.
The jacket is soft, strong and durable, yet lightweight. The warmth to weight ratio allowed me to stay warm while keeping my pack weight down. While the lack of a pull cord on the hood is a disappointing omission, the jacket is an excellent performing lightweight mid-layer.
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