Helly Hansen Elevation Shell

A review of the Helly Hansen Elevation Shell Jacket

Gear Locker Details

Details Details

Price: $650

Sizes: S-2XL

Materials: Face: 100% Polyamide
Back: 100% Polyamide

Features: Helly Tech Professional
Waterproof/Breathable Fabric, Air Permeable FLOW Membrane, H2Flow Ventilation System, Oversized Cuffs for Ease of Use, Hi-Viz Brim/Details for Safety, RECCO Avalanche System

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Designed for extended stints off-piste in demanding environments, Helly Hansen’s Elevation Shell Jacket, made of super tough three-ply Helly Tech Professional fabric, is air permeable yet totally waterproof and windproof. The tough jacket is designed to withstand an entire season’s punishment of scraping rocks, rubbing against backpack straps, and getting tossed into the trunk after a day on the hill.

Freeride-specific details include a higher collar to protect from wind, a Recco advanced rescue system, pant/jacket compatible powder skirt, and highlighter-bright accents on the hood and exterior so my buddies can spot me easily on the deepest, cloudiest days. A longer cut and roomier fit allow space for a back brace and extra maneuverability. But the most thoughtful design aspects are the gussets/bellows on the back of the shell. Suggested by Freeride World Tour skier and Helly Hansen representative Reine Barkered, the extra fabric becomes extremely beneficial when attempting bigger airs, or landing more difficult tricks, by easily allowing a greater range of motion, but is cleanly concealed when just lapping the resort.

Take a peek inside the shell, and notice a new design feature: the H2 FLOW system—a grouping of small Primoloft down-filled pillows that line the back of the jacket. This addition is intended to provide space and air flow between your back and the shell—even while wearing a backpack—helping maintain a comfortable temperature when skiing in the shade, or skinning upslope in the mid-afternoon. I bundle up with my favorite base/mid layer combination, as this jacket doesn’t provide much in the way of direct insulation. When I need to cool down, air flow zippers with mesh pockets (for goggles, climbing skins, or a good bag of trail mix) are also thoughtfully placed, not underarm—cue “pit vents,” but more toward the front of the jacket, to allow a breeze to hit your body no matter how much gear is on my back.