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Helly Hansen Elevation Shell

- published January 2017

96

2017

RATINGS

Durability
10
Weatherproofness
9
Bells & Whistles
10
Function
9
Breathability
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
96

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$650.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Bombproof
  • Innovative ventilation system
  • RECCO equiped

THE BAD

  • Stiff fabric
  • Kind of heavy
  • Expensive

THE VERDICT

The Elevation Shell is made for the snowpocaplypse—or to survive tumbling down a 100-foot cliff. It’s tough as hell, though the canvas-like fabric does soften up after a few uses. It features Helly’s interesting H2Flow system for better ventilation. It’s a great coat for several seasons of hard use. 

FULL REVIEW

Durability
The beefiest and most bomproof shell we’ve ever seen, the Elevation’s thick 2-layer fabric can shrug off a Viking axe attack. The burly, large gague zippers would make the Hulk happy. All kidding aside, it’s a tough shell, and the fabric does loosen up in a few uses and becomes pretty supple. Justify the heavy cash outlay by rocking the jacket at least two seasons—it should hold up fine. 

Weatherproofness
The Elevation shell is a long coat in the freeride style, with a tall collar and long sleeves. All the zippers are covered or backed by flaps and there’s a nice stretchy powderskirt. No problems here.

Bells and Whistles
If the H2Flow system isn’t a bell and whistle, I don’t know what is. In addition, the Elevation shell contains a stiff, windproof brim that’s colored bright orange on purpose to help keep groups together in whiteouts. There are four big pockets plus a pass pocket, elastic wrist gaitors and a stretchy powder skirt.

Function
It’s a serious jacket for heavy use. The H2Flow system keeps your ventilation clear of a ski pack—out of the armpits—and the chest pockets are huge for the same reason. Because the fabric is so beefy, Helly put a pair of stretch panels on the back to enable freedom of movement. 

Breathability
The Elevation Shell is made from a waterpfoof-breathable fabric, so it breathes pretty well. However, Helly’s H2Flow system increases the jacket’s ventilation when things get too warm. Four down-filled pods on the jacket’s interior back panel separate the coat from the wearer, and when the two chest vents are opened, it creates better airflow around the torso. It does seem to work, and, is a more elegant solution to ventilation than pit zips.

How We Tested It

The jackets in this test were used by a Jackson Hole based team of testers inbounds and in the backcountry in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Japan.

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other ski jacket tests, ski tests, ski helmet tests, and other related ski gear reviews

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Frederick Reimers

Frederick Reimers

Frederick Reimers was the editor of Canoe and Kayak Magazine from 2007-09 and has been writing for Outside, Men's Journal, Skiing and Powder ever since.

Shop for the Helly Hansen Elevation Shell Jacket

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$650.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$650.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Durability
10
Weatherproofness
9
Bells & Whistles
10
Function
9
Breathability
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
96

Specs

  • Pit zips: none
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Powder skirt: Yes
  • Helmet Compatible Hood: Yes
  • Wrist gaskets: Yes
  • Gender: Men's

Weight

2.5 lbs

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