Putting all of their innovation and technology into the Icon 2.0, Helly Hansen have set out to create the best ski jacket. Check out this review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen to find out if they have delivered something that beats the rest.
To be honest, my first thoughts when the Icon 2 arrived were not that complimentary. It seemed more of a jacket that will look good and keep you very warm, rather than perform well for serious skiers or snowboarders. How wrong I was!
I got this jacket as I was due to head to Norway in December and I was expecting very cold temperatures. However, Norway was not only warm but had no snow. So my trip was cancelled and instead this review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen was carried out in Ischgl, Austria .
Review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen
The Icon 2.0 was tested in some pretty varied conditions. Temperatures ranged from – 12°C to +5°C and we experienced everything from heavy snow to rain and cloud to sunshine. It performed well whatever the weather, but it is the best ski jacket?
As I mentioned at first it felt thick and heavy. I usually wear a shell jacket and chuck on a fleece or technical midlayer beneath when it gets cold. So overall the Icon 2.0 felt heavy, bulky and not that practical.
The fit is more tailored than athletic and it looks very good. The wool panels make it look less like a ski jacket and more like something you’d wear a around town.
I was as also concerned that the material didn’t look that waterproof. Particularly the wool lower half of the jacket. It felt like it would attract snow and get wet particularly if it was snowing or raining.
How did it perform snowboarding?
Despite initially feeling a bit restrictive and fitted for my liking, once snowboarding I didn’t notice. The lightweight 4-way stretch fabric and the stretch lining ensures you have a full range of movement.
The articulated arms and elbows make for an all round better fit. Meaning you don’t need a baggy jacket in order to lay down some tricks or to negotiate your way down a tricky couloir.
Both the powder skirt and the goose down lined hood are detachable. This is good as if you won’t be using them what is the point in carrying them around? Both perform well, in particular the powder skirt saved me from getting snow down my pants on numerous occasions.
Warmth and temperature regulation
This review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen wouldn’t be complete without talking about how it keeps you warm on the mountain. But how warm you are is only half the battle. When doing exercise you get hot so regulating this temperature is important.
There is no doubt that this is the best ski jacket I have owned purely on keeping you warm. The Primaloft® Gold Eco 60g Insulation in both body and sleeves does a spectacular job.
When in strong winds and -12°C in Ischgl it wasn’t even the slightest bit chilly. Last winter I experienced -23°C in Austria and -32°C in Finland and this jacket would have been very welcome.
The downside of such and warm jacket is you could quickly become too hot. It is not always practical to undo a jacket and if being too warm leads to sweating which is not only uncomfortable but can lead to cooling your body temperature if the moisture does not escape.
The Icon 2.0 uses the highly innovative H2Flow system for ventilation. This turbocharged mechanical venting, developed by engineers and doctors, channels air through the jacket to your core using air ports on the inside of the jacket.
It works a treat and whatever the conditions the Icon 2.0 kept me warm but not too hot. When my temperature got too warm I just opened the vents and the H2Flow quickly cooled me down, the best ski jacket ventilation I have used.
Snowboarding in warm temperatures from 0°C to +5°C I had the vents open all day. I stayed comfortable, however by the end of the day I was more sweaty on the inside than I would like. But to put this in context it was a very damp day, raining at lower altitudes and everything got a bit wet.
I would not want to wear this jacket in really warm spring conditions as there is just no need for the insulation. Along the same lines I wouldn’t wear it ski touring, split boarding or hiking for my lines as I generate too much heat and having a separate outer shell and midlayer offers more flexibility.
But for typical winter weather or exceptionally cold days this jacket will keep you nice and warm. With the added bonus of some of the best ski jacket ventilation I have ever tested.
Keeping you dry inside and out
The Icon 2.0 uses the Helly Tech® Professional 2L fabric which is rated as 20,000 waterproof. The outside is also treated with Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR).
I wore this jacket in rain and snow and water never got inside. Water just beads off the jacket everywhere except the wool bit. Annoyingly, snow sticks to the wool section and in the rain it got a little wet. However the moisture never made it inside the jacket.
I’d be perfectly happy wearing this jacket all day in wet or snowy weather. The only downside is that at the end of the day the wool section of the jacket is wet on the outside. This would be annoying when you hit apres, or if you have limited drying room.
Review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen: Features
This review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen wouldn’t be complete without talking about its other features.
As most skiers and snowboarders will have experienced, mobile phones don’t do well in the cold. So Helly Hansen created the Life pocket+™. Using Aerogel Insulation it is a chest pocket to keep your phone battery working. I found this very useful as the battery on my phone is bad anyway and terrible in the cold.
There are also two hand warming pockets and an additional chest pocket and a lift pass pocket on your right sleeve. On the inside there is an open pocket for goggles or a beanie, plus a secure multimedia pocket with holes for headphone cables.
The arms have wrist gaiters with thumb holes. This is great to help avoid getting snow up your sleeves. I also found the gaiters useful when wearing the jacket in the evening as they keep your hands warm. I found the cuffs slightly fiddly to get over my gloves, but then my gloves include wrist protection so are thick and long.
The Icon 2.0 also comes equipped with the RECCO® Advanced Rescue System. This improves your chances of being found if caught in an avalanche. Please note this is not a replacement for an avalanche transceiver, which in most instances will enable you to be found more quickly.
Best ski jacket?
So is the Icon 2.0 the best ski jacket ever made? Well that depends on what you want to use it for.
If you are a skier that feels the cold, or are going to a particularly cold destination it is a very good option. But if you’re very active, like to head into the backcountry under your own steam, or mainly hit the slopes in warm conditions then it’s not for you.
It will keep you dry and warm when in the mountains. You’ll look good and not feel restricted. The H2Flow technology is the best ventilation I have used and the Life Pocket+™ is excellent at keeping your phone going.
To conclude this Review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen I’ll say it’s it’s a very smart looking jacket. In terms of the technologies Helly Hansen have crammed in it’s the best ski jacket I have owned.
However, if you ski or snowboard hard all day and go out no matter what the conditions, then this jacket is less suited for you. But if you are an average skier or snowboarder that enjoys looking good and being very comfortable in the mountains then the Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen a top choice.
We hope you found this review of Icon 2.0 jacket by Helly Hansen interesting and useful. Costing £750 you can purchase from Helly Hansen: www.hellyhansen.com/icon-20-jacket