Wondering why we picked the Helly Hansen Alpha 3.0 Ski Jacket as our toughest option for harsh winter conditions in our Best Ski Jackets article? We have our reasons: DWR-treated, breathable and comfortable material, RECCO search and rescue technology, specially placed insulation to keep your smartphone battery running longer in freezing weather, and body insulation to keep what’s most important ( aka, you) warm and happy on the slopes – to name a few. The flattering fit and great color choices don’t hurt either.
This type of jacket indicates that you are serious but know how to throw yourself over the bumps. Although it comes at a hefty price tag, you’ll understand why once you realize how much it can do for your ski days.
Helly Hansen Alpha 3.0: Trial Time
I braved the New England winter playground for a few days of late winter skiing in Maine and New Hampshire in the Alpha 3.0. Along with the drop-down reflective hood stripe (which helped my ski partners find me among the vacation week crowd), the dual warmth and breathability of this jacket really stood out. Helly Hansen provided insulation where it was needed most (the core and arms) and placed strategically placed vents in high-performance areas (like the armpits and mid-back). It gave me the ability to ski hot tricks without drowning in sweat and then freezing in the lift line.
The two-ply, four-way stretch fabric is waterproof, windproof and still breathable. What does all this mean? This means you can ski from the first chair to the last bell in blizzards, whiteout conditions and blowing snow without feeling wet or cold. However, if the skies open up on a bluebird day or you rush over a ridge to catch the first tracks when the patrol drops that rope, the breathable fabric wicks away excess heat that would normally cause you to sweat. . (I tested this when she had to sprint across the parking lot for her brother’s ski pass. The mid-chest zippers were a godsend after that.) Helly’s taped seams Hansen, DWR treated and fully insulated jacket (with premium Primaloft Gold and Black Hi-Loft insulation) will keep you warm and comfortable throughout your ski vacation – and save you more than a wink. appreciable eye in the range of ski lifts.
In Review: Justifying Membership
What makes this jacket worth the MSRP of $475? State-of-the-art technology and the kind of convenience features that make gear nerds laugh with joy. The Alpha 3.0 sports an external ski pass pocket on the left forearm, two chest pockets (with a ski goggle cover and the LIFE POCKET insulation layer for your phone), two insulated hand pockets and internal pockets to store your gloves, neck warmer, and warm and safe snacks.
The hood is helmet compatible and easily detaches via zipper and velcro, but uses specialized sleeves. These sleeves keep snow out of your collar and keep the hood attached when you need it most. The sleeves also feature wrist gaiters with thumbholes and Velcro adjustable straps to keep snow out of your jacket arms and ski gloves. The sealed zipper keeps snow and water out of your jacket, and the zippers are large enough for gloved hands to grab and open easily.
But the piece de resistance? This ski jacket contains RECCO Advanced Rescue technology (essentially a magnetic tracking device) which is detectable from the air if you get lost in the sidecountry or if an avalanche rolls in. Thanks to the latest innovations, this search and rescue technology does not add extra equipment/weight to your person and helps rescuers locate lost adventurers much easier. As a professional guide, volunteer search and rescue technician, and apparent connoisseur of jackets, I’m quite interested in this feature.
Ultimately, the Alpha 3.0 combines the best in quality, warmth, comfort, technical performance, and thoughtful life-hacking features. While it’s certainly not the best budget option on the market, it’s not Arc’teryx Macai either.
Helly Hansen is a staple name in tough and tough industries like Alaskan fishing, downhill skiing, and sailing. The quality of the company is almost impossible to beat. If you want good looks with even more warmth and technology, stop looking. You found it in the Alpha 3.0 ski jacket from HH.
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