Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Foul Weather Gear Review

Landfall in AlaskaSeveral people have asked us about our new (new this past spring) Helly Hansen foul weather gear, in person and on this blog, so here’s our review after testing it out this summer in Alaska and this fall on the West Coast.

Women’s Aegir Ocean Race jacket:

Ellen tending the chuteVerdict: Highly recommended! I thought I would wear it only in rough conditions, but I’ve actually worn it much more than that because it’s so comfortable.


What I like:

  • Completely waterproof and windproof.
  • Lightweight because it’s only a shell. It’s not insulated, so it’s not bulky and I can choose how much I want to layer up underneath. So it’s versatile.
  • Cut of the hood, just enough pockets, very visible colors, length in the back, dry cuffs, big zippers (easy to use even with gloves on).

Best Feature: The high collar, which cuts the wind around my neck and the back of my head. The hood rolls up nicely in it, too.

Qualms? Not really, but it is HH’s top of the line Women’s foul weather jacket, and so it’s pricey….

Sizing: Pretty well true to size.

Tying down the lace-line

Newport Pants: Men’s and Women’s:

Verdict: Highly recommended.

Best features: Lightweight, not bulky, very wind- and waterproof, comfortable, good fit, easy to move around and work in. Plus, I like the drop-seat in the ladies’ version! 🙂

Qualms? I wish they had little pockets for your hands for when you’re not wearing a jacket.

Sizing: The women’s seems to run big – I got an XS and it’s perfect, even with two layers of long underwear underneath. The men’s runs normal – Seth has a medium and it fits him well.

Other HH jackets (Men’s and Women’s):

We both have what are basically earlier versions of the “coastal” line, although they’re great offshore jackets as well.  We wear them all the time, ashore and afloat, and again we love that they’re lightweight, not bulky and yet have enough pockets for pretty much everything we need. They’re fully waterproof and windproof, but without the super high collar of the Aegir Ocean Race jacket, they don’t give quite the same protection. That’s not a problem for warmer weather sailing, though, and they’re definitely our go-to jackets in most conditions.

So that’s that. Hopefully this review has been helpful for those who are interested or are thinking of getting new foul weather gear, or even just rain gear.

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