Helly Hansen Enigma Flow Down Jacket Review
If Vail, Beaver Creek, or Dear Valley are the ski resorts you only frequent, we might have found the jacket for you! The Enigma Flow Down Jacket by Helly Hansen is packed full is features and technology that isn’t available in the majority of jackets on the market, but we must caution you, this jacket is not for everyone. With a price tag of $700, this jacket won’t be the most seen jacket on the slopes. If by chance this price tag has not scared you away or you just love reading about innovation, please keep reading.
When I first received the jacket from Helly Hansen, I was curious to see what made this jacket worth $700. The jacket reminds me of a high-end Mercedes Benz in that it has super high quality and comes with every bell and whistle you can think of. The material used on the outer of the Helly Hansen Enigma Flow Down is a 4-way stretch fabric that is waterproof breathable and worked great in all the ski conditions I was able to put this jacket through. The majority of ski conditions were dry fluffy snow as I was skiing in the west at Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone. The inside of this jacket is what makes this jacket unique and is one of the big reasons for the increase in price tag. There are 15 hexegonial shaped down puffs on the inside of the jacket that help keep you insulated and warm, but allow air to flow so you don’t overheat. Oftentimes with a down jacket, you tend to overheat when you push your body’s limits and start sweating. At this point, and the down gets wet, it is hard to dry it out. With separate down puffs, air is allowed to move between the puffs keeping your body better ventilated. I thought to myself that they might be a little gimmicky, but they actually performed like a rock star! With the down puff balls, I typically only needed a standard base layer while skiing in average ski temperatures 10-30F.
For outside ventilation, the Helly Hansen Enigma Flow Down jacket has 4 zippered vents; two on the chest and two on the underside of the arm. These vents have a mesh lining to keep any valuables from flying out of the jacket which is nice. For when you are having one of those epic powder days, the Enigma has a powder skirt. Now this is no ordinary powder skirt that can zip in and out of the jacket. That would just be too simple. The Enigma’s powder skirt has a pocket within the jacket where you can stash it. This is nice because I tend to zip out my powder skirt and I usually find them in my sock drawer 6 months later. If wearing a hood isn’t your thing, the Enigma’s hood is removable. If wearing a hood is your thing, it’s good to know this hood is helmet compatible and adjustable. For the colder windier days, this jacket has a balaclava that is a secret stash compartment on the inside of the jacket. There are two inside pockets in the Enigma, one that is big enough to hold goggles, and one that is water resistant and can hold a point and shoot digital camera or a smart phone. There are two fleece lined pockets on the outside of the jacket to stash any other valuables you may have or they are just nice to keep your hands warm. The left arm of the jacket has a pocket near the cuff that is big enough for a ski pass, so if the resort is using RF technology, all you need to do is wave your arm in front of the RF reader. We used the jacket at Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone and it worked perfect with their RF readers.
The Cuffs of the jacket are big enough to cover a glove with or without a gauntlet. This is a big plus in my mind as I like to keep my cuffs covering my gloves. To keep cold air and snow from coming up through the bottom of the jacket, there is a cinch cord that keeps the jacket tight at the hips.
The Helly Hansen Enigma Flow Down jacket is not for all skiers as the $700 price tag prohibits many people from being able to purchase it. On the flip side, if you can afford this jacket and you want the status of skiing in a bad a$$ Helly Hansen jacket, I say go for it! This jacket can be found on Helly Hansen’s website and some of the high end ski resort stores. For more information on the Helly Hansen Enigma Flow Down Jacket, please visit HellyHansen.com