Helly Hansen Mission Jacket 2011/2012 Review
The Helly Hansen Mission Jacket has become my go-to ski jacket for the winter season. This jacket is a perfect choice for the resort skier who wants a bit of insulation without too much bulk, allowing the option to layer up or down according to weather. The Mission Jacket is stylish, functional, and has some great features.
Helly Hansen did a great job with the fit of the Mission jacket and I was very happy to find that it is the perfect length for me. I am a little over six feet tall, and have a slightly longer torso, so I often have trouble with short jackets. The Mission jacket is just long enough to be comfortable and I don’t have to worry about it riding up when skiing. The powder skirt is also at the right place, falling a little below my belt line. Speaking of the powder skirt, Helly incorporated a nice system for buttoning it out of the way when you aren’t using it, a very smart and welcome feature. The jacket is cut with sufficient space in the shoulders for athletically-built bodies, and is flattering. I had great mobility while photographing a shoot for Vail Resorts in the Back Bowls of Vail mountain. The sleeve length is ideal for me, and the adjustable cuffs accommodate different arm lengths. One nitpick about the cuffs: the inner fabric often sticks out beyond the cuff when tightened. See below photo. It’s certainly not a big deal, but it would be nice to see this small detail fixed in the next version.
A really nice feature of the Mission jacket is the helmet-compatible hood. Plenty of jackets claim to be helmet compatible, but in reality, are not. Helly Hansen clearly tested the Mission Jacket’s hood with various ski helmets, because it has excellent visibility and movement with the hood on. The front of the jacket comes up nice and high without strangling you like many jackets do when fully zipped . With the hood over your helmet, you can still move your head around without feeling the tugging of fabric.
The Mission Jacket provides a good amount of warmth for the weight, without being bulky. PrimaLoft 60g Warmcore insulation is responsible for this, and was warm enough for me to need to open the air vents on a 27 degree day. For most days in the Rockies, you will not need more than a mid-weight baselayer under this jacket to be warm. The two under-arm air vents do a pretty good job of releasing heat, although Helly Hansen saves its superior airflow system for its highest end jackets. The fabric is Helly’s excellent Helly Tech PROFESSIONAL, which is waterproof and has a 20,000mm/20,000g breathability rating. This fabric is one of my favorites for ski wear, and it has a little bit of stretch and a nice hand feel. The zippers are also waterproof for full protection. The Mission Jacket has 4 fleece-lined pockets on the front that are well-placed and functional. In addition, there is an internal pocket for music/phone (though I wish there were an easier-to-access phone pocket closer to the front zipper), and one for longer, bigger items like goggles. I loved having the deeper pocket for stashing things like a balaclava for cold weather.
I appreciate the thought that Helly Hansen puts into design, and I would recommend the Mission to anyone looking for a light-midweight insulated resort ski jacket. It is also stylish enough to double as an around-town winter jacket.
The Helly Hansen Mission Jacket is available in four colors: Fiery Red, Arctic Navy, Arctic, and Black. Size range is S-2XL.
MSRP is $350.