Helly Hansen Peregrine Jacket Review
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Helly Hansen has come a long way since the introduction of their oilskin outerwear in the late 1800’s. This Norwegian brand continues to innovate and impress with stylish additions to their technical outerwear, including the Peregrine insulated ski jacket. Billed simply as their “athletic ski jacket,” this understatement allows the highly effective H2Flow insulation and HellyTech Professional waterproofing to speak for themselves. As a lifelong skier, I view innovation and technology with a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes as a sacrifice to comfort and simplicity. Like winter’s first snowball, with the Peregrine jacket those concerns disintegrated on impact.
It’s obvious at first glance that this jacket has a space shuttle’s worth of technology in its design without distracting from purpose. Smart, subtle lines carve the cut of the shoulders, chest and waist on the size Large jacket and fit my athletic but slim six-foot build perfectly. The design can’t be considered glamorous, but its professional features are still appealing. The inside of the jacket, a combination of 2-way dynamic stretch material and down-insulated baffles along the back fits snugly but not too tight while allowing the outside shell to move around independently, a must for skiers.
The first snowstorms of winter allowed for some convenient testing with the Peregrine jacket. As advertised, the down baffles provided structure along the back that served their two intended purposes: to provide airflow that enhances moisture- wicking and breathability, and provide insulation in an area that’s normally lacking. The jacket did not fail me there. The baffles actually began to radiate heat the longer I wore the jacket, keeping my back warm the entire time. The sleeves are deeply recessed to fit around larger mittens and the wrist gaiters, a feature designed to extend the insulation through the natural gap between jacket and glove, integrate nicely around my wrists without feeling restrictive.
The waist is cut to fit past my hips, leaving just enough room to integrate with my ski pant or bib option without the obvious snow vacuum on the backside that less attentive designers allow. The zip-off hood, often a victim of afterthought with other brands is smartly planned, fitting snugly around my head and allowing full peripheral vision in combination with my goggles. One cinch behind the head and one on either side allow for 3-D snugness. A tighter fit around the chin however would be a welcome improvement as the neck seems a little open.
In a jacket that seemingly has all of its bases covered, the stowable powder skirt is thoughtful bonus; unzip and button up to keep the snow out or, tuck in and zip up for casual use and fit. That said, while the Peregrine has a convenient mesh goggle pocket inside and pass pocket on the left sleeve, it’s begging for the mandatory phone pocket. Seemingly a trivial miss, I like having a place to keep my phone and music accessible while keeping the batteries warm and charged.
Helly Hansen’s HellyTech Professional material is a 3-layer membrane laminate designed as you might expect: a 20,000mm waterproof-rating coupled with high breathability intended for extreme conditions. The moniker “Professional” is the cream of the crop and exclusive to Helly’s higher end outerwear, as compared to their 2-layer Performance and coated Protection lines. While snow melt isn’t expected to be the norm for conditions in the Peregrine ski jacket, it holds it own and no pooling was evident as the material shed moisture during a recent warm spell as I put the piece through its paces. All told, this jacket fits the bill for a highly technical yet simple ski utility that will keep you dry and toasty this winter.
Suggested retail for the Peregrine is $550 and it comes in a black color option (my fav) as well. For more info on the Peregrine and other Helly Hansen products, visit www.hellyhansen.com