The Verglas Down Insulator from Helly Hansen is a light weight, down jacket designed for staying warm in low activity times around camp, or for being out and about when the weather turns.
About the Verglas
The Verglas comes loaded with 700 fill down to provide loft and warmth. It’s constructed from a lightweight Pertex ripstop nylon (designed to hold in feathers. It’s treated with a DWR to help resist rain and condensation.
A full front zipper from YKK provides entry and exit from the jacket, while two zippered pockets offer a warm pocket for your hands. The front zipper is combined with a full length fleece draft collar to block wind from coming in the zipper.
The jacket comes in various sizes and colors, retails for $270, and weighs 14 oz.
What I liked
The jacket is incredibly comfortable. It slips on, zips up easily, and sits close to the body without being restrictive. The Pertex nylon feels great against the skin, and has so resisted that clammy feel that many down jackets develop as you perspire inside the jacket. The wrists have just enough elastic on them to keep the jacket close, without constricting around the hands of the user.
The Verglas has performed great in cooler temperatures, keeping me quite toasty into the low 30’s with no base layer in high winds. Adding a base layer (aside from a t-shirt) or a shell boosts the comfortable range considerably. Most will feel quite happy into the 20’s with this jacket with little supplementation.
The hands pockets are lined with fleece, for extra comfort and warmth. This is nice when you’re hands are loosing their heat. The little boost goes a long way, and helps resist clamminess on the hands.
The back of the jacket is slightly longer than the front, which prevents breezes as you bend over or scramble up rocks. It’s a clever feature, that really makes a big difference when you’re hoping to hold in as much heat as possible on those very cool days.
The DWR finish has performed great, resisting rain, pooling water, and snow with no noticeable loss of loft from penetration.
It also makes a nice pillow. The down stays lofty even when breathing against it all night. Bonus, it packs down very small.
What I didn’t like
The down fill used isn’t treated with a DWR, which helps the down to resist absorbing water. This is a rarity in 2014, as it’s become a very common practice to use Dridown or Downtek inside jackets.
I’ve lost the occasional feathers on this jacket. Not a big deal, and fairly common, but still notable.
The jacket breathes well, but it will still heat up way too fast for hiking. Less of a technical jacket, and more of a stop jacket.
There is no internal packing pocket. Most jackets these days come with a way to pack them down included, but nothing here. There are also no internal pockets.
A solid performer if you’re looking for a stylish jacket that can be worn around camp or around town.
The comfortable fit, fleece pockets, and extended tail of the jacket add just enough of a boost that I call this the most comfortable jacket I’ve ever worn.
It’s soft, light weight, resists water, and doubles as a luxurious pillow at night.
It’s a bit expensive, even for a down jacket considering the possible absence of waterproof down, and the occasion AWOL feather, otherwise a great jacket for downtime no matter where you are.
Thanks to the manufacturer for providing this product. For full disclosure, see our about me page.