Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket review: exemplary breathable wet weather protection

This three-layer shell holds the wet weather at bay and offers superior breathability for hikers and backcountry skiers

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket
(Image: © Future)

Advnture Verdict

Designed with input from mountain pros who spend long days in the worst of the weather, this jacket delivers brilliant wet weather protection during high aerobic pursuits and has good eco creds to boot. The price is premium, but so is the protection on offer.


  • +

    Fully waterproof and breathable

  • +

    Two-way zippers on the pockets

  • +

    Pit zips

  • +

    Built-in RECCO reflector

  • +

    Adjustable peaked hood

  • +

    Recycled content and PFC-free DWR


  • -

    A little heavier than some comparable jackets

  • -

    Front zip not two-way

  • -

    No chest or inner pocket

  • -


You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket: first impressions 

When you spend long days on the mountain, you’re likely to experience a whole range of weather conditions, from snow and torrential rain to wind and brilliant sunshine, and that’s why you need an adaptable outer shell that can keep you warm and dry but let you sweat when you’re on the uphill.

To suit these needs, Helly Hansen has designed this three-layer waterproof jacket with input from mountain professionals and delivered a breathable shell that defends against the worst of the weather. Fully waterproof, we’ve tested this jacket against sideways rain and can confirm that it keeps out the wet and the wind with ease.


RRP: $400 ($450 men's) / £400 (£380 men’s)
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes: S - XXL Men’s, XS - XL Women’s
Weight: 13.1 oz / 368 g (women’s small)
• Materials: Shell: 54% Polyester (Recycled), 46% Polyester
• Colors: Ultra blue, Terrazzo, Crushed grape, Jade, Black, Malachite, Concrete, Deep fjord, Patrol orange
• Best use: Hiking, Ski touring

This neat-fitting jacket has adjustable hem, cuffs and hood so you can tailor it to your needs and the drop tail adds protection. Two deep hand-warming pockets offer ample room to carry gear and boast two-way zippers so you can always reach what you need when wearing a backpack. The peaked, helmet compatible hood provides ample protection without blocking your view and the inclusion of recycled content and a PFC-free DWR adds value in our estimation.

For premium performance, you can expect to pay a premium price and this jacket is no exception, with the pricing making it an unlikely choice to anyone seeking casual wet weather protection for the odd stroll. It’s not heavy, but it’s a little heavier than some similar jackets we’ve tested and in an ideal world, we might ask for an extra pocket or two, but overall it’s difficult to quibble with such a high-performing and breathable outer layer for serious mountain endeavors.

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket: in the field 

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket

It's neat-fitting so don't size down (Image credit: Future)

We’ve had nothing but rain in the UK lately, so I’ve been testing this jacket out in the hills of Scotland, the Dales of Yorkshire, the Lake District and even around the streets of Glasgow.

Here’s how it performed: 

Sizing and fit  

I usually wear a small and that’s what I tested. I’ve become accustomed to Helly gear running a bit large but for once, this jacket fits me perfectly. It’s neat-fitting, but there’s enough room for me to comfortably layer it over a fleece (and one one frosty walk I wore it over a  fleece and a down jacket). That said, if you tend to size down in Helly gear, you’ll likely find this too small for comfortable layering and movement.

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket

I love the two-way zippers on the pockets (Image credit: Future)

Weight and packability

I certainly don’t pick up this jacket and think how heavy it is, but it’s a couple of ounces heavier than the Helly Hansen Odin 1 World Infinity Shell which I’ve also tested. For me, that’s not enough to make a difference, but if you’re looking for an ultralight shell, this isn’t for you. It might not roll up as tightly as something like my Montane Phase Lite jacket, but it’s more effective against extreme weather and it’s not bulky enough to make me reconsider packing it for long days and extreme weather.

Weatherproofing and breathability

I’ve had the chance to test this out on plenty of wet days now, including some of those sideways rainstorms that are common to Scotland and northern England. The membrane keeps the moisture out no problem, and it’s reinforced by all the touches you’d expect from a professional grade jacket, like waterproof zips and adjustable cuffs and hood. 

The windproofing means that it has kept me warm on a sunny but cold hike, but what makes this jacket so brilliant for outdoor adventures is how breathable it is. I recently wore it up one of my favorite hikes near Glasgow that entails an unrelenting climb for about the first two miles and I never even got so far as unzipping the pit vents. To me, this makes it ideal for high-aerobic pursuits where you really can’t afford to get wet or cold.

Comfort and storage

When I tested the Odin 1, I noted that I found the collar a bit annoying and uncomfortable when the hood is down, and I’m glad to say that this collar is better. Perhaps it’s due to the neater fit, but overall I can wear it with the hood up or down and the zip fully or partially zipped and not find the collar rubbing my face. The hood isn’t as enormous as that of the Odin 1 either, so while I’m not sure it would work with every helmet, it doesn’t obscure my vision.

There are only two pockets (though they have smaller pockets inside them) but they’re roomy and what I love most are the two-way zips on them. This means I can access my gear when I’m wearing my backpack, though you need to make sure you don’t accidentally unzip them when you think you’re closing them. I’d love a two-way zipper on the front too.

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Shell Jacket: the bottom line

If you need a versatile three-layer shell that you can sweat in and wear for both hiking and ski touring, this jacket is for you, but it doesn’t come cheap and while you don’t need to be a mountain professional to wear it, it’s a big investment for the casual user. If you’re looking for reliable, budget-friendly protection for lower elevation day hikes but don’t need all-mountain protection, consider the Montane Spirit Jacket instead.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.