Unless you are a truly seasoned outdoor enthusiast, you probably do not know the differences between all the varying brands.
You probably have your favorite, one that you know is reliable and get most of your items from.
Let us help you navigate the complicated outdoor gear and apparel world.
In this comparison, we are going to look at Helly Hansen and Arc’teryx. Both of these brands are extremely well made, have great reputations, and are reliable.
Also, we have featured them multiple times here on our website, in reviews, selections, and comparisons.
So, when it comes to Arc’teryx vs Helly Hansen jackets, how can you choose between the two? Which brand is better? Let’s find out!
– – – –
* Note: The availability of products on this page may change at any time. Please check the materials, features, colors, and sizes on the various shops (linked on this page) before buying, because sometimes our articles may contain errors. The product images you see here are for illustration purposes.
1. Helly Hansen
A Short History of the Brand
Let’s start out with a brief company history. Helly Hansen is a Norwegian brand that specializes in water and mountain gear. It was started in 1877 by Helly Juell Hansen, a sea captain who wanted to create better gear to protect sailors.
The brand has evolved since 1877 and throughout the past 140 years has shifted its vision to create a more versatile and diverse product line suitable for more disciplines than sailing.
Helly Hansen is an extremely popular choice for skiing enthusiasts and ski resorts to outfit their employees in.
In tradition to its origin, Helly Hansen remains a global leader in sailing gear and apparel, and it’s a popular choice among many enthusiasts and professionals.
Another sector of the outdoor niche where the brand focuses is the mountain gear sector, providing apparel and gear for mountain activities such as hiking, backpacking, etc.
Don’t miss: Helly Hansen vs Patagonia Jackets: A Comparison
Materials and Manufacture
Helly Hansen uses water repellent treatments – since some of their apparel is made to protect sailors and fishermen in some of the most extreme ocean conditions, this is a must for the brand.
Their most notable material is called Helly Tech®. This is a fabric technology exclusively created and used by Helly Hansen’s jackets and other apparel.
It is both breathable and extremely waterproof, which is a hard combination of traits to accomplish.
Helly Hansen knows that the environment is the most important asset to the outdoor community. They know that long-term success requires respecting the environment and promoting ethical values while manufacturing their products. You can read more about their sustainability programs here.
Where are Helly Hansen jackets made?
Helly Hansen makes its jackets mainly in China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Their fabrics and materials are sourced from Asian and European factories. (source)
Don’t miss: Helly Hansen vs The North Face: A Comparison
Let’s take a look at some of the signature products from Helly Hansen that are definitely worth trying.
Helly Hansen Men’s Salt Sailing Rain Jacket
The Salt Sailing and Rain Jacket is one of Helly Hansen’s top sellers. Made with 100% Polyamide, it is completely waterproof, while also being breathable and windproof.
The collar and pockets are lined with fleece to keep you warm while keeping you dry.
Helly Hansen Men’s Paramount Softshell Jacket
The Paramount Softshell Jacket is another good product from Helly Hansen – breathable, water-resistant, windproof, and versatile.
It is a lightweight jacket with a chest pocket, two hand pockets, and adjustable sleeve cuffs.
Helly Hansen is definitely not cheap. But that is what you can expect from a quality brand, especially one that is specialized in outdoor apparel. Most of their jackets fall somewhere between $90 and $300.
Are Helly Hansen Jackets Worth the Price?
The brand seems expensive and not budget-friendly but actually, if you are shopping for some really high-quality outdoor gear, you will have a hard time finding something cheaper than that with a matched quality and durability.
A Short History of the Brand
Arc’teryx was started in 1991 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The main inspiration and drive for this company is the influence of the Coast Mountains.
The geography and the elevation of the Coast Mountains are unique and make for both excellent inspiration and testing potential. Arc’teryx is one of the most popular outdoor apparel stores and for good reason.
You might also like: 8 Quality Brands like Arc’teryx: Our Top Picks
Arc’teryx began as a mountain climber and backpacking company. Two of its first and most popular products were the Vapor Harness and the Bora Backpack. These were both an extremely unique design and were made impeccably.
A little while after its beginning, Arc’teryx started its collaboration with the producers of Gore-Tex fabrics which really helped increase popularity by expanding its product range.
Materials and Manufacture
Arc’teryx as a brand is renowned for their high-quality garments, a standard that they hold for themselves in materials. Arc’teryx uses Bluesign® Certified products.
By choosing only the highest quality products for both people and the environment is an important moral stance of the company.
Sustainability is a huge factor in the way that Arc’teryx designs, manufactures, and sustains its products. As a brand that supplies people with gear to go enjoy the environment, they also hold an ideal that it is their obligation to do their part to protect it.
They prioritize building products that are designed to maximize durability and performance. It is meant to last so that you will buy less gear which saves you money and keeps perfectly good clothing out of landfills.
In addition to creating high durability for its products, Arc’teryx offers repairs on any damaged gear so you can keep bringing your favorite jacket out instead of throwing it away.
They source all of their animal-based materials like wool, down, and leather from ethical locations, all listed on their website. This is a very transparent company and that is extremely important.
As for technologies, some of the main ones are Gore-Tex which we mentioned before, AC2 technology, and Coreloft™ synthetic insulation that we have reviewed here.
Where are Arc’teryx jackets made?
Arc’teryx jackets are made in Canada, China, and other countries in Asia.
Now let’s see some popular products by Arc’teryx.
Arc’teryx Men’s Thorium AR Hoody
Our first selection is Thorium AR for men, a versatile jacket that you can use for multiple activities in alpine conditions.
For insulation, the jacket uses 750 fill power goose down and Coreloft™ synthetic insulation, while the outer material is made of nylon and treated with DWR.
Arc’teryx Women’s Atom SL Hoody
For women, we have picked the Atom SL Hoody, a lightweight jacket that is breathable and easy to carry. In fact, “SL” means “Superlight” in the Arc’teryx naming system.
The materials used are Tyono 20 for the outer shell and Coreloft for the insulation.
You might also like: 11 Arc’teryx Jackets for your Favorite Winter Sport
Outdoor gear in general is really expensive. Arc’teryx is not a cheap brand by any means, but it has built a reputation for being one of the best and is a beloved brand by many outdoor enthusiasts around the world.
Average jackets cost around $200-$300 but some designs can reach up to $600 and over. This is definitely steep, but this brand has created this market for itself and it is justified in our opinion.
Are Arc’teryx jackets worth the price?
These products last for years and years and are extremely well made in terms of performance and durability, so much so that it is hard to compare. The quality of everything from their technical material, stitching, reinforcement, and seam taping is high and few other brands can compare.
So, to conclude, we think their jackets are worth it.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Both of these brands have proven to be extremely reputable, innovative, and durable. It is not very easy to choose which one is best. Both of them are trendsetters and have created some of the most innovative designs to hit the outdoor apparel scene.
If you are on a budget and judging for price, then Helly Hansen is definitely better. It is much more affordable, and you still will get a high-quality coat or other apparel.
If you are more concerned with sustainability, both are trying to be as environmentally responsible as possible.
Based on the technicality of the jackets, Arc’teryx is really hard to outdo. These jackets are made to be as durable as possible, without sacrificing performance. For this reason, we think that Arc’teryx would be our choice for mountain activities.
On the other hand, we’d choose Helly Hansen for water sports and activities. Even though lately Helly Hansen has moved in the direction of becoming more a fashion brand, their high priced jackets remain some of the best in the market.
– – – –
Read next: Arc’teryx vs Patagonia: A Comparison