Helly Hansen vs Patagonia Jackets: Which Brand is Better?

Helly Hansen vs Patagonia Jackets: Which Brand is Better?

Helly Hansen and Patagonia have both been featured on our website in many previous articles. Today we will focus on their jackets and compare them.

We will start by discussing the history of both brands, the materials that they use during production, the pricing of their items, and some of their top products.

By doing so, you can understand the differences between Helly Hansen and Patagonia jackets, and identify which of them is better based on your needs.

At the end of the article, we will also share our opinion on what we believe is better.

So, let’s get started!


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* 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

The brand Helly Hansen started in 1877 when Captain Helly Juell Hansen had a better idea of protecting himself against the cold, bitter weather of Norway.

Hansen, together with his wife, experimented with a unique process that resulted in the creation of water-resistant clothing. His garments were so effective that sea workers started wearing them at that time.

people walking on snowy street wearing parka jackets

Don’t miss: Helly Hansen vs The North Face: A Comparison

Hansen and his wife started producing a variety of worker outfits for the long and cold days at sea. Not long after, their brand started to become a trend within the clothing industry.

Helly Hansen gained recognition at the World Exhibition in Paris, which was the first of many.

From there, the couple started increasing production by purchasing and building plants throughout Norway. They also expanded their range of products, producing everything from rugs, cork jackets, and gas masks.

One example of this was in 2004 when Helly Hansen started creating footwear for professionals worldwide. Today, Helly Hansen manufactures a wide range of boots and shoes, with the sailing boot being one of their best-sellers.

Tested by Mountains

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Materials and Manufacture

Many Helly Hansen jackets are made with the Helly Tech® technology, a waterproof layer that the brand says is designed for harsh weather.

We have already reviewed Helly Tech and also compared it to Gore-Tex.

This material is durable water repellant (DWR) treated, allowing users to stay dry by keeping water out. Besides staying dry, the breathable fabric from their jackets will let you keep cool to avoid overheating.

Besides that, the outer layers of their jackets are made to be windproof. This feature can protect you from freezing temperatures and strong winds, helping you stay comfortable outdoors.

The combination of being waterproof, breathable, and windproof allows Helly Hansen jackets to provide you with the comfort you need outdoors while being lightweight.

Other materials the brand uses are Polyester, Fleece, responsible RDS-certified Down, Wool, and recycled materials.

Helly Tech® Explained

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Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions on Helly Hansen:

Is Helly Hansen a Good Brand?

Yes. We love a jacket that can hold its own during rough weather and we like the selection that Helly Hansen has to offer. Their Helly Tech® material allows their clothing to take on the challenges of outdoor adventures.

Where Are Helly Hansen Jackets Made?

Helly Hansen jackets are made mainly in China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. The materials are sourced from factories based in many countries in Europe and Asia. (source)

Popular Designs

The following are two of the most popular jackets produced by Helly Hansen.

Helly Hansen Men’s Alpha Lifaloft Jacket

Helly Hansen Mens Alpha Lifaloft Jacket

Image: hellyhansen.com

Check out the Alpha Lifaloft Jacket on Amazon.com (#ad)

This Helly Hansen product is designed after their well-known Alpha line of jackets. Its structure has been based on the brand’s Alpha 3.0 product specifically, which has proven to be a popular jacket throughout the years.

The jacket is considered to be very lightweight, weighing in at 1190 grams. It is made with 85% Nylon (Polyamide) and 15% Elastane, and uses LIFALOFT™ insulation.

Helly Hansen suggests that people use their Alpha Lifaloft jacket for alpine racing, side-country skiing, and resort skiing. The brand also rates this product to have an excellent profile in terms of being windproof, waterproof, breathable, and durable.

Helly Hansen Men’s Alpha 3.0 Jacket

Helly Hansen Mens Alpha 3.0 Jacket

Image: hellyhansen.com

Check out the Alpha 3.0 Jacket on Amazon.com (#ad)

Helly Hansen’s Alpha 3.0 jacket is considered by many to be one of the best jackets for outdoor use. The product is made from their trademark Helly Tech® material, allowing it to be lightweight and comfortable to wear.

This best-selling ski jacket is made with 85% Polyamide and 15% Elastane for the face, and 100% Polyurethane for the back, while using PrimaLoft® synthetic insulation.

The Alpha 3.0 jacket is available in different colors and is perfect for resort skiing.


Helly Hansen products are a bit expensive for casual skiers. The premium materials that are used for each of their jackets make up for that.

Many of their jackets cost anywhere from $150 to $350. Although this may discourage people who are on a budget, the quality of their items is something to consider for the price.

Are Helly Hansen’s Jackets Worth the Price?

We believe that their excellent quality justifies their price range. The workmanship, materials, durability, and performance make their jackets worth a try.

Read also: 7 of the Best Helly Hansen Ski Jackets Reviewed

2. Patagonia

A Short History of the Brand

The Patagonia brand traces its history to the year 1957, when its founder, Yvon Chouinard started learning how to become a blacksmith. In that same year, he created his first pitons, which he started to sell for $1.50 each.

Don’t miss: 10 Outdoor Brands Like Patagonia That You will Definitely Love

Chouinard eventually started a small shop in Burbank where he would manufacture his climbing products. He would then load these items in his car and travel around California to sell his gear to anyone interested.

two women hiking in winter with backpacks

By 1965, Chouinard partnered with Tom Frost, which started the company Chouinard Equipment. When the company split in 1973, Chouinard established Patagonia, which became an apparel brand ever since.

Read next: 8 Patagonia Jackets for Autumn and Winter

Materials and Manufacture

Patagonia believes that everything people do has an impact on others around the world. That is why the brand uses recycled materials to create high-quality clothing for their customers.

Some of the recycled materials they use come from items such as fishing nets and from used materials like polyester, wool, cashmere, and cotton.

Nylon and Polyester are also used in their jackets, along with fabric technologies such as Gore-Tex and H2No.

H2No® Our Waterproof/Breathable Testing Standard

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Some frequently asked questions:

Is Patagonia a Good Brand?

Patagonia jackets are known for their comfort and durability. Combined with their use of recycled materials, they are definitely one of the best brands you can purchase from when looking for insulated jackets.

Where Are Patagonia Jackets Made?

Patagonia jackets and other products are made mainly in China, in the United States, and in other countries in Asia.

Popular Designs

Below are some of the most popular jackets we picked from Patagonia. Let’s take a look!

Patagonia Men’s Nano-Air® Jacket

Check out the Nano-Air Jacket on Patagonia.com

Patagonia’s Nano-Air jacket is designed to be a synthetic product that can be worn at any time of the day. It is made to be used in various conditions and outdoor activities. It is made with 100% polyester, with 87% of that material being recycled.

The jacket can be worn over t-shirts and used for light exercise and hiking. Its DWR finish means that wearers can use the jacket even when it’s a bit rainy outside. Due to its coziness, the jacket may even be used for camping or downhill skiing.

Similar to the Helly Hansen jackets, this Patagonia product is known for its breathability. This feature means that people can avoid overheating when doing things like camp chores.

The Nano-Air Jacket weighs a total of 318 grams and can be folded into a small pouch for easy storage. It is available in shades of blue, black, orange, and green.

Read also: Patagonia Nano-Air® vs Nano Puff® Jacket: A Comparison

Patagonia® Men's Nano-Air® Jacket

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Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Jacket

Check out the SnowDrifter Jacket on Patagonia.com

The SnowDrifter jacket for women is designed for backcountry skiing and snowboarding. It is advertised to be light, stretchy, and storm-ready, as it is made with 100% Polyester and a DWR finish.

The jacket comes with an adjustable hood that makes it easy to use with or without helmets. Also, it has room enough to accommodate varying layers of clothing.

Patagonia® Women's SnowDrifter Jacket

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With regards to price, in general, Patagonia’s jackets are priced higher than those of many other brands. The Men’s Nano-Air jacket, for instance, costs more than $200 while the SnowDrifter for women is priced at more than $350.

Are Patagonia’s Jackets Worth the Price?

We think these jackets are worth their price. Patagonia advocates the use of sustainable and recycled materials. The brand also promotes safe and fair labor conditions for the people who make these items.

Purchasing any of their products means that you not only will get high quality and performance in return but also that you support their vision when it comes to sustainability.

Learn more: Why Is Patagonia So Expensive? Are Their Jackets Worth The Price?

3. Which Brand is Better?

couple hiking wearing rain jackets

You can’t go wrong in choosing either of the two when looking to buy jackets.

Helly Hansen jackets are excellent in keeping you dry while maintaining breathability inside to avoid overheating. Many of their jackets are made with the trademark Helly Tech® fabric technology, which is responsible for keeping water out and guaranteeing breathability.

On the other hand, Patagonia uses recycled materials and various technologies (H2No, Gore-Tex) to insulate their jackets. Their products are also known to be stretchable and weather-resistant for maximum freedom of movement outdoors.

Helly Hansen and Patagonia are pretty equal when it comes to pricing, and they are both committed to the protection of the environment. So, one can feel that they are supporting a good cause when purchasing from them.

In terms of design, the Helly Hansen jackets that were listed above are meant more for wet weather. Since the brand originally provided clothing for sailors, it only makes sense why they prioritize making jackets that are as waterproof as possible.

Meanwhile, the Patagonia jackets listed lean more towards providing its users with the comfort they need for cold conditions.

Whichever of the two you choose, you can definitely get your money’s worth if you buy from these amazing brands. Both are made with quality materials and top-notch craftsmanship. So, in our opinion, we have a draw this time.

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Read next: Patagonia vs The North Face: A Comparison

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