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Obermeyer vs Helly Hansen: Which puffy jacket is right for you?

Skier at Vail in a puffy jacket
Glade Optics via Unsplash

When you’re in the mountains, a puffy jacket provides maximum versatility. On subzero days, you can layer it under your shell for all-day warmth on the hill. Then, when it’s time for après, its wind-blocking fabric and ample insulation keep you cozy around town. Puffys also have a clean, modern style. 

When you’re in the market for a new puffy jacket, Obermeyer and Helly Hansen offer two solid options. Offering top-end materials, an athletic fit, and sweet colorways, the Obermeyer Klaus Down Hoody and Helly Hansen Verglas Icefall Down Jacket are a worthy addition to anyone’s kit. But which one is right for you? Let’s find out.

Down jackets in store
Pexels via Pixabay

Why a puffy jacket is a vital piece of outerwear

Spending time in the high country lets you unwind and enjoy awesome sights. Towering peaks and fresh powder offer exhilaration and awe-inspiring vistas. But to make the most of your time, you have to stay warm. That’s where a puffy jacket comes in.

Whether down or synthetic insulation, a puffy traps heat like nothing else, letting you venture far and wide, no matter the temps. Most feature a wind-blocking face fabric for extra armor against icy gusts. The latest designs also have a sleek, tech-focused aesthetic, making you look like a real mountain athlete. 

Those attributes make puffy jackets a go-to on any ski trip. You get warmth to spare and versatility for any outing, whether a frigid powder day or a post-ski walk on the town. 

Obermeyer Klaus down hoody in blue
Obermeyer / Obermeyer

Obermeyer Klaus down hoody vs. Helly Hansen Verglas Icefall down jacket

Today, ski and snowboard outerwear is better than ever. High-tech materials, refined fits, and useful features enhance movement and comfort across the mountain. Tuned-in style and beautiful colorways only enhance the appeal. When it comes to puffy jackets, Obermeyer and Helly Hansen each offer excellent options. Let’s compare them.

Obermeyer Klaus down hoody in green

Obermeyer Klaus down hoody 

The Klaus down hoody has the materials, fit, and style for any mountain adventure. While providing high-level insulation, it’s also trim enough for intense activity. 

  • Toray Airtastic shell: Windproof, lightweight, and strong, Toray Airtastic blocks the elements and keeps you comfortable. Its sustainability is manufactured from plant-based polymers.
  • Allied Feather & Down 800 fill insulation: Warm, sustainable, and responsible, Allied Feather & Down insulation ensures animal welfare, so you can feel good about your purchase. 
  • Attached insulated hood: On the coldest days, bundle up and endure even the toughest conditions. 
  • CZV Control Zone Ventilation: Enhancing breathability as the temperature changes or you work harder, CZV ensures optimal comfort.
  • Colorways: Admiral, Black, Golden Hour, Russet, Night Ops
  • Pricing: $319 

You can find the Klaus down hoody and also on major retailer’s websites, like

Helly Hansen Verglas Icefall jacket in grey
Helly Hanse / Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen Verglas Icefall down jacket

From its YKK zippers to its down/synthetic blend insulation, the Verglas Icefall down jacket comes loaded with tech. For the devoted mountain enthusiast, it’s an ideal pick. 

  • Allied Feather & Down/Primaloft synthetic blend: Helly Hansen gives you the best of both worlds by combining sustainably sourced down and warm-when-wet Primaloft synthetic insulation. No matter the adventure, you’ll be warm and comfortable.
  • Adjustable wind skirt and wrist closures: Helps to lock out wind and seal in the heat. 
  • YKK zippers: The industry standard for burly construction and trusted function. 
  • 100% polyamide wind-blocking shell: Ripstop and windproof for durable winter performance.
  • Colorways: Malachite, Concrete, Deep Fjord, Black
  • Pricing: $360

While the Verglas Icefall retails for $360, you can find solid discounts online. On , you can score one for $270. It’s also nice to buy directly from the manufacturer if you have fit or warranty issues. 

Helly Hansen Verglas Icefall jacket in blue
Helly Hansen / Helly Hansen

Obermeyer vs. Helly Hansen puffy jackets: which should you buy?

It’s a close competition between the Klaus down hoody and the Verglas Icefall down jacket. But we’d go for the . Here’s why.

By combining Down and Primaloft, the Verglas Icefall has the edge for cold weather warmth. Primaloft originated in military applications and stays warm even when wet. So, no matter the conditions, you can rest assured you’re good to go.

The Helly Hansen also has a slightly more tech-focused build, with sturdy YKK zippers, a brushed tricot chin guard, and an adjustable hood and hem. Its design-certified construction ensures you’re buying something with minimal environmental impact.

On the other hand, if you like minimalist, athletic styling, the Obermeyer Klaus down hoody is also a solid choice. Its clean appearance looks good at home on the slopes or out in the town. It also has plenty of performance when the mercury drops.

Puffy jackets are essential for warmth and function in high-altitude settings. Obermeyer and Helly Hansen both offer excellent choices, with the Klaus down hoody and Verglas Icefall jacket. While either one offers high-end performance, we give the edge to the Helly Hansen for its more focused design. Whichever you pick, you’ll be plenty warm in the high alpine.

Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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