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Hands-on Gear Review

Helly Hansen Duchy Review


Ski Jacket for Women

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: March 16, 2013
Price:   $330 List
Pros:  Comfortable, warm, stylish, Recco technology
Cons:  Not many color selections, a bit short, no large interior pockets
Manufacturer:   Helly Hansen
Review by: Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 16, 2013  
Product Discontinued
This jacket has been discontinued. Check out our complete Women's Ski Jacket Review for alternatives to the Duchy like the Patagonia Primo Down Jacket - Women's, which wins our Editors' Choice Award.
Patagonia Primo Down Jacket
Credit: Patagonia

The Helly Hansen Duchy Jacket is a great all around ski jacket for the resort. It is comfortable, warm, and has all the ski features you could want, including comfy wrist gaiters and pass pocket. We chose the Duchy for the Top Pick award because it has ample style and, is made from quality materials, and is a good value for a single jacket at $330. It also includes the Recco advanced rescue technology as a valuable safety feature. We wish there were a few more large interior pockets for storing goggles or snacks but otherwise we thought the Duchy was a good value and don't have many complaints.

RELATED: Our complete review of ski jackets - women's

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


This jacket kept us warm and cozy on the lifts. It has a thick outer shell that feels very wind-proof, and has a thin layer of Primaloft insulation as well as a fleecy back liner. We think the Duchy is slightly warmer than the Obermeyer Josie but not as warm as the Patagonia Primo Down Jacket - Women's or the Helly Hansen Enigma - Women's, but it's roomy enough to wear with another mid-layer for those extra cold days.

Water Resistance

This jacket's thick outer shell tested high in the water resistance category. The water beaded and stayed beaded for several minutes on the fabric without soaking in. Helly Hansen's "Helly Tech" performance fabrics are fully seam sealed and waterproof.


We went out on a warm day at the ski hill to test this jacket and didn't feel sweaty or damp at all, so we think it is pretty breathable. This jacket also has pit zips to open for extra venting on hot days or days when you're working hard in deep powder.

Ski Features

The Duchy incorporates excellent ski features. The Duchy and the Enigma are the only jackets in this review that have the Recco avalanche rescue technology embedded in them and we think this is a significant safety feature as skiers are pushing their limits more in bounds and leaving the ski area boundaries more frequently. Check out our Buying Advice for more info about Recco.

We also really like the stretchy, comfortable wrist gaiters along with the zippered cuff design. There are several useful interior and exterior pockets, although we would have liked a larger interior pocket for stowing goggles or other large items. It had a good sized hood and a grippy, stowable powder skirt.


This jacket fits well and looks good. It has simple, stylish lines that look athletic but also feminine and flattering. We wish that the jacket came in more colors (it only comes in 3: black, white, and purple). We found that the white jacket showed dirt quickly, especially around the collar and sleeves.

Comfort and Fit

This jacket is very comfortable and relatively roomy. The Duchy is lined with a silky nylon material in the sleeves and a soft collar material that keeps your chin protected from chafing. We thought that the lining materials were soft to the touch and made the jacket easy to put on and take off. We did find that the jacket was a bit short in the torso and would have liked a few more inches to protect our mid section when we raised our arms. The Helly Hansen sizing chart has a broad range but our "medium" sized tester's dimensions fit right in the middle. The jacket felt true to size. We were able to fit another layer under this jacket if we needed, but it was not too bulky without a mid-layer.

Best Application

This jacket is great for resort skiing in any kind of weather. It is warm enough to stand alone with just a base layer on warm days, or can be worm with an insulating mid-layer on cold and stormy days. You could also get away with wearing this jacket for other winter activities such as snowshoeing or winter walks.


This jacket is high quality and comes at a relatively affordable price of $330. The Duchy jacket is a great value because it gives you all the ski features you could want, looks good, and is well constructed.

Other Versions

Helly Hansen has several other similar women's ski jackets at the same price point, including the Stratten, the Swift, the Velocity and the Blanche jackets. The Swift and Velocity jackets come in men's versions as well.

Jessica Haist

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: March 16, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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Helly Hansen Dutchy
Credit: Helly Hansen
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