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Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated Review

Warm and protective ski pants at a price that is hard to beat
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Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated Review (The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated has a relaxed fit that moves well and isn't too baggy.)
The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated has a relaxed fit that moves well and isn't too baggy.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi
Price:  $200 List
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Manufacturer:   Helly Hansen
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 17, 2024
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 19
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 5.0
  • Warmth - 10% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0
  • Style - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated ski pants provide great performance for an incredibly low price, and we think they are the best value on the market. They have plenty of warmth, weather resistance, and pockets for most days on the ski hill, and an articulated and well-tailored fit that is remarkably comfortable, considering the low price. They aren't the most stylish pants around, but they don't look bad, either. The small vents don't work that well, so these pants aren't useful for backcountry skiing, but the insulation is thin enough to work for aerobic skiing and inbounds bootpacking for short distances. Overall, these pants are perfect for those who ski a few weeks per winter, and for users who are hoping to save a lot of money compared to high-end pants. Everyday users will likely want more weather protection and better features. To see the rest of the options, head over to our best ski pants review.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable
Good warmth
Weather resistant
Inexpensive
REASONS TO AVOID
Bland style
Not super breathable
Pockets could be better

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Price $100.00 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line Plenty of performance for a low priceComfortable, flexible pants for ski touring and sunny days at the resortSolid insulated ski pants for a low priceDecent ski bibs for an excellent priceThese pants are warm and moderately weather resistant, but not very stylish
Rating Categories Helly Hansen Legend... Outdoor Research Tr... The North Face Free... The North Face Free... REI Co-op Powderbou...
Weather Resistance (25%)
7.0
5.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Fit and Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Ventilation (20%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Warmth (10%)
7.0
4.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
Features (10%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Style (10%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Helly Hansen Legend... Outdoor Research Tr... The North Face Free... The North Face Free... REI Co-op Powderbou...
Main fabric Polyester Nylon/Polyester/Spandex Recycled Nylon Recycled Nylon Nylon
Insulation Polyester None Recycled polyester Recycled polyester Recycled polyester
Waterproofing Helly Tech Ventia 3L Lower Legs DryVent 2L DryVent 2L 2-layer waterproof breathable laminate
Waistline construction Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Bibs Button zip fly with hook/loop adjustment
Weight (in pounds) 1.30 lbs 1.64 lbs 1.28 lbs 1.52 lbs 1.64 lbs
Weight (in grams) 590 g 744 g 581 g 689 g 744 g
# of Pockets 3 5 3 5 3
Vents Inner thigh zips Outer thigh zips Inner thigh zips Inner thigh zips Interior thigh zips
Ski-specific features Elastic Cuffs, Scuff Guards Elastic cuffs, scuff guard, transceiver pocket, gussetted ankle zipper Elastic cuffs, scuff guards Elastic cuffs, scuff guards Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, elastic waist
Recco No No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

These pants don't compromise in any particular metric and perform better than most ski pants on the market in every category. They don't excel anywhere in particular, but for the price, they are a solid choice.

Performance Comparison


helly hansen legendary insulated - ripping up the groomers on a cold day in the helly hansen legendary...
Ripping up the groomers on a cold day in the Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Weather Resistance


The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated uses a proprietary waterproof and breathable membrane called Helly Tech, which we have tested in other ski products over the years. These pants keep snow, wind, and rain at bay, though extended soaking in wet snow or rain will cause the fabric to wet out, especially after the DWR treatment wears off. That said, these pants are plenty weather-resistant for most skiers and snowboarders.


The two side pockets have waterproof zippers, and the seams are fully sealed, creating a water-tight package. The shell fabric itself is soft to the touch and occasionally wets out when subjected to extended soaking, but overall, we were impressed by its weather resistance.

helly hansen legendary insulated - a protective hardshell fabric and waterproof zippers provide enough...
A protective hardshell fabric and waterproof zippers provide enough weather protection in the Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Fit and Comfort


These pants are surprisingly comfortable. The Legendary Pants have an articulated fit that has a bend in the knees sewn into the cut. The pants are not too tight and not too loose through the waist and seat and have enough room in the thighs to allow for a wide range of motion without feeling too baggy.


The shell material is softer than other hard shells, which isn't great for weather resistance, but it makes for a comfortable user experience. The waist has two hook-and-loop straps to adjust the circumference, along with belt loops if you want to wear one.

helly hansen legendary insulated - the helly hansen legendary insulated has a relaxed fit that moves...
The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated has a relaxed fit that moves well and isn't too baggy.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Ventilation


If there is a weak spot in the performance of the Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated, it's ventilation. These pants have two small internal thigh vents, one on each leg. The openings are covered by mesh, which keeps snow out but also prevents some air motion. The vents aren't long enough to allow for much ventilation.


The shell fabric seems relatively breathable, but the thin synthetic insulation and liner fabric counteract the breathability of the pants. They aren't breathable enough for extended ski touring, but they are ventilated enough for short uptracks and bootpacks.

helly hansen legendary insulated - small mesh-lined vents in the inner thigh allow some air movement in...
Small mesh-lined vents in the inner thigh allow some air movement in the Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated, but not much.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Warmth


These pants have some synthetic insulation, but not as much as most insulated ski pants. We think they have the perfect amount of insulation to provide maximum versatility, and any more insulation would relegate them to use on only the coldest days of winter. That said, the Helly Hansen Legendary is warmer than any ski pants that don't have any insulation material.


In general, we prefer pants without insulation because it allows us to customize our warmth by wearing various thicknesses of long underwear, depending on the weather. The Legendary provides some insulation, but it also preserves our ability to customize the warmth of our lower body because the insulation it provides isn't very thick. The net result is a slightly insulated pair of pants that elevates our lower body warmth without controlling it outright.

helly hansen legendary insulated - the helly hansen legendary insulated's thin synthetic layer is all...
The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated's thin synthetic layer is all that's needed for superb warmth.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Features


The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated has enough features for a full day at the ski resort without being overburdened by them. There are two side pockets, each with a waterproof zipper, that allow the user to stash small items. There is also one rear pocket that can hold a wallet or similar small object. There are scuff guards around the inner parts of the ankles and internal elastic powder cuffs that prevent snow from entering the bottom of the legs.


Some pants have more features, but the set of extras on the Legendary is completely adequate and very similar to the features on the best pants on the market. Sure, some pants have more pockets, but in our experience, our pants don't need to have many pockets to be useful. If the pockets are in the right place, it's a major advantage, and the Legendary gets this part right.

helly hansen legendary insulated - two side pockets are the most useful ones on the helly hansen...
Two side pockets are the most useful ones on the Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Style


The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated has a decent style that isn't too basic nor too showy. It has a solid, above-average look thanks to its articulated cut and lack of baggy material. That said, it isn't anything special.


Most skiers like their ski pants to be relatively understated since they don't want their pants to be the center of attention on the slopes. These pants fit that description perfectly while looking good enough to blend in with any context. They aren't the best-looking ski pants on the market, but they are stylish enough, especially so given their low price.

helly hansen legendary insulated - we think these pants look good, with a relaxed, freeride style that...
We think these pants look good, with a relaxed, freeride style that isn't too tight and isn't too loose or baggy.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Should You Buy the Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated?


The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated provides excellent value to the average user in a world in which the price of ski apparel continues to skyrocket. These pants provide excellent performance for most recreational skiers who spend weekends (and the occasional holiday week) at the ski slopes. Unless you ski in the worst winter weather on a regular basis, these pants are all you'll ever need. That said, if you are a ski town local and spend most days on the hill or need a more protective pair of pants for intense winter storms, we'd recommend something with more weather protection.

helly hansen legendary insulated - the helly hansen legendary insulated is our go-to for daily resort...
The Helly Hansen Legendary Insulated is our go-to for daily resort runs.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

What Other Ski Pants Should You Consider?


If you like the idea of these pants but want even more insulation, The North Face Freedom Insulated is another favorite of our test team and is warmer than the Legendary Insulated while still being affordable. The Spyder Dare is also warm and affordable, but it's more form-fitting and has a polarizing style that isn't for everyone. If you're looking for a shell only, the Arc'teryx Sabre Pant is the best on the market.

Jeff Dobronyi