The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo Review

Decent insulated ski pants for everyday use
Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo
Photo: Evo
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $200 List | $149.93 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Warm, weather resistant, comfortable fit
Cons:  Boxy, unremarkable style, poor ventilation
Manufacturer:   Helly Hansen
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 3, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 6
  • Ventilation - 20% 5
  • Warmth - 10% 7
  • Features - 10% 5
  • Style - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Helly Hansen SOGN is a decent insulated pant with all of the features you need for a long, cold day on the ski hill. It features plenty of synthetic insulation to keep you warm, enough weather resistance for most winter weather, and pockets to hold all of your belongings. We wish it had larger vents, as the interior thigh vents are small and minimally effective. Also, it doesn't take any style chances, with blocky color selections that aren't all that inspiring to our assessment team. The cut is neutral, straight, and relatively baggy, and we prefer a more contoured, athletic fit. Overall, these pants get the job done, but they don't excel in any individual attribute.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $149.93 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$329.40 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$179.37 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$148.83 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$209.30 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
58
74
72
70
68
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Warm, weather resistant, comfortable fitImmaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy liningGood weather resistance, fits great, plenty of ventilationFashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protectionWarm, comfy, weather resistant
Cons Boxy, unremarkable style, poor ventilationExpensive, light on featuresShell pants provide little warmth, short on features, muted styleMesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistlesSmall vents, snug fit, racer style
Bottom Line Good warmth and decent weather resistance in a daily driverExcellent ski pants in every regard, and you'll pay for itNot the most stylish bibs, but they are very comfortable and keep weather outGreat ski pants for a variety of applications and a wide range of skiers and ridersIf warmth is a primary concern, check out these ski pants
Rating Categories Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo Arc'teryx Sabre AR Pant Outdoor Research Carbide Bib Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Spyder Dare GTX
Weather Resistance (25%)
6
9
8
9
8
Fit And Comfort (25%)
6
8
8
7
6
Ventilation (20%)
5
7
8
5
5
Warmth (10%)
7
4
4
6
10
Features (10%)
5
4
6
6
7
Style (10%)
6
9
6
8
6
Specs Helly Hansen SOGN... Arc'teryx Sabre AR... Outdoor Research... Patagonia Powder... Spyder Dare GTX
Main fabric 100% Polyamide with DWR Finish N80p-X Gore-Tex with Cordura Nylon 3L cuff fabric 100% nylon 40D 4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L Polyester plain weave 2L
Insulation Primaloft Laminated fleecy lining None Hanging mesh lining 40 g Primaloft Silver Eco synthetic
Waterproofing DWR coating N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer) Pertex Shield 3L Gore-Tex w/ DWR finish (2-layer) Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer)
Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?) Button zip fly Snaps. Built-in elastic belt Bibs Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders
Weight (in pounds) 1.30 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.64 lbs 1.67 lbs 1.79 lbs
Weight (in grams) 590 g 599 g 744 g 756 g 812 g
# of Pockets 4 3 3 4 5
Vents? Interior thigh zips Exterior thigh zips, no mesh Exterior thigh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Inner thigh zips, with mesh
Ski-specific features Elastic powder cuffs, adjustable waist Key/pass clip inside pocket, touring cuff, scuff guards Bibs, power strap-compatible cuffs, beacon pocket, scuff guards Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, attach to matching jacket's powder cuff Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, cuff zipper
Recco? Yes Yes No Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Across the board, we were neither inspired by nor disappointed with the performance of the SOGN Cargo. It reminds us of the run-of-the-mill ski pants that we see on most people at the ski resort.

Performance Comparison


The Helly Hansen SOGN making powder turns in Jackson Hole.
The Helly Hansen SOGN making powder turns in Jackson Hole.
Photo: sam willits

Weather Resistance


The Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo features a proprietary waterproof membrane that performed fairly well in our testing. After 5 minutes in the shower, our legs were dry, but we could tell that the DWR coating was starting to wear off. We didn't experience any rain during our test period, but during long, wet days on the hill, we would expect these pants to wet out by the end of the day. While this isn't a big deal, don't expect the same level of weather resistance as pants that use Gore-tex.

The SOGN is waterproof, but the material wets out before too long...
The SOGN is waterproof, but the material wets out before too long. This can be uncomfortable on long wet chairlift rides.
Photo: sam willits

Fit and Comfort


These pants feature a neutral fit, similar to most other ski pants. They have a straight cut without articulation and are relatively baggy through the thighs and knees. This allows for a wide range of motion, but sometimes they feel like they have too much extra fabric that gets in the way. They are comfortable to wear and feature elastic waist adjustment straps, in addition to belt loops, to get the waist fit perfect. The sizing is a tad on the large side, so if you are on the fence about which size to order, go small. The interior material is comfortable, and the insulation makes them feel cozy. The external shell fabric is relatively soft and supple compared to hardshell fabrics.

The fit of the SOGN Cargo is relatively straight and neutral, and on...
The fit of the SOGN Cargo is relatively straight and neutral, and on the looser side of average.
Photo: sam willits

Ventilation


The SOGN features small, internal thigh leg vents, which don't provide that much ventilation. The length of these vents is shorter than average, and inner leg vents generally provide less airflow than outer leg vents, in our experience. Combined with the insulation, these pants don't offer as much opportunity for ventilation as many other pants on the market. If you live in a warm winter climate, or do a lot of bootpacking or aerobic mogul skiing, you may find yourself wishing for a more ventilated pant.

We are unimpressed with the small size of the inner thigh vents on...
We are unimpressed with the small size of the inner thigh vents on this model.
Photo: sam willits

Warmth


The Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo is a decently warm pair of pants. It contains plenty of synthetic insulation to keep you warm during cold ski days, and synthetic insulation retains its warming properties even when wet. Other pants are warmer, but in general, we don't prefer too much insulation on our lower bodies, which are more resistant to cold weather than our torsos. In our opinion, this amount of insulation is about right for ski pants. If they were any warmer, they would become less versatile.

The insulation in the Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo is plenty to keep your...
The insulation in the Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo is plenty to keep your lower body warm.
Photo: sam willits

Features


The SOGN Cargo has relatively limited features, despite what its name suggests. There are two zippered waist pockets and one zippered thigh pocket. On the rear of the pant, there are two "cargo" flaps, but only one flap has a pocket underneath, and this pocket is closed with velcro, making it almost useless. We don't use rear rockets that much on the ski hill anyhow because they interfere with our comfort on chairlift rides. They have an adjustable waist and internal elastic powder cuffs to keep snow out of your boots, but they don't have a scuff guard. We anticipate that the pants will wear out around the inside of the cuffs before too long.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Style


These pants are neutrally styled and don't stick out in a crowd. All of the color options are some variation of grey or black, with the exception of a solid orange option. These aren't terribly inspiring, and the straight, loose cut of the pants won't win any fashion shows. Most skiers aren't looking to turn heads on the ski slopes or in chairlift lines, and if you want to blend into a crowd, these are a good option. But if you are looking for more of a fashion statement in your ski pants, look elsewhere.

The SOGN features a somewhat bland and uninteresting style. Many...
The SOGN features a somewhat bland and uninteresting style. Many skiers like that, but our testers tend to look for bold and classy styles.
Photo: sam willits

Value


These pants are fairly priced and fall into the middle of the pack for affordability in ski pants. They provide all you need in a pair of resort skiing pants, and while they won't turn heads for style or fit, they get the basic job done in providing a warm and dry environment for the lower body. We aren't amazed by the construction of the pants, but we don't have any serious concerns about durability either, other than the inside of the pant cuffs, which don't have a stiff fabric scuff guard and are likely to wear out ahead of the rest of the pant.

Conclusion


In general, the Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo pants are good yet unremarkable. They get the basic job done of keeping us warm and dry all day on the ski hill. In wet conditions, they will probably wet-out and become uncomfortable to wear, but otherwise, they do just fine on most resort days. If you like the unremarkable style and color options of this pair and are looking for a daily driver for use at the ski area, these aren't a bad choice. But if you are looking for high-end pants that will stand up to all conditions and levels of aerobic output, you can do better.

The Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo pants are a solid pair that get the job...
The Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo pants are a solid pair that get the job done for most days on the ski hill. Otherwise, they are unremarkable.
Photo: sam willits

Jeff Dobronyi