Flattering, slim fit
Warm even when temps fall into the single digits
Leg vents allow you to shed heat
Expensive for the occasional skier
Only three pockets (two front, one back)
Skiing is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the snow during the winter. Whether you are hitting the slopes at a resort or climbing a nearby peak for some backcountry skiing, you’ll need a good pair of snow pants. Though it's not a household name, Helly Hansen has been making outdoor clothing for more than 140 years. The Norway-based company is known for its quality materials and construction, which make it a favorite among professional skiers and ski resort employees. We tested the company’s Legendary Ski Pant to see how well it stands up to the rigors of skiing in the Northeast. Find out why it quickly became our go-to pant for resort skiing.
Design: Classic, convenient style
The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant has a simple, classic design that pairs well with any outfit and looks good both on and off the slopes. Available in a variety of colors, ranging from a bright red to a basic black, the Legendary is streamlined with a subdued logo on the side of the leg that is barely noticeable. The outer fabric is durable but not rugged, while the inner lining is smooth polyester.
Like most good ski pants, the Legendary pant is wider at the bottom to accommodate a ski boot. The cut is just perfect to fit a boot, but it does not cross over into bell-bottom territory. You can wear it with a pair of regular boots and hardly notice the extra flare. There is no zipper at the bottom of the pant’s leg, but we never had any problem fitting the ski pant over a ski or snowboard boot. Other niceties include articulated knees for freedom of movement and a reinforced bottom hem and leg panel for added durability.
Pockets are essential on ski pants, and this is one area where the Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant falls a bit short compared to the competition, having only three. There are two zippered side pockets that are roomy enough to stash hand warmers or your keys. The back of the pant also features two pockets, but the left one is for looks only. We felt this was a strange design quirk considering you really can’t have too much storage on the slopes. The working right back pocket does have a zipper, which is conveniently covered by a flap to keep out the snow.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a peek at our guide to the best snowboard pants available.
Comfort: Lightweight, stretchy fabric that fits perfectly
Helly Hansen didn’t skimp on the Legendary pant when it comes to comfort. The pant includes an adjustable waist with belt loops so you can get the perfect fit around the middle. There’s also a front fly zipper with two snaps and one hook to ensure a snug fit that keeps the snow out even after a tough fall. An internal gaiter with grippy silicone liner fits securely into your boot and helps keep the snow out when you are busting through the powder.
The standout feature is the pant’s lightweight Helly Tech Performance stretch fabric that perfectly balances warmth with comfort. Most ski pants have a puffy feel, but not the Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant. The two-way dynamic stretch fabric provides a slim fit that is not too puffy and not too tight. It looks good and it feels good while wearing it. The material has just enough flex that you can bend and move without resistance from the fabric. The two-layer construction also stood up well for both resort skiing and other outdoor winter activities such as sledding and ice skating.
The Legendary pant’s standout feature is the lightweight Helly Tech Performance stretch fabric that perfectly balances warmth with comfort.
Performance: Stay warm and dry when the weather turns gnarly
The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant jumped to the top of our list of favorite ski pants thanks to its outstanding performance in wet weather and warmth in a range of temperatures. Though a lightweight pant, the 60 grams of Primaloft Black Insulation is plenty warm. We were warm with only the pant and a light underlayer even when the temps dipped into the low teens. When the temps climbed above freezing, we just unzipped the leg vents to let off some extra heat. Each zippered opening is covered with mesh allowing you to open the vent without fully exposing your legs.
The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant jumped to the top of our list of favorite ski pants thanks to its outstanding performance in wet weather and warmth in a range of temperatures.
The Legendary pant uses Helly Hansen’s Performance fabric, which is waterproof and breathable. We were comfortable and dry skiing in the snow, sleet, and rain. The only time the pants got clammy on the inside was when we decided to hike up a ski trail to loop a section and avoid a long chairlift ride. The leg vents helped let off some but not all of the steam that came from this extra physical exertion. All the seams are taped, and the YKK zippers are the Aqua Guard versions that are water-resistant.
Safety Features: Advanced technology when the unexpected occurs
Skiers don’t always stick to groomed trails—it can be fun to venture into the backcountry to explore new terrain. When you adventure outside the safe confines of a resort, there is a greater risk of injury from a fall or an avalanche. Like many outdoors manufacturers, Helly Hansen utilizes RECCO advanced rescue technology throughout its winter gear lineup. This system uses a small reflector that is permanently attached to clothing or gear and requires no batteries to operate. On the Legendary pants, you can find the module inside the hem near the gaiter. You wouldn't even know it was there unless you looked for it. When an accident occurs, search and rescue personnel use a handheld scanner that sends out a search signal. When in close proximity, the reflector in the ski pant then bounces back a directional signal that helps the rescuer find the reflector and the injured person who is wearing it.
Price: A worthwhile investment
The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant is not the most expensive ski pant on the market, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest either. The price tag is reasonable given the quality of the design and performance, but it is pricey for the occasional skier who only hits the slopes a few times per year. This ski pant is more of an investment for the regular skier who wants a quality piece of gear that’ll last for seasons to come.
Competition: Less expensive options for the occasional skier
We loved the Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant for resort skiing, but its insulating layer is not ideal when you work up a sweat. People who want to skin or hike up a hill should consider an uninsulated pant like the Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Ski Pant, which offers long leg vents, a comfortable stretchy fit that moves with you, and no insulation. We also realize not everyone wants to drop around $200 or more on a ski pant, especially if you only ski a few times per year. A less expensive option is the Columbia Bugaboo II pant, which is warm, stylish, and only costs $100 MSRP.
Still need help deciding? Check out our round-up of the best women’s ski pants.
The Helly Hansen Legendary Ski Pant is a solid choice for resort skiers who don’t mind paying a little extra for a comfortable ski pant that’ll keep them warm and dry throughout the ski season. Extras like RECCO rescue protection only add to the value of the pant.
- Product Name Legendary Ski Pant
- Product Brand Helly Hansen
- SKU 60364
- Price $200.00
- Color black, graphite blue, fir green, wild rose, Persian red, silk blue, white, grenadine, pink glow, princess purple, seabreeze, cinnamon, deep steel, magenta, racer blue, and rock in women’s; black, fir green, flag red, olympian blue, sweet lime, graphite blue, grenadine, and alert red for men
- Material 100% polyester with Helly Tech® Performance, 2-way Mechanical Stretch, and Primaloft® Black Insulation 60g
- Warranty Two years for material or manufacturing defect