Gear Review: Helly Hansen Vancouver Rain Jacket

A $100 jacket which doesn't skimp on features.

[best features]

“The Vancouver is like a custom-fit fortress,” says one tester who wore it in sideways, blowing rain while scrambling across rimrock ledges in Hells Canyon. It’s made with tough 70-denier nylon and Helly’s proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane, but it’s the combination of cut and features that makes this jacket so storm-worthy.

Fit is among the best in the test; there’s ample coverage with room for layering, but no bagginess. And you can lock down the Velcro cuffs, tighten the hem drawcord, and cinch the hood snugly around your face to keep water out no matter how wicked the weather is or how high you reach.

Like most shells in this price range, breathability is limited during hard hiking, but the whole jacket is mesh-lined, which prevented the clammy membrane from sticking to testers’ skin. Hand pockets—positioned well above a pack’s hipbelt—can be left open for a modicum of venting.