Our take: For ski mountaineers and alpinists heading into unpredictable weather, the Helio’s two-part system crams serious versatility into one lightweight package. On the outside, a ripstop Dyneema shell, along with Gore-Tex and 40 grams of PrimaLoft’s top-shelf synthetic Gold insulation, kept our testers comfortable for all-day ascents in sloppy, chilly spring conditions down to 15°F when worn with the liners (right). The softshell liners sport a fleece interior, and have “the perfect blend of weight, warmth, and wind-resistance for springtime hiking and skiing on their own,” says one tester, a guide who used the Helio throughout a season of ice climbing and skiing in Chamonix, Whistler, and Colorado. The shell’s pliant goat leather palm made it easy to get a grip on ropes and shovel handles, and the liners survived 20 days of handling sharp skis and crampons without getting shredded. Tradeoffs: Testers reported loss of dexterity from slippage between the liner and shell when wearing them together, and the Helio is pricey.
Trail cred: “We left the Grands Mulets hut on Mt. Blanc at 3 a.m., and while my feet and legs were cold, my hands stayed relatively comfortable,” our tester says. “Skiing down that afternoon in the intense spring sun, it was a joy to pull the shells off and have a perfect spring glove ready to go.”
$200; 8.3 oz. (M); XS-XL