Pros: Quality construction, good water proofing and breath-ability, good number of pockets, thin lining for extra warmth, and stands out on the slopes
Cons: Styling may not be for everyone, velcro around zipper area can be a pain in the ass when tacking jacket off, size may run a little small.
The Helly Hanson Swift Jacket is a great shell that has really good water proofing and breath-ability. When I first got the jacket, I noticed that it seemed to be well made and designed to stand up to some harsh conditions. The jacket comes with a lot of features for the price. Features include:
- Hand gaters to stop snow from coming up the sleeves in powder
- Powder skirt
- Outside pass pocket and a couple of inside pockets
- Thin insulation lining for extra warmth
- and a detachable hood.
While I have not had a chance to test the jacket in any extreme conditions, I have worn it for a short period in moderate rain and the jacket kept me dry. I also had it out on the slopes and found the jacket very comfortable, warm, and not bulky at all. My movement was good in the jacket and it didn't feel like the jacket got in the way of any upper body movement. So far, I can say the jacket has kept me warm, dry and has not gotten in the way of my skiing. Pretty much everything I can ask for. Perhaps I will find some issues later in the season as the weather gets colder and conditions more extreme, but right now I'm very happy with the jacket.
One issue I saw in other reviews of Helly Hanson jackets is that their jackets tend to run small. For me the jacket fits perfectly and I've had no problem wearing a base layer, thin sweater and a vest on top of that underneath the jacket. However, I'm likely towards the small end of medium. I'm also only 5'6", so someone who is very tall may not like the fit of the jacket. Best bet is to support your local ski shop and get it some place where you can try it on to get the right fit for you.
One last note. If you want to stand out on the slopes and be easy to find, get the jacket in the Wasabi green color. It's almost, but not quite neon. That's the color of the one I got and I've gotten nothing but compliments on it, even though it does draw attention so much in that color.