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First impressions when testing the Helly Hansen Ridge Shell jacket were that this could be one of our favourite jackets. Would a full test bear that out?

hh ridge shell womens
Overall Score
A good design that works really well and looks good too - what more do you want?
Perhaps the hand gaiters could be a tad more stretchy...

We got to test the Ridge Shell in Beaver Creek at the back end of last season and had to be prised out of it at the end of the day, because it simply does its job very, very competently as well as looking pretty damned good too.

Designed in conjunction with pro freeskiers around the world, the Ridge Shell (known as the Aurora Shell in the women's version) is built around a Helly Tech Professional 3L fabric with a new waterproof and windproof 'FLOW' membrane which has excellent breathability - we used it in very warm spring sunshine and never had any overheating problems. It's also DWR treated and fully seam-sealed to add that bit of extra weather protection.

The cut is on the long side, and the fit is relaxed, which actually creates a pretty stylish looking jacket. The zipped chest and hand pockets are designed to be accessible whatever kind of pack you're wearing, and you also get a zipped lift pass pocket on the upper left sleeve and a large, zipped mesh inner pocket (interestingly described in Helly Hansen's PR material as an 'internal pocket for giggles with googles wiper'...).

The hood is generously sized to be helmet compatible and gave us our only minor quibble with the Ridge Shell in that peripheral vision isn't the best when you pull it up over a beanie or bare head.

Additional features include snug wrist gaiters, a jacket-pant compatible powder skirt and big, glove-friendly cuff adjusters which, despite being a relatively small thing, were one of our favourite features.

The Ridge Shell is a great and stylish buy whether you want to cruise the groomers or hit the backcountry.

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