While the Helly Hansen Legendary Pants are certainly well-made and well-constructed, their premium name more reflects the brand’s storied history rather than the pant’s performance. Even so, they are a solid resort option that will keep you warm, dry, and skiing all day long.
- Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
- Best for: Men and women skiers of all ability levels who want a ski pant that will keep them fresh and dry in both light and slightly tumultuous conditions.
- Pros: These pants come from a trusted brand with above-average quality and design. Excellent features include the strong waterproofness and relaxing comfort. There are many color options available as well.
- Cons: They are on the expensive side for ski pants, but still well worth it if you want guaranteed reliability and performance. Price may be a limiting factor for beginner skiers or anyone on a budget.
- Alternatives: North Face Freedom Pants, Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo Pants, Burton Covert Pants
Why Trust Me
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I’ve skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. One of my good friends has the Helly Hansen Legendary Pants. I asked him about his experience and researched the pants through many other sources to conduct my review.
Helly Hansen is a well known cold-weather gear brand. When a company as trusted as them describes a product as legendary, you expect it to be just that. These pants live up to and exceed that standard, earning high marks across the board. They provide everything you want or need out of ski pants. With multiple color options and fits for both men and women skiers, they are versatile as well.
Before we take a more in-depth look at the Legendary’s build, we first need to break down how well they do their job. The pants more than deliver in a variety of on-snow applications. They are built to be strong and comfortable, and are able to hold up to any sort of weather condition that comes their way.
I found the pants to be effective at keeping snow and wind away from my lower half while offering plenty of flexibility and comfort. They have a good amount of insulation, but not too much so you will overheat if you run hot. I had a pretty decent powder day in these pants and they never got too wet or saturated. They effectively kept the deep snow out and away from my legs and waist.
Another aspect of these pants that stands out performance-wise is their rugged build and durability. They are built to last, which translates into a pant that you can keep using for many seasons without worry. I took a pretty decent spill on an icey run and didn’t notice a single blemish. I also have a friend who has been wearing the same set of Legendary Pants for almost three seasons and they still look brand new.
Warmth and Weather-Resistance
Two characteristics that are an absolute must for any ski pants are warmth and water-resistant. The Legendary Pants provide plenty of both. They will effectively keep you both warm and dry no matter what sort of winter conditions you find yourself in. Even in deep powder that piled up on the lower half of my legs, these pants didn’t let in any moisture and held their warmth through blowing wind and snow.
The warmth comes from the 60-gram Primaloft insulation that combines the necessary insulating properties with a lightweight design that blocks out the cold without weighing you down. I tend to overheat if I wear pants with too much insulation, but had no such issues here. The pants are designed to provide just enough warmth to keep you toasty at all times. If you run really cold though, you might want more insulation.
Wind and waterproofing created by the Helly Tech Performance fabric are built directly into the pant’s membrane. This brand-specific technology is effective and will give you years of protection against the elements. That creates a waterproof and breathability rating of 10,000. That’s an amazing combination that works to keep you warm and dry, but also prevents you from overheating.
Fit and Function
If there’s a downside to these pants, it’s their fit. However, do note that I have pretty wide things that are difficult to contain in just about any ski pants. I found the Legendary Pants to be just a bit restrictive and I needed to make sure my belt was on securely to keep them from getting out of place.
That being said, they are constructed with a regular fit that should work well for most skiers. The built-in waistband adjustment gives you an extra means of security on top, while the Polyester 2-way stretch fabric allows for good movement in many different positions. The fabric also means it’s unlikely you’ll ever blow the crotch or seat out. They even have articulated knees that add another area for increased movement.
The Legendary Pants also have fully sealed seams that act as another line of defense against wind and snow alongside boot gaiters to keep powder from getting in your boots. Inner thigh vents allow you to open a zipper for a little extra airflow when needed, and you’ll also have two front pockets and a back pocket to stash your small items. The zippers have built-in YKK water resistance as well.
Price and Value
The Helly Hansen Legendary Pants come highly recommended due to their comfortable fit. That then works with their other additional features to provide great value in a range of different ways. They aren’t a budget option by any means, but the construction makes them more than worth the investment.
The Helly Hansen brand recognition and supreme durability also add to the cost. You can get your hands on some cheaper ski pants, but there’s a good chance you’ll burn through those in a single season if you ski hard. If you want something that will last, the Legendary Pants more than deliver.
What I Like
These are a great set of ski pants. Their high performance across different weather conditions is excellent and they do an effective job of keeping out the wind in a way that allows you to plow through deep snow. On top of that, they are breathable and have built-in zippered thigh vents to offer increased airflow if you’re skiing in the spring or just run hot like I do.
These pants are also amazing when it comes to durability. They are built to last and come with the backing of a high-quality brand in Helly Hansen. That means you’ll be able to ski on these pants for several seasons without worrying about if they’re going to fall apart. Reinforced hems, boot gaiters, and fully sealed seams all help add a durable and long-lasting nature to these pants.
The Legendary Pants also come in a variety of colors, sizes, and fits. That gives them a universal appeal that will work for a wide variety of skiers. You don’t need to be an expert skier to benefit from quality ski clothing, and these pants are an amazing option for just about anyone.
What I Don’t Like
The likes here far outweigh the dislikes, but I will say that the Legendary Pants aren’t the best fitting option for those with thick thighs. I encountered this small issue when I tried them out for a few days. They weren’t completely restrictive, but they didn’t give me the freedom I wanted between the knee and the waist. It wasn’t terribly noticeable and didn’t affect my day, but it was something I didn’t like.
I would also have liked to see at least one additional pocket. The ones built into the pants function well and can hold a decent amount of stuff. However, a cargo pocket or zippered side pocket would truly give you the ability to pack an extra beanie or some snacks.
If you’re looking for an alternative option to the Helly Hansen Legendary Pants, take a look into any or all of the following:
- North Face Freedom Pants – These are another quality ski pant option from a well-known brand. I tend to like Helly Hansen products over North Face, but the Freedom Pants are a little more affordable and will give you excellent wind and snow protection. They have the same amount of insulation as the Legendary pants, but seem a bit bulkier.
- Helly Hansen SOGN Cargo Pants – These are another great option from Helly Hansen, but they have a few more pockets than the Legendary Pants. These are not built to quite the same standard as the Legendary, and they only feature a 5,000 waterproof/breathability rating. However, they are a bit cheaper and still do a great job on the slopes.
- Burton Covert Pants – These are technically snowboarding pants, but they’re still functional for anyone who wants some extra freedom. Another quality name brand snow pant that’s built to last and effective all over the mountain.
Do the Legendary Pants come in different sizes and colors?
Yes. They have several sizes available in both men’s and women’s fit. There are also several different color options to match your ski style.
I ripped my Legendary Pants, will Helly Hansen fix them?
Yes. As long as it falls within the 2-year warranty. Just know the protection only applies to damage caused by normal use or a defect, and not an accident like a fall or tree snag.
Will these pants work for backcountry skiing?
Yes. They feature excellent wind and snow protection, decent insulation, and plenty of breathability. That makes them a solid choice for your backcountry skiing adventures.
The Helly Hansen Legendary Pants are a top choice for many skiers, and for good reason. They are a great pair of ski pants. Backed by a long-standing brand and built to last for years of steady skiing, the pants will meet and exceed the needs of many skiers. They aren’t a budget option, but are more than worth it for the performance, comfort, and durability they offer.