The Helly Hansen Paramount Insulated softshell is a warm and comfortable jacket. It has some skier specific features, but in a casual package that you could wear every day.
Matt’s Specs: Sizing Info
Waterproofing and Breathability: The Helly Hansen Paramount Insulated softshell has a DWR water resistant coating, but isn’t waterproof. The jacket is relatively breathable, but with 100g of insulation you’re probably not going to be wearing it for warm ascents.
Warmth: The Helly Hansen Paramount Insulated softshell has 100g of Primaloft Black insulation. This is definitely starting to get on the heavy side, and the paramount could work well for those in a cooler climate. I find insulated softshells interesting though, and maybe they won’t be for everyone. Skiers will often choose softshells for superior breathability, but they often lack the waterproofing you get in a hardshell. Adding insulation to the jacket will make you heat up faster and breathability suffers. You’re not going to be using this as you’re backcountry jacket on warm ascents, so why go with a softshell over hardshell? They do often feel more comfortable, and some skiers may see that as reason enough.
Fit and Feel: The Helly Hansen Paramount fits smaller than I expected. They say it has a slightly longer cut, but I actually thought the jacket was really short. I also found it pretty tight for a medium. I’d suggest sizing up unless you like a tighter fit. The feel is good, but not as comfortable as I might expect. It doesn’t feel quite as soft as I had hoped, and the material doesn’t feel stretchy. I don’t mind no stretch, but it makes the jacket feel a bit restricting.
Features: The Helly Hansen Paramount has a fixed contoured hood, but again I found it a bit tight. The front hand warming pockets are placed pretty high, making them accessible when wearing a backpack, but they also seem a bit small. Inside the jacket is pretty basic. It does not have snow skirt, or ventilation.
Bottom Line: The Helly Hansen Paramount is an insulated softshell that is warm, but doesn’t have the waterproofing you’d find in higher end hard shells. It’s breathability is okay, but seems to suffer a bit because of all the insulation. I think it could be a good jacket for skiers that want the comfort of a softshell, and need warmth, but care less about waterproofing, breathability, and don’t need a lot of skier specific features.