So I needed a new mid layer jacket and found a good deal on the Helly Hansen Paramount soft shell jacket last Spring.The Paramount is advertised as warm, windproof and waterproof and that is precisely why I was making this purchase.
The easiest way to see the difference between the better quality soft shells and the lower quality ones is to touch and feel them. The Helly Hansen is definitely on the higher quality side, as it has a very nice feel to it.
This Helly Hansen has the HH emblem stiched on the breast and Helly Hansen spelled vertically on the left sleeve. I don’t mind it as the block letter call outs are small enough that they are more on the sporty side then a loud advertisement. Some people may not like it however.
The front zipper is backed with a wind flap to keep out drafts and the wrists have a curved, wrist conforming rubber strap with Velcro to adjust the cuff opening. The zippers have rubbery tipped pull cords, which have a cmooth, comfortableÂ feel when grasping them.
As for the inside, the wind flap is lined with soft fleece along with the upper portion of the inside of the jacket, which includes the arms. The fleece lined wind flap wraps over the top of the zipper on the collar so it is not abrasive on your chin when you have it fully zipped.
With the fleece lining in each sleeve and with short sleeves on, the jacket arms are very comfortable. The pocket liners are mesh, which helps to keep the weight down and also aids in not retaining much water when it gets wet.
The Paramount is designed to have a close fit and I can confirm that it does have that. I am 5’9″, 165lbs and fit pretty darn well in the large Paramount. The sleeve length fit well for my average length arms. The body of the jacket tapers from the shoulders to the waist giving a non-bulky athletic fit.
Around the waist on either side are elastic draw cords which cinch to tighten the waist at micro adjustment levels if needed. I only have one slight issue for sizing and that is in the shoulders. Mine are a little on the broad size, so the Paramount is a little snug at times . This would limit my layering ability and make me choose wisely what I wear under the jacket.
Since the Paramount is waterproof and windproof, you could use it for mild winter climates, but I would think about upsizing so you could layer.
There are three pockets. Two hand pockets are just above the waist and there’s one Napoleon chest pocket on the left side. The hand pockets are slightly oversized, so they are ample size for gloves, keys, etc. Although if you filled them up with your non essentials, you will definitely lose that sporty look.
Likewise, the Napoleon pocket is on the larger size as well and also has a mesh backing with the same rubberized pull cord on the zipper. Since the hand pockets sit low, a backpack waist strap would interfere with their functionality.
So, for my overall impression, I give the Helly Hansen Parmount jacket a 4 out of 5. All the seams are tight and the workmanship is of high quality. The Paramount is comfortable, has a good overall fit, although it did not get 5 stars since it is a little narrow for me in the shoulders. It is sporty looking and also functional and I am happy with this purchase.