Expert Review: Helly Hansen Men's Ridge Infinity Shell Bib Pants

Published on 11/30/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
Mitchell Ryan, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Mitchell Ryan

Looking back on Tuckerman's Ravine. All photos courtesy of Mitchell Ryan 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the pants, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.

My take

The Helly Hansen Men's Ridge Infinity Shell Bib Pants are a durable, lightweight, and breathable shell bib that excels in a variety of conditions; from warm spring days to snow storms in the dead of winter.

Right Gully

About the pants I own

  • Brand: Helly Hansen
  • Model: Men’s Ridge Infinity Shell Bib Pants
  • Size Fit: True to size

About me

  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 160lbs
  • Pant size: Medium
  • Experience: 15+ years of snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: January 2022
  • Days used: 10–15
  • Where I’ve used them Mount Washington, NH; Palisades, Alpine, CA; Killington, Sugarbush, Stratton, VT
  • Weather conditions used in: Variety of conditions, ranging from -30℉ windchill days to warm/wet spring days

How they perform

Ease of Movement

What I was looking for

I needed to upgrade my entire ‘apparel’ setup, from base layers to outer layers. I wanted gear that was lightweight, breathable, and efficient for a variety of conditions.

Why I chose this gear

I decided to buy the Helly Hansen Ridge Infinity Shell Bib Pants because they could be used in a wide range of conditions: spring (unzip those vents) as well as the dead of winter (throw some extra layers underneath). I was considering other shell pants, but I ultimately went for the bibs, as they offer additional protection from the elements (even without wearing a jacket).

Tuckerman's Ravine - Looking towards Lions Head

What I love about them

  • Fit: The Medium fits like technical gear should; not too baggy, but enough space to layer up underneath.
  • Comfort & Ease of movement: I barely notice the bibs on the mountain. They have a high range of motion, are lightweight, and have minimal stress pulling on the shoulder straps.
  • Warmth : As long as I have adequate layers underneath, they perform exceptionally well. I typically wear a merino wool baselayer, a merino/synthetic midlayer, and when it drops below 20°F, I throw on a down jacket. There is no insulation, as these are shell pants, so not warm alone. However, I have used these as a standalone outer layer on warm spring days.
  • Breathability & Waterproofing: Helly Hansen’s LIFA INFINITY membrane is extremely breathable and waterproof. While layering is important for warmth, it also plays a big role in breathability. I typically wear a merino baselayer and midlayer (for backcountry days I wear the merino baselayer and use a ‘removable’ down ¾ pant). The membrane alone performs extremely well, allowing me to breathe on hot days; and the zipper vents also help to dump excess heat/moisture out. On wet spring days, I can see the water beading on the surface.
  • Durability: There is little to no wear from typical use. Even when my ice axe accidentally swung into the bibs, I was surprised to see that there was only slight abrasion. Though the seams are somewhat rigid, compared to some lightweight shells.
  • Weight: Lightweight (the lightest pants that I’ve ever owned). Coming from using insulated pants that lost their waterproofing and easily soaked up sweat, these bibs do an exceptional job of getting rid of moisture (sweat) and preventing water from penetrating. Together, these ultimately make me (and my clothes) lighter at the end of the day. It may not seem like much, but it makes a difference.
  • Quality: Exceptional quality; no visible defects and every seam and stitch is intentional.
  • Special Features: They have a chest pocket that is the perfect size to store my phone on cold days.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Special Features: While they have a few pockets, I tend to use my backpack for most of my belongings. Since these pants are so breathable, if I do strenuous activities, like hiking or riding for extended periods, sweat escapes anywhere through the fabric (which is a good thing). However, in some cases I find my belongings in my pockets getting slightly damp.
  • Other: I wish there was a belt loop option to cinch the bibs around the waist.

Little Wear at Hem - small threads is you zoom in!

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment was in Mount Washington, NH—bootpacking and snowshoeing to ride some of my favorite backcountry lines. These pants drastically decreased my time to reach specific checkpoints throughout the hike. Being lightweight and incredibly breathable, I was able to keep pushing, without the need to stop and cool down (to prevent sweat buildup). It made me wonder why I didn’t purchase these bibs earlier.

Value for the money vs. other options

While I have only used these bibs for less than a season, I can already say that they are worth the money. There is little to no wear from typical use, as these bibs are bulletproof. I was concerned with other shell options, as they typically compromise durability to save weight, but these pants blend both exceptionally well. I was originally considering the Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Shell Bib Pants. They offer slightly better performance across the board, but were at a higher price point. At the time, Helly Hansen didn’t have the color I was looking for, however this year’s lineup has a new color panel. If I knew, I would have waited for this year’s Odin Mountain Shell Bib Pants.

Final verdict

This gear unlocks faster hiking/touring times, longer runs, and ultimately a better experience on the mountain due to its highly breathable and waterproof membrane.

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