Expert Review: Helly Hansen Men's Sogn Shell Bib Pants

Published on 02/22/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2023.
Clint Hobbs, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Clint Hobbs

An epic start to the morning at Jackson Hole. I got to watch the sunrise while the Tram descended to the base....bucket list stuff! All photos courtesy of Clint Jackson

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bib pants, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2023.

My take

The Helly Hansen Men’s Sogn Shell Bib Pants are a well-priced bib that is durable, comfortable, and easy to get on and off. This bib will keep one dry on the snowiest days and offers great ventilation for warm days.

This was a great bluebird day at Jackson Hole after two straight days of snow.

About the pants I own

  • Brand: Helly Hansen
  • Model: Men's Sogn Shell Bib Pants
  • Size Fit: Runs a little small (European cut)

About me

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 200lbs
  • Pant size: 33
  • Experience: 25 years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: January 2023
  • Days used: 12
  • Where I’ve used them: Jackson Hole, Grand Targhee, Winter Park, Copper
  • Weather conditions used in: Whiteout Blizzards, sunny days, and cold days (0 degrees).

How they perform

Durability
5/5
Comfort
4/5
Ease of Movement
4/5
Waterproofing
4/5
Breathability
3/5
Warmth
3/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a durable set of bibs to replace my ripped pair. I also needed something that was going to be waterproof because I am a big storm chaser and love slushy spring days. As a snowboarder, I sit down a lot to strap in and have had some issues with my butt getting wet in other pants. My third requirement was that they had a full zipper, allowing me to get in and out of the bibs easily.

A gorgeous day of spring like conditions at Winter Park.

Why I chose this gear

I chose this gear by walking into a retail store and feeling the thickness of materials on all the bibs on display. It was a tough choice between the FlyLow Baker Bib and these. I chose the Sogn Shell Bibs because of the large zipper in the front and the ease of getting into and out of the bibs. This feature was a real standout when looking at other bibs because most bibs have a side zipper to get in and out, not a front zipper.

This was an epic first day of our trip where we woke up to a snow storm and it didn't stop for 2 days!

What I love about them

  • Comfort: Although these bibs fit a little tighter, they are quite comfortable because of the stretchy fabric/gentler interior feel of the fabric.
  • Waterproofing: As a snowboarder, I have had some problems with my butt getting wet after a long day. These bibs have been great so far, and after 10+ days, they have not lost any waterproofing at all. Helly Hansen nailed it with the waterproofing on these pants.
  • Durability: I ride a lot of glades and rocky areas. I have bushwhacked through many trees with these bibs, and they have not only held up well but show no signs of heavy bushwhacking. No scratches, scuffs, or abrasions at all because of the thicker material that these bibs are designed with.
  • Weight: These bibs are a little heavier due to the layering used. However, when I put these on, I never feel like they are heavy or weigh me down.
  • Ease of movement: The fabric is stretchy enough to get my knees up to waist level when hiking steep terrain, and I never feel held back by the ease of movement.
  • Quality: The price may be deceiving, but these are high-quality bibs. The material is durable and waterproof, and the pants have great zippers. The zipper pockets have waterproof zippers, which is a nice touch.
  • Special Features: My favorite feature of these bibs is being able to get in and out of them easily and go to the bathroom easily as well. The big front zipper lets me get the top half of my bibs off my body quickly while not having to make weird twisting motions as I have with side-zip bibs.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Fit: The fit on these bibs is a little tight. The fit is a little more European than American, but I fit into a size large nicely, which is what I normally wear.
  • Warmth: These are shell bibs, which means no insulation. I tend to run warm-blooded and have no issues with warmth if I layer properly for the conditions. My ideal temp to have no layers underneath is 30 degrees in these bibs.
  • Breathability: These bibs do not breathe the best, and the material is a little bit thicker. If they had an inner and outer vent, I would rank these bibs a 5 out of 5. However, with only one vent on the outside, I rank these bibs a 3 out of 5 for breathability.

After 12 days of riding the wear is non-existent. Great durability!

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with these bibs was an awesome powder day at Jackson Hole. It started at 7 a.m. with me observing a ski patroller on the first tram of the day. Once we got to the top, I was outfitted with some avalanche gear, and then we made our way to the ridge that we needed to hike and clear for safety. After a 20-minute hike in waist-deep snow, I opened my vents and let my legs cool off a bit. Then we got to drop into some untouched chutes, and I had many face shots and hoots on my way down. Then I rode the entire day till 4 p.m. and caught the last chair also. These bibs held up to waist-deep powder the entire day, let my legs cool off when needed, and easily carried my phone/snacks. I never got wet or ripped my pants on rocks/trees.

Value for the money vs. other options

The value of one’s money for these bibs is incredible. For the price, it is tough to see what beats these bibs. The only comparable option is The North Face Freedom Bibs. However, I would gladly pay around $350 for these bibs because of the waterproof zippers and durable material. The FlyLow Baker Bibs were a tough runner-up because they are very similar and offer more pockets. I did not get the Baker bibs because they do not offer a large front zipper and are harder to get in and out of.

Final verdict

The Helly Hansen Men's Sogn is a bib that keeps one dry, their wallet full, and up to all conditions. These bibs have seen 12 heavy days of use and are not backing down from anything I throw at them.

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