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  • Icebreaker - Helix Down Jacket - Men's -
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  • Icebreaker - Helix Down Jacket - Men's -

Icebreaker Helix Down Jacket - Men's

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7 Reviews


Lightweight warmth with city-ready styling.

The Icebreaker Men's Helix MerinoLoft Jacket is an excellent midlayer to ski in as well as a stylish jacket for the city streets. MerinoLoft insulation makes this one of Icebreaker's warmest jackets available, and it still retains a light weight for extra comfort. The recycled shell resists water for snowy days in the city, and merino/Lycra-blended sides ensure a full range of motion. Icebreaker also added thumbholes and stretch bindings at the hem and collar to seal out cold drafts.

  • Water-resistant recycled shell
  • Merino/Lycra-blended side panels
  • MerinoLoft insulation
  • Thumbholes
  • Stretch binding at collar and hem
  • Item #ICE006P

Tech Specs

[body] recycled polyester, [side panels] 39% merino wool, 45% nylon, 16% Lycra, [lining] wool
MerinoLoft wool
2 zippered hand
Recommended Use
layering, skiing, winter casual
Manufacturer Warranty
limited lifetime

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Seems great! Ultimately returned it.

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: M
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Weight: 170lbs

I purchased this layer, along with a Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic jacket. The Helix is well-constructed, and warms up quickly while remaining breathable. I ultimately returned it for a few reasons:
1. The Helix lacks packability, and does not store into its own pocket. This feature was important to me for use as a pillow when camping and convenience to carry when climbing. The Helix is also heavier than the MH Thermostatic, though more than made up for this with its warmth-to-weight ratio.
2. The sleeves were a tad short, making use of the thumb loops awkward. For comparison, I am 5'10", 170-ish lb with a 42 inch chest, 32 inch waist and tried a size M. The jacket looked stylish and fit well otherwise.
3. Perhaps this resulted from the improper fit, but I found my range of motion somewhat limited by the jacket. As I purchased this for use while hiking and climbing, this was a point against the jacket. If your measurements are similar to mine, I might recommend ordering a medium and a large to compare the fit.

This would be a great layer to own for its more intended purpose of skiing, hiking, and casual usage. I was looking for a climbing/hiking/casual layer, and ultimately went with a layer more geared toward my needs. I wish the Helix would have worked better for my purposes; I had hoped to test the durability of Icebreaker's MerinoLoft tech.


Warm, Comfortable and Stylish

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large
  • Height: 5'7"
  • Weight: 200lbs

I have a problem with buying lots of jackets. One of my favorite jackets is my Marmot feather sweater however I wanted something that wasn't so bulky but also provided substantial insulation. I have always liked fleece for its ability to keep me warm however I feel like I am wearing a plastic bag, fleece mid layers were out. As I mentioned, I wanted something not as bulky, while I like the insulating ability and warmth of PrimaLoft, it is similar in bulk with down, a PrimaLoft puffy was also out. This got me thinking, one of my favorite layering pieces is my Ibex wool vest, maybe someone made a jacket that was wool, and then I found this jacket.

My favorite feature of this jacket is that it lays so flat and close to your body, my second favorite feature is the stretchiness of the jacket. There is just enough stretch in this jacket that you never feel restricted. This jacket is also light enough and to me, I forget it is there most of the time under my shell.

The Helix jacket is a warm mid-layer or stand alone, walk the dog, go out to eat kind of jacket that is also stylish. This is one of my favorite pieces and one of my most used pieces as well. While it is pricey, it is worth its weight in gold and I highly recommend it.

You'll like the way you look

    This jacket is form fitting, but not in a bad way. I'm 5'10" 180 lbs and the medium fits perfect. It looks very good but is also very functional. Adequate warmth to around freezing temps. Dries pretty quickly after getting wet. This is my new go to jacket. Freakin love it.


    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: small
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 150lbs

    I have been using the Icebreaker Helix jacket for over a month now and really love it. I have used it from walking the dog to mountaineering and it has performed well for every task. Overall it is pretty light for the size and dries fast. The merino lining on the inside is key. Not only is the lining soft to the touch but it helps wick moisture and keeps odors away. Much warmer than other synthetics in the same weight category.

    Layers under a shell easily
    Dries very fast
    Packs up relatively small
    Thumb loops

    Material around thumb loop is starting to look worn(this is most likely from scrambling while using thumb loops).
    Wrist/Thumb area material is heavy compared to rest of jacket

    Everything considered I would highly recommend this jacket to anyone needing a good midlayer for active use. Looks sharp and functions extremely well. Merino Wool can't be beat for warmth and versatility.

    Hey Dan,

    I am considering this jacket (Hoody version). It is in direct competition with the Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody. The Gamma is pretty bomber and I have some question marks about wear and tear on the Icebreaker (and their customer service for fixing things). I will be using is in mixed conditions ranging from fall through spring (so I expect the DWR to stand up to a light shower) and ranging from moderate activity to walking around town. It would be my outer layer in these conditions.

    How is the DWR?
    How is the face material?
    How is breathability?
    How is wind resistance? (in particular the panel under the arms might be a nuisance while walking in cool windy conditions)

    Thanks for your help,


    Hey Mike,

    Both of those jackets are awesome but kind of comparing apples and oranges. This is meant as a layering piece where as the Gamma MX is a softshell. By the nature of the fabrics the softshell is going to be more weather resistant and have a more durable face fabric.

    The Helix is a great insulating piece as mentioned in my review and I think it would do ok in a very light sprinkle/snow but the fabrics aren't really designed for that.
    -The DWR will bead the water off for a bit but any prolonged exposure will result in the jacket getting wet.
    -It's pretty wind resistant and I haven't noticed the side panels being too cold, even when I have just walked the dog around town in a brisk wind it has kept me warm.
    -Durability is good so far on the face fabric even when bushwhacking through scrub oak and scrambling around on limestone.

    Again really hard to compare this to the Gamma MX, but I am super impressed with this jacket so far. If you have any other questions feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.

    Multiple uses and still kicking!

    I'm still loving this jacket. As others have stated previously, this is the perfect mid layer or work horse for high energy activities, as it breathes well and ventilates freely. Great product!

    Grab it while they're on sale!

    Pic-Staying as warm as possible before a frigid cold weather send; trad-climbing in Acadia National Park.

    Multiple uses and still kicking!

    Best mid-layer jacket

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit: True to size

    I bought this as a gift but have heard nothing but great things about this jacket. It's the perfect mid-layer for skiing. It's not as puffy as a Patagonia jacket (which are also a lot warmer and possibly too warm to be used as a mid-layer) so it's real comfortable to wear underneath a shell. It's warm enough to only have to wear one base layer underneath it and the stretchy material on the sides (and the wrists) is a real nice fit to keep the jacket snug and close to the body. OBSESSED

    The Pine/Chartreuse color is real sharp. Looks great!

    Great Mid Layer for variable conditions

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    I am a Telemark skier and I was struggling to find a mid layer that would satisfy the extremes of resort skiing. The problem I found for in bounds skiing was that unless you are carrying a backpack it is tough to dress for the high endurance of telemark then be warm enough on the long windy chairlift back to the top. Merino Loft seems to fit the bill. I wore it back East under a Hellytech shell when the wind chills were well below 0 and it did just what I had hoped. Breathed on the run but was warm and comfortable on the chair. If you wear it as a mid layer it fits true to size.

    Rappelling off a route...

    I wore this while winter sport climbing in Rumney, New Hampshire, this past weekend. IT WAS FREEZING COLD the whole trip, but this Merino kept me dry and warm while climbing.

    I worry about its durability while climbing over-time, but so far it's performing VERY well. Please keep in mind this product is NOT intended for climbing, but is faring better than expected by FAR!

    I LOVE MINE and HIGHLY recommend it to everyone looking for a solid mid-layer!

    (Pic-Rappelling off the Kennel Wall after a cold lead in early winter 2014)

    Rappelling off a route...

    Awesome Merino!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    Special thanks to and Icebreaker for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the community. I appreciate the opportunity to put new gear to the test, as well as giving honest and reliable feedback that consumers can rely on. Again, thank you!

    Now for the full review of the Men's Icebreaker Helix Zip [Agean/Metro Heather].

    The color of this bright blue jacket is fashionable and very true to what's shown on I am a bigger male climber, around 6'2" and 200lbs, and the large fits perfectly without being too small in critical places. I.E. the waist and arms.

    I really appreciate the attention to detail Icebreaker gave this jacket. It has those lovely little thumb loops for high activity, a favorite feature of mine being as how I rock climb frequently and rely on a jacket staying in place while not bunching up under my harness as well. I can climb in this thing or simply hang out and brush holds and this jacket performs well in both mediums.

    The Helix is super lightweight and packs down to around the size of a softball, a must have for distance hiking or even day hikes where weather can change instantly. It breathes AMAZINGLY well for a layer of this kind and keeps a person warm when wet, a testament to their Merino Wool technology.

    Another favorite feature to mention is that this contains mostly recycled materials as well, so one doesn't have to feel like their carbon footprint is growing with a smart purchase such as this.


    This jacket would also surmise as an outer layer for dryer days skiing and though it hasn't started dumping here yet, I'm excited to bust this out on the mountain at some point, hopefully sooner then later!

    GREAT JACKET! Icebreaker has my undivided attention.


    [Outdoor Pics coming soon!]

    Unanswered Question

    can someone throw this on a fine scale and provide an accurate weight in grams or to 10ths of an ounce? I know it's not the lightest jacket out there, but it could be worth the weight over down for use in the damp/wet. thanks!