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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2014
I didn't know how popular and well reviewed this jacket when I picked it up last summer at Burlington Coat Factory in NYC for a mere $29.99 USD.

I only needed a rain coat to wear to work over business attire during my Autumn season commute. The only rain proof pieces I had in my closet are $500+ alpine mountaineering Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3-Layer jackets (like the Arcteryx Alpha SV) that, at my age, have become too flashy and cumbersome to wear daily.

Along came this Helly Hansen Seven J. Its simplicity and brilliant fit is what won me before I even saw the price tag was not $100+ USD but a measly $29.99. Even at the retail of $100 this jacket is worth buying over pricier fare from Patagucci and North Face. It is simple, well tailored and does what it needs to do by keeping you dry and warm without the unnecessary frills and fancy.

POSITIVES:

Simple and easy to wear- this may not make sense to many but outdoors folk will understand me when I say many modern day rain jackets makers and brands do too many extra things on their jackets to make you want to buy them for copious amounts of cash. frills and fads come before fit and function. However with the 7 J you get one smooth main zipper (no annoying zipper pull trims), two deep mesh lined outer pockets that zip close, and one deep interior velcro-closure pocket. In addition you'll get a 3-way adjusting brimmed hood that is well sized. There are no fancy logo's, no contrasting stitching, no fancy tech jargon, no excess frills, no tattoo art, etc. on this jacket

Storm Flaps! - I miss storm flaps on rain coats. Not many jacket makers use them (looking at you Marmot/North Face/Patagucci) anymore in order to shed weight. But storm flaps are EFFECTIVE! It is almost like removing the driver's seat from your race car to make it lighter on the racetrack. Storm flaps here are velcro-closed so you can quickly close up the jacket to keep out a cold breeze when going from your car to the front door without having to fumble with a zipper. In addition it also makes the 7 J impenetrable to rain when rain comes at you sideways!

Articulated Sleeves - I have never paid under $300 for a rain jacket or any jacket for that matter that had this rare function of allowing you to use your arms in a 360 degree range of motion. Here the 7 J allows you to lift your hands above your head and fully rotate them around without the jacket's torso bunching up and hem lifting above your hips. Most jacket tend to ride up, bunch up or simply not allow you to move your arms above your head at all. This was a very nice surprise to find on a sub-$100 purchase.

Helly Hansen Weatherproof Guarantee - This company makes good rain wear and the 7 J lives up to that. It is very well waterproof and storm proof (meaning your face, head and neck can also be protected in foul weather. There are no pit zips (which can leak) and the velcro-closure storm flap system does well to keep water from getting through the main zipper. The pockets also have tiny storm flaps over them so water shouldn't get in.

Value and Price- I paid $29.99 for this item but even at $100+ this jacket is very well priced for what it offers. It is that good! It is well constructed and will last you for years! I'm in my 30s and I have Helly Hansen rain pants and other hiking clothing in my gear closet from when I was in my early teen years. Just remember NEVER use liquid detergents and fabric softners on rain wear. It will destroy the outer DWR treatment and ruin the synthetic nylon/poly fabric underneath. Use only powdered detergents or Nikwax.

THINGS OF CONCERN:

Weight - this is not going to be a good jacket for 3 season hiking or outdoor pursuits where pack weight and limitations are vital. The 7 J is bulky and much heavier than regular Alpine GoreTex jackets. It is also advertised as pack-able but there are no stow pockets on it nor does it come with a stuff sack. The best you can do is roll it up in the hood and cinch it down to the size of a football. Most alpine jacket cinch and stow to the size of an apple or grapefuit to give you a comparison.

Sizing - I usually wear medium in clothing. I'm a 38R chest, 5'9"/150lbs and the Small in this 7 J jacket fit me excellent. Going by the size of the small I can only guess that the Medium would have been down to my knees. Also many online video reviews show that this jacket is supposed to fit overly big to allow lots of layers underneath. I don't wear my clothing that big whether off and on the trail and having the size Small fit me exact is good for me. I can wear either two thick or three thinner base layers underneath with room for full motion left over.

Fabric - While the inner lining (2 Layer) is a fully seam sealed waterproof polyamide the outer fabric is not the best weave for a rain jacket. Sure it is DWR treated but it is a thicker nylon/poly weave (almost like Cordura) which means once the DWR wears away with time the fabric will soak on the outside until treated again. This soaking is especially bad with the fabric along the cuff, hemline and storm flap. Even so the jacket will remain waterproof but when it rain the soaked outside will stifle the breathable making you sweat inside and increase the weight of the jacket as you were it in the rain. This is probably how the cost is kept low on this jacket but all that means is good care will take it a long way. Absolutely No Liquid Detergents or fabric softeners when washing and only use powdered or Nikwax detergents.

That Mesh and Fabric Inside Lining - This is the lining that goes next to your body or skin. In the hood and torso it is net mesh, on the sleeves it is a polyester fabric (like the shiny material you find on the inside of an old school purse or cheap handbag). I never like this style of lining on a rain jacket. It does absolutely nothing in terms of weather protection and slightly anything for wear comfort. The mesh net on the inside of hood and torso is actually a good thing since this is where rain can get to easier and rain can soak into easier. The net mesh shouldn't soak anything but the sleeve nylon/polyester fabric lining can and will soak up water if you are not careful to cinch down the cuffs. This used to be a big flaw with the original classic North Face Mountain Light jackets from the 1990s.

Once the DWR wore off the cuffs, storm flaps and hem will soak up water which would migrate into the fabric lining next to your skin. Or rather the depleted DWR would leave the jacket outer layer soggy killing breathability. Once that happened you would sweat right into the fabric lining which would get wet and stay cold against your skin.

All said and done as long as you care for the DWR treatment this jacket is a 5 star piece that will last long enough for your grand children's grand children to wear!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2014
Personal measurements: M, 38 in chest, 32/33 sleeve, 5"8, 145-150 lbs, lean build.

Fit: Pretty much as pictured as the medium fits perfectly for my size and frame. The sleeves go just beyond my wrists, and the bottom of the jacket ends slightly past my waistline. The hood is also perfect size, not to small or big. Though it is not slim fit, the jacket does have a nice sleek look, is not baggy, and is pretty light.

Effectiveness: Unlike many other rain coats the material from this jacket is made of Polyamide rather than the usually polyester. As a result, it is very effective in ensuring that no rain seeps through the coat while still being very breathable. I have only worn this jacket in slight to moderate rain and on both occasions it has kept me dry.

Price: I was able to purchase this jacket off Amazon for $60. Looking at the price now (2/10/2014) I would still recommend buying this jacket but possibly waiting for a possible drop in sale. However, compared to the overrated as well as overpriced Northface jackets that go for upwards of $150, I would definitely recommend buying this product if you need an effective lightweight raincoat ASAP.

Minor Fault: The only minor (personal) detail I didn't like about the jacket was that though it kept me dry and prevented the rain from getting through, the rain drops would tend to stick to rather than stream off the jacket. Besides that I would highly recommend this product to anyone who is interested in buying an effective lightweight rain jacket.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
This jacket is everything I could have imagined and more. I am constantly getting compliments on how nice the jacket looks and the color is amazing. Very functional jacket that I use in many different scenarios. Well worth the extra money to get such a nice jacket.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
This is a fantastic jacket. I'm 5'10" average build and the large is the perfect length and perfect fit for walking around. If you're planning on using it for skiing or boarding though I would order one size larger because you would want some extra length. I ordered the Cobalt Blue, received it today, and was surprised when I got it because the Helly Hansen logo and the drawstrings for the hood are bright ORANGE. In the photo here and on the HH website the logo is white/silver, so I'm trying to figure out why mine is orange. I'll probably end up keeping it because I don't want to go through the whole returns process and wait a month to get another one that may or may not be orange as well. So be warned if you're ordering a Cobalt Blue jacket.
EDIT: It looks like they've changed most of the photos now to show the orange logo which was not the case at the time I ordered.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2012
Not only the only brand with a 5X sized outdoor jacket, which lets me wear each and every winter clothing and still have room, it's lighweight, and the hood can be closed with elastic strings covering my bycicle helmet! Very impressed, and still a bargain prize.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2014
I bought this as a lightning deal for my boyfriend for Christmas. I didn't pay enough attention to the reviewers who indicated that you should order it a size larger and bought a size small. When my boyfriend opened up his present, he was immediately impressed by the quality of the jacket but when he put it on, the shoulders were tight and he was just barely able to zip it up (he has been losing weight but there is still a noticeable paunch he needs to get rid of). So, I told him I would order another in a medium size.
.
However, I decided to try it on and I liked how it fit me. I had contemplated buying the women's Seven J jacket but I didn't like that it is very fitted. The sleeves on this are long and I have to roll them up but the length of the jacket is great (I'm 5'3" and the jacket covers my bottom). It is cut narrow and if I wear a long-sleeved shirt, this jacket is just right (not too snug) so I decided to keep it. This afternoon, I wore it when I took the dog out for his walk. It had been raining since the early afternoon and was rather windy but I was very comfortable in a long-sleeve shirt under this jacket.

I just hope the medium jacket fits my boyfriend - he is looking forward to it coming!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2012
Met the high expectations i had for Helly Hansen.

Light and breathable with excellent fit. Perfect for layering.

highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2013
Helly Hansen has to be the only fashionable / 'hip' brands who offer, be it extremely hard to find in Europe, plus-size jackets for the fuller figured male. Their sizing chart does NOT correspond with normal / generic clothes sizes.
I normally wear / order 3XL (56"-58" chest) jackets / sweaters / T-shirts etc., but with Helly Hansen I read online about their sizing differences. I must admit that, as my first choice, I searched hard & long to find a jacket by The North Face that would fit me but unfortunately TNF only markets it's products to those well within a healthy BMi index range!!! :-/

So I luckily located this jacket in 5XL here on Amazon.com and took a chance that it would fit me. I placed my order on Oct. 23rd, it shipped from Hebron, KY, USA to Dublin, IRL arriving Nov. 1st via an unknown shipping carrier called i-Parcel. Now despite many horror stories on chat forum sites regarding a very poor delivery service, I was pleasantly surprised how quickly this jacket arrived.

Finally,... how does the jacket fit? I can happily report that this 5XL sized jacket will very comfortably cover big boys who normally wear size 3XL. Arm stretching / reach is perfect. This is a waterproof windbreaker with hood, so a sweater underneath will be needed as temps drop and the fall / winter breezes blow. And yes, even with a thick sweater on, there is ample room fully zipped-up! ;-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2014
What ever your size you are be sure to go up two when purchasing this product. It was was to small, and it's very thin. Made for 50 and above weather. Great for rain though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2014
Love the jacket. I travel quite a bit so this jacket uses great for rain, fall weather, spring weather, even winter weather if you bundle underneath. It is not like most rain jackets out there which are polyester, unbreathable, and just uncomfortable. This Helly Hansen jacket had a mesh inside to keep comfortable. Although it has a lack of zippers to breath- the jacket does not trap heat like a polyester one might.
I decided to buy a large and it fits perfect. I am 5ft11in or 178cm- right in between a Medium and a Large so often times jackets are either too big or small. Although, this helly Hansen J in a large fits me just like the model in the picture.
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