Marmot vs Helly Hansen: Which Brand is Better?

Marmot vs Helly Hansen outdoor gear comparison

Choosing the right outdoor brand for your adventures can be as crucial as selecting the destination itself.

Whether you’re scaling a mountain, hitting the slopes, or simply braving the urban jungle during a downpour, your gear can make or break your experience.

Enter Marmot and Helly Hansen: two popular names when it comes to outdoor apparel and equipment.

Marmot, with its roots in the rugged Alaskan wilderness, and Helly Hansen, born from the harsh seas of Norway, both offer a promise of quality and reliability.

But how do they compare to each other? And which is the better brand for your needs?

In this comparison, we explore their history, technology, products, and prices to help you decide which one aligns best with your outdoor lifestyle.

Let’s get started!


1. Marmot Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Marmot official website
Marmot official website

Marmot, an American brand established in the 1970s, specializes in technical apparel and outdoor gear for activities such as hiking and climbing.

The brand originated from the Marmot Mountain Club, created by two University of California Santa Cruz students, Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntly, during a school project in Alaska. Subsequently, with the assistance of Tom Boyce, they repurposed an old building into the Marmot Mountain Works retail store, which later gained wide recognition.

Since then, Marmot has been renowned for offering high-quality products tailored for outdoor enthusiasts, including jackets, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and other accessories for women, men, and children.

The brand’s commitment to innovation is reinforced by direct field testing of its products by alpine guides and elite athletes.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Marmot utilizes high-quality materials in its apparel and gear, including Nylon and Polyester, which are commonly found in outdoor brands. They incorporate Gore-Tex technology to repel water while allowing body-generated moisture to escape, ensuring breathability.

This material is employed in their high-performance products designed for extreme activities, guaranteeing water resistance.

In terms of insulation from low temperatures, Marmot employs advanced materials with superior insulating capabilities, including natural down and PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, to effectively separate cold and hot air.

Additionally, the brand prioritizes the development of new materials and technologies, like the Marmot MemBrain and NanoPro.

Marmot is committed to sustainability by minimizing environmental impact in their production processes and utilizing eco-friendly materials such as EvoDry for rain jackets and Featherless as an alternative to down insulation. You can read more about Marmot’s sustainability efforts on their website.

Marmot | WarmCube: Innovation

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Read also: The North Face vs Marmot: Which Brand Should I Choose?

Where is Marmot outdoor gear made?

Marmot’s outdoor apparel and gear are mainly produced in Asian countries like China and Vietnam.

Recommended Products

Marmot Men’s Guides Down Hoody

Marmot Mens Guides Down Hoody
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The Men’s Guides Down Hoody stands out as a versatile winter puffer jacket suitable for both everyday wear and outdoor excursions. Crafted with a 100% recycled polyester ripstop outer shell and a cozy combination of 700 fill power 80% recycled down and 20% Kapok Flower down, it delivers sustainable warmth and defense against chilly temperatures.

This jacket is exceptionally compressible, making it a practical addition to your layering setup. Notable attributes comprise of zippered chest and hand pockets, an adaptable drawcord hood and hem, and flexible cuffs for heat retention.

Whether you’re hitting the slopes, venturing into the wilderness, or simply enjoying a winter stroll, this hoody is engineered to ensure warmth and comfort while maintaining breathability.

Don’t miss: Marmot vs Arc’teryx (Outdoor Gear Comparison)

Marmot Women’s GORE-TEX Orion Jacket

Marmot Womens GORE-TEX Orion Jacket
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The Women’s GORE-TEX Orion Jacket is a robust ski jacket designed for individuals who enjoy challenging powder and ski resorts. Crafted from upcycled 3-layer GORE-TEX® material, it delivers waterproof, windproof, and breathable shielding, ensuring dryness in bad weather conditions.

The jacket is equipped with a RECCO® Avalanche Rescue Reflector for enhanced mountain safety, a helmet-compatible adjustable hood for complete coverage, and a fixed powder skirt to prevent snow entry. For active skiers, the PitZips offer adaptable ventilation for temperature control, while water-resistant pocket zippers safeguard your objects.

The fit is adjustable with VELCRO® cuffs, and articulated elbows ensure unrestricted movement. This jacket is engineered to provide comfort and protection, whether navigating off-piste powder or groomed runs.

Read next: Marmot vs Columbia: Which is Better for Outdoor Gear?


Marmot has a fair price-to-quality ratio. With a dedication to the outdoor community, the brand prioritizes ensuring specific performance standards, resulting in above-average material quality.

Their jackets are available at a range of prices, starting at $100 and reaching up to $650, while the cost of equipment such as sleeping bags and tents varies based on the product type.

In general, Marmot is positioned as a mid-to-high-priced brand in the outdoor gear market.

Are Marmot products worth the price?

Yes, we are of the opinion that every item Marmot offers is worth it! And this is a sentiment shared by numerous other online reviewers. The materials show durability and the products great attention to detail.

Read also: 8 Best Sustainable Outdoor Clothing Brands: Our Top Picks

2. Helly Hansen Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Helly Hansen official website
Helly Hansen’s official website

Helly Hansen, a company from Norway, was founded by sea captain Helly Juell Hansen in 1877. The brand is well-known for its gear for water activities, mountaineering, and winter sports.

Captain Hansen aimed to develop high-quality gear to protect sailors from extreme weather conditions in the Northern seas. Over the past 140 years, the brand has evolved and diversified its product line to serve a wider range of activities beyond sailing.

Helly Hansen is highly favored by skiing enthusiasts and is commonly used by ski resorts for their staff. The brand maintains its position as a global leader in sailing gear and apparel, appealing to both professionals and enthusiasts.

Additionally, it focuses on the mountain gear sector, providing clothing and gear for activities like mountaineering, hiking, skiing, and backpacking.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Helly Hansen incorporates hydrophobic treatments into their clothing to safeguard sailors and fishermen in extreme ocean conditions.

Their Helly Tech fabric technology, featured in jackets and other garments, provides exceptional breathability and waterproofing, a challenging combination to achieve. This technology is comparable to Gore-Tex.

The brand also mixes popular fabrics like Nylon, Polyester, Wool, and Fleece, with many being recycled and RDS-certified natural Down insulation. Synthetic insulation options are also available and include Primaloft and Polartec.

Helly Hansen places a high value on environmental conservation and ethical practices in their manufacturing processes. More information about their sustainability initiatives can be found on their website.

Helly Hansen / Alive Since 1877 (full edit)

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Read also:
Helly Hansen vs Patagonia: Which Brand is Better?
3 Best Norwegian Backpack Brands: Our Top Picks

Where is Helly Hansen’s outdoor gear made?

Helly Hansen produces its outdoor equipment and apparel primarily in nations like China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Turkey. They source their textiles and components from factories in Asia and Europe. (source)

Recommended Products

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Men’s Shell Jacket

Helly Hansen Verglas Infinity Mens Shell Jacket
Check it out at

The Verglas Infinity Men’s Jacket has been expertly crafted with insights from professionals who face unpredictable mountain weather. It’s suitable for backcountry skiing, trekking, and mountaineering, and incorporates the brand’s advanced waterproof/breathable LIFA INFINITY™ technology, ensuring reliable protection without the use of chemicals.

Made of recycled materials and a PFC-free durable water-repellent treatment, this jacket is an environmentally conscious choice. Its hard shell design provides optimal protection and is compatible with helmets, backpacks, and harnesses.

Additional features such as pit zips for ventilation, a RECCO® transponder, and a waist drawcord for wind protection further enhance its appeal.

Don’t miss: Helly Hansen vs Canada Goose Jackets: Which is Better?

Helly Hansen Transistor Backpack Recco®

Helly Hansen Transistor Backpack Recco
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The 30L Transistor backpack is a great option for your outdoor activities. It prioritizes adaptability and functionality, encompassing the attributes of a larger hiking backpack in a more condensed form.

This backpack boasts numerous characteristics, including multiple compartments, complete hydration compatibility, 3D air-mesh ventilation at the back part, and a RECCO® reflector to enhance safety.

Read also: Norrøna vs Helly Hansen (Side-by-Side Comparison)


Helly Hansen is a mid-to-high-priced brand that offers a wide range of products. Their jackets cost between $75 and $2,000, while their backpacks start at around $50 and can exceed $250.

Are Helly Hansen products worth the price?

Although this particular brand may seem expensive and out of reach for some, it’s difficult to find a more affordable option with comparable quality and durability when looking for high-performance outdoor equipment. So, yes, Helly Hansen is worth the money, in our opinion!

Learn more: Why is Helly Hansen so Expensive and Popular: Is It Worth It?

3. Which is Better for Outdoor Gear? Marmot or Helly Hansen?

Both are great! But, if you can’t get both, here’s what to keep in mind for your decision:

  • Marmot is an American company founded in 1974 that specializes in outdoor clothing and gear for activities like hiking, camping, and mountain climbing. Their products focus on warmth, durability, and packability.
  • Helly Hansen is a Norwegian brand born in 1877 that started with sailing equipment. They now make gear for both outdoor and urban use. Their products focus on waterproof and breathable technology.
  • Both brands make high-quality technical outerwear and base layers. Marmot is better known for insulation using natural down and synthetic materials, while Helly Hansen is known for waterproof and breathable fabrics used in its jackets and shells.
  • Marmot is usually better for colder weather activities like winter hiking or mountaineering, while Helly Hansen leans more towards wet weather activities like sailing or skiing.
  • Helly Hansen gear is usually more expensive than comparable Marmot products.
  • Both have sustainability programs and use recycled materials where possible.

In the end, we’d recommend Marmot if you need warm, compressible insulation. Helly Hansen would be our choice for waterproof and breathable active jackets and outerwear.

That’s all for this comparison! Let us know what you think about these two brands in the comments below.

Read next: 13 Scandinavian Jacket and Clothing Brands that You’ll Love

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