Chris Townsend reviews a PFC-free down jacket great for the coldest weather.

This review is part of our down jackets gear guide, and was first published in the January 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.

The Vanir Icefall is one of the warmest jackets reviewed but also the heaviest and bulkiest. The reasons for the latter are the PrimaLoft sections which make up the side panels, underarm panels and hood; a heavier shell fabric, which should make for good durability; chunkier zips than on most jackets; and the longer length, which will suit those who don’t like short jackets.

The shell fabric has a PFC DWR treatment. Helly Hansen says nothing about the source of the down.

The fully adjustable hood fits well and stays on in the wind. It’s not as warm as a down one though. The pockets are fleece-lined for warmth and a soft feel but are cut off by a hipbelt. The same fleece is used to line the front of the collar.

The fit is described as regular. I find the Large size comfortable worn over a thick fleece.

The Vanir Icefall is great for the coldest weather, but the same warmth can be found in jackets that weigh considerably less.