Helly Hansen Verglas Micro Shell Outdoor Pants | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Walking Trousers

Helly Hansen Verglas Micro Shell Outdoor Pants | Review

A lightweight pair of waterproof trousers that serves well as that in-and-out of your pack pair for on-off conditions

The Helly Hansen Verglas Micro waterproof trousers weigh a lightweight 240g and they’re also very packable, condensing down to about the size of a coke can. They’re made from a 2.5-layer waterproof fabric. That means that they use an outer shell fabric, a membrane and then the “.5” refers to a protective coating or print that’s applied to the inner surface of the membrane.

As you’d expect from a pair of trousers with a 2.5-layer construction, these are quite thin and not as durable as a pair of 3-layer waterproof trousers. Still, they make for a good lightweight option to keep stashed in a backpack, ready to pull on when bad weather arrives.

Our team testing the Verglas Micro in Pembrokeshire. Photos: Dave Macfarlane

I’m 5 foot 10 and normally wear a size 32 pair of trousers with a regular length. I had these in Helly Hansen’s Medium size and they fitted me nicely.


I’d say these are designed as more of an off-and-on pair of waterproof trousers, rather than a pair designed for wearing all day. As such, they’re quite light on features. You get an elasticated waistband with a toggled drawstring, a fairly large thigh pocket that’s big enough for an OS map folded in half, and then there are quarter-length zips at the ankles. I found I could just about pull these over a pair of three-season mid cut hiking boots (the Keen Targhee IV) without having to take them off. You’ve got to do it carefully to ensure the fabric doesn’t catch, but it is doable. With walking shoes or trail shoes it’s a breeze.

There are press studs at the ankle cuffs. These could allow you to use the zips as vents but I think they’re just there to stop the zip from sliding undone.


I found these to be reasonably breathable. You get the same level of breathability you’d get from most other 2.5-layer fabrics. The durability seems reasonably good too. They’re certainly more durable than some other trousers I’ve tried, like the Montane Podium Pull On. The cut is quite slim, so they did feel a little restrictive when pulled over a thick pair of trousers, like the Fjallraven Keb Trekking Trousers. They’re fine over thinner trousers though. I wore them over Patagonia’s Point Peak Pants and they felt fine and well articulated.

In the wet weather I’ve worn these in the waterproof protection has been good. There is, however, a lack of seam taping below the elasticated waistband. The waistband is stitched on and, if you hold the trousers up to the light, you can actually see little holes in the fabric where the stitches have gone through. Most waterproof jackets will be long enough to keep the waistband and these holes covered, so it shouldn’t present any issues, but it’s still not exactly what you want to see.

Helly Hansen Verglas Micro Pants Verdict

I can see these as being very useful for hikers and trail runners, particularly those who want protection that’s light and packable enough to keep in their backpack just in case the weather turns. However, if you’re a mountain professional or someone who spends a lot of time outdoors then I’d recommend investing in some heavier duty waterproof trousers – something like the Helly Hansen Verglas 3 Layer or the Verglas Infinity.

What I liked: light and packable, reasonably priced
What I didn’t like: stitching creates vulnerability

Helly Hansen Verglas Micro Pants

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Sping/Summer 2024 guide
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