HH switch cargo pants

Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Pant Review: A Durable, Versatile Snow Pant

Helly Hansen’s Switch Cargo Pant won our best overall pick for women’s ski pants. Here’s why.

Ah, the wonderful world of ski pants. With hundreds on the market and dozens of great choices, sometimes it surprises me how quickly it takes for us to land on our true favorites.

The Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Pant was one of these moments. As far as well-fitting insulated pants go, the Helly Hansen makes the top cut thanks to its two-way stretch, adjustable waist, and a plethora of pockets.

In short: The Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Ski Pant ($225) is a great pant for not just skiing, but any winter activity where you need insulated warmth in a functional, versatile form.

For downhill skiing specifically, we found it extra great thanks to its insulation and venting, as well as features like kick guards, DWR treatment, and plenty of pockets.

HH Switch Cargo Ski Pant Review

From the moment I put these pants on, I could tell they’d be good for a variety of activities. They’re insulated, making them great for resort skiing, but also have venting and a couple of other features that make them suitable for backcountry too. It’s also a durable pant, great for snowshoeing, winter hiking, or shoveling snow.

Aside from the pants’ overall quality, maybe best of all is the Switch Cargo’s adjustable fit at the waist. And again, there’s no shortage of pockets — yet another reason this pant made the top of our list for best ski pants.

booting up
The author booting up at the car

Helly Hansen rates these pants very high in terms of windproofness, waterproofness, breathability, and durability. They’ve got a great amount of insulation, but ultimately aren’t the warmest pants Helly Hansen makes. And they aren’t the lightest either. But you know, you can’t have it all.

Though for us, from warm bluebird days to snowier days, these pants did great when it came to breathability and warmth. Not restrictive, not too hot, durable with good venting — these are all great things to have in a snow pant.

Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Pant Specs

  • Materials: 100% polyester shell, HELLY TECH membrane, PrimaLoft insulation, PFC-free DWR
  • Insulation: Synthetic PrimaLoft Black Eco insulation (80% recycled)
  • Venting: Yes, mesh-backed venting on thighs
  • Pockets: 4 (2 cargo pockets)
  • Features: Articulated knees, boot gaiters, kick guards, RECCO reflector
  • Sizes: XS-XXL (women’s)
a view of the cargo pockets on the Helly Hansen switch cargo pants
A view of the cargo pocket (found on both sides) of the Helly Hansen Switch Cargo Pant

Final Notes on the Switch Cargo Pant

Compared to one of our other favorite ski pants from the brand, the Legendary Insulated Pants, the Switch Cargo we found to be similar in terms of stretch and insulation, but slightly better in terms of durability and protection from weather (wind/water). And for just $20 more, you also get extra storage.

There’s currently limited availability of these hot-ticket pants. But never fear — Helly Hansen is relaunching the Switch Cargo pant this week for 2022.

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HH switch cargo pants

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Mary Murphy
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Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.