""John, 10/25/03 User Rating:
I have had problems with the laminate of Helly Tech Extreme on the Kautz jacket - but it took three years of very regular use to have a problem. It began to disintegrate where the hood folded back around the neck, and water came in. HH replaced the jacket without much fuss when I showed it to them in the shop (though I believe it was out of guarantee). I have a new Kautz to find out if I have the same laminate problem again!
Breathability is not bad though - and with the vents I found it better than my old GoreTex (which didn't have vents). I buy HH because I have found a factory discount outlet and have got very good deals. In fact I have now had two Kautz jackets for a total of £50/$80 so I am not complaining!"
Well, I posted the above review a couple of years ago... and at that time Helly replaced my old Kautz with a new one. Two years on and I had exactly the same fault appear (disintegrating laminate around the lower-neck area where the hood folds). I have come to the conclusion that Helly-Tech extreme (now replaced with Helly-Tech 10) was susceptible to problems wherever it was flexed too much. Up until that point it was very waterproof and had good breathability characteristics. Amazingly, Helly replaced my second jacket with a third... and this time I got a Verglas as the Kautz was no longer in production. It is a lighter and more flexible fabric (using Helly Tech 10) so I shall see if it stands the test of time - so far it is a great all-round jacket but I haven't given it very much abuse yet! Full credit to Helly Hansen for customer service, but if you are buying a jacket for resilience, maybe better to look elsewhere."