The Zeta Cis from Helly Hansen is one of those jackets that come with an attached inner jacket. So for your £240 you are getting two coats in one package. The outer is the waterproof Zeta jacket and attached to that is a Warmcore insulated jacket. There is no doubting the flexibility of this ensemble a warm and dry jacket that will cope with just about everything we are looking for.
My preference would be to detach the two so I could remove the outer if needed and have it held in reserve in my rucksack. Or utilising just the shell I could choose which layers I put underneath. But if you were in the market for this kind of jacket, then I feel that this is one of the better ones on offer.
Starting with the Zeta outer I like the functionality of it. It has a soft but strong feel and plenty of features. It has a good fit with an extremely useful range of movement. The fabric is Helly Tech 2 Performance 2 ply which is 100% polyamide as the face fabric with 100% polyurethane backing which will ensure a waterproof and breathable outer. It has a mesh liner which will wick moisture while keeping the outer away from your under layers thereby retaining body heat. All the seams are taped to prevent any water ingress. It has a decent sized hood that will accommodate a helmet if it were needed. Its pack size is impressive too folding down quite small and it only weighs 738g so would be easily managed in a day sack.
The main front zip is a YKK aquaguard which will resist water penetration and is backed by a small storm flap. In the hem and hood they have used elasticated one handed adjustable drawstrings to achieve the desired fit. The sleeves are a good length with articulation in the elbows for better movement and the cuffs could be easily rolled up for cooling. They will also take a glove and the Velcro fasteners will close down to seal them from the elements.
When it comes to pockets, Helly has covered all the probabilities. There are 4 external pockets in the outer. The 2 side pockets are low enough so as they do not conflict with a waist belt of a pack. They are zip fastened and have a weather flap to keep them dry. Then there are 2 chest pockets with YKK aquaguard zips which are ideal hand warmers. They all have a light fleece type lining for added warmth. The only downside is that none of them are large enough for a map.
To complete the package the shell has 2 underarm vents with 2 way zips to allow excess body heat to escape when you are working up a sweat.
The liner jacket is a 100 gram Warmcore with Primaloft insulation which provides a good thermal layer. This attaches to the shell via 2 full front zips and snap fastening anchor points at the cuffs and back of the neck. Once removed the zips combine for a full closure at the front and it has 2 micro fleece lined hand warmer pockets with zip closures.
In conclusion the Zeta Cis really is a versatile jacket that will do it all, combined or as separate components.
In A Line: Two jackets in one, the Zeta covers all the angles.