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Helly Hansen Base Layers Review

HH® Base Layers Review

We’ve already hit the fifth milestone in our Helly Hansen series and to mark the occasion we thought it would be appropriate to look at one of the cornerstones of the Helly Hansen brand, Base Layers.

I like things in life to be simple and the naming convention used to denote application of their Base Layers couldn’t be better.  So whether you’re climbing, hiking, running, cycling, well… you get the picture, there’s a Helly Hansen Base Layer to suit your needs.

We’ll be looking at HH Cool (Training) and HH Dry:

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And HH Warm Crew Neck and 1/2 Zip versions:

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With a naming convention like that, what could be easier!  Before we dive into the detail, lets take a little time to understand their journey and how the technology has unfolded since 1877. 

Always copied, never outgunned,  Helly Hansen without doubt set the benchmark for a specialist garment that’s become an everyday item.

Helly Hansen Heritage

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The story of Helly Hansen started in 1877.

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After many years at sea, Norwegian captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Maren Margarethe began producing oilskin jackets, trousers, sou’westers and tarpaulins, made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil.  They certainly struck a nerve in the market, because over the first five years they sold approximately 10,000 pieces. In 1878 the company won a diploma for excellence at the Paris Expo, and began exporting its products.

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In the 20th century, Helly Hansen made several breakthroughs in product development to complete the layering principle today known as the 3-Layer System™.   In 1949 the Helox, a thin sheet of translucent PVC plastic sewn into waterproof coats, took over for the oilbased outerwear and became the must-have protection for outdoor use.   With a production of 30,000 coats each month the success was almost immediate.

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The original fleece, the fiberpile, was developed in 1961 and has been perfected for almost 50 years since.   This new insulation layer was warm, lightweight and fast-drying, ideal for wearing under the protective layer.   It was soon embraced by workers because it offered extraordinary insulation against the cold, and ventilated well during hard, physical work.   It even protected against snow and light rain, staying extremely durable and warm after many washes.

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The layering story was completed in the 1970s, with the development of LIFA. This wonder-fiber, used in LIFA, kept the skin dry and warm by pushing moisture away from the body, making it the ideal baselayer fabric for outdoor and workwear use.  The latest generation of LIFA is still used in our baselayers today.

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In 1980, the Helly Tech technology was launched, using both hydrophilic and microporous technology, which meant the apparel was both waterproof and breathable.   This meant that anyone who participated in high-activity outdoor sports could expect their clothing to work with them, not against them.   The evolution of breathable, waterproof jackets had a profound effect on the outdoor industry.   Helly Hansen now produced technical outerwear garments.

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The heritage from Helly Juell Hansen is still our cornerstone. Today our gear is used by world-class sailors, skiers and adventurers who spend their time between human will and nature’s forces, and demand full protection and performance when the conditions are at their worst.

It’s remarkable to think that the LIFA fabric that’s so integral to the Helly Hansen Base Layer range was developed in the 1970’s and is still being used to this day.  The classic contrasting block design that’s synonymous with Helly Hansen Base Layers is a familar sight all over the world.  Always copied but never outgunned, Helly Hansen without doubt set the benchmark for a specialist garment that’s become an everyday item.

We’re already testing these excellent products and will bring further details over the coming months.  Until then, click on the “First Impressions” tabs for further details or check out Helly Hansen website for further details

Helly Hansen Base Layers

The Helly Hansen Dry Revolution SS Base Layer

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So what’s it all about?  The HH®Dry Revolution base layer is a technical top which benefits from seamless construction thus providing superb levels of comfort and functionally excellent.  It’s as light as your average pair of jersey boxers, if not lighter, and is almost like a second skin.

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Even the packaging is of a high standard, which isn’t something that affects the performance of the item itself:

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but it’s a good indicator as to the quality we’re dealing with.  In addition to this, choosing the right top for you based upon application couldn’t be simpler as it’s clearer marked in bold letters.

Designed for fast pace activities, the Revolution Tee does exactly what it says on the tin.  Exceptional functionality as a stand-alone layer in warm weather or as an extra layer on colder days this lightweight insulation and moisture management layer is effortlessly supreme.

The seamless weave of provides just the right amount of support to remain comfortable all day, without being overly compressing; allowing sweat to be transported away from the body in those keys areas:

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Even those the Revolution is fitted the remarkable Lifa® Stay dry fabric technology ensures it conforms to and works with the contours of your body.  No pinch points, hots spots or abrasiveness.

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This is particularly welcome in the sleeves:

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A clear sign that the past 40years has taught Helly Hansen a thing or two about design and functionality.  What makes this top so remarkable is that for its weight it can provide two key ingredients thanks to the moisture management capabilities.  By keeping you dry it remains cool in hotter weather and provides warmth in cooler weather.  Obviously when the mercury drops you’ll need to combine it with other layers, but for faster paced activities the Revolution is excellent.

Features

  • Lifa® Stay dry technology
  • Dry next to skin
  • Lightweight
  • Non itch
  • Allergy neutral
  • Seamless technology
  • Fitted
  • Super stretch

So if you’re up for a spot of fast paced activity across a multitude of environments, one of these could definitely come in handy!  Check out their website for further details:

HH DRY Revolution SS

We have two of the WARM Base Layers to look at here, the HH® WARM Freeze Half-Zip and the HH® WARM ICE Crew

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HH® WARM Freeze Half-Zip

“The best Merino wool baselayer on the market…”

Helly Hansen Base Layers Review WalkHikeClimbThat’s how Helly Hansen market both these tops and do you know what, they might just be right! It is without doubt one of the best wool base layers on the market today and benefits from a couple of key ingredients

The unique LIFA® fibre technology and premium merino wool exterior provide superior insulation and moisture-wicking properties to keep you warm and dry.

 

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The half-zip turtle neck adds another level of warmth and insulation

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Whilst ensuring you can regulate your temperature whilst on the move.  The inclusion of a storm-flap is a great idea to prevent icy winds penetrating the closure.

The top is designed to operate efficiently in much colder temperatures, providing the same levels of moisture management as it’s lighter siblings without compromising insulation properties.  Helly Hansen Base Layers Review WalkHikeClimbBenefiting from flatlock seams it remains supremely comfortable all day and doesn’t chafe or create any hotspots.

The cuffs have a stretchy spandex material which grips without being overly tight to keep the cold out or roll-up if you get too warm.  To top it off the familiar HH chevrons provide some welcome conspicuity for darker times.

 

Features

  • HH®Warm
  • LIFA® Stay dry Technology
  • 1/2 Zip Chest
  • 2-in-1 first and second layer
  • Dry next to skin, warm, non itch and allergy neutral.
  • Flatlock stitching

HH® WARM Ice Crew

Essentially the same as the Half-Zip the WARM Ice Crew has a couple of subtle differences, the most obvious being:

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the crew neck.

It also has the classic Helly Hansen chevrons running down each of the arms:

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all the way to the cuffs which are completed with the same stretchy material

Both of these base layers offer the same levels of performance, quality and construction however they are distinctly different.  If I had the choice of one only I’d probably opt for the half-zip, but I could see applications that would suit each.

Aimed at faster paced activities in more extreme conditions or part of a warmer layer system just to keep the frost at bay, these another superb offering from the guys at Helly Hansen.  Checkout their website for further details.

HH WARM FREEZE Half-Zip

HH WARM ICE Crew

The HH® PACE Training top is aimed at those taking part in high intensity workouts and want to remain comfortable and cool

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“The short-sleeve version of one of the best 1/2 zip training tops on the market!”

Is how Helly Hansen describe the PACE Training top.  With a combination of lightweight and quick-dry HH Cool and mesh fabrics this short-sleeve t-shirt for men is perfect for high-intensity activities both indoors or out.

The HH Cool main fabric, the result of 4 decades of testing and research into moisture management, guarantees you the best technology available.

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The 1/2 zip front helps vent out excess heat and moisture.

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The flatlocked seams and contoured design add comfort. Features reflective elements for safety when the sun sets on a long workout.

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The PACE is also of a fitted design, however like it’s sibling the “Revolution” it does not constrict or impede.  Designed to keep you cool during the most extreme of workouts, either inside or out, it benefits from strategically placed open mesh allowing heat to escape almost immediately.

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This maintains dryness, allowing you to work harder for longer.  Added to that it’s UPF 30+ properties and this is a remarkable piece of kit.

Features

  • HH®COOL main fabric
  • UPF +30
  • Lifa® Stay dry technology
  • Chest zip with locking function
  • Fitted design
  • Reflective details
  • Open mesh in back and under arms

The last of the base layers we’re reviewing but by no means the least.  Helly Hansen seem to excel in all areas of base layer production and provide the same levels of technologically innovation, quality and performance as they do in their other more expensive clothing and equipment.  It’s this that sets them apart from the competition.

For those of you that like to work as hard in the gym as you do out of it, the HH® PACE Training top will provide hours of reward.  Check out the Helly Hansen website for further details

HH Training Pace Training Half-Zip

HH® DRY Revolution SS

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Features

  • Lifa® Stay dry technology
  • Dry next to skin
  • Lightweight
  • Non itch
  • Allergy neutral
  • Seamless technology
  • Fitted
  • Super stretch

HH® WARM Freeze Half-Zip & HH® WARM ICE Crew

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Features

  • HH®Warm
  • LIFA® Stay dry Technology
  • 1/2 Zip Chest
  • 2-in-1 first and second layer
  • Dry next to skin, warm, non itch and allergy neutral.
  • Flatlock stitching

HH® TRAINING PACE Half-Zip

Features

  • HH®COOL main fabric
  • UPF +30
  • Lifa® Stay dry technology
  • Chest zip with locking function
  • Fitted design
  • Reflective details
  • Open mesh in back and under arms

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100% Lifa® fabric, it creates a dry layer next to the skin, keeping you comfortable during highly aerobic activities in a wide range of conditions.

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This baselayer features two different components, the inner Lifa® fibres ensure you stay dry, while the outer, soft Merino wool adds warmth and comfort. The Lifa® fabric used in our HH® Warm baselayers feature a hollow T3 fiber construction. Imitating polar bear fur, this innovative design provides even greater moisture transport and insulating performance.

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Lifa is central is all of the Helly Hansen Base Layer Range.

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Whatever sport or activity you’re taking part in there’s a Helly Hansen base layer that will make the experience all the better.  They are, without doubt, class leaders when it comes to the design and manufacture of these types of garment, utilising decades of design of manufacture expertise.

It’s not often we’re able to say unequivocally go out and buy one, but in this case… just do it!

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