Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hybrid Insulator | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Down and Insulated Jackets

Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hybrid Insulator | Review

Helly Hansen get scientific with their new insulating material

Insulation is vital when it comes to getting the right jacket for the great outdoors, but it’s often quite hard to find an insulating option that will tick all the boxes that you want it to tick.

You want your insulator to be comfortable and of course, to keep you at the right temperature – normally as warm as possible. But you also want the jacket to be lightweight, packable and thin enough as well so as not to burden you or make you uncomfortable should the weather take an unexpected turn for the better (which in Britain, is of course a rare phenomenon).

“Lifaloft came about on the back of its creator’s work with a specific professional sports team”

Luckily for you, there are boffins who work in labs to sort this kind of stuff out. Q-from-James-Bond types, stuck in big white rooms with microscopes, all working hard so that you can enjoy the outdoors when you’re out there. And after four years of development with PrimaLoft, the smarts at Helly Hansen have created the ultimate insulator – their new patented Lifaloft.

As is the case with many cutting edge advancements in the world of outdoor gear, Lifaloft came about on the back of its creator’s work with a specific professional sports team. In this case, that team is the Swedish national ski team, whom Helly Hansen were working with to produce a piece of clothing that could offer more warmth with less bulk and weight.

It feels good, it sits good, and it’s breathable too. You can’t ask for much more. Photo: Chris Johnson.
LifaLoft – The fill weighs 20 per cent less than standard polyester alternatives despite possessing the same thermal efficiency as them. Photo: Chris Johnson.

The ultimate aim for the brand was to produce a jacket that was packable but practical. Something that could work in the cold snowy mountains but which also wouldn’t add much to the overall weight for the skier to carry.

“The ultimate aim for the Norwegian brand was to produce a piece of gear that was packable but practical. Ultimately, they succeeded”

Ultimately, they succeeded, and Helly Hansen then took that same tech and applied it to their outdoor insulator.

The new design makes use of Helly Hansen’s own Lifa polyester fibres as well as PrimaLoft insulation, blending the two into one big mix of polyester. This combination, according to Helly Hansen, means that the fill weighs 20 per cent less than standard polyester alternatives despite possessing the same thermal efficiency as them – it might even be even more effective.

 

LifaLoft is enclosed by a PFC free DWR, that is certified by Bluesign. Photo: Chirs Johnson.

Of course, as is the case with all PrimaLoft products, this still also has that benefit of being able to provide warmth even when the fill gets wet.

Eco-enthusiasts will be glad to hear that it’s also a sustainable option, with a controlled amount of water used for the production and dyeing process and a PFC-free DWR. It’s all certified by Bluesign (the industry mark for efforts towards sustainability).

It’s not easy to find an insulator that ticks all the boxes, even with the vast numbers on the market in the modern day, but Helly Hansen’s Lifaloft Hybrid Insulator jacket does just that.

“Warmth. Warmth warmth warmth. Do you like warmth? We like warmth. This jacket is warmth. It’s cosy, it’s comfortable, and did we mention the warmth? This insulator does exactly what it was built to do. You can tell right away how high quality it is. It feels good, it sits good, and it’s breathable too. You can’t ask for much more.” – Stuart Kenny, OM Gear Tester.

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