Preparing yourself for the slopes with Helly Hansen


February tends to be a very popular time for family ski holidays in the UK, with the half-term holidays usually falling around the middle to end of the month. It’s a time when families who love the outdoors head to the Alps with snow on most slopes pretty much guaranteed. As regular readers will know, our two teenage sons’ usual preferred sport of choice is sailing but this winter they are very much looking forward to a school ski trip to Davos in Switzerland, free from the embarrassment of Mum and Dad.

With their sailing, they have always sworn by their Helly Hansen gear so, when it came to kitting them out for the slopes of Switzerland, it was an obvious choice for us. Helly Hansen’s products always offer a reliable mix of comfort, functionality and style. And whilst Davos sits at 1,560 m (5,120 ft), the slopes of the resort reach more than double that height – 3,146 m (10,322 ft) at Schwarzhorn (Flüela) – so we needed to be confident that they would be assured with the warmth and comfort of a reputable brand.

Here’s how we’ve kitted them out for the trip:

The jacket and pants

For our older son, James..

Garibaldi Jacket (Colour: 971 Quiet Shade)

Helly Hansen’s insulated HELLY TECH® Professional Garibaldi Jacket is designed to protect skiers from the external elements with its waterproof and breathable Primaloft® insulion. It is an iconic ski jacket that’s even used by professional skiers on the Canadian ski team.

It offers a relaxed fit and protection from even the harshest conditions thanks to its innovative H²Flow™, keeping the wearer dry, warm or cool depending on the conditions and intensity.

It even comes with Helly Hansen’s innovative Life Pocket™, which helps keep smartphones alive for longer on colder days, and the Recco® advanced rescue system (a reflector that provides an electronic method of finding people buried in an avalanche).

Legendary Insulated Pant (Colour: 971 Quiet Shade)

This insulated version of Helly Hansen’s best-selling Legendary Pant comes in a classic style and gives added warmth on cold days. They are fully waterproof and breathable, keeping skiers dry, warm and comfortable – a firm favourite for many years but now with Primaloft® insulation and mechanical venting to ensure exceptional thermal regulation.

For our younger son, Tom…

Straightline LIFALOFT™ Jacket (Colour: 971 Quiet Shade)

Another favourite used by the Canadian national ski team, this LIFALOFT™ insulated men’s ski jacket features a longer silhouette, spacious pocket space, and double needle embossed stitching. It appears to be super warm without being bulky yet scores full marks on all the performance rankings (windproofness, waterproofness, breathability and durability).

Exclusive to Helly Hansen, LIFALOFT™ offers a great way to keep warm without feeling weighed down.

Legendary Insulated Pant (Colour: 597 Navy)

Tom will also be wearing the Legendary Insulated Pant. It comes in a choice of eight differ colours and he has opted for the navy version.

Layering

Anyone who’s familiar with spending time in the outdoors in colder climates will recognise the importance of layering. With insulating base and mid-layers that provide wicking, warmth and protection from the wind, you’re more likely to keep warm and have fun on the slopes if you’re dressed appropriately.

For both boys…

HH LIFA® Merino 1/2 Zip (Colour: 990 Black)

This base layer has a 2-layer construction with flatlock seams, a 100% merino wool exterior that keeps you warm and the unique properties of technical LIFA® technology to keep you dry. It is Helly Hansen’s warmest base layer and helps to keep sweat away from the skin so that it doesn’t lead to chilling. The half-zip also allows the wearer to quickly cool down a little after a busy day on the slopes.

LIFALOFT™ Insulator Jacket (Colour: 964 Charcoal CA)

Unlike the base layer which provides the wicking and the outer jacket that provides protection from the elements, it’s the mid-layer that actually provides much of the warmth. LIFALOFT™ is Helly Hansen’s new technology for the winter season and serves as an amazing midlayer – super lightweight, amazingly insulated and not bulky at all. It took four years in development with the HH ski ambassador team and working very closely with the Primaloft® team to develop the perfect insulator.

To top it off

Growing up, I remember being told things like “80% of your heat is lost through your head” but apparently it’s all a myth. More recent research published in the British Medical Journal suggests the figure is more like 7-10% of total body heat. So the layering described above is super-important but at the same time a 10% heat loss is not to be ignored so, when they’re not wearing their helmets but want some additional warmth, our boys will be wearing Helly Hansen’s Business Beanie.

They come in two shades – charcoal grey or black – with a classic look, and will offer that little bit of extra warmth and comfort if it’s ever needed.

Once they’re back from the ski trip, I’ll provide a follow-up post that provides more of a first-hand account of how the boys got on with the new gear.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Helly Hansen.


Comments (16)

  1. Victoria P says:

    I’m also a fan of HH jackets, had two now and both have been comfortable and worn very well. Good investment pieces. I haven’t tried anything else in the range so I can’t speak for other products, but it looks like there’s a versatile range. Years ago, back when I bought my first jacket, I don’t think they were quite as sophisticated, but these days the brand seems to be leading the way with fancy sounding stuff in their designs and materials to make them as efficient as possible. A very innovative brand. Good choice for the ski gear. I hope your boys enjoy their ski trip to Davos!

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Thank you, Victoria… I’m sure they will! And yes, you’re right – there’s a huge amount of innovation that goes into HH products. Often years of research and development, with new technologies consistently emerging from the brand. The Lifaloft™ insulation by Primaloft® is a case in point – apparently it is 20% lighter than standard insulation so, for a lower weight, still leaves skiers with plenty of flexibility and agility whilst still keeping warm.

  2. Maureen Dean says:

    Have a good ski trip, at least you’ll be wrapped up warm and look the part in your new kit. I’m curious how the life pocket feature works. That’s a fantastic idea, anything to make it easier for people to keep in touch or be tracked if the worst happens and they find themselves in trouble. Hubby’s got trousers a bit like these ‘Legendary Insulated Pants’, but he doesn’t go skiing. TV is his olympic sport and occasional hikes we go on. I’ll have to have a look at these ones.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      When cold, phone batteries tend to drain faster than they would normally, so the pocket just helps to keep the phone warmer for longer. Nowadays, you can even buy an External Life Pocket as a stand-alone item from Helly Hansen so you don’t necessarily have to get a new jacket if you like the sound of this feature.

  3. Alex says:

    As a Dad of teenagers it’s reassuring to see that Helly Hansen have got the message that gear must look fashionable as well as doing the job that it’s intended for on the slopes.

    Your boys will be leading the way on the Davos slopes’ catwalk.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Alex! :-) Another good point, many of the items mentioned come in a range of styles and colours. The above are from the adult range (our boys are going to be taller than me soon and I’m 6ft!) but of course there are also their Kids and Junior ranges with lots more choice as well.

    • Kelly says:

      I was thinking the same thing as I read this! I’m not much of a skier but I was impressed with the style of this gear and how comfortable it looks to wear on the slopes. Seems very durable and definitely chic!

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Thanks, Kelly – it certainly is! :-)

  4. Chris H says:

    Not only is February a very popular time for ski holidays it also tends to be a very cold time too. Take it from me that it is worth investing in top quality gear. If you don’t, skiing can turn into quite a miserable experience.

  5. Beth says:

    I’d never really thought about what I need from my ski gear but windproofness, waterproofness, breathability and durability just about sum it up!

    I agree that if you’ve got those 4 things covered then you should be OK.

  6. Gaynor says:

    So your boys are going off skiing looking very trendy and totally prepared for almost any weather. Have you and your wife refreshed your ski wardrobe? Are you going to fit in some skiing at some time? Or is it a case of the sacrifices we make for our kids?

    • Paul Johnson says:

      I am a terrible skier. I like the idea of it, but I’m pretty hopeless. We’re taking the opportunity to go to Ireland – I am attending a conference in Dublin for one day and then we’ll have a couple of extra nights reviewing a luxury castle hotel out there. Come back to the blog in a few weeks and you can read all about it, as well as how the boys got on with their Helly Hansen gear. :-)

  7. Janet Gordon says:

    So, did your boys trial their ski gear over the weekend? Some very extreme weather called for some exceptional gear this weekend. Storm Ciara would definitely have tested out how waterproof and wind proof their new clothes were.

    The good news was that I was way down south in Surrey but the bad news was that I was glamping. Our landlord reassured us that our Shepherd’s hut – and yes it was a bit like the one that our ex Prime Minister David Cameron has in his back garden – was 4 tons and would not blow over. Yet, there were still a few creaky moments and torrents. We could have done with some HH gear.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Hi Janet

      The ski trip is not until this weekend (and next week). They did go out sailing at the weekend, though, just before the storm threw its full force at us… in their Helly Hansen sailing gear, of course (check out the short clip here: http://bit.ly/38pHGbM !).

      Glad you survived your glamping adventure! :-)

      Paul

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