Helly Hansen Lifaloft Insulator Vest: ‘a slick, lightweight layer’ 7/10

Helly Hansen Lifaloft Insulator Vest

Score

7/10
  • Style:
    7/10
  • Performance:
    7/10
  • Fit:
    6/10
  • Value for money:
    7/10

Manufacturer:

Helly Hansen

Price as reviewed:

£130

Welcome to our independent group test of men’s gilets. All of the gilets in this group test have been thoroughly tested by the team at Wild Farm Equestrian. Find out what they thought below.

Official description

The Helly Hansen Lifaloft Insulator Vest uses lightweight shell fabric to help create a great layering and travel piece. Developed in cooperation with PrimaLoft, Lifaloft was developed over four years using our superior Lifa fibre and PrimaLoft’s extensive knowledge in synthetic insulation to create a lighter but warmer insulation, with less bulk. Slick-face fleece fabric is used for optimized fit and comfort when used as layering under a jacket.

First impressions

An extremely lightweight gilet, with a slick design. As expected from Helly Hansen it looked like a really well made item, but I wondered what such a thin gilet could do.

Overview of performance

This really comes into its own when it’s viewed as a ‘layer’. I’ve long been an advocate of multiple thin layers, rather than one or two bulky ones, as the best way to keep warm and give maximum flexibility. This really does fall into that category. On its own it’s not incredibly warm, but brilliantly thin to function as one of many layers. It’s also great for riding because of the lack of bulk.

Wild Farm’s likes and dislikes

I really liked the lightweight design, helpful drawstring and pockets. The sizing however was very generous, especially when considering this as an under layer; a small was very much on the big side for me. It is such an easy item of clothing to throw in a bag or in the car as it takes up no space at all. While I really like the slick look outer, I wasn’t keen on the appearance of it in black.

Verdict

Recommended if you are willing to spend the money on well-designed item that it is on hand when needed.