Helly Hansen, Active Wear for Skiing & Adventure Travel


Frequent skiers will likely know of Helly Hansen as they’re known for ski jackets, down jackets and shells. Given that they’re based in Norway, it’s no surprise that they know how to make great gear and clothing for winter sports and ocean activities like boating where harsh weather is a factor. And, they’ve been around since 1877 — yes, really.

Recently we tested out some of their ski wear during a spring skiing trip to Sun Valley Idaho.  Meet the Double Motion Stretch Jacket in what they call a Princess Purple. Altitude and speed inspire this performance insulated ski jacket. In this model, waterproof breathable Helly Tech Performance stretch fabric is combined with PrimaLoft insulation, and their innovative H2Flow system for turbo-charged mechanical venting which equates to great temperature regulation, a godsend for me on a 50 degree sunny day. Other features include wrist gaitors, inside stash pocket, and ski pass pocket. There’s also a snap away snow skirt to help keep the snow out, which is great for those snowy days.

Their stretch jacket has a very Alpine look and while I personally favor the purple, they also offer it in black, white, a fun and bright turquoise and a soft green, which they call Sea Breeze (both pictured below). The jacket is fully insulated using PrimaLoft Black Insulation (100 g in body and 80 g in sleeves), fully seam sealed and uses a two-way dynamic stretch fabric making it easy to move around. It’s waterproof, windproof and breathable — they treat it with a durable water repellency treatment (DWR) to further help keep you dry, which is really essenstial when it’s snowing or raining.

A bit more about PrimaLoft since I found it interesting. PrimaLoft is essentially a synthetic insulation technology, offering superior thermal properties with excellent water repellency. It is made up of ultra-fine fibers that form air pockets to trap heat inside, and yes, you can feel the difference.

What else is cool is their RECCO Advanced Rescue system, internal pocket for electronics (I bring my iPhone with me on the mountain), strong YKK water resistant zippers, their detachable helmet compatible and adjustable hood and their dual hand warming pockets and a chest pocket. I love that this jacket has so many internal and external pockets and it seems as if I used them all (iPhone, chap stick, trail map, money, kleenex).

I paired this stylish number up with white Helly Hansen’s Bellissimo Ski Pants. What’s fabulous about this ever so chic snow pant that comes in both white and black, is how stretchy they are — it is made with a 4-way stretch softshell and a brushed interior for extra warmth. I absolutely love these pants!!!

The other amazing thing about them that all women will love, is that they’re slim fitting and have a small hip pocket for a key, a lipstick or cash for that burger at the lodge.  Like their other active wear, they use the high quality YKK zippers and an elastic waist. There’s dual hand pockets and a back pocket, boot gaitors with silicone gripper, the known Helly Hansen RECCO Advanced Rescue system and articulated knees for optimized movement (everyone commented about the funky knees while I was lounging out in the sun after skiing — see below). They also treat the pants with their Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR). Not only did I look smokin’ in these fabulous pants, but I was both warm AND dry!

Below, on the Sun Valley slopes for spring skiing in March.

Daybreaker Fleece Jacket

I also tested out the Daybreaker Fleece Jacket for women, a stylish jacket with a super lightweight and full front-zip design.  It comes in a fun Aqua Marine color (below and above – I’m wearing it under the double motion stretch jacket), as well as a wide variety of other blue shades, coral, pink, peach, orange, magenta, pink, white and black. It’s super soft to wear and ever so comfy — we love the fact that Helly Hansen offers so many color choices.

We found this to be a very versatile jacket. In addition to serving as a great under garment while on the slopes, it’s ideal for the spring temperatures we’re having in northern California. It also makes a great light mid layer in fall and summer, or of course you can pair it with a Helly Hansen shell or ski jacket. The fleece is a nice combo of soft, comfy and breathable, but also has a stretch material construction.

They use Polartec, a famous manufacturer of lightweight and warm fleece, which is known for performance, durability and aesthetics. In the front, there’s a full YKK coil zip, YKK zipped pockets which are more durable than most and a flatlock seam. Helly Hansen also has wonderful sailing jackets, parkas, shells, spring jackets and vests and all in a fun array of colors. Speaking of fun colors, have a look at just a couple of choices for one of their base layers, in 100% Merino HH Wool, which is great for colder days when moisture management isn’t as essential or to add extra warmth under your ski jacket. How fun, right?

They have a variety of capri pants as well, again, in fun colors and designs. It’s rare to find this level of quality and functionality combined with great style and color palettes. Bravo!!

Helly Hansen Terrak Trail Runner

Jackets and shells aren’t all they do well! The lightweight Terrak Trail Runner has a whole lot of cushioning which served me well during back-to-back Zumba workouts. It’s also a great trail running shoe — I tested them out on my regular walk which is a forty minute walk up and around a big hill near my house. They tout lightweight as a great feature, which after my recent experience with a heavier hiking/trail runner combo, is a godsend.

It has a flat-sole and aggressive lugs that offer great traction, so a perfect accompaniment on any trip where you want to both run and hike. While it isn’t meant to be a serious hiking shoe, it has plenty of traction for more moderate hikes and walks and it’s so much lighter than your more traditional hiking shoe. This runner comes in a great vibrant purple/lavender (below), a Dazzling Rose/Midnight combo and a Magenta/Bordeaux blend.

Incredible features of the runner include its Hellywear Protection, which is a high abrasion TPR/Synthetic material found in all high-wear areas on Helly Hansen shoes, a telling fact about the high quality of this brand. It also has something they refer to as the Helly Grip, which is an outsole material that provides you with really great grip and durability on wet rocks and trails.

Strategically placed under your heel, a feature they call C-Zone absorbs the shock and jump starts the transition from heel to toe on impact, making your steps more effortless. With its high cushioning properties and light weight, EVA provides lightweight comfort and support. And, it really is light! Combine its lightness with its extra comfy cushioning and it has quickly become my favorite pair of shoes for general workout activities.

More info on their site about all of their active wear http://www.hellyhansen.com/ — from shoes, under garments and jackets to sweaters, knits, shorts and even skirts. They also have a nice collection for kids as well. Helly Hansen really cares about quality and style and it shows in everything they make! We LOVE LOVE LOVE this brand!



Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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