The Helly Hansen brand started back in 1877 when Helly Juell Hansen, a Norwegian captain, and his wife began crafting oilskin jackets, trousers, sou'westers and tarpaulins made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil. By 1882, they had sold nearly 10,000 pieces. With that said, chances are, this company knows what it is doing by now.
Not surprisingly, adrenaline junkies around the globe still love this brand today. I’m talking mountaineering masters, extreme skiers, sailors and me. Funny thing is, I didn’t know about the company’s longstanding history before testing out the W Blanche Insulator recently at Mont Tremblant. I chose it based purely on looks (it’s a beautiful deep violet) and the fact that it is made of down to keep me warm and toasty.
The lightweight jacket was pretty snazzy on both accounts. The fitted look and clean Scandinavian design kept me looking lovely on the slopes, and the targeted insulation kept me snug while not making me feel overstuffed. Speaking of that, it fit easily into my regulation size suitcase. That’s a big bonus for me since I am opposed to checking bags these days. (Note: it was in the 40s and 50s while I was in Quebec, so I’m not sure how it holds up in colder temps.)
Now, about the other fun features. I love a jacket that has lots of secret compartments; the W Blanche Insulator has plenty, including exterior pockets, interior pockets and a ski-pass pocket. I also appreciate the liner that pulls over your thumb to keep the wind and snow out. The mechanical venting zips come in handy, too, so you can air out the old underarms after a snowboarding sesh. That way, you’ll be a little less stinky for apres ski.
Other fab features include:
- Multiple exterior pockets
- Adjustable cuffs
- Full-time, adjustable hood
- Mechanical venting zips
- Powder skirt
- Articulated elbows
- Grey duck down 70/30/550
- Down lightweight construction
- Internal pockets
- Ski-pass pocket
- YKK zippers
Helly Hansen Insulator
Thanks to Helly Hansen for supplying this most awesome ski jacket.
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When I’m not zigzagging around the planet — scaling the steps of Chichén-Itzá, carving up Costa Rican waves or roaming through the remote jungles of India — I’m writing about my adventures, the environment, fitness, health/wellness, extraordinary people and social injustice issues. My writing appears in USA Today, ISLANDS, Caribbean Travel & Life, Cayman Airways Skies, American Eagle Latitudes, Orlando Sentinel, abcnews.com, Where Orlando, Where Jacksonville, Upscale and Wild Blue Yonder.Located:
Adventure, health/wellness, nature, sports, festivals, dance, music, etc.Website: http://www.sarahsekula.com
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