I have been testing outdoor gear for many years and this is the first time I have produced a his and hers article. My wife and I never buy the same gear, but by accident we have both ended up with the H1 Helly Hansen seamless thermals. Read this review of H1 Pro Lifa base layers to find out what we thought.
It was actually a bit of a mix up that ended up with us both getting the same kit. And we have gone for very different colours – so no matching outfits (thankfully!). And lets face it base layers don’t get seen very often anyway.
Interestingly we got them for very very different uses. I got mine primarily for snowboarding and other winter sports, where as my wife got hers for jogging, general exercise and hiking experiences. This shows how versatile these H1 Pro Lifa Helly Hansen seamless thermals are.
A his and hers review seems a bit cliche. But I can’t turn down the opportunity to do this for the first time. Of course my wife’s opinion is far more important than mine so we’ll make this a hers and his review of these Pro Lifa Helly Hansen seamless base layers.
I love getting outside for physical fitness as it is great for my mental health, When I run, go on solo hikes or for family outdoor time which starts as a walk and ends with me standing beneath a tree while the kids swing from the branches.
During the winter it’s quite refreshing when you see your breath leave your body in little puffy plumes. But I do start to feel the cold very quickly. In the past this meant lots of thick clothing and scarfs etc.
I started using the Helly Hanson Pro Lifa seamless pant and half zip top for running in the coldest part of winter last year. Several times I ran in freezing hail, which was very sharp on my bare skin yet my body stayed warm.
I wasn’t convinced about running in thermals. I had visions of being sweaty and constricted. The reality was the soft stretchy fabric felt like a second skin with no dampness thanks to the wicking ability of the technical fabric.
The material is 50% Wool, 25% Polyamide, 22% Polypropylene and 3% Elastane. It is incredibly lightweight but still offers plenty of warmth. The weight means it does not restrict movement and it is thin and flexible enough to fit beneath my usually close fit running wear.
On the up hill parts of my run I was able to move freely, no restriction around the knees or elbows underarms or groin. I didn’t feel too hot although I was exerting myself to the max. I was sweating quite a lot but the H1 Pro Lifa base layers wicked it away keeping my skin dry.
On the down hill, and when I slowed a little to catch my breath, I didn’t suddenly feel the cold or the bite of the wind. The thermal mapping technology really works to keep your body at the right temperatures no matter what your exertion levels. They even work well for my yoga cool down.
During this review of H1 Pro Lifa base layers I have not only run in them. When out for a walk or stood around waiting for the kids in the park the Lifa technology works just as well. I was always aware of the softness of the fabric and even chose to take my outer layers off when home and lounge in the thermal wear. They are just so comfy.
I have worn the pants beneath jeans without feeling any bulkiness or restriction. It is almost as though the extra layers weren’t there at all. Part of this is the seamless technology which ensures there are no points to rub, while still providing a snug fit.
The only major drawback with the pants is that they fit around the hips rather than the waist. They don’t slip down at all while wearing them which is great. But for me I would prefer a waist high fit.
The top doesn’t have a hood but does sport a very soft and flexible collar which fits nicely when the half zip is done up. The collar also keeps the lower part of the neck protected from the cold even when the zip is down.
There are thumb holes in the sleeves which are great when starting a run and easily fold up when your hands get warm. They fit well without pulling between the thumb and fingers. When out walking I found the thumb holes really useful for extra protection and warmth around the wrist.
I picked the H1 Pro Lifa thermals to wear on snowboarding holidays. I am very into freeride and getting out into the backcountry. So I wanted base layers that would regulate my temperature, wick sweat away and work in everything from bitter winter conditions to balmy spring days.
The Pro Life thermals are a lovely soft material that is great against the skin. They feels slightly cool to the touch, which is generally a good sign of a material with strong wicking abilities.
They are also very lightweight and the size of each garment takes up much less room than a standard t-shirt would. Weighing just 190g (tops) and 138g (bottoms) they hardly take up any space in your pack if you take them as extra layer, but personally I would always wear them!
In my opinion the most important factor with base layers is that you do not know they are there. I don’t want to feel cold material, sweat build up, seams rubbing or any restriction of my movements.
First up the material keeps you warm. As the layer closest to your skin thermals are hugely important in regulating your temperature. In this instance the 50% wool helps to keep you warm and the laser cut holes help stop you overheating in your warmest areas.
I have worn these in situations exerting myself hiking up a mountain through snow at more than 2,000 meters altitude, with steep drops making my heart beat faster than usual. I can feel my body producing sweat, lots of it! However, I never felt damp in the H1 Pro Lifa thermals as they instantly wick moisture away.
These Helly Hansen seamless thermals have been designed to ensure there are no areas that will rub. The usual culprits of the upper thighs between the legs, under the arms and across the shoulders when wearing a backpack all felt absolutely fine.
Finally the 3% elastine means these baselayers flex and move with you. They did not restrict my movement in any way. Ultimately I do not notice I am wearing them, which is exactly what I want – all day comfort without having to fiddle with my thermals!
The H1 Lifa pants great baselayers for skiing or snowboarding. My only criticism is they are full length. As you should not tuck thermals into your ski or snowboard boots it means rolling them up which adds surplus material above my boots.
It is not a big deal and I have taken to folding them over my knee for some extra padding. However, three quarter length versions would be better for skiers and snowboarders.
The H1 Lifa half zip top is excellent. Not only does it make putting it on and taking it off easier, but on hot days, or when really exerting yourself, you can undo it to let heat escape. A quick blast of mountain air certainly does the trick.
The thumb holes are a nice feature in many instances but I do not use them. I wear snowboarding gloves that include wrist guards so extra material beneath them is not a good idea. To be honest most jackets have wrist gaiters with thumb holes too and I don’t use them either. The extra material can be a little annoying particularly if you wear a watch.
Well it is clear we both love these thermals for very different activities. They are soft, comfortable, versatile, transport moisture away from your body and regulate your temperature. To conclude this review of H1 Pro Lifa base layers I will hand it to her and him…
Now it’s autumn again I will be using these for walks and late night runs and as the season deepens they will become a staple item in my fitness wear wardrobe.
I often go away snowboarding for two weeks at a time and get through quite a few sets of baselayers. These can be worn for three days without getting stinky! During that time they keep me warm, stop me overheating and wick sweat away. They perform better than most other thermals I have owned.
We hope you found this hers and his review of H1 Pro Lifa base layers useful. You can pick up these Helly Hansen seamless thermals direct from HH for £100 to £130: www.hellyhansen.com/h1pro