For the last three season I have been wearing Helly Hansen thermals for my snowboarding adventures. So I think it is about time I wrote a review of Helly Hansen baselayers. I will also ask the question are they the best ski thermals?
Arguably your baselayer is the most important bit of clothing when getting outdoors and active, particularly in a cold environment. Wear the wrong thing and you’ll soon be damp and cold regardless of how good your other layers are.
As your baselayer is the closest to your skin it plays a huge role in maintaining body temperature. It does this by trapping warm air close to the skin, whilst also transporting moisture away from the body.
If a baselayer does not efficiently wick your sweat away then it becomes damp. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it will be cool against your skin thus reducing your temperature. For example, ever worn a cotton t-shirt that has got sweaty, and then got cold sitting around in damp clothing?
Check out our more guide of how to layer ski clothing for more information.
I have been wearing Helly Hansen for a few seasons now and they are among the best ski thermals I have ever owned. I have worn them snowboarding in a huge range of conditions, everything from minus 30 in Finland to plus 25 in the Pyrenees.
Not only do they perform exceptionally well in varied conditions, but they are comfy, hard wearing and easy to clean. Below are the Helly Hansen baselayer products I have tested:
New for the 2017/18 season was the HH Lifa Merino Seamless top. Using a 2-layer construction, it combines merino woolcwith Helly Hansen’s Lifa® Fibre. Merino is regarded as the best natural fibre for baselayers. Lifa® is HH’s go to material for keeping athletes dry as it pushes moisture away from the skin.
The Lifa Merino is considered Helly Hansen’s warmest baselayer and I can see why. With all the benefits of merinos warmth and insulation, combined with the unique Lifa® properties to move sweat away, it has kept me warm and dry.
Furthermore. the material is lovely and soft to touch and feels slightly warming when you put it on bare skin. The seamless construction and flex in the material mean it is comfortable and provides excellent freedom of movement.
Without a doubt one of the best ski thermals I have owned. You can pick one up for £80 here: www.hellyhansen.com/hh-lifa-merino-seamless
I have been snowboarding in this for three seasons now. The Mid is a 100% merino baselayer that comes in a medium weight weave for extra warmth, making it ideal for colder days.
Although I often wear it as a baselayer I have also found it also works very well as a midlayer. The extra warmth is almost as good as I get from a fleece, so on days when a technical midlayer will be too warm, but just a baselayer too cold, I wear this as a midlayer.
The downside of Merino is it doesn’t last that well. However, the Merino Mid is still soft to touch and in great condition after at least 30 wears and more than 15 washes. The flatlock stitching and natural stretch mean it is not just comfortable but as flexible as I am.
This is one of the best ski thermals if you want a versatile baselayer. You can pick one up for £80 here: www.hellyhansen.com/hh-merino-mid/
I have been snowboarding in the three quarter length HH Warm Pant for three seasons. It combines HH®Warm with Lifa® Stay Dry technology and pure merino wool to create the most comfortable baselayer bottoms I have ever owned.
Against your skin the Lifa technology keeps you dry. It is also non itch and allergy neutral so any sensitive areas won’t become irritated, this is also helped by the flatlock stitching.
The merino is nice and thick at 215g/m². I have worn the Warm Pant under Helly Hansen Backbowl trousers, which have minimal insulation, and still been an OK temperature in minus 30 degrees. But I have also warn them at plus ten degrees and found they work just as well.
Unfortunately they don’t make the Warm Pant in 3/4 length anymore, you can either pick up a pair of the full length version for £60 here: www.hellyhansen.com/hh-warm-pant or get the similar LIFA Merino 3/4 length here: www.hellyhansen.com/hh-lifa-merino-3-4
OK so socks are not the most glamorous part of your ski kit but get them wrong and you’ll regret it. For me the sign of a good pair of socks is that I don’t notice I am wearing them, and that my feel don’t get damp through sweat.
The Lifa Merino Alpine Socks use merino wool for its warmth, comfort and odour resistance. This is combined with Lifa synthetic fibres which add durability and improve breathability. Since wearing them this season, I have found they work very well and they have become my first choice ski socks.
Added benefits are nylon reinforcement of the toes and heal. Plus there’s added padding under foot, on the shin and calf. They are fitted to your left and right foot separately, and have an elasticated arch to improve the fit. It all adds up to exceptional socks that are up there with the best I have owned.
If you want a pair of HH Lifa Merino Alpine Socks then you can buy them for £30 (currently reduced to £21) here: www.hellyhansen.com/hh-warm-pant
As I have not tested baselayers by every brand. So I cannot say for sure that Helly Hansen makes the best ski thermals. However, each of the items in this review of Helly Hansen baselayers ranks as one of the best I have owned.
Looking to buy top quality thermals that are versatile, do a great job and last really well? In my opinion you’d be making a good decision by buying Helly Hansen.
You can find out more about Helly Hansen baselayers at: www.hellyhansen.com/baselayer