Let’s get back to the basics with Helly Hansen. Back to base layers, to be precise.
The Helly Hansen H1 Pro LIFA Seamless ½ Zip has turned out to be a welcome and pleasant addition to my cold-weather wardrobe. As part of my review of this Helly Hansen base layer, I describe the many features and its comfort, wicking-ability, and design.
Full of Features
The company calls the shirt “a high-performance base layer constructed with thermal body mapping technology that will warm up where your body cools down and cool down where your body heats up.”
In simple English, the shirt is part mesh and part solid fabric (but seamless), which is always a good combination for activewear.
As Helly Hansen describes, “Combining LIFA® [fabrics] with 100% Merino wool provides warmth where most needed, such as the upper back, chest, and neck for men and women, while LIFA® and LIFA® Active are placed near the areas that often sweat the most to move moisture away from the skin as quickly as possible – under arms and along the spine. Laser-cut holes offer even more breathability to help the body lose heat when needed.”
All of which sounds impressive, but the proof of the claims lies in actually trying the shirt. I have to say that it holds up well for the most part.
Wicking performance is impressive on this shirt. I’ve yet to soak it with sweat, and it has dried impressively quickly when I have sweated into it… or washed it.
Thanks to the merino wool blend, it’s mega-comfortable and odor-resistant. I’ve worn it for two-three days at a time for regular activities without stinking things out. And since my wife has a nose that would rival a bloodhound, that’s impressive.
I do have a few quibbles with the design, though. The fit could be improved considerably. I have a long torso, but even I find the shirt’s length in an XXL to be far too long.
The sleeves have thumb hooks, which are always a favourite little luxury, but the cuffs don’t seem to be oriented properly with the drape of the sleeves, making it problematic to use them.
The fit of the shirt is tighter than it should be, especially through the chest and torso. Combined with the mesh panels exposing a lot of skin, I wouldn’t wear this shirt on its own in warmer weather, even though it’s otherwise stylish enough to.
I also prefer a shorter, 1/4 zipper to the half-zipper on this shirt, although it does have its uses when you’re trying to cool off.
The material is luxuriously soft but also delicate. The first time I wore it, I noticed a sizeable rip in the seam along the neck. I sewed the seam back together and haven’t had a problem since, but I’ve been gentle in handling. That includes washing it by hand and air-drying it.
Despite the design quirks from my review, the comfort, wicking performance, and thermal technology make the H1 Pro LIFA Seamless 1/2 Zip base layer a handy item to have and a clear win for Helly Hansen.
Would you use the Helly Hansen H1 Pro LIFA Seamless 1/2 Zip base layer? What has your experience been? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Helly Hansen provided the H1 Pro LIFA Seamless 1/2 Zip for testing. All views and experiences shared in the article are the author’s own.
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