Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest

 

The Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest is so packed with features that made us say “wow” it is difficult to know where to start.  Overall it is fabulously warm, beautifully styled and finished with all the attention to detail that you can expect from HH, and it comes in a two-tone fabric that makes it really stand out from the crowd.

 

Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest

The moment we took it out of the packaging it was clear that the Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest is no ordinary down gilet and we noticed that we are not alone in thinking that either, as it features in a number of “top 10” lists for other publications too.

 

Instantly eye catching is the gorgeous two-tone fabric Helly Hansen has chosen – that’s a first for us and it makes this gilet particularly striking.  But don’t be distracted just by the looks, this fabric is also down proof, so there will be no feathers poking out of it after a few wears.  Feathers trying to escape from down jackets and gilets look dreadful and in our experience this can be a problem with some of the really high end gear too, so we are really happy to report that despite some significant hours of wear during our test, there is no hint that any of the carefully packed down will escape this vest.

 

The very serious amount of warmth that is delivered by the Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest comes courtesy of Allied Down 60/40 (60% feather and 40% down) with a 480 fill power.  If you are wondering what that number refers to, it is simply the volume in cubic centimetres of a single gram of down, when fully lofted (that’s fluffy to you and me).  The higher the number, the greater the insulating properties of the garment and the warmer it will be.  And it is worth noting that Allied Down is high quality, responsibly sourced down and that warms our little hearts beyond expectations based on just the fill power alone!

 

Not content to settle for just one type of insulation, Helly Hansen have used PrimaLoft® Black 200gr insulation in the side panels.  This is a hybrid mix of 50% Primaloft® ultrafine fibres and 50% water repellent down with the overall effect of keeping you warm without it looking like you are wearing a duvet.  We also found that it allowed us relatively unrestricted movement, which is a surprise from such a highly insulated garment.

 

To wear the Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest is to love it (product testing is often a joy and this was no exception), with the super soft lining on the high collar a particular highlight.  The feel of the lining against your skin is so delicious and it keeps the neck really warm.  With the full length zipper done all the way up, the fit is snug without being suffocating.  For us the offset zip is a winning and very chic feature, and there are also two deep, fleece lined, zipped pockets for hands or valuables.

 

Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest

 

Helly Hansen have added elastic to the inside of the arm holes and the bottom hem which we found  very effectively keeps the gilet close to the body and stops air getting in to your core body area.  The result is so wonderfully warm that we have been wearing it over a Helly Hansen winter base layer like the Warm Freeze or the lightweight Daybreaker Fleece and we found that we were good for all but the very coldest or wettest of days.  It is great for bracing winter walks and would be perfect for après ski too, while also not looking out of place in a coffee shop – it is a layer you can reach for any time you need a little extra warmth and know it will do exactly what it promises and with no small amount of flare too.

 

The Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest is a regular fit, meaning is it body skimming rather than body hugging, and despite it’s awesome insulation, it is both flattering and stylish.

 

The Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest is not cheap but you get what you pay for and in this case you get a fabulously warm, beautifully styled and feature packed down gilet that will draw admiring glances whenever you wear it, whilst you just feel warm and gorgeous!

 

Sizes: XS – XL

Colour: Evening Blu, Rock

Price: £170.00

Website:  Helly Hansen Iona Down Vest

 

Performance: 10/10       

Value for money: 9/10

 

Tested by Jan Birkmyre

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