Helly Hansen Warm Freeze ½ Zip base


Combining two amazing fabrics, this long sleeved base layer is a revelation, offering serious warmth and impressive moisture management too – it is the perfect winter base layer for cycling, running, ski-ing or walking.


Helly Hansen Warm Freeze ½ Zip base layer


The people at Helly Hansen have never rested on their laurels and that is why, in our opinion, they produce the very best technical base layers.  The brand, which dates back to 1877, is founded on the development of fabrics that protect and perform in the most extreme environments, and the Helly Hansen Warm Freeze ½ Zip base layer is a great example of what they do so well. 


For the Warm Freeze ½ Zip they have taken two great fabrics and combined them to produce a base layer that keeps you warm but in addition also has a truly excellent ability to wick moisture away from the body – we know because we have been wearing it on some rides where warmth has been a priority, with temperatures dipping below freezing, but this winter the training has called for some serious intervals as well and we found that as we warmed up and started to “glow” the Helly Hansen Warm Freeze has come up trumps, wicking sweat away from the body almost as fast as we can work it up.


Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and the HH Warm Freeze is just such an example.  The inner layer is Helly Hansen Lifa fabric, which is wonderfully soft against the skin and incredibly hard working when it comes to moving sweat away from the body.  To that HH has added an outer layer of super soft, non-itchy and allergy neutral Merino wool, which gives a generous helping of warmth but without any bulk and it is great at wicking too.


LIFA is Helly Hansen's name for their own Polypropylene fabric, which they tell us retains 40 times less water than polyester, is 40% lighter and with a 60% better insulation to weight ratio.  If that’s not enough, then let me tell you it has natural anti-bacterial properties as well, is 100% hypo-allergenic and is also 100% recyclable.


Before we knew all that, we were more excited by the all-natural Merino wool, because we know from experience just how soft, warm and light it is.  Merino is often used for technical garments because it is very good at naturally regulating body temperature and when you do break out in a sweat, it wicks moisture away very efficiently too.  Merino is also slightly water-repellent and in common with most wools, merino contains lanolin, which has natural antibacterial properties and so does not get smelly with use.


The cut of the Helly Hansen Warm Freeze ½ Zip is body skimming, vital to optimise wicking, and generous enough to provide for a really secure amount of tuck in, ensuring the lower back is well protected and the arm length is excellent too.  Add to this a slightly raised neck line, secured with a zip which ensures the perfect snug fit and great protection against the cold – it is a design which leaves us wanting for nothing.


We have found that this base layer excels on those really cold days when we might otherwise have had to add some extra layers.  We hate the restrictive feeling you get when you are layered up against the elements and so we loved that the Helly Hansel Warm Freeze has been enough to allow us to ride with nothing more than a good winter jacket over the top.  During the testing period we have used it repeatedly and we have come to the conclusion it is really the only base layer we will need, whatever this winter throws at us.


Base layers are often not seen but with a choice of six different colours (almost one for each day of the week) the Helly Hansen Warm Freeze ½ zip is a layer that is begging to be on show and we have needed only the very slightest suggestion of exercise to grab it.  We have thrown it on for gym days, running, used it as a cover up on the way to a yoga class and of course just about every time we have got on our bikes.  But as it also works well with jeans on a cold day, so we have barely had time to wash it before we have found the perfect opportunity to wear it again.


If you want to keep active whatever the weather has in store this winter, the Helly Hansen Warm Freeze ½ Zip is a base layer that will become a trusted piece of kit that, with its two “super-fabrics”, offers warm and the ability to wick away sweat like nothing you will have experience before


Sizes: XS – XL

Colour: Black, White Symbi, White Jasic, White Win, Sunburned P, Ebony

Price: £70.00

Website:  Hellyhansen.com Warm Freeze1/2 zip


Performance: 9/10         

Value for money: 9/10


Tested by Jan Birkmyre



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