Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip


The Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip base layer brings together Helly Hansen’s tried and tested Lifa fabric with our favourite material for this season; glorious, warm and all natural Merino wool, in a long sleeved base layer that offers serious warmth as well as impressive moisture management, to make it the perfect winter base layer.


Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip


Whatever you do to keep fit and active, if you do it outside you need a base layer which is both insulating and able to move moisture away from the body, and that is what the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip does so perfectly.  So completely perfectly in fact that we think you’ll want to buy several (just as well there are 10 colours to choose from!) and then you would never need anything else because, in our opinion, it is the ideal winter base layer for cycling, running, ski-ing or walking and just between us, we’ve been wearing it with jeans too because it easily looks good enough.


We’re loving the Merino wool options that are out there for this season and Helly Hansen have really spoiled us with Merino glove liners and Lifa Merino socks, all of which are being worn over and over again in the name of product testing (it’s a tough job ...) and also because they feel amazing and work really hard to keep us warm.


But let’s get back to the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip ... the clue is in the title, you get two great fabrics which combine to produce a base layer that keeps you warm and which has truly excellent wicking abilities, moving moisture away from the body very effectively.  Layering for winter rides is always more difficult than for any other season, because initially it is about keeping warm but once the intensity increases, the priority changes to keeping dry to avoiding the dreaded wind chill on the body. 


We are rather pleased to say that we have been training really consistently this winter, often in temperatures that have dipped below freezing and with hail, sleet and snow to contend with too.  Conditions that would ordinarily confine us to the turbo trainer but we have been able to get outside to bank some serious miles because we have all the right gear, so when we say the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip is tried, tested and highly recommended, you can be sure we have worn it over and over again, in all conditions and it has never once let us down.


With the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole; the inner layer of Helly Hansen Lifa fabric is wonderfully soft against the skin and incredibly hard working when it comes to moving sweat away from the body.  Added to that is an outer layer of super soft, non-itchy and allergy neutral Merino wool, which turbo charges the warmth of this base layer without adding bulk and it is great at wicking too.


Lifa is Helly Hansen's name for their own Polypropylene fabric, which retains 40 times less water than polyester, is 40% lighter and with a 60% better insulation to weight ratio.  It is also naturally anti-bacterial, 100% hypo-allergenic and is also 100% recyclable.  Some impressive numbers but wait, that is only half of the story, because added to that is the outer layer of Merino wool which is very good at regulating body temperature and when you do break out in a sweat, it wicks moisture away efficiently too.  Interestingly, (we think) Merino is also slightly water-repellent and in common with most wools, Merino contains lanolin, which has natural antibacterial properties and so it does not get smelly with use (do we need to get out more?).


Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip too gorgeous to cover up


The design of the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip is body skimming, which is important to optimise the wicking properties, and it is also generous in length, so there is plenty of fabric to tuck in and protect the lower back.  The arm length is great too, you can really stretch out and never feel the fabric pulling or tugging.  Add to this a slightly raised neck line, secured with a half zip, which ensures the perfect snug fit and great protection for the neck against the cold and it is overall a design which leaves us wanting for nothing and it has been said we are pretty demanding!


Even on the coldest of days the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip has allowed us to train with only a good winter jacket over the top of it, so there were no extra layers to restrict movement and it despite repeated washing and wearing, it has come up like new every time.


Given the amazing colour options, this is a base layer which begs to be seen 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 the bike, plus it even works well with jeans on a cold day.  In fact there were so many opportunities to wear it that we have never really put it away.


If you want to keep active whatever the weather, the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino ½ zip will quickly become your go to base, boasting two “super-fabrics” which deliver warmth and the ability to wick away sweat like nothing you will have experienced before.  Wearing is believing ...


Sizes: XS – XL

Colour: 10 glorious options

Price: £75.00

Website:  www.hellyhansen.com HH lifa merino


Performance: 10/10       

Value for money: 9/10


Tested by Jan Birkmyre



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