Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket

Words Marcus Bloom | September 13, 2012
The Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket allows you to precisely regulate its temperature, from warm to cool and everything in between
Words Marcus Bloom September 13, 2012

In everyone’s life, there’s a moment when you try something and you think to yourself, “This is brilliant… why didn’t I think of it?”  In the world of outerwear, Helly Hansen has just launched a product that falls precisely into the aforementioned category , solving the dilemma of how to precisely blend optimal amounts of heating and cooling.

As anyone fond of the outdoors will tell you, it’s the age-old problem:  finding a mid-layer or outer layer that not only keeps you warm, but also finding one that regulates your temperature as your core temperatures heat up.  If you’ve ever taken a long hike, especially one with a pack, you’re likely already familiar with the need for temperature regulation.  You wear layers for their heat and protection from the elements, but as time goes on, your body temperature rises and you start to overheat.  This results in either an abundance of sweat or the need to shed layers, both of which are less than ideal

Enter the Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket.  Thanks to Helly’s revolutionary Hollow Heat Flow technology, the H2 Flow is not only incredibly effective at warming you as a mid-layer, it also provides an absolutely amazing amount of venting and cooling where you need it, when you need it.

Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket front vents

Making the magic happen are two key elements:  adjustable venting on the jacket, and 200g of insulation that utilize both positive and negative spaces.  Together, they form the basis for a tremendous level of user controlled temperature regulation throughout the day.

So let’s say, for example, that your hike begins on a cool fall morning.  You begin your hike with a base layer and the H2 Flow Jacket, with all venting closed.  As a result, you’re warm and comfortable.  But as you pile the miles pile on, your body temperature rises, as does the outside temperature.  Normally, you’d be forced to shed your mid layer, but with the H2 Flow, you have the ability to open the vertical vents and let the outside air flow in.  Once the air is inside the jacket, the insulation’s negative spaces allow it to flow around your body, lowering interior temperatures and aiding in sweat evaporation.

Helly calls it a micro-climate system technology, and if it sounds ingenious, it is.  You can adjust temperatures to match a huge array of activities, from casual to intense, and you can do it all in a single mid-layer.

From there, Helly Hansen took the H2 Flow a step further and incorporated all the features that make their other outwear so incredible.  There’s the breathable, ripstop fabric that’s not only remarkably impervious to abuse, but it also excels at repelling moisture while maintaining breathability.  There’s the sleek styling that makes the H2 Flow at home on the street as much as it is in the outdoors.  And there’s the fact the H2 Flow Jacket is constructed from Blue Sign approved fabrics, ensuring that it’s made in the most environmentally friendly way possible.

It’s a lot to fit into one coat, but Helly Hansen has proven once again why they’re the leader in outdoor gear for the most demanding of uses.

The H2 Flow Jacket is part of Helly Hansen’s Fall/Winter Collection and is available for both men and women for $180.

Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket front view half zipped

With all the hype surrounding this new jacket by Helly Hansen, I decided there was no better way to break it in than by putting it to a little test.  Two days after I picked mine up, my wife and I headed to the Eightmile Lake Trail – me with with my new H2 Flow Jacket and her with a standard fleece.

About 4 miles in and just over 5,000 ft, we had both worked up a sweat, meaning it was the perfect time to see how the H2 Flow Jacket’s venting would perform. While my wife packed her fleece into her pack (which later turned out to be a mistake when she got scratched up by quite a bit of brush), I simply opened the H2 Flow venting and kept on going.  Within a few minutes, I had stopped sweating and had cooled down to a comfortable temperature.  It wasn’t the shocking cold you get when you take your jacket off completely.  Instead, I was entirely comfortable – no chills, no wind gusts whipping through the coat – just a comfortable temperature.

Another mile and a half and we arrived at Caroline Lake and the H2 Flow Jacket had done its job.  I removed my pack, zipped the vents back up and sat down to enjoy the view. My wife on the other hand was getting bite after bite from the lake mosquitos.  She grabbed her fleece out of her pack, only to find it was still damp from the first four miles of sweat.  The result was an uncomfortable lunch at the lake, to say the least.  Being the sensational husband I am, I bestowed her with the H2 Flow Jacket on the way down. Thankfully, Helly makes a women’s version of the H2 Flow, or I would have just lost my new favorite mid-layer.

Needless to say, the Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket lives up to the hype. As a mid-layer or outer-layer, it is a brilliant design that gets the job done.  It’s warm, it’s cool, and it’s everything in between.

You can learn more about the Helly Hansen H2 Flow Jacket at the official Helly Hansen website.