In the world of sailing, quality outwear is a must. It protects you from the sea; it keeps you warm amidst cold conditions; yet it must remain breathable, so that when your activity level rises, you don’t overheat. There’s few that manage to find this delicate balance of dryness, warmth and breathability as well as Helly Hansen. They’ve been creating exceptionally functional clothing for over a century, and today, they’re a leader in the world of sailing, skiing and outdoor gear.
If you’re unfamiliar with Helly Hansen, the company’s story started back in 1877. A Norwegian captain by the name of Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Maren Margarethe began producing oilskin jackets, trousers, sou’westers and tarpaulins, made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil. Over the next five years the pair sold approximately 10,000 pieces, and Helly Hansen was born. Since then, Helly Hansen has focused on developing innovative solutions to meet the most demanding of applications. In 1949, Helly Hansen introduced the Helox, a thin sheet of translucent PVC plastic sewn into waterproof coats, that replaced the oilbased outerwear of the time. Twelve years later, the company introduced the original fleece – the fiberpile – that’s warm, lightweight and fast-drying, ideal for wearing under the outer protective layer. In the 1970’s, Helly Hansen introduced LIFA – a new fiber that keeps the skin dry and warm by pushing moisture away from the body, thus making it the ideal baselayer fabric for outdoor and workwear use. And in 1980, Helly Tech technology was launched, making use of both hydrophilic and microporous technology to ensure Helly Hansen gear is both waterproof and breathable. Combining these developments into a single piece, Helly Hansen has mastered the art of layering, and they’ve created a variety of outerwear in both 2-Layer and 3-Layer Systems. It’s all about keeping you dry, warm and comfortable, regardless of the conditions around you, and it works exceptionally well.
For the sailing enthusiast, the Helly Hansen Salt Jacket ($200) is a fantastic option both on the boat and off. Construction wise, the Helly Hansen Salt features the ingenious HellyTech technology the company is known for. A water proof rating of 5,000 mm and a breathability rating 5,000 g make the Salt Jacket an ideal choice for a brisk day out on the boat, while its two-layer construction with protective coastal collar, tonal fully adjustable hood, water resistant front zip and PU inner cuffs all serve to keep you dry despite inclement conditions. Other features of the Helly Hansen Salt include 360 degree reflective elements, hand warmer pockets, Polartec fleece in the collar and pockets, a kill cord D-ring and a one hand adjustable hem. Best of all, despite its supreme functionality, the Helly Hansen Salt Jacket looks great, and is really at home off the boat as much as it is sailing.
As already noted, the price of the Helly Hansen Salt Jacket is $200, which makes it an incredible buy for what you’re getting. It’s available in red, water blue or navy (I’ve got the red), and it can be ordered directly from the Helly Hansen website.