I bought this Helly Hansen top on the same day as the Devold hoodie previously reviewed, being taken by its attractive contrast stitching and because I wanted to try out this popular brand.
The top is 57% wool and 43% polypropylene, 215gsm and features Helly Hansen’s Lifa®Stay Dry Technology, which is meant to be non-allergenic, with ‘superior insulating and wicking properties’.
However, this is the first merino-based technical base layer I’ve bought that I really do not like. Despite a careful check of the sizing before I bought, this came up rather small and tight, with a feeling like a compression base layer, especially – oddly – on the upper arms. I also don’t like the plasticky feel of the fabric, especially the cuffs, which feel as if they have no wool content at all.
Not visible in the images is a bunch of go-faster chevrons in applied pink paint on the lower sleeves, which would make this garment a bit difficult to wear off the bike (I do like my tops to be dual-purpose if possible). The neckline is also lower than I’d like and there is no zip garage, which I’d failed to notice in the photograph. Overall it feels a bit cheap and plasticky – I certainly wouldn’t pay full price for it. It is, by the way, dark grey, not black.
I’ve tried wearing this top around the house and it’s just not comfortable. To be honest, I would have sent it back, but I made the mistake of wearing it first, so that’s not allowed under SportPursuit’s T&Cs. On the bike, it’s OK, but I wouldn’t want to be stuck in it for hours on end – best to just peel it off and change into something nicer. Even if the size was larger, I just don’t like the feel of the fabric – this isn’t what I’m looking for in a merino base layer.
This garment cost 37.02 euros, reduced from 79.02 euros from SportPursuit.
Helly Hansen Warm Freeze half-zip pullover: **