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We have been lucky enough to test a bunch of Helly Hansen’s hiking clothing and footwear on a hike with Fiona from the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (DWMRT) recently. Spoiler alert! We really liked almost everything we used. For a more in-depth look at what exactly we wore for the hike and our thoughts on all the products, you can head to check out our “Safe Hiking Tips with Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team” article.
In this article, we will be putting the Verglas Infinity Shell through it’s paces. This waterproof shell boasts some incredibly impressive specifications on paper but how do these affect the useability on the hills, and do the extra frills justify the price tag? Let’s dive in!
When comparing waterproof waterproof shells we like to look at the “3 Fs”:
1. Fabric – The LIFA fibers, that are normally found in Helly Hansen’s baselayers, have been adapted to create a waterproof and breathable membrane. Usually, this process involves the use of nasty chemicals, however, Helly Hansen does not use these chemicals in their infinity fabrics. This means there is less pollution as a result of the manufacturing process. The waterproof shell is also very lightweight without compromising on features or performance. The colour of this waterproof shell is also second to none.
2. Fit – The fit is very true to size. We have been trialing a medium that fits quite similar to competitors. The sizing is definitely bigger than a normal waterproof shell to accommodate an insulation layer underneath, the sleeves extend past the wrist but this is intentional to ensure no part of you is exposed in bad weather, especially if you are extending your arms while moving on more technical terrain.
3. Features – The waterproof shell features two giant chest pockets which are big enough to store a drone as you can see in the photo below! The pockets themselves have small fabric inner pockets that fit tightly to the body for the storage of small personal items such as a phone or keys. this keeps them organised so they don’t jump around the big pockets. This waterproof shell also features a RECCO tag which is a locator tag used by Mountain Rescue Organisations.
The Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team uses it. Helly Hansen Gear is #TrustedByProfessionals at DWMRT. When we went for a walk with Fiona from Dublin Wicklow mountain rescue she made it very clear that, “Keeping your core warm and dry is really important” so a good waterproof jacket is absolutely essential all year round! If it’s good enough for Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue it’ll be good enough for us!
This waterproof shell would be really good for Irish conditions. The large pit zips make it nicely ventilated and the fact that it is lightweight and easy to pack away makes it a no-brainer to bring along all year round, which is necessary for Ireland! We have been testing the Verglas Infinity in the warmer summer months and on cooler mornings and evenings we have not been sweating too much in it.
We would recommend this waterproof shell to an Irish hillwalker that is in the market for a new waterproof shell. In our opinion it is definitely a hillwalker-centric waterproof shell given the fit, however, it could definitely be worn on very bad weather days running or cycling as well. The large pockets on the chest also make it a good option for skiing as you often need storage for gloves, goggles, or even skins.
So full disclosure, this waterproof shell’s RRP is €400, which is a hefty price tag but is by no means the top of the market when it comes to price. We genuinely think that this price is justified when you take into consideration the build quality, the features, and the technology that has gone into it.
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By Matthew McConnell
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