As with the Helly Hansen Pace Singlet, the Helly Hansen Womens Windfoil Jacket is also part of Helly Hansen’s spring/summer 2011 training collection. Designed with an athletic fit, the convertible jacket is ideal for high energy pursuits such as cycling and running, including trail running.
Our version was pink with grey reflective detail — an important safety feature if you are running or cycling in the dark. The Windfoil jacket is extremely light and packs up really small so it can also be used as an extra emergency layer when up in the hills. It also has a UPF rating of 30+ which makes it particularly suited for outdoor pursuits.
On the body, the Windfoil jacket was a nice fit with panels of Lifa stretch fabric at the top of the back and around the shoulders to provide greater freedom of movement. It has one zipped hand pocket on the right hand side, one open interior pocket (also on the right hand side) and one zipped pocket on the lower back.
The most novel feature of the Windfoil jacket is that the sleeves can be removed to adjust to different temperaures. Two zips running down the shoulders enable the sleeves to be detached into one piece. This is great for when your body has warmed up and you need to cool down. On the downside, we found that the sleeves were fairly difficult to remove when wearing the jacket. The zips were easy to zip down but we struggled to detach the sleeves off the zipper. In the end, we had to take the jacket off and detach it that way. Perhaps there’s a special knack to it which we haven’t discovered yet but we definately couldn’t have removed the sleeves during a run without stopping.
However, the key feature of the Windfoil jacket — if you haven’t already gathered from its name — is its wind resistance. It wasn’t windy enough today to test it out against top speed wind but there was a strong enough breeze up in the hills to notice the jacket’s wind resistant properties.
On a quick run, the jacket fared well in terms of providing freedom of movement. However, it didn’t provide as much breathability as we would have liked. The material is also relatively water resistant which is great for unexpected showers.
Overall, we thought that the Windfoil jacket was a great little training jacket, especially for outdoor activities such as trail running or cycling. Its detachable sleeves mean that it is suitable for hotter conditions while its compactability means that it can also be carried around as an extra emergency layer for when unexpected showers occur or if you’re feeling a little cold. We like multi-functional outdoor clothing!