Thursday, November 01, 2007

Gear Review - Helly Hansen Mars Jacket

Product Features and Impressions:
I had some reservations about taking one of the world's lightest jacket into the one of the world's most thorny environments in Baja, Mexico. For durability, this was the ultimate test. The result? No tears, rips or abrasions of any kind. Was I ever impressed!

I have used this jacket extensively on my daily running and cycling commutes along with some long training sessions and have been continually impressed by the amount of warmth that the thin fabric provides. This jacket does not insulate; if you put your arm on something cold, you will feel it like you don't have anything on at all. What it does do though is cut the wind and traps air so that you stay warmer. Because the fabric doesn't really breathe, it does wet-out especially if your doing high output activities. For long endurance exercise though, this jacket is the shit. This jacket is so light and small that when I go on rides, I can pack it in my little frame mounted beno box along with several bars! When I need it, it's there. One feature that would make this product even better would be a small underarm zip to allow airflow through; this would be especially useful on the bike since your jacket becomes a sail if you unzip the front at all. This would add a small amount of extra weight to the jacket but it would be worth it.

Not very breathable. I would say durable but the thing still looks brand new.

Overall Impression:
This jacket is easily one of my favourite pieces of clothing. I bring this thing everywhere now. It's so light and small, I don't even know it's there. Awesome product.

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