Kraig Becker sent me an early prototype of a Helly Hansen LifaLoft jacket for my 2019 trip to Patagonia. I wore it non-stop for a couple of months cycling and hiking in wet, windy and sometimes cold weather.
LIFALOFT™ is not down. It’s arguably lighter and warmer.
The idea is to trap a maximum amount of air in a small space. And due to the hydrophobic properties of LIFA®, LIFALOFT™ has an inherent water repellency that should keep you warm, even when wet.
It worked for me as advertised.
The best test came when I got caught in a surprise downpour while hiking without my shell. I was worried.
But next morning the LifaLoft looked and felt 100% perfect.
UPDATE: I bought two more LifaLoft jackest – in different colours and sizes. I often wear two rather than a heavier down jacket.
I machine washed and dried one jacket. It come out looking like new.
Kraig sent me this to replace my FAILED Columbia OutDry down jacket. It was useless after 7 months.
The Helly Hansen is far superior. The Colombia failed — I think — because it couldn’t handle being frequently compressed into a stuff sack. The HH LifaLoft seems much more durable.
In Patagonia Helly Hansen is the go-to brand for serious sailers and outdoors-people. Developed in Norway, HH is tested under the worst weather conditions.
For future hikes in moderate weather where weight is a big consideration, I’ll be carrying the LifaLoft and just a waterproof ultra-light Frogg Toggs shell.