Best Helly Hansen Sailing Jackets

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We take a look at some of the best Helly Hansen sailing jackets from the Norwegian outerwear giant – one of the most trusted sailing clothing brands.

Helly Hansen has a huge range covering all types of water sports and lists over 100 sailing jackets, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. Here’s our take on some of the best Helly Hansen sailing jackets on the market right now.

So what’s the best way to identify the best Helly Hansen sailing jacket to meet your specific needs?

To a certain extent, we get what we pay for, so a product with a higher specification will always offer better protection, especially in very unpleasant conditions.

However, pushing this philosophy to its final conclusion would lead to very expensive clothing being used in circumstances where a more basic specification would be appropriate – and often more comfortable.

If you’re sailing to the Azores, crossing Biscay, or heading to Norway via the Shetland Islands, you’ll want the best kit available.

Still, if you spend a lot of time on the water, you won’t want to wear your best kit in conditions where a less expensive option would work well.

Not every jacket is able to offer all the attributes necessary to cope with the wide range of conditions that we encounter while sailing.

Whether it’s a winter coat or bad weather gear, it’s hard to get rid of the old idea that a heavy jacket automatically provides the best protection.

However, advances in materials technology mean that this is no longer automatically true.

Instead, what matters is the choice of fabric, the placement of the reinforcement, and the attention to detail in both design and manufacture.

This is where articles designed for racing have an advantage even for those who do not sail competitively.

They have been the subject of a lot of thought, which makes them less bulky and much more comfortable to wear. Yet at the same time, the level of protection is very high.

They’re also more likely to be made of a three-layer fabric that doesn’t need a separate liner.

This makes the jacket easier to put on, faster to dry and it will take up less space in your backpack.

The best Helly Hansen sailing jackets

Salt Coastal Jacket

This classically styled full length jacket is one of the most popular in the range.

It is made of a breathable two-layer fabric with a polyester lining.

Features include double cuffs and storm flap, high visibility reflective hood, fleece lined collar and hand warmer pockets, as well as articulated sleeves for easier movement.

This is easily sufficient for a cross-Channel cruise if you can choose reasonable weather conditions.

However, you will probably want a higher performance jacket for offshore racing or deliveries if there is an opportunity to bounce upwind in 25 knots of breeze and wind against tidal conditions.

Although a recent addition to the Helly Hansen range, the distinctive styling is reminiscent of the jackets made for the Berge Viking crew, the 1981 Norwegian Whitbread around world racing.

Buy a Men’s Salt Coastal Jacket on Amazon
Buy a Women’s Salt Coastal Jacket on Amazon

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Salt Flag Jacket

This lighter, lower performance jacket is a good, lower cost option for coastal sailing and occasional long summer trips.

It is a jacket that goes down to the hips with a fleece collar, “stealth” cuff seals, lined pockets and a high visibility hood with reflective elements.

The two-layer fabric has taped seams and a durable water repellent (DWR) coating.

It weighs just over 700g and will be quite small in your backpack, although the HP Racing Wind Jacket is even better in that regard.
Shop the Men’s Salt Flag Jacket on Amazon
Shop the Women’s Salt Flag Jacket on Amazon

Lifaloft Intermediate Running Jacket

The most technical mid-size jacket from Helly Hansen offers excellent warmth thanks to its breathable and insulating fabric.

A fully stretchy construction allows for good ease of movement.

The outer layer uses a new durable water repellent (DWR) coating that does not include polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).

This provides protection against light rain and spray, although this garment is primarily designed to be worn under a full jacket against inclement weather.

Shop the Men’s Racing Lifaloft Midlayer Jacket on Amazon
Shop the Women’s Racing Lifaloft Midlayer Jacket on Amazon

HP Racing Windbreaker Jacket

It’s the perfect answer to those summer days when you have to pack a jacket afloat, but a full jacket is an unnecessary burden.

The minimalist styling makes it a compact and lightweight option, weighing just 470 grams.

Still, the stretch fabric means it’s comfortable to wear and doesn’t restrict movement.

Perhaps the biggest compromise is that the fabric is not as waterproof as that of more serious weather gear.

Still, the fabric is fully windproof, which will help you stay warm on the water, and it’s very breathable.

Buy an HP Racing windbreaker jacket for men
Buy an HP Racing Windbreaker Jacket for Women

Arctic Ocean Parka

An old Norwegian expression says that there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. Helly Hansen’s Arctic Ocean Parka is a perfect illustration of this.

It is designed to navigate the most difficult conditions and is perfect for winter days afloat.

In addition to the waterproof outer layer and breathable inner fabric, there is an insulating layer of high loft, quick-drying recycled polyester.

Sealed seams, a double wind flap and waterproof cuffs are provided to keep water out.

In addition to the protective stand-up collar, there is a removable insulated hood that fits inside the high-visibility outer hood.

Unlike most Helly Hansen sailing jackets, this one is only available in a unisex style.

Buy Arctic Ocean Parka

Aegir running jacket

Helly Hansen has brought professional racing sailors around the world with a wealth of experience in what is required to tackle the most extreme conditions to develop this offshore / ocean range.

The Aegir Race Jacket is a premium choice for multi-day races, including the Rolex Fastnet Race and Newport-Bermuda.

Smaller pockets and zippers than standard Aegir products create a sleek, lightweight design.

The four-layer fabric has a very high level of waterproofing and the attention to detail is excellent.

Shop the Aegir Men’s Running Jacket on Amazon
Shop the Women’s Aegir Race Jacket on Amazon

Aegir Ocean jacket and modular Ocean smock

These high-end products are the result of considerable R&D, as well as the expertise of sailors, including single-handed round-the-world record holder Thomas Colville.

Once this level of protection is needed, I strongly prefer to wear a blouse rather than a jacket. The Ocean Modular Smock features a neat removable hood and collar.

Blouses are not as easy to put on or take off as a jacket. However, the lack of a zipper on the front, as well as effective seals at the neck and cuffs and adjustable waistband, make a significant difference in the amount of water absorbed under really harsh conditions for long periods of time. .

Both the jacket and the blouse are made from an ultra-strong, water-resistant five-layer fabric.

Buy Aegir Ocean Jacket on Amazon
Buy Aegir Ocean Modular Smock on Amazon

Aegir Ocean drysuit

Even the best conventional gear won’t keep you completely dry when you are sprayed with fire in deep, extreme ocean conditions.

This is where a high quality drysuit that meets ocean specifications really makes sense.

This is much smaller than drysuits designed for water sports, and the conditions they must withstand more demanding.

As a result, it is not a cheap option. But for the few who need it, the protection offered is on a different level.

Suffice to say that I wore a drysuit for four of the 17 days I spent at sea during the very wet and windy AZAB 2019 (Azores and Back race). The only thing I regret on both legs is that I didn’t put it on sooner.

Buy Aegir Ocean Drysuit on Amazon

You have not found what you are looking for ? Visit Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.


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