Helly Hansen fibre pile jacket

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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
1,525
86
Northumberland
Advice please.

Own a Helly Hansen fibre pile jacket says workwear on it and is made in Poland. Held the rain like a sponge and before it rained I was cold with it on, wind seemed to go straight through.

Any people on here owned and wore one of the these in the 1980s when they were popular ? Where they as bad for the cold getting through then and holding the rain like a sponge. Or is it the change in style or quality nowadays.
I remember survival aids selling them and they were used by a lot of soldiers back then.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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My dad got one through work on a road building site. It was purely a warm layer under a shell coat which it was good for. I wore it a few times as a kid and it was too open weave for an outer layer in all but completely still air.

I do think there's Helly Hansen and there's good Helly Hansen though. The good stuff is good for what it's designed for.
 

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Aye in the 80's it was de rigeur for RM along with desert wellies and acid wash jeans. Only truly effective under a windproof jacket. Think of the Buffalo/Montane smocks for real benefit.
 

MikeLA

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May 17, 2011
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That’s what I remember the Buffalo was the alternative. Thought the Helly Hansen was the same warmth but obviously not just a mid layer. Couldn’t believe how much the wind went through it and that’s in the summertime the other day and when worn in the rain was like a soaked up rag and heavy with the rain.
 

baggins

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Apr 20, 2005
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i used to have a javelin fibre pile and it was so warm. Not the most windproof, but worn with a shell it was great and so hard wearing, way better than the polartec 300 that superceded it.
 
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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
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Agreed always preferred the fibre pile went with Buffalo/Rab doublepile but the Helly Hansen is a bit of a let down compared to them. Can see why from the above comments
 
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bigbear

Full Member
May 1, 2008
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I still have a double thickness HH with the thumb loops on sleeves, superb warm bit of kit. The single pile jackets are also classic, they are purely insulation, not windproof at all but excellent kit, lots of warmth for weight. Dry very fast in a breeze too.
Used as intended still a bomb proof item.
 

Limaed

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Apr 11, 2006
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I think the original HH fibre pile jackets pre dated Buffalo so it’s a bit unfair to compare. Its also worth remembering that they replaced wool jumpers which were less hard wearing and took an age to dry so for the era they were a big improvement. I’ve got several Field Jackets and love wearing them, agreed they are really a mid layer under a shell but I find the lack of windproofing allows for good breath-ability and temp regulation. One is now starting to fall apart after 20 years hard use. Some of the later Field Jackets from the early 90’s used a coarser fabric and we’re less we’ll cut than the originals unfortunately. They occasionally appear on eBay but only go for about £20 which is a great price for such a good bit of kit.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
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i used to have a javelin fibre pile and it was so warm.
I'd give a lot to find one of them again. There is also this out there, along with a bunch of others with similar retro sensibilities.

(Anyone got a like for the Buffalo Belay jacket?)
 
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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
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Northumberland
I still have a double thickness HH with the thumb loops on sleeves, superb warm bit of kit. The single pile jackets are also classic, they are purely insulation, not windproof at all but excellent kit, lots of warmth for weight. Dry very fast in a breeze too.
Used as intended still a bomb proof item.
That was my original thought is your double thickness HH the 1980’s version and I have a workwear thinner version
 

bigbear

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May 1, 2008
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Yeah but they’re both excellent, mine gets worn at home in the depths of snowy cold winter, the thinner ones are great hill wear.
 

SaraR

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Mar 25, 2017
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Oh, the nostalgia! :D They're warmish on their own and toasty under a jacket, but ventilate well if you get sweaty. They never wear out, ever, and come in three fashionable(?) colours. :)
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
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Cairngorms
Oh, the nostalgia! :D They're warmish on their own and toasty under a jacket, but ventilate well if you get sweaty. They never wear out, ever, and come in three fashionable(?) colours. :)
They certainly do last, my Lausane (DP field jacket) is in excess of 30 years old, a bit tatty but still in active use. Brilliant piece of kit but no, not waterproof!
 
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MikeLA

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May 17, 2011
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But as mentioned by bigbear above there was a earlier double pile of the 1980’s and a thinner workwear which wasn’t very insulated in fact bloody cold in a slight wind. The original was also made in Norway later versions Poland
 

Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
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IIRC the DP (double pile) field jacket was called the Lausanne and was available in the Workwear category, I believe it's been discontinued now. There were also other similar HH jackets that were single face pile but I can't remember their names, I've got a blue on somewhere.
Mines actually a Falklands veteran, given to me by a mate, who's sadly since passed, on his return as he got a new one, they were private purchase as far as I can remember, so it's around 38 years old. The zip puller has bust but the zip still works and it's lost a lot of it's edge binding, one of my favourite bits of kit and does deserve an overhaul.
 

MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
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In the early eighties bought a HH field jacket from survival aids and it must have been the double pile a lot Warmer than my current one but still enjoy wearing it with the thumb hole and lower back protecting me while watching the kids play football. Just have to layer up a lot more.
 

Monk

Forager
Jun 20, 2004
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As Dogoak mentions the original item was Lausanne Workwear. I picked up a surplus version on the web some years back and it seems to be the original HH field jacket. Warm under a shell. Ok to wear without a shell in dry weather if not too windy or wet...rainy and windy weather I put a jacket on over it. I did find it to be warm and I liked the high zip up collar.

Ebay and the internet are sources. Not that easy to run across. A family member had one of the later ones made in Poland and the material seemed a bit difference if I recall to the surplus version. More like denser pile. Sometimes when manufacturing goes overseas materials and construction are altered to be cheaper and the item is not the same.