IT - Helly Hansen FastPack Jacket - Mark Thompson
- Good Morning!
With the early spring blizzard here in Colorado, I am using my time wisely and
finishing my IR. So, for your editing pleasure, please find the text version
below and the html version at: http://tinyurl.com/charbwa
HELLY HANSEN FASTPACK JACKET
TEST SERIES BY MARK THOMPSON
April 06, 2013
NAME: Mark Thompson
EMAIL: markthompson 242 at gmail dot com
LOCATION: Parker, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 6' 0" (2.10 m)
WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)
Outdoor adventures started for me at an early age, my passions have grown to
include backpacking, rock climbing, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, cycling,
skiing and snowshoeing. Most of my adventures presently take place in
Colorado's amazing Rocky Mountains. For trail hikes, my pack typically weighs
15 lbs/7 kg (summer/fall), 25 lbs/11 kg (winter/spring) and trail speed ranges
from 2.5 - 4 mph (4 - 6 km/h) depending on elevation gain. For backpack trips,
my pack weighs 40 - 45 lbs (18 - 20 kg) and my trail speed drops to 1.5 - 3.0
mph (2 - 5 km/h).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Helly Hansen
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: <http://www.hellyhansen.com">>
MSRP: US $300.00
Listed Weight: 8.5 oz (240 g)
Measured Weight: 8.5 oz (240 g)
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The FastPack Jacket is a lightweight shell featuring water resistant zippers
(main and two pockets), adjustable hood, cuffs and bottom hem. The shell is
made from waterproof yet breathable fabric and is offered in two colors, Lime
and Cobalt Blue (lime is being tested) and 5 sizes (large is being tested).
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Wow, super light and super bright! I have long been amused by the shifting tide
of the outdoor community from soft earth tones to wild colors. The lime color
is amazingly bright and leaves no doubt about which side of the color conundrum
this one resides. I am quite impressed by its weight (or lack thereof),
weighing in at a mere 8.5 oz (240 g).
I tried on the jacket, over a base layer and a mid-weight fleece, and found that
sizing was perfect. I wouldn't consider the cut "athletic" per se but it fits
well and the adjustable hem is sure to take up the minor amount of extra.
The manufacturer's website claims that the hood is sized to be helmet
compatible. I did try this with my climbing helmet and found it to be a little
snug and restricted some movement, especially when trying to face down. I
usually find with shells, the opposite problem, the hoods are too large and
either get in the way, flap in the wind or simply don't protect me from the
elements. The FastPack hood seems to be better suited to being worn without a
helmet compared to other products. I will test its true helmet compatibility in
the field shortly!
TRYING IT OUT
After looking over the jacket in the confines of my comfortable condo I knew I
had to get this out in the woods! On Sunday, April 7, 2013, the weather on the
"Front Range" (not really mountains, but the term refers to the metro areas just
to the east) was sunny and warm with the temperature reaching nearly 70 degrees
F (39 deg C). I joined a group of folks for a snowshoe/hike to Lettuce Lakes
near Rollinsville, CO. The weather was significantly different here as we could
see a storm pushing in as we drove to the trailhead. The temperature was 28 deg
F (15 deg C) the wind was pretty stiff and the snow was starting to come down.
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I typically carry a hard shell in my pack for those "just in case" weather
events and wear a soft shell. I do this as experience has shown that I get too
hot wearing a hard shell and the shell cannot transfer enough moisture away so I
end up getting wet with sweat. Today, I left the soft shell in the car and
donned the Helly Hansen FastPack Jacket. The snow and wind continued throughout
the day, enough such that the heavily treed areas in the valley didn't provide
complete protection from their effects.
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The jacket was nearly perfect, light, wind and water proof, with superb moisture
dissipation! I was really impressed with how well the jacket repelled the snow
and allowed body moisture to escape. I did have some trouble with the zipper
backing getting stuck in the zipper. This of course, happened just below my
chin so getting it free was a bit of a challenge, and, unfortunately, resulted
in a small tear in the the zipper backing.
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So far, an awesome jacket with the exception of the zipper. Had I purchased
this item, I would have been inclined to return it due to this malfunction. I
typically shop at a retailer who has a 100% satisfaction guarantee so I would
have just exchanged it for another to give is second chance. It does seem as
though a binding agent or something could be done to increase the rigidity of
the material behind the zipper to prevent this from occurring.
Thank you to Helly Hansen and BackpackGearTest.org for facilitating this test!
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
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