Puffy insulation jackets can be a blessing (for warmth) and a curse (for bulk). When you’re traveling in cooler climates, the added warmth is welcome, but what do you do when you need to pack the jacket into a daypack? Are you willing to carry a bulky jacket along just in case?
Hybrid insulation jackets, like the Helly Hansen Lifaloft Hybrid Insulator Jacket, may be the traveler’s key to added warmth without all the extra puffiness.
The jacket can be easily used to layer under a shell or as a stand-alone jacket, and its mix of lightweight shell fabric and slick-face stretch fabric cuts down on unnecessary bulk. Lifaloft is a combination of Lifa and PrimaLoft, and is based on a yarn technology that traps more air v. polyester at a lighter weight. It’s ideal for year-round adventures in any condition because the fiber doesn’t absorb water and has inherent water repellency without the need for additional treatment.
Quilted Lifaloft panels on the jacket exist where warmth is especially needed, with knitted slick fleece at the lower sleeve, side panels, and lower front and back. There’s a full inner front zipper placket to keep you protected from the wind whistling through your zipper, and a lycra edge band around the cuffs. Zippered hand-warmer pockets let you stash important items without worrying that they’ll fall out.
The women’s and men’s versions of the jacket are constructed a little differently—with insulation areas that are traditionally needed for each gender. But you can buy the one that works for you, regardless.
The women’s Lifaloft Hybrid Insulator Jacket comes in black, graphite blue, wild rose, and blue haze and lists for $185 on the Helly Hansen site. The men’s version comes in black, graphite blue, and Olympian blue and lists for $185 on the Helly Hansen site.