In a move that could only be described as a breath of fresh air, Helly Hansen has begun to inject a bit of flair to the humble base layer. Really pleasing colour schemes and patterns just add to what are otherwise top flight base layers, widening their appeal and usefulness - not everyone wants to wear a traditional stripe-armed 'Smelly Helly' on the outside, but these newer offerings are a different kettle of fish.
Of course, being Helly Hansen the Lifa Merino is superbly well made, with tough and comfortable fabrics combining to make a well fitting and hugely comfortable base layer. It is one of their heavier models, with a luxuriously thick merino/synthetic fabric keeping you cosy right down to the low temperature digits. The merino brings soft and anti-microbial qualities to the mix, while the Lifa synthetic fibres help hold the form together where the wool might lose shape, and add a degree of warmth.
Our tests showed that this combination worked superbly well - no dodgy smells and long lasting comfort you can - and we did - wear for days on end without problems. The seamless design helps remove the odd hotspot too, which could only help over long periods of wear. A cracking cool weather baselayer for everything from daily training or commuting use to long term expeditions, but you do pay a bit extra for it.