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We put Helly-Hansen's versatile W Cross Insulator jacket to the test to see if it's the one piece of clothing you should always pack

helly hansen cross insulator
Overall Score
Excellent cut, light weight and easily stowed
Salmon pink colourway is an acquired taste

In mid seasons you can be forever taking layers on and off as both the weather and your exercise intensity change throughout the day.

The beauty of the Cross Insulator is that you never really have to take it off at all. Stylish and warm enough as a top layer over a base layer on a cold but brisk Cotswold walk, the jacket is also thin enough to make an excellent insulation layer for a waterproof shell when heading for the mountains or Actic in winter.

With a waisted fit and narrow but not restrictive sleeves, this jacket is well fittin enough to keep drafts out and warmth in, without restricting movement in any way.

Indeed, the Cross Insulator is compatible with Helly-Hansen's versatile CIS system so that you can zip it in as a liner for any of H-H CIS compatible shell. Or 3-in-1 jacket.

Sandwiched between an outer water resistant lightweight ripstop fabric and a slick lining is 100g of PrimaLoft Silver water resitant insulation.

Down each side there is a long zippered hand pocket with soft, cosy microfleece lining, there is a high quilted collar with a microfleece facing along the top section of the storm flap to protect your neck from the full front zip.

The only thing we're not hugely keen on is the salmon pink colourway (Dusty Purple) but there are three others to choose from, including a blue (Princess Purple), metallic grey (Penguin) and black (Ebony).

All in a all, a comfortable, stylish, warm and incredibly versatile insulation layer.

All our reviews are independent and unbiased. We may earn a commission when you buy from links to Amazon and other affiliates on this page.