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The Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Max ½ Zip arrived on my doorstep last December. I‘ve worn this base layer through the winter in varying conditions both to work and play. Helly Hansen is one of those brands that I‘ve always known about but hadn’t actually worn. I have all sorts of base layers from really light to heavyweight but this is the first one that has a 2 in 1 design.
Lifa fibers were used in the original Helly Hansen baselayer and they form the inner portion of the 2 in 1 design. Lifa is designed to push moisture away from the skin and it does a good job. The outer fibers of the base layer are good old Merino wool. Everyone knows the great insulating properties of wool and Merino is the non-itchy version that feels so nice. Lifa and Merino fibers combine to make the Merino Lifa fabric and you can see the different fibers on each side of the cloth. The Lifa pushes sweat away and then Merino provides the insulation. I don‘t really know if the fibers are woven together or if they are bonded, but they form a single layer of fabric and the combination works great together.
Helly Hansen has a great fit guide on their site. They ask a few more questions than your chest and waist size and the recommendations are spot on. I am 6‘ 1” and weigh just over 230. The XL fits snugly as a baselayer should but it isn‘t restrictive at all. The sleeve length is good, and the sleeves aren‘t too skinny. The flatlock seams don‘t chafe and the wool isn‘t itchy at all. The extended collar at the neck does its job well. The base layer has a ½ zip so you can vent a little if need be.
There isn‘t much left to say about the Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Max. It did its job well keeping me dry and warm. I‘ll be wearing it a lot in the colder months. This base layer has been through the laundry with no special treatment. For testing, we go ahead and abuse the gear a bit just for you guys. The Merino Lifa held up well and didn‘t shrink at all. Helly Hansen has great instructions for washing. Wash in luke warm water on the gentle cycle. Don‘t tumble dry, dry clean, or use bleach. Baselayers aren‘t cheap so I‘d follow the instructions to get the most use from it.
The Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Max ½ Zip sells for $100 on the Helly Hansen website and it comes in a wide range of colors. This is one of if not the best performing base layer tops that I‘ve used. You should expect top quality from a brand like Helly Hansen and you‘ll get it with this base layer. Click HERE to head over to the Helly Hansen website and see everything they offer.
Thanks to Helly Hansen for sending out the Lifa Merino Max ½ Zip for testing and review. We‘re on a budget around here just like you and it‘s a real privilege to pass along product information.