Yes, we know. Typically at this time of year, the ritual of putting away the boat for winter is well underway or altogether complete. But 2020 is anything but a typical year, and many yachtsmen are looking to extend the cruising season into the cold-weather months, to continue enjoying socially distant cruising during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enter Helly Hansen, the Norwegian company that knows a thing or two about cold-weather performance apparel. These are the folks who teamed up with the US Ski & Snowboard team a few years ago as the official provider of base layers, and who partnered with Canada’s alpine-ski team. Helly Hansen is also a longtime favorite of serious sailors, sponsoring the National Offshore One Design Regattas.
Heading into this winter’s extended cruising season, Helly Hansen is marketing jackets made with LifaLoft. It combines the company’s Lifa technology for base layers with Primaloft insulation. The result, according to the company, is apparel that retains more heat while staying 20 percent lighter than other designs and, thus, remaining more comfortable during strenuous activity—say, dropping a hook in a Northeast cove in late November, or manning the lines on a side deck in the Pacific Northwest in early December, all the while being able to see your breath in the air.
There also are more-traditional offerings from Helly Hansen this season, such as the Verglas half-zip shirt and the Pier 3.0 jacket. That jacket is specifically designed for rugged sailing, with features such as double-cuff adjustable seals, high collars and fleece-lined warming pockets.