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SKI Gear 360 Review
Helly Hansen Lifa Merino Midweight Hoodie
It’s a baselayer. It’s a midlayer. It’s a supremely versatile piece of ski apparel that’s a must-have utility player in any skier’s closet. Helly Hansen’s Lifa Merino Midweight Hoodie does it all. After wearing it over the course of three consecutive ski days during a ski trip in Colorado’s Front Range, it was the layer I instinctively reached for the following week during a day trip to Arapahoe Basin to test some new gear.
Interestingly, the conditions on the two ski excursions were quite different, ranging from sunny, bluebird skies to windy, squall skiing in exposed terrain. The Lifa Merino Midweight Hoodie excelled in all of it. Why? It sports a unique two-in-one technology that treats its wearers to warmth and breathability while also being water- and odor-resistant and wicking moisture away from the skin. HH’s Lifa technology combines Merino wool on the outside with naturally hydrophobic synthetic Lifa fibers on the inside. The result is a warm and cozy top that’s still lightweight enough to wear as a first layer, or slip it over a favorite baselayer on colder days to help you regulate the thermostat.
Hands down, one of my favorite features on this hoodie was the hood itself. It’s at once low-profile enough to stay out of the way when not in use and streamlined enough to efficiently layer under a helmet without bunching or creating uncomfortable hot spots. I loved the extra protection I got at the back of the neck, especially during windy storm-skiing and when riding the lift. The higher collar essentially acts as an additional Buff, too. I also really appreciated the updated, feminine cut that fell sleekly over the hips and tucked easily into my ski pants. Bonus: I’ve been throwing the hoodie on after yoga and HIIT workouts, and it’s been a great way to cool down without either overheating or feeling chilled.
Another great feature of the Lifa Merino Midweight Hoodie might not directly affect its performance, but it certainly has an impact on the industry as a whole and boasts a level of sustainability that consumers can feel confident about. The Merino wool is humanely sourced and ZQ-certified, which is the world’s standard for ethically sourced wool through strict guidelines around animal welfare, social responsibility, fiber quality, and more. So you can feel good about wearing this hoodie while you look good, too.
At $120, the Lifa Midweight Hoodie is a bit of an investment, but its versatility and overall usefulness make it well worth the splurge. It’s a ski piece at heart, but will likely be something you reach for throughout the year, from chilly morning runs to après wear after a day on the slopes. That’s a win-win.