Helly Hansen might not be as well known as some other outdoor apparel companies.
However, Helly Hansen is actually the first outdoor brand and has been the leading force of outdoor apparel technologies for the past 140 years.
Here’s a look at the history of HH and how it has become one of the most trusted brands for outdoor apparel.
1877: Captain Helly Juell Hansen Launches A Legend
Helly Juell Hansen was a Norwegian fisherman in the 1800’s.
He found that there had to be a way to protect his crew from the harsh and cold temperatures of the Nordic waters. This thought led him to create the first “waterproof” by applying linseed oil to cotton canvas.
The idea took off and soon him and his wife were producing “Oilskin” jackets and pants out of their home in Moss, Norway.
1949: Waterproof Evolves with Helox
In 1949 Helly Hansen (Helly Juell Hansen’s Son) introduced the newest level of waterproof: Helox. Helox consisted of a thin piece of PVC that was sewn into the fabric of garments.
This took the place of the oilskin jackets and made waterproof clothing more stylish and available to a larger clientele.
Come the 1950’s Helox jackets were everywhere and Helly was producing and selling them by the tens of thousands.
Helox became the original layer of the HH Three Layer System, designed to keep wind, rain and snow out.
1961:Fleece is Born
In the 1960’s Helly Hansen introduced Fiberpile, the original fleece. This fleece sprung to popularity among outdoor enthusiast and lumberjacks who loved the high warmth and light weight.
The Helly Hansen Fleece is a staple for the brand and is made in many different weights and designs, a perfect for the mid layer of the Three Layer System.
1970: LIFA, the Baselayer
Helly Hansen introduced LIFA in the 1970’s and revolutionized the industry with the first technical baselayers.
Unlike previous base layers and long johns, LIFA was designed to keep you dry while still keeping you warm and comfortable.
LIFA base layer has been one of the most popular Helly innovations being use by Ski professionals and hikers as well as being featured in
Outside Magazine for ‘The Most Influential Gear of All Time” in 2012.
Throughout the next decades came many more inventions from Helly Hansen including Helly Tech, a waterproof system featuring three levels of waterproof breathable apparel:
Protection, Performance and Professional.
H2Flow technology was also introduced which is a system built into jackets that creates pockets to trap warm air and vents to let air circulate when you might been to cool off.
Today, Helly Hansen is still creating new technologies and materials to be the leading outdoor apparel brand.
Helly Hansen is known for its excellent warranty policy as well as durability and performance of the apparel.
Helly pieces have been worn in every ocean in the world and have seen some of the highest peaks.
“As the #1 apparel brand for Ski Professionals, you’ll find HH at more than 200 ski resort and guiding operations around the world, and worn by more than 55,000 ski professionals. Our sailing gear is worn by world-class sailors across all five oceans, and we’re proud to partner with and participate in some of the sport’s most iconic regattas and sailing associations.”