The Velocity jacket from Helley Hansen is a 200 weight Polartec fleece designed to keep you warm on even the coldest of hikes, while still providing stretch and freedom of movement.
About the jacket
The Velocity is built from high quality , heavy 200 weight Polartec fleece for more warmth and wind stop. There is a full vertical YKK coil zipper, as well as YKK zippered hand pockets.
The jacket has a high neck, with a protective cover along the zipper to prevent chin scuffs.
The garment weighs 14.3 oz, comes in 5 sizes, multiple colors, and retails for $90.
What I liked
Despite being fairly light weight, the H/H Velocity provided ample protection from the elements in the worst conditions. Hiking in high winds with temperatures dropping into the 30’s, the jacket kept me warm with nothing but a t-shirt underneath. Even after setting up camp I was able to keep the chill off after cooling down without adding extra layers.
The thickness of the jacket provided an excellent wind barrier, while still allowing some heat to escape to prevent overheating on those long climbs. Even when wet, the jacket insulated and prevented an uncomfortable situation. High humidity didn’t seem to affect the performance at all.
The fit is close to the body, which helps when you’re layering up. It slid easily underneath my hard shell, and never bunched up or got in the way. Adequate length in both the wrists and the hips kept breezes from slipping in, and the padded chin prevent any chafing from occurring around the neck.
The zippered pockets provide plenty of protection for those moments when your hands are getting cool, but you don’t want to dig out your gloves. The zippers themselves slide easily, and are simple to manipulate with gloves.
Styling on the jacket is great, with and embroidered “H/H” logo on the chest, and a pressed “Helley Hansen” logo on the back of the neck.
What I didn’t like
Having a mishap with a tent review gone wrong, many of my articles of clothing became wet. The Velocity, being a thicker weight, took longer to dry than expected. It still provided warmth, despite being soaked, however.
It’s a thicker fleece, so those mild evenings may be a little warm for this jacket. Anything above the 50’s, for some, could likely cause overheating on those challenging peak bags.
Winter is coming up, and if you want to enjoy it you’ll need to dress warm. A good, solid fleece should be part of everyone’s layering system.
The Velocity, it’s not a fancy jacket. It’s simple, without all the unnecessary bells and whistles tagged all around the garment like Christmas decorations, and I like that. It has everything you need for cold weather hiking and camping: Thickness, wind stop, warmth when wet, and good looks.
If you’re looking for an affordable, light weight, yet high quality cold weather fleece, this is certainly a great choice. I can’t recommend it enough.
Highest of recommendations
Thanks to the manufacturer for providing this product. For full disclosure, see our about me page.