Helikon-Tex Wolfhound Climashield Jacket

In Review by Jawor | Leave a Comment

Helikon-Tex Wolfhound is a lightweight jacket with a synthetic filling designed for use as a stand-alone jacket or a midlayer. Additionally, it is another – after the quite successful OTP pants – of the Helikon’s steps towards developing its line of outdoor-tactical equipment – Helikon Outback.

Design

Cut

Helikon-Tex Wolfhound features a rather specific cut – it is quite well-fitting in chest, while being rather loose on the stomach. However, in case of the slimmer users this excess of material slightly decreases the jacket’s aesthetic values, but fortunately the usability isn’t affected – and that’s what’s most important. The jacket’s back is elongated providing additional protection from wind, and the diameter of Helikon-Tex Wolfhound can be further adjusted using a set of drawstrings.

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Collar

The collar of Helikon-Tex Wolfhound jacket is really short. Even though this isn’t an issue when using the Wolfhound as a midlayer, it can be particularly unpleasant when wearing it as a standalone layer, forcing the user to carry additional scarf. The inner side of collar was lined with a soft fleece.

Helikon-Tex Wolfhound is closed using an YKK zipper protected from wind with a small internal flap.

Fabric

The Helikon-Tex Wolfhound jacket is made of a lightweight micro ripstop nylon. Thanks to the fabric Wolfhound weights only 490 grams and is durable enough to withstand the normal use (but not marching through a dense bush or stuff like that). Regarding the aesthetics, the material is also prone to creasing and minor (almost unnoticeable) rustling.

The characteristics of the material make it wind proof while breathable. Additionally, it offers a low degree of rain protection (suitable for a less intensive shower).

Air circulation

Additional breathability is provided by two panels of elastic material located at armpits. What’s important, in contrast to the main fabric, this material isn’t so windproof – adequately strong wind blow would be able to pass through it. Nevertheless, I noticed no situation in which it would occur, but there were a few moments when I was really glad to have the extra air circulation.

Climashield Insulation

The most important part of the Helikon-Tex Wolfhound jacket is its insulation – Climashield APEX, a technical material with very good isolatory properties (Clo 0.82 – more than Primaloft Silver, but still less than Gold; you can read more about outdoor insulation HERE). Additionally, Climashield is hydrophobic, retains most of insulatory properties even when wet and allows for excellent compression – Helikon-Tex Wolfhound includes an additional compression bag.

Cuffs

The sleeves of Helikon-Tex Wolfhound were ended with the same elastic material as used for pit vents, however, due to folding (forming a double layer) it’s elasticity decreased. This can be slightly annoying when taking off the jacket or checking your watch

Pockets

Helikon-Tex Wolfhound features a set of four pockets closed using YKK zippers:

  • Two on the stomach, with one side lined with fleece
  • One on the chest, with an oblique opening which makes the use easier
  • One internal, also on the chest

Velcro

The left arm features a velcro panel for attaching patches, badges or other insignia.

Our Thoughts on Helikon-Tex Wolfhound Climashield Jacket

During the last autumn-winter season I had a possibility of using the Helikon-Tex Wolfhound both as a standalone jacket and as a midlayer. The amount of insulation used (67g/m2) makes me conclude that this isn’t a winter jacket – the temperature range suitable for using Wolfhound as a single jacket stands between +10 – 0ºC (depending on the intensity of the activity performed). Well, it is possible to use it when it’s colder, but this would require a few layers beneath the jacket – it will be more comfortable to wear a winter jacket or to augment Helikon-Tex Wolfhound with an additional softshell / hardshell.

The quality of craft is very good, the only flaw is a couple of protruding threads. Climashield APEX works exceptionally well, however a use of a technical insulation from a renowned brand clearly increases the costs – at the moment the price of Helikon-Tex Wolfhound equals ~400 PLN (~120USD). It’s quite a lot, but still less than the Climashield jackets from strictly outdoor-oriented manufacturers.

The only aspect which would, in my opinion, require changes is a short collar, which forces user to always carry additional neck gaiter or scarf. I do realise that elongating it would slightly restrict the possibilities of wearing Helikon-Tex Wolfhound on top of other insulating layers (such as Helikon-Tex Alpha fleece), but I would prefer this over a sore throat.

Another interesting possibility would be creating a “brother” of Wolfhound, this time featuring a longer collar and a hood (which would interfere with using Wolfhound as a midlayer).

Conclusions

Helikon-Tex Wolfhound is a good jacket suitable for use as a standalone garment for spring-autumn season, or as a midlayer when the temperatures drop below 0ºC. Thanks to the low weight, great insulation and overall comfort, Wolfhound proves to be useful despite the short collar.

Finally, the aspect of price. 399 zloty (~100 USD) is quite a lot, especially when compared with prices of fleeces, which are also suitable for this temperature range. Nevertheless, the Wolfhound exceeds them with weight and the compression possibilities (including fitting under an external layer), what can justify the additional cost. Additionally, this also enables using Helikon-Tex Wolfhound as a “just in case” jacket carried at the bottom of the backpack – what is rather impossible in case of thicker fleeces.

Pros:

+ Climashield APEX!

+ Lightweight

+ Packable

+ Accurate price

Wady:

– Collar doesn’t protect the neck

– The excess of material on the belly

 

 

We’d like to thank Predathor shop for providing us with a chance of testing a Helikon-Tex Wolfhound jacket!

~Jawor

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About the Author

Jawor

Hikes since he learnt to walk. Happy to spend hours discussing jackets, backpacks and other gear. Caver, diver and a leader of the Gear Insider project.

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