Monday, January 1, 2007 12.00am
There's a lot to be said for a general purpose do-it-all winter jacket. One that can be worn down the pub, on the bike and even on the winter ski slopes. The Helly Hansen Vinter Jacket fits that all-round nature with a very distinct style. Windproof, waterproof and breathable, the Helly Tech XP fabric is hard-wearing on the outside and very lightly brushed on the inside for extra warmth.
Although not a specific mountain bike jacket, the cut will cope with the leisurely jaunts and downhill shuttle runs, and it's definitely strong enough to take the abuse. There's plenty of room underneath and also in the arms for big fleeces if you want to take it on the snow slopes.
Particularly impressive are the radio-welded seams that are completely stitch free. There are loads of clever, innovative features - like the goggle pocket and wedge lock hood adjustment - and the jacket can easily hold its own when it comes to street style. It's a heavy one to carry on the bike but we'd feel comfortable taking this one up any mountain, whatever the discipline.
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