Helly Hansen: cutting-edge technologies & “Ski Free” program


October 11, 2023


Facebook Email
Helly Hansen Winter Jacket

After almost a century and a half of existence, Helly Hansen is now a reference in the outdoor industry. With its wide range of proprietary technologies and functional, high-performance products, the Norwegian brand appeals to all those who push their limits, from the middle of the oceans to the world’s highest peaks. 

Shopping for a Helly Hansen ski jacket (for men, women or kids) or pants is betting on quality. When you buy some models, you even get a free day of skiing! With its “Ski Free” program, the brand wants you to hit the slopes and enjoy your new gear right away. 

In this article, you will learn more about Helly Hansen and its Ski Free program:

  1. The Story of Helly Hansen
  2. What is Helly Hansen's "Ski Free" program?
  3. Helly Hansen's technologies for high-performance jackets
  4. Performance and durability of Helly Hansen products
  5. Helly Hansen: social responsibility and sustainable development

The Story of Helly Hansen

Winter Jacket from Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen is over 140 years old. Suffice it to say that the Norwegian brand has considerable expertise – and a true heritage, even. Quite simply, it is a pioneering brand in the outdoor clothing and equipment field.
The story began with Captain Hansen and his wife Margarethe, who founded a company manufacturing oilskin jackets and pants, using cloth soaked in linseed oil to make them waterproof. Initially designing gear for the nautical world, with sailors and navigators in mind, the brand soon developed a range for mountain lovers: skiers, explorers, mountaineers… Helly Hansen aims to equip all those who face harsh climatic conditions, whether on the water or the mountainside.
Since then, the company has never ceased to innovate, to the point where it now offers high-performance, sturdy technical garments that are ready for the harshest weather conditions. Helly Hansen has developed several proprietary technologies, such as LIFA®, perfected in 1970, which at the time revolutionized the world of base layers with its ability to wick sweat outwards. Two decades later, LIFA® MERINO technology was another breakthrough, preserving maximum body heat when the mercury is well below 0 degrees.
Today, the brand is a hit with ski and sailing professionals, but it is generally aimed at all those who enjoy the great outdoors even when it’s cold. Its product ranges have a rather simple, highly technical style and often include bright colours, making them instantly recognizable. Among other things, Helly Hansen is renowned for its lines of jackets for men, women and kids, as well as for its down jackets, snow bibs and ski pants. They’re all yours to discover!

What is Helly Hansen’s “Ski Free” program?

The Norwegian brand’s “Ski Free” program is quite simple. When you purchase one of the jackets (men’s or women’s) or ski pants included in the program, Helly Hansen will give you a free day of skiing at one of its partner resorts. With over fifty destinations across the American and European continents, “Ski Free” opens the doors to some of the world’s most beautiful resorts.

Whether you want to ski free in North America or Europe, you can benefit from these offers:

  • A free day of skiing
  • A 2-for-1: one day free for one day purchased

This offer is valid during the year of purchase of a Helly Hansen product included in the program, throughout the ski season. Many of the women’s, men’s and kids’ ski jackets available at SAIL qualify you for “Ski Free.”
Once you’ve purchased your new jacket or pants, simply print out your Helly Hansen “Ski Free” offer and present it at the participating resort, along with the product label and your sales receipt. If you order online, a printed copy of the e-mail with the receipt will do.
In Quebec, the “Ski Free” program gives you access, for instance, to the beautiful slopes of Mont-Sainte-Anne or Bromont. If you’re visiting Alberta, you can take advantage of the program to go skiing at Nakiska.

Helly Hansen’s technologies for high-performance jackets

Ski Jacket from Helly Hansen


Helly Tech® technology was developed in 1984 and has won several awards since then. Its purpose is simple: combining waterproofing and breathability while remaining as durable as possible.
Helly Hansen clothing featuring this technology is waterproof without trapping humidity inside. The Helly Tech® construction prevents water droplets from penetrating the garment, and its windproof properties provide protection from the cold. The outer fabric is treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR), a breathable membrane that effectively repels water. Seams are sealed to further enhance waterproofing, and the clothing usually comes with a lining.
Helly Tech® fabrics are designed primarily for skiers, mountaineers, sailors and water sports enthusiasts. In short, for all those who want to stay dry and protected from the wind during their outdoor activities. Several Helly Tech® ranges are available (Helly Tech® Protection, Performance and Professional), so there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast. A waterproof jacket for everyday life, a coat designed for the extreme conditions of high-altitude expeditions… It’s up to you to pick what you need. Discover, for example, the Swift Stretch ski jacket for men or the Verglas Backcountry hard shell ski jacket for women.


The first version of Lifa® dates back to 1970. That year, Helly Hansen developed its first technical base layer, aimed at sailors and mountain enthusiasts facing difficult weather conditions.
Lifa® is a yarn technology that expels moisture away from the skin towards the outside of the fabric, where it evaporates. The goal? Keeping you dry and, therefore, warm. Your sweat is wicked away, but your body heat is retained inside the garment. And because ease of movement matters, base layers built with Lifa® are designed to be ultra-comfortable.
A Lifa® base layer is a great ally for outdoor activities, particularly when sweating under your mid-layer, shell or jacket. Lifa® technology has also evolved into several ranges, each tailored to different needs. These include Lifa® Merino (for winter activities) and Lifa® Active Solen for warmer environments.


Helly Hansen’s H2Flow™ technology is a smart ventilation system with a unique construction that helps regulate the wearer’s temperature. It has been designed for extreme conditions, for those who want to stay warm when it’s cold. This makes H2Flow™ an ideal technology if you’re heading out for some mountain fun or working outdoors in changing conditions.
Air pockets in the fabric keep warm air in, and ventilation zippers are strategically placed to evacuate this warm air when needed, allowing cooler air to enter. When you wear a Helly Hansen men’s or women’s winter jacket with H2Flow™, you can thus modulate and optimize the warmth released by your body by playing around with the zippers.
H2Flow™ is also designed to provide effective protection against rain and snow with its waterproof, windproof and ripstop outer layer.
All this makes H2Flow™ technology highly appreciated by skiers and, more generally, by anyone with a high level of outdoor activity. H2Flow™ is, for instance, featured in the Juniper 3.0 ski jacket for men.

Performance and durability of Helly Hansen products

Helly Hansen Ski Jacket


Like many outdoor brands, Helly Hansen is committed to making products that stand the test of time. This dedication to creating durable clothing and equipment benefits not just you, but also the environment. A product that lasts is a product that needs to be replaced less quickly. That’s why Helly Hansen strives to use the most durable materials possible.
Even if Helly Hansen insulated jackets, pants and other shells are used in the harshest conditions, their durability will not be impaired. Durable water-repellent finish, ripstop fabric, lining, sealed seams, mechanical stretch fabric (as on the Swift Stretch jacket, for example)… the brand goes to great lengths to design products at the leading edge of durability. And the facts do speak in favour of the Norwegian brand, which equips thousands of ski professionals worldwide, notably the Norwegian Ski Federation. This is assuring, considering that these mountain specialists wear their ski clothing daily and need utmost durability.


Helly Hansen products are developed and tested with the help of professionals (sailing, mountaineering, etc.). This, among other things, explains the brand’s cutting-edge performance. All the technologies developed by the brand are geared in this direction. Lifa® technology is an excellent example of this, having revolutionized base layer standards from the early 1970s and become a true benchmark thanks to its unique properties.
These proprietary technologies allow the Norwegian brand to develop specific ranges for every need, catering equally well to mountaineers, sailors, or adventurers embarking on long winter treks. Helly Hansen has even developed its own waterproof material, whereas other outdoor brands rely more on Gore-Tex.
Its latest technology, LIFA INFINITY PRO™, encapsulates the very best in waterproofing and breathability. Also worth mentioning is LIFALOFT™, which succeeds in being warmer but also 20% lighter than regular insulation and was developed in collaboration with the Sweden Alpine Ski Team.
Beyond the quality of their fabrics and materials, Helly Hansen products are also highly functional: Life Pocket™ to keep your cell phone warm, built-in RECCO® reflector in several ski jackets, waterproof seams, durable water-repellent treatment for total waterproofing…

All this makes Helly Hansen men’s, women’s and kids’ winter jackets and other gear excellent options for covering up and going out to enjoy the cold weather.

Helly Hansen: social responsibility and sustainable development

Like many outdoor brands today, Helly Hansen is very mindful of its environmental impact. This commitment is hardly new for the Norwegian brand, which does everything in its power to preserve the playground of the sailors, skiers, mountaineers and other outdoor enthusiasts it caters to.
Its social and environmental responsibility is reflected in the technologies it develops, the materials it uses, the respect it shows for workers on all its production lines, its commitment to animal welfare, etc. Helly Hansen is dedicated to promoting ethical values, human rights and the environment.
In 2008, the brand became a member of bluesign®, an independent organization that sets responsibility and traceability standards in the textile industry. And season after season, Helly Hansen increases the proportion of recycled materials in its clothing: 70% of its fleece fabrics have been replaced by recycled materials, and 80% of its nonwoven insulation is made from recycled polyester. The brand is also careful to regulate its water and plastic consumption, and it has set an objective of using at least 50% recycled polyester and polyamide fibres by 2025.
As for its social impact, Helly Hansen carefully selects and monitors subcontractors, manufacturers and other partners throughout its production chain. The brand ensures workers are paid a sufficient living wage and work in a safe, discrimination-free environment.
A good example of Helly Hansen’s efforts is its LIFA INFINITY PRO™ technology, which is all at once waterproof, breathable and responsible, with no added chemical treatments. Another one is the use of natural down certified by the RDS (Responsible Down Standard), an ethical standard which ensures that ducks and geese are treated humanely and guarantees a high level of traceability. Also worth mentioning is the warm, lightweight PrimaLoft® Black Eco insulation, made from 100% recycled materials (used, for example, in the Swift Stretch ski jacket).


How do I claim my Helly Hansen Ski Free program?

Is Helly Hansen a good brand for skiing?


Facebook Email

You might also like