Helikon-Tex new Ranges
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- Last updated: 04/02/2017
Helikon-Tex always have a really top-notch stand at IWA each year, and 2016 proved no exception to that; it was simply jaw dropping! Not only do they work with the best quality fabrics and components with strict quality control measures in place, but they also work with some unusual camouflage patterns, which makes them quite unique. This however was not the only reason to see them this year though as the ‘few pieces’ that had been teasingly mentioned to me turned out to be a number of complete new lines of products broken down into a number of categories, ‘Range Line’, ‘Outback Line’, and ‘Urban Line’.
These new lines show a new approach and structure. Having gathered a task force of designers and professional consultants to complete their R&D team, Helikon-Tex were ready to launch a wholly fresh and complex project codenamed “HTX”. In their own words:“The whole of the HTX concept is based upon the ingenuity of design. We have once introduced our bestselling UTP pants as our own, home-grown concept, and with time it became evident that this is the way to follow. We are perfectly aware that in our world we have to transform and evolve, follow new challenges, revise old standards and never, ever settle for average.” And from what I saw of the new products, these are no empty words.
Starting with the ‘Outback Line’, this is Helikon-Tex’s technical clothing and accessories range concept. From base layers through all intermediate levels of insulation, for both dynamic and static activities, to outer layers including wind shirts, softshells, hardshells and Climashield parkas. There are both solid classics and new ‘light & fast’ style designs.
The first new product is the Blizzard Softshell set; the jacket is a perfect light outer layer for most weather conditions. Durable DWR treatment, stretchable material and extra reinforcements, combined with spacious cargo pockets give you a versatile softshell top with a military legacy and a solid feature set as you’d expect, and it’s a versatile outdoor garment, meant especially for inclement weather use when hiking or mountain climbing. The matching Blizzard Pants feature two types of softshell fabric (two and four-way stretch) which are designed in a way that combines mobility, durability and breathability of the set. True to its military origins, they feature spacious cargo pockets, extra ventilation channels, lower leg reinforcements and bootlace hooks.
To complement the Blizzard outer layers, there are also new fleece layering options to consider as well, and the one I’ve been testing is the Cumulus, which is a variant that offers a hooded jacket with spacious mesh inner pockets and simple hand warmer pockets. It’s a simple, utilitarian and very wearable piece. Helikon-Tex are well known for their durable yet comfortable tactical trousers and whilst they already offer are a very popular range of pants, there were requests to make them even more comfortable and well, even better for shooting sports, especially to introduce more stretch and reinforcements in critical areas. So Helikon-Tex have listened to this feedback and you can see all the ideas rolled into their new, dedicated range pants nicknamed the Hybrid Tactical Pants (HTP) in the new ‘Range Line’. This looks to be an absolutely cracking design, providing a combination of both a great feature set and some cutting edge fabrics; this is a model where they have spared no expense!
As you can imagine, it’s an incredibly complex feat for any brand, even one as well-respected and efficient as Helikon-Tex, to launch a whole new concept in one go, but this is the start of the rollout of the HTX project and it’s very impressive to say the least. In addition to the three new lines mentioned in this review, in due course we’ll be seeing the further roll-out of the ‘Bushcraft’, ‘Patrol’, and ‘Medical’ lines, which means there’s much more goodness to come!
Prices have yet to be confirmed on the new garments, but Helikon- Tex have advised that they are expected to be (around) Blizzard Jacket €80, Blizzard Pants €65, Cumulus €49, and HTP €70. The new designs are loading up onto the Helikon-Tex website as they become available, so for more information on the individual pieces and to find stockist details where you are please do visit https://helikon-tex. com. I’m expecting to see the new models also appearing on www. military1st.co.uk at any moment and I’ll update this as I look at more of the new models over time.