Accent piping is stiff and uncomfortable in places
Wicking performance is sub-par
The Helly Hansen Challenger is a lightweight aerobic training jacket suitable for light aerobic workouts in cool, dry conditions. Highly wind-resistant paneling cut wind and light rain, but the Challenger delivered surprisingly weak moisture-management performance.
The Helly Hansen Challenger is a lightweight aerobic training jacket with highly wind-resistant paneling and lots of reflective piping.
Weather Protection While the Challenger Jacket’s front panels provided good wind and light rain protection, even at high speeds, the more breathable panels on the back and sides offered very little resistance to the elements.
Breathability For a non-membrane jacket that also features large panels of highly breathable fabric, the Challenger delivered surprisingly weak moisture-management performance. I was often left feeling too warm and a bit clammy after even short bursts of exertion.
Mobility/Comfort Aside from being occasionally irritated by the reflective piping at the neck, I found the Helly Hansen Challenger to be generally flexible and easy to wear.
Weight Average weight for a jacket of this style and performance.
Attention to Detail Detailing and finish-quality were very good, and key features (media pocket, hem adjustment) were well-executed. I would have liked to see better-performing fabrics throughout the jacket, but found it to be otherwise thoughtfully designed and solidly built.
Value Considering its average performance in most of the test-categories, the Challenger’s list price seemed fairly high.