The compact HTX Wolfhound Jacket (KU-WLF-NL) from the Polish brand Helikon-Tex was first introduced back in 2015. Further, after the expansion and reorganization of the range in 2016, with a slight change in design, she joined the HTX Outback Line, which focuses on the range for use primarily in the field. The manufacturer himself characterizes this jacket as a light, compact and warm product that can be used both as an outer layer and as an insulating layer complete with various windproof jackets..
It has already developed that in my wardrobe mainly softshell and hardshell jackets from different manufacturers are concentrated, since these products are very versatile and can be used throughout the year, which cannot be said about the usual down jackets. At the same time, their own heat-insulating properties are often not enough, and therefore it is necessary to use various warming layers made of fleece materials that work well with active use and perfectly adapt to sudden changes in temperature. And now, when fleece is no longer enough, thin insulated jackets like the HTX Wolfhound Jacket come to the rescue.
It is the compact dimensions when folded (a small compression case, 17 g is included in the kit), relatively light weight (366 g), as well as quick-drying and hydrophobic synthetic insulation, along with the possibility of using it as an insulating layer, that became the main factors of my choice in favor of the HTX Wolfhound Jacket. For myself, I chose a version in a single color called Taiga Green and in size L / Regular (height 185 cm, chest 107 cm, waist 92 cm).
The outer layer of the jacket is made of thin and light WindPack nylon material, which is reinforced with micro rip-stop and additionally treated with water-repellent Teflon impregnation. The material holds drizzle well, light and relatively short rain, and also copes well with the wind. The lining is made of a thinner and smoother polyester material without any processing, but with rip-stop reinforcement.
In addition to the materials mentioned above, the HTX Wolfhound Jacket features microfleece on the inside of the small collar and lining the main slit pockets, as well as the familiar VersaStrech brand of stretch material used to form the sleeve cuffs and more breathable areas under the sleeves.
As a heat-insulating filler, Climashield Apex full polyester insulation is used, which I already know well from the insulated ECW Level 7 Lightweight Winter Jacket. Unlike the ECW model, where the density of the insulation is at least 100 g / m2, in Wolfhound the insulation has a declared density of 67 g / m2, and this turned out to be quite enough to feel comfortable at temperatures ranging from +5C to -10C, taking into account use of various wind protection layers.
The jacket is made in a fairly loose cut that does not restrict movement, and at the same time, does not hang like a «bag», causing discomfort when using outer jackets. Wolfhound is fastened with a front plastic zipper with one YKK Vislon metal lock, on the inside the zipper is protected by a small valve made of two layers of the base material. There are volume adjustments along the bottom edge. There are four pockets in the jacket: two for warming hands (24 x 17 cm), one on the chest (22 x 16 cm) and one on the inside (24 x 18 cm). All pockets are fastened with a YKK brand zipper, the locks are protected by flaps.
We must give credit to the developers, they really thought over the design of the jacket, making it as compatible as possible with various hardshell and softshell layers. The jacket features a low and thin collar that does not interfere with the outer layers, thin and smooth cuffs, soft and low profile pockets, and even the shoulder panel is made of thin and soft Velcro. In the photo you can see the option of sharing with the Chameleon Soft Shell Spartan softshell jacket.
In general, at this stage of use, I am absolutely satisfied with the jacket so far, both its workmanship, with the exception of a few protruding threads, and the materials used, as well as the overall design. The only thing I would add is the ability to place an order for a jacket without a Velcro panel on the shoulder, and a loop for hanging the jacket would also not hurt, otherwise everything is fine for now. How the jacket performs so far at lower temperatures remains to be seen.
I ordered my insulated HTX Wolfhound Jacket (KU-WLF-NL), which has recently also been available in a women’s version, directly through the official online store of the manufacturer, where it is priced at $139. The jacket is available in seven colors (black, coyote, alpha green, shadow grey, camogrom, pencott wildwood).