This is VERSUS and in this episode Luke is comparing the Chinese Tactical Fleece against the Helikon-Tex Patriot Fleece Jacket….
I will tell you this, I DIDN’T expect these sort of differences for double the cost…..
Helikon-Tex, you need to do MUCH Better than this.
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Helikon-Tex Patriot VS Chinese Tactical Fleece
Helikon-Tex Agenda Free Link :
BIYLACLESEN Agenda Free Link :
Helikon-Tex Cost : $90 (Foliage color)
BIYLACLESEN Cost : $42
Helikon-Tex Weight : 2lb 2.5oz
BIYLACLESEN Weight : 1lb 9oz
Helikon-Tex Materials : YKK zippers, 390g polyester double fleece
BIYLACLESEN Materials : : Anti-Pilling Polyester and WC Chinese zippers.
I have already reviewed the BIYLACLESEN version so I won’t be going over all of the details concerning it and I will be skipping those details for the Helikon tex version as well. I’m talking about sizes, colors and etc. In my full review of the Patriot I will cover those details.
When looking at these jackets you would be correct in thinking that they are identical and that’s because they are; the overall design and look is the same but upon closer inspection you will see that the Helikon-Tex version has a number of substantial differences and it should considering that the price is double that of the BIYLACLESEN.
Helikon has a zipper guard to block wind from entering the jacket – BIYLACLESEN doesn’t have this feature.
Helikon features hood adjustments whereas the BIYLACLESEN doesn’t.
Helikon features a media pass through ports, the BIYLACLESEN doesn’t
Helikon uses stronger materials, higher quality zippers and you can feel the difference.
Helikon fleece has reinforced elbows; this is a nice feature as the fleece in that area will wear with use.
Helikon has pit zips which is AWESOME – BIYLACLESEN doesn’t have this feature.
Helikon has adjustable wrist straps – BIYLACLESEN doesn’t
BIYLACLESEN has slightly larger shoulder pockets
Helikon has larger wrist pockets
Helikon doesn’t have the pen pocket on the shoulder
Helikon has clips in the chest pockets
Helikon Fleece has more loose threads which is very surprising. They are of any concern when it comes to quality and durability but doesn’t look as good as it should. The BIYLACLESEN has very fewloose threads.
Thoughts and Impressions :
If you handle the BIYLACLESEN fleece prior to the Helikon, your first impression is the weight and thickness of the materials.
From there if you go to the Helikon the impression is just how much heavier and thicker that it is compared to the Chinese version. There is a noticeable difference between the two.
In my opinion, the helikon is a premium version of common Chinese made tactical fleece and for roughly double the cost you are getting some rather important features.
It is thicker, warmer, more adjustable, stronger and will last longer than the Chinese variants. The addition of the reinforced arms and the pit zippers are huge and are worth the additional investment;
Fleece jackets will always wear the quickest at the elbows and with the Helikon version you will not have to worry about that happening.
With the pit zips, these are vital; we are talking about heavyweight fleece jackets and because they are so warm such a feature really is needed. Think about your use cases for a jacket like this;
It has to be cool and you aren’t moving or it has to be cold and you are moving to wear them comfortably. Otherwise you will find the jacket to be simply too hot.
The pit zips allow for the user to wear the jacket in conditions which may not be as cold and balance out body temp. You can do that with the Helikon, no with the Chinese jacket.
Which would I pick :
I’ll be honest, I like both jackets and after time with both, I would select the Helikon Tex version. The features that this jacket offers are worthy of the additional cost but if you have budget restraints I can still easily recommend the Chinese version. In my review of the BIYLACLESEN I spoke of the feel of the jacket and how it doesn’t inspire confidence as far as durability goes and I still stand by that; be gentle with it and it will serve you well. With the Helikon fleece, it inspires confidence and it feels like a product that is going to last a long time. It is worth double the cost in my opinion.
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