Arctic Patrol Modular Parka – Developed together with Scientists Working in Extreme Conditions
Svalbard has been called a living laboratory. Strategically located at the entrance to the Arctic Ocean, the archipelago is filled with easily accessible geological structures and is surrounded by biologically rich sea areas. This makes it popular among scientists and the perfect testing ground for our new Arctic Patrol Modular Parka.
The Arctic Patrol Modular Parka is developed in cooperation with a group of scientists based on Svalbard, and it is designed specifically for working long days in this harsh Arctic climate. For a jacket to perform in a setting like this, it must fulfill a long list of tricky requirements.
The scientists’ work is punctuated by long periods of inactivity, during which time there is little heat-generating movement. This means that their clothing must be highly insulating.
Prepared for any eventuality
Conditions in Svalbard can be harsh, especially during the cold and dark winters. The strategic location and practical advantages like developed infrastructure and communications make it a natural choice for scientists within a wide range of arctic research fields. For them, conducting research often involves long days in the field, far from the comforts of office life. On these excursions, they have to carry along all they need for a full day of research, and as they usually travel by snowmobile or small boats, long days in the field put a lot of strain on their gear.
Designed to meet their needs and preferences, the Arctic Patrol Modular Parka is built as a layering system, consisting of 3 individual jackets. Each jacket can be worn as a standalone piece, or together as a complete system as the ultimate protection from the elements. This makes it easy to regulate body temperature as activity levels and weather conditions shift throughout the day.
A mobile office
Radio, map, GPS, compass, emergency beacon, satellite phone, first aid kit, signal gun, rifle, rope, repair kit, food, and snacks, the list goes on and on, and in addition, the work they’re going to carry out requires its own list of equipment and material.
Some of the equipment can be placed in a backpack or the snowmobile storage room. If everything goes according to plan, it can stay there. However, a lot of the equipment should be carried along at all times, and this requires pockets – plenty of pockets.
The Arctic Patrol Modular Parka is equipped with multiple pockets in all different sizes for different purposes on different parts of the body. Some pockets can be reached from both within and without, and strategically placed D-rings make sure you can attach stuff you need handy on the outside of the jacket. In many ways, this modular parka functions as a mobile office, making life a lot easier in the field.
The windchill factor
Arctic areas are getting warmer due to global warming, and Svalbard is no exception. But even though temperatures are increasing, there is one factor that still can make it ice-cold out in the field: Windchill.
Windchill is a term that describes what the combination of air temperature and wind speed makes the temperature feel like on your skin. In other words, the colder the air temperature and the higher the wind speed, the colder it will feel on your skin, aka the higher the windchill factor. This means if it’s -20 °C and the wind speed is 15 m/s (strong breeze), it feels like -35 °C. And if the temperature remains the same and the wind speed rises, the windchill factor increases and the colder you feel.
The windchill factor deals with the fact that temperature doesn’t tell the whole story of human comfort outdoors. Our heat balance is significantly affected by wind speed. The wind makes it feel colder because it blows the heat we emit away from our bodies. The best cure against windchill includes windproof clothing, more layers instead of one thick layer (preferably adjustable layers), and being able to cover your face totally. The Arctic Patrol Modular Parka is purpose-built to perform in harsh arctic conditions where windchill can create varying conditions throughout the day.
The ultimate do-it-all parka
Based on the scientists’ knowledge and feedback, Helly Hansen designed a modular parka to provide versatility and functionality without compromising on performance. For ease of use, each layer is packable into a bag that comes with the jacket. Here’s a rundown of the 3-in-1 construction:
1st layer: Stretch Insulator Jacket
A warm and soft insulator jacket made with Primaloft® Gold body mapping insulation. It is designed to provide a lot of warmth and flexibility during activities in cold conditions. Primaloft® Gold Active+ stretch insulation assures a high CLO value, low weight, breathability, and stretch performance for a high comfort level. Gender-specific insulation is taking into consideration that women need more insulation than men, and to avoid hypothermia both the torso and forearm require extra insulation for both genders.
“Men and women face slightly different thermal challenges when in extreme environments. This stems from different muscle mass and fat percentage, and differences in the sensation of hot and cold. This means that men and women have unique needs from their clothing – especially those working in extreme environments. Often clothing is made to a certain spec, usually a man’s, and just re-tailored for women, but this does not consider physiological differences. For example, women’s bodies are naturally very good at retaining their core temperature in extremely cold conditions, but this comes at the expense of their extremities. This means that they need more insulation in these areas than men.”
— Danny Longman
2nd layer: Shell Jacket
A waterproof and breathable 3-layer stretch shell jacket, designed to be worn as an outer or midlayer depending on weather and level of activity. The durable HELLY TECH® professional 3-layer mechanical stretch fabric is developed for the toughest conditions and assures that the jacket keeps water on the outside while moisture makes its way out when you work up a sweat.
3rd layer: Insulated Parka
The Arctic Patrol’s last module is a durable, heavy-duty, waterproof outer layer with 200g Primaloft® Gold premium insulation, designed for maximum weather protection for the coldest days and low activity in the arctic. The parka is waterproof in exposed areas and all pockets and details are constructed to meet the needs of the scientists in their professional lives in the Arctic. The scientists prefer synthetic insulation over down as it is more reliable and works even when wet.
This 3-layer system allows the wearer to mix-and-match in at least six different combinations for optimal warmth and functionality in any situation.
“Our professionals, athletes, and consumers should be able to depend on their gear to accommodate any level of activity in any environment,” says Kristoffer Ulriksen, Category Managing Director for Urban at Helly Hansen. “This type of modular apparel is like your go-to multi-tool that can be used in any situation. For anyone who spends their days outside, for life or for work, the Arctic Patrol Modular Parka will allow you to be flexible, prepared, and protected from the elements.”
The Arctic Patrol Modular Parka has already been honored by two prestigious awards organizations. Receiving top recognition from Red Dot with the coveted Best of the Best award 2020, the parka was voted as one of the best products in its category for its craftsmanship and groundbreaking design. The parka’s innovative design and functionality were further recognized at ISPO as the best product in the Expedition Wear category. Named an ISPO Award Gold Winner in the Outdoor segment, the parka was honored by an international panel of 42 judges from 13 countries spanning three continents.