IWA 2022 – Helikon-Tex
As it is Sunday, let’s do another full access report on IWA 2022 – this time Helikon-Tex. The Polish company is one of the regulars at the show in Nuremberg and this year was not any different.
What stood out was that Helikon-Tex was only present at IWA and Direct Action only at Enforce Tac. This is another example of the newly formed parent company Entire-M, which was set up to better separate Direct Action, Helikon-Tex as well as their public perception.
Helikon-Tex decided to dedicate most of their booth to a bar, where people could meet up and discuss business. Only a small portion of their product portfolio was showcased – some of it not even being published in their catalog. As a result it is unclear when or if some of the shown products will hit the market. We had a similar situation years back, when Helikon-Tex showed prototypes which made it to the market only several years later.
Coming to the products.
- One highlight was certainly the expansion of the Women’s line, introducing not only the “Gunfigher” softshell for women, but also the “Squall” hardshell. These will be introduced in August, according to comments in social media.
- Adding to that, women will be offered new shorts as well as a flanel type shirt. Here is the question if the fabric will be comfortable, or another polyester shirt, with breathability issues.
- The men will also get a “Sqall” Hardshell, made of the same fabric, called Torrentstretch, which was made for Helikon-Tex. It has a water column of 30.000mm and features Aquaguard zippers by YKK and welded seams on the inside.
It will be interesting to see, what colors will come first and if they stick to the black velcro on the high vis red jacket – which is a heavy contrast for a civilian outdoor jacket.
- Another product, which is already available is the Tramontane Windshirt, which is a lightweight shirt like the Windrunner, but with a front zipper.
- An additional lightweight item is the Foxhole bag, which is a roll top bag featuring several ways of attachment.
- When it comes to bags… Helikon-Tex did exhibit a Claymore Bag in Tigerstripe camo. They have no intention of releasing it at the moment and just showed it to see if there is any interest in it. I have to admit that this one was among the few items that really caught my personal interest – even though it was made of regular Nylon and not Cordura.
- A new pair of pants was also showcased – the MCDU pants, which will complement the already available MCDU shirt. It is planned for November and features several new design approaches to combat pants.
Of course there were other products as well, like the fanny bags as well as the Multicam Black line up as well as some tiger stripes. All in all, the booth of Helikon-Tex was a bit strange this year. Poorly lit, almost no engagement by the Team, even if you wanted to ask questions and it seemed more like the bar was on everyone’s mind.
It will be interesting to see when the products will come out – as already mentioned, some of them are not in this year’s catalog. Other than that one got the impression as if some things at Helikon-Tex are back on track and that we will see another step forward to better quality.
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