I always thought that if I started my own cult, it would be around the Satisfyer Pro 2 or a wheel of baked Brie—both excellent contenders in their own right. Instead, I recently found myself soap boxing over a pair of life-changing pants. Meet my love, my rock, my new fall-to-winter personality, the Haelo puffer pant:
I don’t say life-changing lightly. As a Southern Californian who has been living in New York City for the past few years, I still struggle to layer my clothes in a way that doesn’t feel like I’m getting swallowed by a giant felt snake; I’m tired of the constricting wool tights, heat technology undergarments (that do bupkis), and the puffers that never seem to be long enough. “I’m looking for something that feels the way I imagine those Pierpaolo Piccioli x Moncler puffers do,” I tell my friends once the temps start to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, “I dream of heat-to-toe insulation.”
Low and behold, the Haelo pant, which first caught my eye when I was writing about the best 80s-inspired apparel for VICE. It’s made by the Brooklyn-based brand The Arrivals as part of a set—don’t sleep on the Haelo puffer hoodie—and looks like it rolled right out of a 1987 ski lodge with that quilted, puffy exterior and retro green colorway.
The set has been field tested in temperatures as low as 30 degrees fahrenheit, and filled with a down-like material fashioned from 100% post-consumer textiles, which is always tight (no geese were harmed in the making of this jawn); and there’s even a way to fold-up and carry the pants and hoodie as a little bag over your shoulder.
All of this sounded great, and felt even better. “It’s like wearing a sleeping bag,” I told my friends once I slipped in my set, “but, like, as pants and stuff.” I first wore the pants with no winter long johns, and paired the hoodie with a white Cameron Poe tank top before commuting to work on a windy and cold Brooklyn morning. I was fully expecting to freeze on my walk to the office, and even packed a pair of back-up tights, but I was… totally fine? Maybe I’m an East Coast n00b, but I had never felt so much well-distributed warmth from the bottoms of my ankles to the crown of my little Home Depot Skeleton head—especially from such a lightweight fabric. It was as if someone had siphoned the *chef’s kiss* dry heat of a 74 degree fahrenheit Los Angeles day, and poured it down my trousers.
For the next few weeks, I wore almost nothing else.
I can’t think of another look that has gotten more “Sorry to bother you, but where did you get that set?” comments, other than last year’s cursed Furby Halloween costume. There are days when I step out looking like the bottom of a foot, and people will still shower me with compliments. Even my friends have hopped on The Arrivals puffer train, and started smashing the order button on their own sets in the lavender and matcha colorways.
Javi, Linnea, Emma—pretty soon, my core group of NYC hustlers was clad in The Arrivals puffer gear. For context: these are all very hot and busy people who work in film; they need to do stuff at the crack-of-dawn/in uncomfortable conditions, and require even more comfortable and flexible apparel to do so. It may be simpy to admit this, but now, we constantly DM each other different versions of the brand’s über fluffy Yeti-style jacket, balaclavas, and even longer puffer jackets.
I wanted warmth, and The Arrivals’ Haelo puffer set did not skimp on bringing the heat. If you’re bored with your usual rotation of fall and winter puffers and want a lightweight set that doesn’t give you the silhouette of a slug, this is the set for you; it has kept me toasty in icy temperatures, from ankle to skull, and makes me feel like a sexy John Denver, stepping out for another bottle of peppermint schnapps during a 1980s holiday vacation. What more could you ask for?
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