The A-59 was the predecessor to the A-62. The A-59 was a test by Helly Hansen to test out the idea of masks utilizing PVC for visors. The reason for the testing was a new found rubber/PVC welding technique. The A-59 was reviewed by the military and a decision was made to fund Helly Hansen in the mask venture. The A-62 (regular and children's model) and most other Helly Hansen masks went into full production in 1962. The "A" family (A-59 and both A-62 variants) both used Sardine Can filters' as seen in the top of the picture to the right.

While the filters are generally referred to as Sardine Can filters' their original are designated as 'AH-filters'. The filters were, as named, made from Sardine Cans. The idea was that the filters would be easier to produce (as cans were already in production) and would be easier for the layman to fit and adjust. The filters came with a small piece of special tape / band, which was used to connect the Filters to the mask. The instruction manual that came with the mask describes in detail how to make use of the tape.  

Gassmaske 3-431x600

A Norwegian Family, probably wearing A-59's due to the filters, during the 60's.

The Norwegian A-62/A-59 masks were issued in the Late 50's/early 60s and until the Early 70s. This was because of the growing threat of nuclear war between the USA and the USSR. Therefore the Norwegian Government ordered Helly Hansen to make around 600,000 Gas masks for the civilian population of Norway. Norway wanted to make their own masks because they deemed the Gas Masks from the other NATO nation to be substandard. The Norwegian masks were supposed to be 100 % secure and sealed, and the filters were designed to protect against every known Gas and Nuclear Dust. They were sold for a decent price so every family in Norway could protect their Family in case of War. 


The Norwegian A-62 were made during the 1960s. Very little information is known on these masks. Its has a variant for children

Both masks had the Sardine Can filters as a standard, but the Civil Defence often fitted the A-62's with adapters for 40mm NATO filters. If the masks were purchased by a civilian however, they'd arrive with no adapter.


An filter to an A-62, from my personal collection.

The A-59 and the A-62 look quite similar, but they do have some differences when it comes to its parts (Example: Exhale valve). As previously stated, there may have been different types of A-62, but these were mostly children's model or post/train masks. The biggest difference from the Common A-59 and the common A-62 are the exhale valves and the size. The A-59 appears visually smaller than the A-62 when unpacked. The difference in the valve lies in type. The A-59 lets out air straight down, while the A-62 redirects it down towards your neck.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.