Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Helly Hansen Norviz Women's Training Kit

The items from Helly Hansen in this post were generously sent to me by ADPR & Helly Hansen in support of my challenge to run 100km in 2015 for Cancer Research UK. I have not been otherwise paid of compensated to review these items or to post links to any websites and all views are my own. Especial thanks go to Beki from ADPR for the generosity extended. 

I first reviewed Helly Hansen training kit- which I'd never known even existed until that point, way back in January 2015. They sent me some really great winter training, which I wore on my journey through C25K in the first quarter of the year. 

Super bright delivery from @hellyhansen v excited to get on to a #winterduel
Winter training top & Tights c/o Helly Hansen earlier in the year. You can read more about this kit in my post from January 2015

I was fortunate enough to go the press day in the early spring and meet the head of design. It was fascinating to learn more about the background of the brand and about their involvement in sports teams, in particular women’s sailing. I came away with some very special goodies then which have received many many compliments throughout the spring and summer, remaining some of the best and comfiest kit I’ve ever owned. but what really caught my eye was the Norviz kit. Put frankly, it's some of the cleverest design in fitness & sports wear I have ever seen.

They very generously sent me a Norviz top & a pair of Norviz tights...

Helly Hansen Norviz

Norviz flash

Short of saying they light up in the dark, what can I say. The pink is the most difficult to photograph if there's normal daylight but rest assured that if it's dark, it is every bit as reflective as the black top. So the top...

It's a basic half zip long sleeve top. It has thumbholes- a welcome improvement on the basic pink top of a similar style and zips right up to my chin. Usual awesome wicking property from the X-Cool technology too. The fact that it LIGHTS UP LIKE CHRISTMAS is the most exciting thing here and it's also available in a high viz pink (like the tights) for added daytime visibility or if it's your personal preference. The Aspire Norviz Top is available to buy on the Helly Hansen website HERE.

Now the tights- this is where I get even more excited. The pink inserts on the hip and that's the back of the lower leg are the bits with the Norviz fabric. Great because it should really help you to be seen in headlights or bike lights. BUT These tights also have lots of little improvements on my other pair of Aspire tights (pictured right at the top and sent to me for review in January 2015). I mean they're good (windproofing is such an underrated quality) but the more I wore them, especially for running as well as cycling, the more those niggles became apparent.

Helly Hansen Norviz Tights

Clockwise from TR
They have a drawstring- actually all my Helly Hansen tights have had drawstrings and that's not new to the Aspire Norviz tights, but it IS useful and worth a mention. Ladies who have problems with slippage (the bain of my bloody life), this is worth knowing. Oh, and they also have this beautifully soft, warm brushed fabric inside. Say hello to ultimate snugness.

Not just zips at the ankles but REFLECTIVE zips at the ankles. They also come up a sensible distance which means getting them off after a sweaty hill training session isn't anywhere near as hard as it could be (big US brand tights, I'm looking at you....)

POCKETS! My 2014/5 tights did have a pocket on the thigh. It was just about big enough for a small set of keys, but not quite and it was an awkward place. In the 2015/6 Norviz version, it's back to the tradition back of waistband pocket which is big enough to take a decent size set of keys and maybe a card/cash or hydration tab. Most impressively, the pocket is lined with waterproof fabric so if it's your car keys- no worrying about rain or sweat damaging anything and being stranded. Well done Helly Hansen for remembering women have stuff to carry too.

The Helly Hansen Aspire Norviz tights are available to buy on their website HERE. They also come in black as well as the grey/pink colourway I have.

The amazing thing that Helly Hansen have pulled off with not just their winter kit, their entire range of training kit is putting together good design with practical functionality. Every time I've been sent or purchased a piece of their kit, it's performed 100% of the time exactly like it's supposed to. It's incredible to see the development of their products to incorporate sensible and clever elements- a well placed pocket or a thumb loop can completely change a product that you rely on when pushing your body and your mind. The conscious move towards visibility and therefore safety in a way that is incredibly clever is also something I find all the more amazing because their design team is about 5% of the size of some of the major sportswear brands. And yet look at the innovation.

You can view all the Helly Hansen training kit on their website HERE and if some items accidentally on purpose fall into your basket- let me know- I'd love to see what other people think of a brand that not enough people seem to realise are serious about fitness. I'll also be posting about some other items generously sent to me in the same package, because you can't not share prints like this...

I feel it important to reiterate that I have not been paid to post about these items, not were these items provided in exchange for reviews or links back to specific sites. ADPR and Helly Hansen sent these items in support of my challenge to run 100km in 2015 for Cancer Research and especial thanks go to them for their generosity. All opinions are my own and yes, I really do think this kit is *that* good.


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