Fitness On Trial: Helly Hansen Activewear
To be more precise, I was sent the Helly Hansen W VTR Printed 7/8 Capri* in Sorbet (£50) and the Helly Hansen W Aspire Flex Hoodie* in Ebony Heater (£55) to review, so I can talk about these in more detail.
Being honest, when thinking about fitness clothing Helly Hansen isn’t the first name I would think of – Nike, Adidas, UnderArmour, yes – but, after trialling the products, it’s definitely one I would consider/ recommend in the future.
To give you a bit of an overview on the brand itself, Helly Hansen started in 1877 by Helly Juell Hansen and his wife, who started producing sea-worthy garments waaaaay back in the day. Since then, the company has expanded massively into the brand it is today, creating sturdy, long-lasting materials and developing products that can go this distance fitness wise – regardless of the situation. The company produces heavy-duty clothing for sailors, skiers and adventurers who want their clothes to complement their active lifestyles, rather than hinder them.
And now, onto the clothing itself…
What The Website Says
These capris blend style and performance in a perfect way so you look as good as you feel after a run or gym session. Made of X-Cool fabric to keep you cool and comfortable.
- X-Cool Quick-dry fabric
- Stretch fabric
- Soft hand for comfort
- Wide waist for a flattering fit
- Key pocket at waist
- HH® logo on thigh
A soft long sleeve hooded training top to keep you comfortable during cooler days. Made of X-Cool Quick-dry fabric to keep you cool and featuring a heathered fabric and thumb holes to regulate your temperature.
- X-Cool Quick-dry fabric
- Soft hand feeling
- UPF 30
- Thumb holes for extra warmth (YAYYYYY)
- Articulated arms for enhanced movement
- HH® Logo on chest
First Impressions – Out the Bag
My honest, genuine first impression was DAMN, those pants are bright. On removing from the packet, I actually liked the weird, orange and peach swirls and thought they made a pleasant change to the black, black and sometimes navy offering of my gym pants. The material is silky without feeling slippery and they feel like good quality.
I loved the look of this hoodie when I got it out of the back. I love that fact it’s a charcoal grey, it was incredibly light, has a hood for rainy days AND it has little thumb cuts, which I LOVE for autumn/ winter as they help to keep my hands warm. I have very odd, little chodey thumbs and gloves often don’t fit and are annoying, so having thumbs slits are great for me as they free my chodes up without me having to faff around.
First Impressions – Wearing
I got a size 8/ small in both items and they felt good when I tried them on. The Capris are snug, but not OTT snug where they showcase all your lumps and bumps (no one likes camel toe) and the Hoodie fits like a glove, it’s not so baggy that you’re running in your boyfriends clothes but again it’s not skin tight. You can easily fit a sports bra and tee under the Hoodie without feeling like you’re bulging, which is another point to add. Although the Capris are 7/8 in length, they only just feel shorter than running leggings, although that might just be that they’re intended for people taller than me – who knows? Neither materials are itchy on the skin, which make them comfortable to wear.
Putting it to the Test – Cardio & Gym
As much as it pains me to say it, putting each bit of kit through the test is when I started to notice a couple of things.
Incredibly see-through. I was wearing blue knickers and everyone I spoke to commented that that they could easily see the outline and colour coming through. To say I was aware of this after the second comment was an understatement. The hoodie was whipped off pronto and wrapped around my waist on exit.
This is me just being difficult, but sometimes the bright colour can seem a bit in your face. It’s all personal preference, but when I caught myself running in a shop window my initial reaction cropped up once again of damn, these are bright. Not a negative at all, but worth mentioning.
Isn’t particularly pratical when running. As it was a warm morning (as warm as it can be at 6am) I decided to wear the Hoodie with just a sports bra underneath, and as I was moving I felt the back of the hoodie riding up, and it continued to do so for the full 50 minutes I was running. I resulted in having to pull it down literally every five minutes. Lesson learned, this hoodie can’t be worn without a tee/vest underneath if you’re one who doesn’t like to flash the flesh.
It’s not the same as a normal hoodie. If it’s cold, this isn’t something I would grab to snuggle down in, nor would I wear it if it was sub-zero temperatures. I actually prefer it for cooler evenings if I’m doing a short run or as something to throw over gym clothes on the way to/from the gym and when warming up.
The pieces of kit I were sent are incredibly comfortable, but for what I do at the gym (weights/ running/ spin) they’re definitely not my favourite bits of kit. The Hoodie provides a great light layer for running outdoors, regardless of the fact it rides up and is still my go-to hoodies to grab when I’m running as it’s so lightweight and comfortable it’s perfect for the outdoors. The Capris are my in-your-face pants and are a bit like marmite for me, sometimes I love them, sometimes I hate the colour. Again, this doesn’t stop me wearing them as I find the shape and style of them very flattering (when wearing light undies) and they are, again, very comfortable to wear.
If you’re a new runner, or someone who favours lighter training sessions, I would definitely recommend checking out the Helly Hansen website. The clothing is a bit more fashion-forward than fitness heavy brands and the material each product is made from (in my experience) is incredibly high-quality.
If you’re looking for something a bit more hardcore for heavy gym sessions, check out my review of the Proskins ACTIVE Women Compression Leggings here.
Thanks for reading,