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Helly Hansen, a Nordic-based skiing and boating brand
A selection of tees, shorts, and jackets
SAM: I’ve spent vast swaths of my life, including the past 10 years, working or living in Maryland’s bayside capital, Annapolis. The city is squeezed onto the end of a peninsula between two main tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and then run through by several creeks. Downtown is dominated by the historic State Capitol Building and the United States Naval Academy. This all makes Annapolis a boating town, the “Sailing Capital of the World,” if you will. I know the Nordic apparel brand Helly Hansen only through its presence here in Naptown.
To me, it’s a sailing brand, ubiquitous on the brick and cobble streets of a town awash in sailing, history, and the United States Navy, and where they maintain a thriving storefront among the bars and tourist shops. I didn’t know they made running clothes, but I probably should have figured.
MELISSA: I was unfamiliar with Helly Hansen prior to reviewing it. However, I’ve since started seeing HH logos everywhere. I guess it’s always been around, and I’ve yet to notice. Go figure. Helly Hansen is a Norwegian brand that’s been around for a long time and is mostly known for offering a wide selection of ski, sailing, and outdoor apparel. Overall, I am really impressed with the apparel, so much so that I’m surprised I haven’t seen more of it in the trail running community. Let’s get right to it.
MELISSA: It didn’t take long for me to become a huge fan of this jacket. It’s lightweight and breathable yet provides ample protection from the elements. I also happen to love this earthy orange color- it’s perfect for fall running! I can appreciate some of the added details of pockets, elastic wrist cuffs, and fitted hood. Overall, this is a great windbreaker for a great price.
PRICE: $100Shop Helly Hansen Roam Wind Jacket - Men Shop Helly Hansen Roam Wind Jacket - Women
SAM: My day job is in coffee. There, spent coffee grounds are a bottomless resource mainly destined for the trash, and it’s always nice to see them used in forward-thinking ways. Here, they’re added – HH uses the word “infused” – to the polyester weave as natural UPF 50+ sun protection. This shirt is cut loose through the chest and arms for a soft, relaxed fit that’s great for cruising in the mid-temps. I like that the LIFA Active Solen LS sits easily and doesn’t bind around the neck or under the arms, even when wearing a vest.
PRICE: $80Shop Helly Hansen Solen Long Sleeve T-Shirt - Men Shop Helly Hansen Solen Long Sleeve T-Shirt - Women
SAM: This technical tee has everything I’m looking for — it’s lightweight, fast-drying, comfortable, and flattering. Also, some added perks include UPF50+ material made with recycled coffee grounds — that’s pretty cool!
MELISSA: Made of thinner fabric than the LIFA Active Solen LS, the Tech Trail T-shirt is better suited to hotter days under the sun, especially with the S.Cafe sun protection Melissa mentioned above, and that is also found in the LIFA Active Solen LS. A perforated breathable panel that spans the shoulders helps to prevent overheating, which is one of my personal pet peeves in tech shirts. This shirt is also cut loosely and a little long for coverage and comfort.
PRICE: $60Shop Helly Hansen Technical Trail Tee - Men Shop Helly Hansen Technical Trail Tee - Women
SAM: These unlined shorts are built from an airy 4-way stretch poly/spandex blend that feels ultra-light and comfy with plenty of room for motion. They have two unzippered hand pockets and a single zippered rear pocket in wallet position, not center mounted. None of these pockets are very useful for running, but these are great shorts for someone who wants the extended coverage of a longer inseam for hiking or walking with the light weight of a running short.
PRICE: $85Shop Helly Hansen Tech Trail Shorts - Men
MELISSA: I was able to try these leggings for a few runs, and they proved to be a great fall/winter running option. They’re breathable, comfortable, and very flattering — so much so that I’ve received several compliments and inquiries about them. It appears that other Helly Hansen tight offerings include a built-in pocket in the waistband. If that’s the case, then they’ve traded the waistband pocket for zippered pockets along the thigh that are only large enough for a gel or car key. I wish that this would include waistband storage — it would be perfect for holding a phone and an extra gel or two.
PRICE: $75Shop Helly Hansen Blaze Trail Leggings - Women
Sam lives in Baltimore with his wife and two kids and spends his days fixing espresso machines for Ceremony Coffee Roasters. He runs with the Faster Bastards when he can, races ultras, and has been working on completing the AT section by section. He thinks the best days are made of long miles on nasty trails, but that a good surf session, a really stunning book, or a day of board games are pretty all right too.
All-time favorite shoes: Saucony Xodus Ultra, Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3, Altra Lone PeakMore from Sam
East Coast raised and West Coast trained, Melissa truly enjoys running, especially ultra distances. She currently lives on the Southern California coast and can be found exploring Santa Barbara front country on the weekends.
All-time favorite shoes: HOKA Clifton, Nike Vaporfly NEXT %, Altra Lone PeakMore from Melissa