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Those Swedes know what they’re doing!

11/23/2011

Yesterday it was 25 degrees when I woke up to go for my run–the perfect temp to take my new Helly Hansen base layer for spin. Before I started working at The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe (not its real name), all my winter gear was Under Armour which mostly kept me warm but mostly strangled the shit out of me. That is some tight, tight stuff. I am a total sucker when it comes to the power of suggestion, so when one of the owners of The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe (not its real name) told me that Craft and Helly Hansen were the best on the market, I immediately coveted everything made by these companies.

HH was invented in 1877 by this norwegian boat captain:

THE Helly Hansen

I was sold the second I saw this picture because that just looks like a guy who doesn’t fuck around with his cold weather gear. I guarantee his beard is made out of polypropylene and wool. Now that I live in Canada, I need to be taking the word of guys like THAT to get me through the wintry months, and since I have a pretty decent employee discount I ordered 2 HH base layers for the winter.

I’ll try to long-story-short this: I took my Helly for a run with a fleece and a shell. I definitely didn’t need a shell because the HH kept me nice and warm without overheating. My core was completely comfortable for the whole 5 miles–only my hands and feet were chilly (because I was wearing my cheapie cotton socks and thin gloves). The best part about the HH is its wicking properties. Usually when I finish a run in the winter, I immediately freeze because the sweat is just held against my skin. Because the material in HH moves the sweat away from your body, I was still warm even when I was done. I took the dog for a walk, brought out the garbage, and puttered around the yard without a single goosebump. That never would have happened in my old gear which kept me warm only when I was on the go. I’m a total believer!

The only downside is the stink factor. Because it is made of 52% polyester, the HH base layer (or any technical fabric with high polyester) holds on to–and almost seem to amplify–odor. So you can choose cotton which keeps you as fresh as a daisy–but you’ll freeze your ta-tas off. Or you can deal with a little sweaty armpit smell. I don’t want to end up on the treadmill all winter long so I am going with the B.O. I’m already married so I’ve no one’s olfactory senses to impress.

And, as always, for your eyeball viewing pleasure, a picture of me in one of my new base layers in front of my neighbor’s beautiful fence. I have no idea when I keep standing in front of it for these pictures. I have a cute house with an adorable porch and hearty mums in my garden, yet I continue pose next to some rickety old wood held together by chicken wire. I must be a self-loather.

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