A performance packed athletic long sleeve jersey with advanced dry fibers and air circulation features. HH Cool with Lifa Stay Dry Technology pulls excess heat and sweat away from skin for long term dryness during high-intensity pursuits.
- Lifa Stay Dry Technology
- HH Cool fabric technology
- Flatlock stitching
- Chest zip – 28.5 cm (11.2 in)
- Zipped seat pocket – 13 cm wide x 7 cm tall (5.1 in x 2.8 in)
- Lifa-striped reflective overlay on back
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 178 g (6.3 oz)
- Center back – 71 cm (28.0 in)
- Pit to pit – 41.5 cm (16.3 in)
- Sleeve length – 88 cm (34.6 in)
- Retail – $70
Helly Hansen has been an integral name in the outdoor industry for many years. Best known for their baselayers, the Lifa fabric was originally developed in 1970 and is still in use today. The current line of training tops uses many of those same fabrics and design properties. I was fortunate to have Helly Hansen give me the opportunity to test out this top with the Pace Tights.
The Helly Hansen Pace LS 1/2 Zip is packed with technology in a standard looking long sleeve shirt. The top is made out of Helly Hansen’s HH Cool fabric. The fabric is 54% polyester, 43% polypropylene, and 3% Elastane. The Lifa fabric, which is made of polypropylene rather than polyester, is against your skin. Lifa is anti-microbial, 40% lighter than polyester, does not absorb moisture, and is 100% itch free. With Lifa fabric against the skin it should stay dry as the fabric pushes moisture through the garment to the outside layer. In this case the outside layer is part of the top. The outside of the top is made of polyester fabric to wick away moisture as it comes through the inner layer. Even though there are two fabrics that make up the garment it still is exceptionally thin. In the center of the back Helly Hansen uses HH Cool Grid construction. HH Cool Grid is a different form of Lifa Technology which raises the fabric slightly off the skin. The “grid” structure enables air to easily flow between the skin and the garment allowing for a cooling sensation and better evaporation of moisture. The Cool Grid also seems to have a bit more stretch to it than the main fabric assisting in fit.
Over the top of the back a Lifa-striped reflective overlay increases your visibility during twilight runs. All the seams on the top are flat locked for comfort against the skin. Depending on the color you choose, these seams are contrasting for style. There is also reflective Helly Hansen logoing on the back and reflective elements along the front zipper. Speaking of the front zipper, it allows you to vent as needed for temperature regulation. At the bottom of the back there is a zippered stash pocket. The top itself is made with scalloped sleeves to cover the back of the hand and a drop tail hem in the back.
The Helly Hansen Lifa fabric does take a little more care to clean. It can be machine washed but the Polypropylene fabric cannot stand the hot temperature of a drier. Therefore the top needs to be hang dried. It does come out of the washer almost dry so it does not take long.
The Pace 1/2 Zip Top is made to be semi-form fitting. Wicking tops work best when they are in contact with the skin. That way they can pull the moisture off your skin and evaporate it off. I was sent a medium to test and it fits me rather well. There are a couple points of preference that I would change but I will explain that below. The Pace Zip has a medium length collar that comes up just below my chin. The collar fit well around the neck and is not too tight. In the shoulders and torso the top was comfortably tight. Semi-form fitting is a good way to explain the fit.
Now where I would have liked to see slight changes in the fit is in the cuffs and length of the top. The cuffs I found were slightly loose around my wrist causing them to blow up on windy days. This became a little annoying as cold air would then come up the sleeves a little bit. The sleeve length itself was nice and long which I prefer. The back of the shirt has a drop tail hem which is a nice feature but I wish the shirt was slightly longer all around. For me it had a tendency to feel a little short. This may also be due to how light the fabric is.
The Helly Hansen Pace 1/2 Zip is nice and lightweight. The Lifa fabric pushes moisture away from the skin and even when the outer fabric is damp with sweat; it does not feel overly wet against the skin. I have not yet found a fabric that keeps you totally dry when sweating heavily. The front zip does a good job regulating temperature and the thin fabric is very breathable. Over the top of the back there is a Lifa-striped reflective overlay to help you be seen while running in low light conditions. The clam-shell cuffs are also a nice touch as they cover the back of the hands while not getting in the way of your palms. As mentioned above, I wish they were a little tighter. I ran with and without a hydration pack and in both cases the Pace Zip was comfortable the whole way. The flat lock seams and semi-form fit did not chafe during any of my testing. The zippered pocket in the back is good for lightweight items, heavy items bounce a little bit.
Overall I have enjoyed testing the Pace 1/2 Zip. I have not had the opportunity to wear any of Helly Hansen’s baselayers but the Lifa Fabric works well. Apart from a couple fit preferences I think this is an excellent training top.
The fabrics are well thought out and the design is good for running, hiking, snow sports, or any other active activity where you need a top to keep you dry from sweat. Given that this is a long sleeve top and it has reflective elements. I think it is a good option for morning and evening runs when the sun is low. At $70 you do pay a bit more for this top but it is technology packed and well made. As always, you mileage may vary.
- Lifa fabric moves moisture well
- Flat lock seams
- Long Sleeves
- Reflective back panel
- Sleeves are slightly loose at the cuffs
- Prefer a slightly longer torso