Last updated: 17-Aug-18
Running tights are a must-have for most ultra runners, especially when training. Wear them in winter or on chillier spring and summer mornings and evenings. Here we look at two different pairs of Helly Hansens.
Helly Hansen women’s VTR printed 7/8 capris
You will have noticed the growing trend for colourful and crazily patterned running tights. And why not? After years of wearing black or grey tights, it’s time to wear something bright and cheerful.
The patterned tights are generally aimed at women, and these Helly Hansen tights come in a range of women’s sizes and in a length that is 7/8th, or in between full and three-quarters.
Helly Hansen claim that their women’s VTR printed capri tights “effortlessly blend style and performance”.
- X-Cool quick dry fabric
- Stretch fabric
- Wide waist for a flattering fit
- Key pocket at waist
Photo credit: www.hellyhansen.com.
Pros: What’s good about Helly Hansen VTR printed 7/8 capris
It’s great to have tights that make you smile when you see them – and make other people grin when thy see you in them. Although it is unlikely this will significantly boost your running performance it is nice to feel good in what you wear.
This range offers five different designs and I like them all. I think that the patterns are flattering for women, in that there are no big blocks of colour.
The length of the tights is good for me. I have long legs and I find that three-quarter tights are a bit too short. These come much lower down my shin and they are comfortable tights when the weather is cold but not freezing.
The stretch fabric feels supportive in all the right places, especially for the female physique and they look fairly flattering. The tights feel stretchy when running and I did not notice any extra sweat residue.
It was difficult to see if I was sweating while wearing these tights because of the pattern but I checked afterwards and the X-Cool Quick Dry properties appeared to be doing a good job. The top I was wearing while running did not work so well at wicking and ended up wet with sweat.
The wide waistband is a great design asset because this means the waistband area does not dig into the skin. The drawstring offers extra security if you find that tights fall down.
I prefer to buy well-fitting tights rather than relying on a drawstring but it’s helpful to have it there just in case.
If you are looking for a great value buy and you don’t mind the design, Helly Hansen are selling some of these tights for half price.
Photo credit. Fiona Russell.
Cons: What’s not so good about Helly Hansen VTR printed 7/8 capris
These are not highly technical tights so if you are looking for lots of technical features, such as compression, you’ll need to buy something else. They are more of a good-quality training tight.
If you are shorter you will find the tights are almost full length on you. So if you are looking for three-quarters, buy three-quarters.
The small key pocket is useful but only for a small key. These days, car keys are far larger than the old style and they do not fit neatly into small tights pockets. I wish that more companies would add a bigger pocket to running tights because it is so often the case that I need to find a place to safely stow my car key while running.
For me, the tights rise a little too high on the waist. I much prefer low-rise waistbands but this isn’t everyone’s choice.
To keep the tights in place at the crotch I needed to use the drawstring and even then it didn’t keep the tights permanently up. This is most likely a personal physique thing, however. If you have wider hips and a higher, narrower waist you will like these tights.
The bright patterns are not going to be for everyone.
These are bright and beautiful tights if you like something different. The fit is quite good and they offer adequate support. If you buy a half-price pair they are great value although it would be nice to see more features, such as a larger pocket.
Helly Hansen Pace/Aspire Norviz tights
These tights are more specifically for cold weather training. The Pace tights are for men while the Aspire are female-fit.
They also have an extra reflectivity feature called Norviz, which offers all-round reflective details for better night-time visibility.
- X-Cool quick dry fabric
- Supportive main stretch fabric
- 360-degree reflectivity thanks to all-round reflective details
- Wide waistband
- Sweat proof back pocket
- YKK zippers at ankles
Photo credit: www.hellyhansen.com.
Pros: What’s good about the Helly Hansen Pace/Aspire Norviz tights
The Norviz feature is a great idea. The reflective details and logos on the tights can be seen from any angle and this offers excellent visibility for night-time and dull day sessions.
Although the tights are in fairly plain colours, grey or black, the grey Aspire version has a pink panel on the back of the shins and the butt. I like this for a change in looks from my usual boring black tights. I do wish other brands could be more imaginative with colours.
The fit of the women’s Aspire tights is pretty good. I really like the wider waistband. Not only does it look flattering but it adds lots of comfort in an area where I usually find the fabric and waistband digs in.
The tights are a good length. I have long legs but the full length just about reached the bottom of my ankles.
There are zips at the ankles to help get the tights on and off. I do not often use these because I have slim feet but it’s a useful added extra.
I like the feel of the X-Cool quick dry fabric and, like the capris, this worked really well when training hard. The fabric feels soft against the skin but is nicely supportive.
The fabric is slightly heavier weight than other Helly Hansen tights that I have. This is good news if you are training in winter cold weather.
The sweat-proof zipped back pocket is brilliant. I was able to put my iPhone 6 inside and it stay nice and dry. I don’t think it would keep heavy rain off but it did stop the sweat getting to the phone. (I have lost a phone when it was sweated into inaction so I am always careful about these things.)
The phone stayed nicely in place as I ran and didn’t bother me at all.
Photo credit: Fiona Russell.
Cons: What’s not so good about the Helly Hansen Aspire Norviz tights
I prefer the waist band to be low-rise. Although the wider waistband is welcomed it still rises too high up my waist. I prefer everything to sit below my waistline. This is personal preference and there will be women who like a higher fitting waistband.
Men’s tights are lower-rise and I would prefer to see that in the female fit.
The tights did not fall down but they did look a bit loose around the crotch area. They are not the best looking tights that I have worn. It could be that if I had wider hips they would fit more neatly.
I didn’t find the tights to be as supportive as many others. They felt like they needed to be a bit tighter and offer more compression. If you like things to feel a bit softer and looser these are for you.
I usually go for tights without zips because I have found that they are the first thing to wear out. I don’t know if this will happen with Helly Hansen tights but I usually avoid zips if I can.
A great training tight with the bonus of 360-degree visibility. The waistband is flattering if a bit high rise for me. The sweat-proof back pocket is a great feature. The tights are almost half price just now which makes them a good buy.
Other tights you may want to consider:
Helly Hansen W AM 7/8 capri
Helly Hansen W Aspire tights
Nike Women’s Epic Lux Flash Tight
Adidas Women’s Techfit Macrohth Capri
SKINS Dynamic women’s long tights
About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions.
Have you used the Helly Hansen VTR, Pace or Norviz tights? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.
Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.
We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.
We use affiliate links in some of our reviews and articles. This means that if you purchase an item through one of these links we will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through our links but the income will help us to keep bringing you our free training guides, reviews and other content to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support.