I hijacked Dan's @runwithmestockholm account for the week. Swing over and check out the daily damage!
Tune of the day: DJ Supreme - Tha Wildstyle
There is something magical about the open waters. Although indoor swimming pools allow reliable training throughout the seasons, the open waters transfer an irreplaceable and wholesome sensation to swimmers of all abilities. Since the 10 kilometer open water competition was included in the Olympic Games back in 2008 the sport is growing quickly. But the lonesome autonomy also has its environmental complications. Particularly throughout the northern hemisphere access to lakes and rivers is limited. Unkind water temperatures dictate the season and limit the pleasures of a no-flip-turn session severely.
blueseventy addressed this problem with the Thermal Helix. After feedback from many of their sponsored athletes who struggled with icy temperatures during the notorious Norseman or Escape from Alcatraz swim sections, they rearranged their current flagship to protect aquanauts from unkind temperatures that might end up in hypothermia.
The Thermal Helix wetsuit is the heart of a full thermal product assortment that contains socks, gloves, a particular goggle plus a neoprene cap. Each product is particularly designed to lengthen and improve swimming in cold open waters.
The Thermal Helix has a distinct orange fleece-fabric that can be found throughout the inside of the suit. The fast drying linen is a light mid-weight zirconium jersey that is exceptionally stretchy. Although the material feels remarkably snug and dense for a wetsuit that is intended for swimming, it does not compromise the swimmers movement and makes sure that the heat stays within the suit.
The Thermal Helix version is astoundingly stretchy. Distinctive chest and torso panels made of flexible 5mm Yamamoto Aerodome neoprene help to maintain an efficient body position in the water. Straight from the first try the suit felt super comfortable and equivalent to the thinner standard Helix.
Little details on the inside of the back zipper. The full internal orange zirconium material is clearly visible. It is a pretty comfortable material that essentially feels like wool on the skin. It helps to decrease water absorption and shields against heat loss. Moreover a diminutive hook assists to securely store your keys while training.
The 1mm slim neoprene used on the arms feels particularly good and, despite the added insolation they create an unspoiled feeling for the water and a great sense whilst gliding. The pictured aqua-sell cuffs made out of extra flexible silicon stops H2O from entering the suit without being too close fitting.
One-piece 1.5 neoprene sections throughout the shoulder parts permits full movement.
Another look at the cozy inside of the Thermal Helix.
Attention to detail can be witnessed throughout the suit. The blueseventy designers made sure that the stitching and location of the neoprene stickers are spotless.
A vital slice of the Thermal offering are the neoprene socks. Previously I had certain cruel incidents with neoprene socks, but the blueseventy Thermal ones sheltered the feet in a perfect manner. The Zirconium liner isolation and the actual length of the socks benefit the user.
A good feeling for the water is vital. Where as many swim gloves merely helped the isolation of the hand, the Thermal Swim Glove surprised with a great fit and a sensation for the water. The extra long cuff works perfect with the arms and makes sure that water does not enter the suit.
In addition to the insulation gear blueseventy bids the award winning Hydra-Vision goggle. The soft frame produces a pleasant and safe fit even while swimming in choppy waters. The highlight though are the polarized lenses that offer a remarkable eyesight that can be highly beneficial while swimming outdoors throughout all the seasons.
When asked about the development of the thermal collection, blueseventy brand and product manager Mike Orton said: “We analyzed what the dive and surf industries do for cold-water adventures and we pushed our manufacturing team to establish new ways to glue, stitch and tape."
The manufacturer states that the suit is fit to use till a lowest temperature of 48ºF or 8.5ºC. We tested the products throughout lake and longer swims in the Baltic Sea with temperatures as low as 44.24ºF or 6.8 ºC. At all times the suit helped to stay warm, even though we just wore swim shorts and no other additional clothing under the suit.
A suitable head shield is fundamental during chilly excursions. The Thermal Skull Cap is similar to a standard cap but with additional wool liner inside. Soft and flexible neoprene makes this cap easy to use. Even though there was no lube used in testing, chafing was not a problem.
Straight from the first use it did not feel different to swim with a suit that has additional insulation. Even though there is extra material included this does not affect the flexibility, fit and the buoyancy. Unquestionably it benefits to extend the desires of open water swimming and supports swimmers that have their struggles with frostier temperatures.
Undoubtedly it will take a bit longer until you want to stop your outdoor swimming session with the blueseventy Thermal range.
Hailing from the weathered North East of England, Berghaus was founded back in 1966 by climbers and mountaineers Gordon Davison and Peter Lockey. At first the outdoor enthusiastic twosome imported all sorts of equipment to the local UK market. In 1972 the two set up their own brand to cater their specific needs. The german word for “mountain house” became the brand-name of choice. Since then Berghaus creates regular attention with an high-quality and progressive clothing range. I had the chance to trial their latest release, the Extrem 7000 Hoodie.
Polartec Power grid fleece is the fabric of choice. The grid design structure got created to reduce weight while increasing warmth and compressibility. It is a structure that increases wicking effectiveness and breathability by creating channels of targeted touch points that engross and diffuse moisture for faster disappearance. While fleece might seems to be a bit out of date to some, the Extrem 7000 shows why it still has it benefits. The lightweight material is well placed with two varying layers depending on where the body needs more isolation.
A feature that sticks out is the incorporated balaclava that can be used as a scarf-like wind protection. During chilly and windy runs this was a great feature and something I have not seen with other jackets before. I ended up using the jacket for kayak, hiking and mountain bike adventures as well.
The hood has an enjoyable tight fit. For me it worked well with or without a hat and the covering against wind and rain is great. As mentioned before, the integrated balaclava is pretty helpful but not in the way in case you do not need it. Once you zip the jacket up it sits neat and comfortable while it protects yourself against the weather.
|A spotless little feature that I treasure – a well positioned and seamed thumb sling. Berghaus completed another detail nicely that sometimes can create unpleasant chafing. Not with this one.|
|Just a lovely detail shot of the front hand-warmer pocket!|
|An accurately sheltered skull - a suitable illustration how it looks when you fully zip up. While the head is covered you still have enough movement due to the light fabrics. While out on a bike ride I found additional shelter against the rough weather as the helmet fitted perfectly on top of the hoodie.|
|Flipside – the elastic micro fleece material provides an accurate “Next to skin” - fit.|
|Shimmer – two diverse thicknesses of fleece are used. The picture demonstrates the back of the jacket and the thin chunks that offer blameless breathability.|
|The Extrem 7000 hoodie is part of the Berghaus’ “Extrem Range”. It certainly covers the demands of an proficient and practical midlayer.|
|Details – well-finished ergonomic sewing that supports the requirements of full athletic movements. The full-elastic seam guarantees that the jacket stays in place no matter how hard you move.|
|Quickly I became an admirer of Berghaus’ latest Extrem 7000 Hoodie. The multipurpose insulation jacket is pretty much the best shaped midlayer I have ever used. Appropriate body fit and a smart and thought out use of materials make it fun to use and a trusty partner for the outdoors.|
As the morning sun starts to bright up the Stockholm Archipelago Nadja captures the first long swim segment of the course.
|Former Ironman World Champ Faris Al-Sultan and his Swedish companion Peter Oom blend into the raw beauty of the Ötillö course. All well framed by Nadja.|