Helly Hansen's latest base layer, the Stride SS
Pace SS

Helly Hansen have stood the test of time as manufacturers of high-quality outdoors kit with their distinctive stripes a familiar site on the trails over the years. The latest from the company has just landed on the Bikemagic desk for testing, here's a first look.

The clothing in the new Pace Series is a collection of technical t-shirts, jerseys, shorts and tights, made using Helly Hansen's HH Cool fabric and LIFA Stay Dry Technology. The company has built its reputation on the quality and performance of its base layers, and this new range continues that with garments designed for year-round use.

First up is the new Stride SS, a short-sleeve base layer. The fabric feels soft to the hand on first touch, and it's peppered with tiny holes for maximum breathability. The simple design is brought to life by a super-soft raised seam which runs on the front and back, as well as inside.

Next up is the Pace SS is a loose-fitting short-sleeve jersey with a half-zip. The simple blue (with red seams) design is augmented by three panels - on the two sides, and on the back - which feature a host of off-white dots (almost like chalk) which are raised on the inside. It'll be interesting to see how this sits against the skin and what performance benefits it brings. Additionally, the Pace boasts UPF 30+ protection to save your skin against the sun.

The Pace is also available with long sleeves and a 1/2 length zip. Features include the same UPF 30+ protection, a raised collar and a small pocket on the rear which is just about big enough for a small bunch of keys. The contrast of the grey against green seams is a cool look we think.

We also received a black Stratos Windshirt - which we can't make our mind up about. The inside looks soft, breathable and warm, but the 100% Polyamide shell looks and feels, well, a bit like a bin bag. Reflective trim runs down the inside of the zip and on the two arms, while there are also two zipped pockets on either side of the jacket. We'll let you make up your minds on that one.

Finally, we got our hands on a pair of grey Pace shorts. Ok, they're not great for a bike but are perfect for running, if that's your bag. The lightweight shorts have a handy zipped pocket on the rear, perfect for keeping your house key, iPod, or both.

Needless to say, we'll be putting all five items through their paces to see how they fare up. Prices TBC.

Take a look at the full range at www.hellyhansen.com.