REVIEW: Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit
Before slipping into the Blue Seventy Helix, I had only seen the suit on Canadians Lionel Sanders, Paula Findlay and Jackson Laundry. So, I was pretty stoked to give the Helix a “tri” on a cool morning in Lake Vernon (Ontario).
With an MSRP of $950, the Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit is made for those looking for high-performance features that can make all the difference when trying to qualify for Kona. In its sixth incarnation, Blue Seventy claims this is their finest wetsuit yet. Featuring all-new LIFT technology, the Helix positions swimmers into an efficient downhill setup. This new panel technology is visible around the hips and thighs, and it’s something you actually feel in the water. With LIFT panels on the back of your legs, the suit lifts your lower limbs in the water, allowing you to stay as horizontal as possible. This effectively makes you a more efficient swimmer.
LIFT Technology. Photo: Cam Mitchell
Distinct to the Blue Seventy Helix since 2006, the blue shoulder/chest panels with premium Yamamoto 40 cell rubber is paired with an extra stretchy jersey (Torsional Stretch Technology). This pairing provides you with some amazing flexibility, and it’s one of the most distinct differences I noticed in comparison to Blue Seventy’s Reaction wetsuit. It really did feel like I wasn’t wearing a wetsuit, my stroke just felt so natural. Blue Seventy claims that their sixth edition of the Helix is lighter and features a 35 per cent improvement in elongation compared to the previous jersey.
Torsional Stretch Technology
Torsional Stretch Technology
Related: REVIEW: Blue Seventy Reaction wetsuit
A component of this natural feel is the orange (pink – women) Aqua Feel forearm. These ultra-light catch panels are made with the same hydrophobic textile fabric used in Blue Seventy’s swimskins and significantly increases your awareness of arm position in the water.
An essential aspect of the Blue Seventy Helix is the VO2 Chest Panels. These panels have been redesigned in the Helix’s sixth iteration, and the changes have been able to strike a balance between optimal buoyancy and respiration. While stroke mechanics and buoyancy are essential to the design of a wetsuit, getting air in and out of your lungs without working against the suit is just as important. The stretch in the upper body of the Helix is very impressive, and it’s something you notice even before you put on the wetsuit.
The Helix also features a reverse zipper. While many triathletes may be used to the traditional zipper setup, a reverse zipper does make sighting easier and reduces friction around your neck. I would advise practicing getting out of the wetsuit before you race, especially if you’re used to the traditional zipper. I did notice that the helix fit a bit tighter than the Reaction wetsuit I tried earlier, especially around my neck. The low neckline reduces stress on your airway, but the tight fit takes some getting used to.
- MSRP: $950
- VO2 Chest Panels
- Torsional Stretch Technology
- Aqua Feel panels
- 5-5-4 Design
- Body-fit panels (gender-specific contours)
- LIFT technology panels
- Quick Exit Legs