Nordic racing suits are a quixotic thing. Designed for racing, they are generally not particularly warm, they are often ‘flashy’ either with colors or logos (or both), and lately they have been ‘fussy’ with design features that seem to not be functional (see future post on the Salomon Exo Nordic racing suit). Yet they are expensive (ca. $300) and not suitable for anything but racing. Multi-functionality has not been a strong ‘suit’ for Nordic racing suits.
I have been looking for a race-compatible suit that is also useful for interval and other high-intensity sessions without making a spectacle in the process. Well, finally Salomon have brought a very nice two piece suit to market that fits the bill. Simple construction, minimal logos, and conservative colorway. It is called the ‘Race’ jersey and ‘Race’ tights.
The Race Jersey is very simple, thin, and comfortable. With the exception of a separate cuff, it is a great piece. I have had the cuffs removed as they always seem to interfere with gloves and pole straps- there is nothing more annoying than a lump of bunched up, useless fabric around the wrist in a sport that makes extensive use of the wrists. I have used this jersey for both skiing and for cold weather running and it is well suited to both. It provides a reasonable level of warmth if combined with the correct level of first layer protection. There is no wind protection so a softshell vest or light jacket (e.g. the Salomon Elite Jacket) is a good choice if the wind kicks up. Freedom of movement is superior to other race jerseys that I have used and this is partly due to the choice of material but also due to the lack of logos, etc. that inevitably limit the stretch of the jersey material.
Again- simple, simple, simple. Finally!
The Race tight is nicely designed with very few seams and those that are present are flat. No large logos, no fussy cuff at the ankle, and a nice simple white stripe and a contrasting flat-lock seam (the image shows a yellow color for the flat lock seam whereas the version that is being brought into the US has a red contrasting color). These tights are uber-comfortable and they stay in place- no skitching of the tight downwards as has been the case on other Salomon racing tights. These have a high waist and they stay there. I have had these out in skiing and in cold weather running and they are excellent in both cases.
$100 for the jersey and $90 for the tight. A good value considering that this ensemble can be used for much more than just racing and it is good looking without being flashy.
The well-known quote from Einstein applies here:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Salomon have achieved this with the Race jersey and Race tight. Highly recommended.