New Balance NBx Half Zip Review
As the seasons are turning, you just never know what weather you’re going to encounter when you hit the roads or trails. Pieces like this New Balance NBx Half Zip, with a lot of options and functionality, are important to have in the gear closet. The NBx Half Zip had some really great features making it a worthwhile item for anyone heading out in changing weather conditions.
The NBx Half Zip is made of New Balance’s Lightning Dry® material which is their version of a synthetic wicking and temperature regulating material. The material seems like a pretty standard knit or lyca athletic material and does its job of drying quickly and wicking moisture away. The feature of the material that I really stood out was the Polygiene® odor resistance. After a foggy morning workout, I shoved this top in a bag of sweaty, damp gear and forgot about it for almost two days. When I pulled it out, it didn’t smell too bad and was like new after a wash, while a few other pieces were pretty questionable.
The features on the NBx Half Zip were what made it stand out. Not only did the cuff feature thumbholes that had well-placed seams and smooth edges, but the cuffs also turned into mitts to cover your whole hand. So when the temperatures drop unexpectedly or the wind picks up cold digits won’t keep you from cutting your workout short.
The design of the sleeve to include the thumbholes and mitts was well thought out because the sleeves were the right length to fully utilize the the thumbholes or full mitt. I often find that, even on my short arms, using the thumbholes tugs on the webbing inside my thumb. These did not tug or rub at all.
Another feature that I really appreciated was the mini cuff or zipper garage at the top of the half zip. No matter how where the zipper is it won’t cause chaffing to the neck or chin. This really is a feature that I think every single piece of outdoor gear with a zipper should have.
The final feature that I felt was really well done on the NBx Half Zip is the reflectivity. The hi-viz reflectivity is appropriately placed to insure that in low-light or dark conditions you’re visible to vehicles, bicycles, and other runners. There are reflective stripes or details on the cuffs (both mitt and thumbhole options), arms, zipper, and center of the back.
The NBx Half Zip is described by New Balance as semi-fitted. I felt that was accurate and that it ran true to size. In my experience, the size chart on the New Balance website is extremely helpful and accurate.
While I felt that the material of the NBx Half Zip was pretty standard, I thought it had very thoughtful and functional details that brought it a step above some similarly marketed and priced items currently available.