Refreshing styles, colours and fit in a female-specific range of outdoors and fitness clothing
For too many years, womenâ€™s outdoors clothing was a scaled down version of menâ€™s. The result was an unsatisfactory fit and look â€“ and therefore, a less than perfect performance. Thankfully things have changed.
Most outdoors and fitness clothing brands now offer a female-specific range. Some companies, like ZOCA Active, make only womenâ€™s clothing. ZOCA was founded by two women, Zoe Moss and Carol Harrison, who design and manufacture female outdoors and fitness clothing.Â Itâ€™s obvious that Zoe and Carol have put a great deal of thought into the designs, fit, colours and performance of their running, cycling and fitness clothes.
To start with, itâ€™s the fabric that I am impressed by. It feels so soft yet still looks to be good quality, stretchy and supportive. ZOCA explain that their choice of fabric has come about because â€œwe were looking for high performance but in a fabric that wouldnâ€™t fade, pill, sag or cause wearers to feel sweaty and uncomfortableâ€.
Zoe adds: â€œWe have come to trust in our fabric and we know it withstands the test of lots of use. We chose a very high quality of performance fabric because we want customers to have long-lasting clothes. Itâ€™s about building up a good customer base by offering high quality products.â€
The technical term for ZOCAâ€™s fabric is AQUAMOVEÂ®. Itâ€™s this fabric that is used for many of the running and cycling products. AQUAMOVE is â€œperformance fabric that contains Lycra to shape to the female body for a close and supportive fit and an eco-friendly treatment that effectively moves moisture away from the body to the outer surface, where it can evaporate easily, keeping the body dry and giving the garment a cooler, more comfortable feelâ€.
AQUAMOVE fabric also feels super soft and comfortable against the skin.
On test: ZOCA Active clothes
I have been wearing a range of ZOCA clothes including:
- ZOCA Active 3Q cycling tights
- Cycling Tech Tee
- Active Cami top
ZOCA Active 3Q cycling tights
Three-quarter length cycling tights are increasingly popular, especially in the UK, and many women like to wear tights that reveal less of their legs. The hems of these tights comes to below the knee and have a soft gripper elastic to keep them in place when riding.
The tights have a female-specific seat pad that is really comfortable when on a bike seat. Added extras include a reflective trim and back pocket.Â What makes these cycling tights different from many other products is the fabric. Rather than a shiny Lycra, these tights look more matt and feel very, very soft against the skin.
If you prefer your cycle clothing to look less Bradley Wiggins Professional and more â€œcycling fitnessâ€ these tights are a good choice.
There is no loss in terms of function and I found the tights performed well over a longer ride, keeping me comfortable and sweat-free.
ZOCA Cycling Tech Tee
The Tech Tee is designed for female cyclists but could also be worn for other sports. The colours, including Peony, Iris and Morello, are beautiful. This is also a thoughtfully designed top with a panelled style that is ideal for active women.
I really like the addition of an inner bra although I would still wear this top with my own sports bra underneath. The top comes with two zip pockets to store your bits and bobs; a dipped back hem to keep the lower back warm; pretty capped sleeves; and a zip neckline (zip up when chilly, zip down when warmer).Â The cycling tech tee is made from AQUAMOVE fabric and it does what it says it will, keeping you dry by transporting moisture away from the skin.
ZOCA Active Cami top
Although a tight-fit top, the Active Cami still manages to look flattering. Many women prefer not to wear fitted tops but this ZOCAÂ top somehow looks good and doesn’t show off lumps and bumps. It is so easy to wear, too.
The AQUAMOVE lite fabric is really breathable and I found the sweat from running quickly evaporated. There is also an integral â€œshelf linerâ€. This isnâ€™t so much a support bra but an extra piece of internal fabric that is great for modesty. Wear your normal sports bra but feel confident that this tight-fitting cami is not revealing too much of whatâ€™s underneath.Â I have been wearing this cami top for running, with casual shorts when the weather is warm.
Again the colour choice is great, including beetle, bilberry, kingfisher, white and black.
See ZOCA for other items