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Description

Ultralight storm protection.

When a flash storm rolls up and the outside temperature drops 10 degrees in 10 minutes, don't call in a chopper; reach in your pack and grab ultralight Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket. Built with weather-resistant Pertex Shield fabric, the Helium II weighs in under seven ounces and packs down to practically nothing.
  • Ultralight Pertex Shield fabric features a waterproof breathable PU membrane and DWR coating for severe weather protection
  • Fully taped seams and water-resistant zips mean water won’t roll down the shell and sneak in through the fabric joints
  • Single-pull hood drawcord so you can adjust coverage without dropping your ice-axe
  • Zippered Napoleon pocket keeps valuable items protected and handy
  • Elastic cuffs keep the ugliness out without added bulk or hassle
  • Stuff pocket with 'biner loop helps keep things simple

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Review Summary
5
18 4
6 3
0 2
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Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket - Men's

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Here's what others have to say...

4 5

GOAT IS GOOD

With the new crop of uberlight materials out there, I?ve been updating/replacing or otherwise spoiling myself with ultralight gear lately. I?ve been eyeing the helium for about a year and finally bit the bullet. Have NOT had the good (mis)fortune to put its waterproofness to the test, but I will say its wicked light, scrunches down to nothing in your pack and works great as a wind breaker and shell to take help take the chill out of the air. I?ve got other gore tex, GT Pro, GT Pac lite, hyvent etc., and I suspect this is on par from a durability standpoint with the single layer, super light offerings of the others?meaning scrambling around rocks, trees etc., are going to slice, puncture or otherwise abrade this shell. If you want one jacket to do it all, this is not it. If you want a super light jacket for when the skies open up or for an insulating/windproofing outer shell, this is the ticket. My estimate is somewhere between relaxed and athletic fit. I sized up so get some room for down jacket underneath and to have some extra length in sleeves/torso when biking.

4 5

More than just emergency storm protectio

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

pros - ultra compressible and light weight
cons - no pit zips, sleeves are too long

First off, I'm 6'1", 195 lbs, I ordered the XL so that I could layer it over insulation layers. The sizing is perfect for this purpose, except the sleeves are too long. This is annoying, and I overcome it by rolling the sleeve cuff up a few times, but that isn't an ideal solution and definitely wouldn't work well in the rain. If I was purchasing this jacket and wasn't planning on layering it over a down puffy, I would get the L.

My primary intended use was emergency storm pro for backpacking/climbing. The stuff-it-in-it's-own-pocket and clip it to your harness/pack feature was something I valued a great deal and it hasn't disappointed. It compresses nicely and clip loop makes it convenient. But I haven't actually climbed with it clipped to my harness yet and honestly it would be a rare circumstance that I would do so, because it's a little big. It would be like having an extra, full chalk bag clipped on. More likely I'd have it on a multi pitch climb where I had a small climbing pack and I would stuff it inside. But I have clipped it to a small pack where space was limited and that was convenient.

More importantly, I am amazed at how versatile this thing is. You can stuff it anywhere for emergency storm protection. On a recent work trip to boulder, I stuffed it in my laptop case and had it for chilly air conditioned rooms, and then I was ready to hit the trail after work with no worries about afternoon t-storms. Then I threw it in my carry on for a flight to NYC and it doens't take up any space but provides the emergency storm pro that it's designed for, plus a little warmth/comfort on the plane.

Can't comment on durability yet. Originally I would have only recommended this as a really specialized item, for ultralight backpacking and climbing. After owning it for a couple months, it also makes a great travel shell.

Gave it four stars for no pit zips and long sleeves.

Wind shell duty

Wind shell duty

Posted on

Too warm for a puffy but windy enough to get a chill: Solution, the Helium!!

waterproof and breath-ability are not rated...

Posted on

waterproof and breath-ability are not rated for Helium II. Why? Is this jacket not waterproof and non breathable??

Best Answer Responded on

Hey BG,

Outdoor Research just hasn't provided any specific numbers for the waterproof or breathability of this jacket, only that it is waterproof and breathable. The Pertex Shield+ material has specs listed however at waterproof: 20,000mm and breathability: 20,000g.

4 5

Great insurance policy for weird weather

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

Best thing about this jacket: It really breathes. I use it for my bike commute to work and it's a great top layer for when it's windy or drizzly. I live in So Cal and I don't know about this thing you call "rain", but I dig this jacket. It packs small and lives in the bottom of my pack until I need it.
As has been noted, it runs a bit small in comparison to OR's other stuff.

4 5

sausage

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small

I love everything about this item but the sizing.
The only reason it didn't get 5 stars is that their sizing is small.
I take XL and anything thus far has fit perfectly. I can't remember a time that that it was too small (if anything it was bigger)
I bought the XL and it is shall we say?.snug.
My suggestion if you want to take it, is to buy 1 size larger than you normally take so you have a bit of room to move. I kinda felt like a big burrito.
Other than that it what it says it is, a very light breathable rain jacket.

Responded on

A friend of mine did some sport clothing manufacturing in the past and he mentioned it once that it's not easy to estimate XL and XXL especially for North America as our L and XL are different than ones in Europe or Asia. And generally it is expected for people who wear these jackets to be somewhat fit so all the XLs may be a bit smaller than for typical day to day wear.

Responded on

Except that Outdoor Research is an American company, based out of Seattle. But I agree about fitness level and jacket sizing, these type of garments usually consider the user to be on the trimmer side.

Responded on

While all of this is true, in relation to OR's other XL products, this one is a little slimmer, especially when you figure this is going to be a top layer.

How's the fit on this for a tall skinny...

Posted on

How's the fit on this for a tall skinny dude (6'3" 160lbs)? And if it's gonna be short/bulky what would be a good alternative for a slimmer fit?

Responded on

I'm 6'2' 250lbs. and the length seems good for me but it is a smaller XL.
Being skinnier (by quite a bit) I would check the length of a large and if it's the same as the XL I would recommend that size for you. A large should not be too large or small for your stature.
I'm longer in the body also and it comes down to belt level on me.

5 5

Love it !

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size

I live in Saudi Arabia and will leave Saudi Arabia soon to UK ( PLYMOUTH) they have a raining city there so i do like very mush .
Also you can put in you backbag if it's not raining :)

Love it !
Responded on

Great info! Thanks Abdullah!

Would you choose this jacket for a 3 month...

Posted on

Would you choose this jacket for a 3 month trip across SE Asia? Plan is to do a bit of trekking and probably some extensive motorcycle touring (packability and being waterproof are the priorities for me). If not what else would you recommend?

Responded on

I personally have limited experience with Pertex Shield, but if I was going to be trekking and motorcycling across SE asia for 3 months I would not choose this jacket. I would look instead for a more traditional material with an inner membrane. Something like the patagonia torrentshell, or the MH plasmic jacket would probably both work fine if you don't want to lay down a ton of money. If you want something higher quality then that look for jackets made with 3L Gore-tex or eVent materials, as they are often very durable, waterproof, and can serve many functions as a shell other then just being a rain jacket. They do cost upwards of $300 usually though, so it is an investment.

Best Answer Responded on

I hear they get massive rain over there, so I would rule this jacket out. This a great jacket! but its a "carry it just in case". Its SUPER THIN and will seep after prolonged exposure.
For packability look for a Goretex Active fabric jacket. They're all barebones no frills but waterproof.
I like this jacket for hiking and backpacking for a wind\rain shell but if I know its going to rain I pass it up for my OR Axiom.
Hope that helps, Take pictures!

Is this coat suitable for trail running...

Posted on

Is this coat suitable for trail running in heavy rain? Is it breathable? Is it comparable to gore tex products?

Responded on

Hey Scott,
I don't have personal experience using this jacket, but from reading djcp464450's review below, it sounds very breathable and great for the heavy rain.

Best Answer Responded on

This jacket is meant for a "carry it til you need it" type. Its very light but will tend to seep after long exposure to heavy ran.
I like this jacket for what it is but for heavy rains and frequent use it will wear out quickly. I went from this to the Marmot Super Mica, has pit zips and more durable fabric over shoulders for running with a hydration pack. The OR Axiom is an amazing all round ultra light shell, its my new goto. Hope that helps

Shelter from the storm

Shelter from the storm

Posted on

Unexpected downpours don't stand a chance. This jacket keeps you dry when you need it most...

How does this jacket compare to the Marmot...

Posted on

How does this jacket compare to the Marmot Mica or Super Mica? Any preferences?

Responded on

Here is a comparison of 13 different mens rain jackets, the Helium 2 is included. http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/Rain-Jacket-Reviews/ratings

Responded on

I've used both the super mica and the helium. I loved how light the helium was but its made to be carried for the "just in case" rain. The super mica is better suited for hiking and trail running where wearing a pack. Both are great jackets. The helium comes with my pack anywhere I go but I only wear the super mica for trail running in the wet.

Will you be getting this in a large anytime...

Posted on

Will you be getting this in a large anytime soon? It sounds like a great light weight rain shell, which I need as the only thing I have now is a rather bulky snowboard jacket.

5 5

awesome piece of gear

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

Insanely light...fit is perfect.Snug but not overly so.
There is absolutely no reason to not have this in the bottom of your pack.

5 5

Passed the Test

Just wore my Helium II out for serious ditch digging in my yard at 7,000 Ft. Stood up to some serious down pour and hail and not a drip of moisture. Not to mention super breathable and not at all like wearing a poncho which I was worried about. Got a little muddy and cleaned up without a problem.

Unanswered Question

I saw conflicting statements about whether...

Posted on

I saw conflicting statements about whether a helmet fits under the hood, so I took my helmet to the store to try the jacket on. I wear the larger size of the Petzl Elios climbing helmet and it fit just fine with both the Medium and Large Helium II jackets that I tried on.

It seemed very unlikely to fit a ski helmet.

4 5

Quality

Extremely light and thin piece of clothing. Seems to be good quality, walked through the woods through branches and brush, didn't catch, no damage what so ever. I'm 6 foot 170, got the large, it fits pretty well, but I wish it was a little longer in the torso.

5 5

My Go To Shell for Ski Mountaineering

This piece has made an awesome addition to my ski mountaineering kit. I bring it along if it's going to be windy or wet and use it as an outer layer over other base or mid layers. It has an athletic fit with a longer torso and arms which is a plus for me. The hood fits well over a small helmet but someone with a huge head like my brother might have some trouble. It does the job to keep the elements off and is incredibly light and packs down super small. Also, after two seasons of use, it's holding up really well which is something that not all superlight products can brag about.

5 5

Light as a feather

I'm not given to posting reviews but I just took my first run with the OR Helium II. I am seriously impressed. So light and so quiet for a waterproof that I had to check to make sure it hadn't leaked (and it hadn't). Wicked the moisture away so well that I didn't feel hot and bothered one bit - and it's August in New Jersey! It's beautifully spartan but has a zippered pocket for all that I need on the trail, tight cuff seals, ample room and perfect drawcord adjustments. And, soooo small in its stuffsack. Pretty near design perfection. I'm always leery of corporate mottos but 'designed by adventure' rings true for this company. This jacket is clearly designed by folks that walk the walk (or run the run. in this case).

great jacket, hood is a little awkward

great jacket, hood is a little awkward

Posted on

Responded on

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