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Outdoor Research Helium Pant - Men's

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    16 Reviews


    Compresses to the size of a granola bar.

    The Outdoor Research Men's Helium Pant provides protection from both passing showers and all-day deluges on the trail. This ultra-light and highly packable pant weighs a mere 5.9 ounces, and it compresses to the size of a granola bar—making it ideal for minimalist expeditions and extended thru-hikes.

    A Pertex Shield + fabric gives waterproof and breathable protection from the elements while it allows for ample movement on the trail. Fully taped seams won't let water get in through the joints when driving rain suddenly moves in, and ankle zippers allow for easy removal when stormy skies finally clear.

    • Waterproof (20k) and breathable (20k) Pertex Shield+
    • Nylon ripstop (30D) shell
    • Fully taped seams
    • Ankle zippers
    • Compatible with accessory suspenders
    • Item #ODR000E

    Tech Specs

    [membrane/laminate] Pertex Shield + (2.5-layer), [shell] nylon ripstop (30D)
    Waterproof Rating
    20,000 mm
    Breathability Rating
    20,000 g/m²
    fully taped
    elastic waistband with drawstring
    Recommended Use
    hiking & camping
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Ok; but short size zippers, no pockets

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 167lbs

    Gets the job done. Had them on during a crazy 12-hour blizzard on Mt. Baker in January. Everything underneath was completely dry. BUT — no way to get those on with boots on (unless you have really narrow ones - maybe). The side zippers unfortunately don’t go high enough. So as ‘emergency shells’ (which is typically the way I use shells) when Ron or snow get too much — these won’t do it. You have to put them on in advance (which would also make taking them off if it was too much a hassle too).
    Also, no pockets, which is never fun.

    True to Reviews

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Size Bought: small
    • Height: 5'6"
    • Weight: 148lbs

    The pants are everything the reviews say they are. However, be careful. Some of the reviews stated the size runs larger, do not believe them. I ordered a small because of their advice thinking the medium would be more like a large. When the pants arrived, they are almost skin tight. I pondered to send back, but I am currently living outside the country. Order based on your measurements.

    Helium pant

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 6'0"
    • Weight: 180lbs

    Used these for a hunting rain pant in coyote brown. Kept me dry in a downpour and when heading out in the early am when the foliage was wet. I did tear them down by the boot area. If you’re off trail bushwhacking definitely recommend wearing gaiters with them. If you tend to stay on the trails only then you should be ok. Nice and light when every ounce matters hunting in the backcountry.

    My Favorite Rain Pants

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Wow, I don't know if I love the functionality or the spiffy "coyote" color more. These rain pants are my favorite for backpacking, mountain running, or to through in a pack for extra security while traveling in the outdoors. I love the short zippers on the bottom of the cuff. They open the pant up enough to fit mountaineering boots through and you can easily get sneakers or bare feet through. The fabric is super thin so I don't recommend these for any abrasive activities because they definitely wont last. The draw string is simple and effective. There are no pockets, which I prefer, but it's good to take that into consideration. I'm 5'9" and 143lbs and a size Medium fits me perfectly.

    Great rain pants

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 6'
    • Weight: 180lbs

    I chose these rain pants primarily for their lightweight and packability and they didn't disappoint. They pack easily into the self-contained back pocket pouch, which is a nice feature that some other pants don't have. I tested them in a fairly heavy rain and they kept me nice and dry. Other reviewers complained that they had to take their shoes/boots off to get these pants on but I didn't have this problem; the ankle zippers gave me enough room to pull them over my hiking shoes.

    OK for just in case use

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 150lbs

    I don't spend a ton of time outside in the rain, but have worn these while walking through very wet, waist high grass and more recently in a light rain. If you brush up against wet vegetation or give it some time, the face fabric is going to wet out. The light rain I was in today is a good example. Just the pressure of the rain on my thighs for ~45 minutes was enough to see water passing to the inside of the pant. The hiking pants I was wearing underneath were not wetting out, but I would not trust these in heavier or wind driven rain. Once the factory DWR starts to fail, they will not be very useful.

    They do breathe well for a rain pant, hiking at a moderate pace in cool temps saw no condensation from the inside. If one needs these for an occasional quick shower, they are up to the task. For prolonged time outside in the rain, you will want something more substantial.

    Outdoor Research Helium Pants Rock!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 175lbs

    I've been putting off getting proper rain pants for years. Last year, a Wind River Range adventure ended in several days of 32 deg rain and snow... effectively moving the rain pant issue front and center!

    On a recent trip to Colorado's Weminuche and Rawah Wilderness areas, I used my Helium pants every day. On the first two days we dealt with rain, snow and SLOPPY trails. The waterproof Pertex Shield+ fabric was indeed waterproof. On clear nights, temps dipped into the 20's and the Heliums held back cold winds around camp.

    I usually wear 34" waist with 32 to 33" inseam. My size large Helium pants fit me perfectly.

    These pants have ankle zips. I wear size 11 La Spotiva Trango TRK boots and taking pants on/off over boots requires a little patience and persistence. No star deduction for the short zips because they help achieve a crazy low weight (5.9 oz on my scale).

    Highly recommended.

    I Love Outdoor Research

    • Height: 5'9"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    These pant are awesome. For a while I put off buying rain pants because it seemed kind of necessary, but really these pants are pretty great. In a downpour, they're so nice to have, and in cooler weather they can function as a windbreaker during low-aerobic moments.

    The fit is really nice for me (size medium with 30" waste). Although I normally wear a 32" length, this 30" length seems to work very well. The build quality is very sturdy and the fabric is amazingly lightweight for how weatherproof it is. I'm still amazed that it can stuff into its own pocket!

    The breathability is good, but I wouldn't want to be running in them by any means. Just take it a little slower while you have them on and you'll be fine. At least you'll be a hell of a lot drier than you would be if you didn't have them.

    Worked Well!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 175lbs

    I purchased these for a rafting trip. Needed something that could pack down easily and also lightweight. These definitely did the trick and kept me dry.

    Great for lightening your pack!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    Great rain pants! They perform just as they should, block the rain and breathe well. There are loops at the bottom on each leg for attaching to your boots or gaiters.The waist is made of grippy elastic and has a shock cord and cord lock for adujstability. I wear a 32x32 in 90% of pants and the Large fit perfectly. They have great mobility and are actually shaped to your legs. They may be an inch short, but I prefer that so my hiking boots don't damage them. I like how small they pack and how little they weigh. Perfect for backpacking!

    Braydon, if you don't already have the Helium II Jacket, then you should! The jacket and pant together are SUB 12 OUNCES! Awesome backpacking set up. Pertex Shield + waterproof breathable membrane in an amazingly light set up.

    Thank you for taking the time to review!

    OR Rep

    Packable insurance pants

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    Getting rained out on a long backpack trip can be a big time bummer. These pants provide Huge protection at a small price, both in cost and weight! They slip into to corner of your backpack and only show themselves when it really counts.

    The Durable fabric has stood up to many wet bushwhack hikes and has saved me countless times.

    Pair these with the OR Helium Jacket and you are sure to stay dry, and keep your pack ultralight!

    Packable insurance pants

    Light rain pants that perform

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    What do you want in a rain pant? Hopefully they stay in your pack since you only get them out in bad weather, so you need them to be light yet perform when needed. The Helium fits that description very well.

    Performance and fit: They weight only 5.5 ounces (size large) on my scale, yet offer a lot of protection for that weight. I've worn them in everything from light rain storms to all-day deluges and surprise summer snowstorms, and they performed as needed. I've had no wet-out problems with the pants, and the size large fits my 6'2" frame size 34 waist just about right (if not just a tad short).

    Suggested Improvements: My only suggestion to OR would be to improve on the ankle zippers. They could be a bit longer to make it easier to pull the pants on over shoes, and they do not slide smoothly.

    Best Application: These are a great option if you need a rain pant for hiking and backpacking. They do not have the features (particularly the zipper length) for alpine use, but that's not what they're designed for.

    Unanswered Question

    I’m 32 x 32 but I’m intended to use them over other pants(fleece) do you think the large would work.

    Alright y'all, I'm a bike commuter and the days of wet and crappy weather are fast approaching. I LOVE my Helium II jacket and I use it almost every day for commuting. I'm looking for something to protect my legs in the rain and snow, because no one like soggy pants at school. Thoughts on these for a bike commuter? I'm not super concerned with breathability because in the cooler temps and mixed conditions I'm not gonna be hauling ass down the trail. Would love to here some thoughts here. Thanks!

    Best Answer

    Joel, if you like the Helium II for the jacket there is no reason to not get the Helium in a set of pants. The only issue with these pants like any bike commuter pants is the bagginess in the ankle region. You would just have to use a strap to keep the excess from hitting your chain. You could get a pair of winter/rain specific bike pants but, they would be a lot tighter and probably not need a strap but, with the Helium you could double dip and use them hiking/camping or even skiing on warmer days.

    For the waist is it set (elastic) or does it have drawstrings?


    These pants have an elastic waist AND a drawcord; best of both worlds!

    Feel free to contact me if there's anything I can do for you or if you'd like to set up an order.



    I am a 32 waist and a 34 for length... These are only listed on sizes of waist. Does anyone know the inseam? I can't stand when they end up high-waters.