As I did some research on the best gear jacket for my 2 week backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevadas, the Helium jacket and pants stood out to me as the lightest and best rain gear for the job. Different sites kept praising the Helium line and I decided to give it a try. Here are some thoughts after using the jacket and pants on my trip:
+It is super light: Outdoor Research Helium raingear is one of the lightest kits on the market. It is nice to have an emergency layer that doesnât take up much weight or space. I kept this in the brain of my pack which was great for access and storage.
+It is mosquito proof: This bonus feature came as a surprise to me. We stayed in many campsites where the mosquitoes swarmed and it would have been miserable if it was not for wearing my rain gear at camp. I picked up this trick after seeing some PCTers doing the same. Despite its thin layer, both water and mosquitos stayed away, and I was able to enjoy being at camp in peace.
+Keeps ya dry: I was lucky to have nice, dry, sunny weather for the first 9 days of our trip. However, the rain came rolling in for the next 3 days. Rain can be such a downer, everything gets cold and wet and walking all day becomes much less appealing. Luckily, with the Helium, I stayed (mostly) dry. Mostly dry, because there was 5 hours of pouring rain one day and by the end of the day, I was definitely a little damp. The jacket and pants eventually got oversaturated and water started to seep into my layers underneath. Despite this, the Helium still did a good job on keeping me dry for the majority of my trip, just beware of extended downpours.
+Sizing: I am usually between XS and S in most gear and I went for the XS. In retrospect, I should have gone with the S. The XS fit me perfectly when I was just standing still with the gear on, but any kind of bending or reaching made it apparent that the gear was too small on me and was riding up. If you are between two sizes, I would probably size up.
Overall, I would recommend this rain set for any trip, especially if you are trying to save weight. If youre lucky, you wont have to use it at all, if not, rest assured that the jacket and pants will help you stay dry.