Outdoor Research Women's Helium II Jacket
- Material: Pertex Shield DS stretch (2.5-layer, 30D)
- Seams: fully sealed
- Fit: standard
- Length: hip
- Center Back Length: 26 in
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- Product Dimensions : 27.94 x 20.32 x 7.62 cm; 113 Grams
- Date First Available : 29 January 2019
- Manufacturer : Outdoor Research
- ASIN : B07N6QSHTB
- Item Model Number : 2438230042005
- Department : Women's
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,284 in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories (See Top 100 in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories)
- #142 in Women's Sports Jackets
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Top reviews from other countries
I also had the opportunity, if you will, to try this out in a rainstorm. We were walking down the street watching the rain across the bay. Within five minutes, the storm had formed above us and the rain started pelting down. We had our jackets clipped to our shorts and pulled them on. The jacket worked perfectly: I stayed dry. They did not, however, protect us from the lightning.
If you are considering this jacket, consider it carefully. They have pared it down as much as possible to save on space and weight and it will not have all the bells and whistles that a heavier jacket would have. It has a very specific purpose and that purpose is to be as waterproof and breathable as possible in as little space as possible. They took out hand pockets and there are no velcro straps at the wrists. It's also shorter than the average rain coat. My arms did get wet because I was messing with my hood when it started raining. On the other hand, they have a way to tighten the hood down, and that was a really great feature. The hood fit really well. It fit better than the hood on my Patagonia Supercell jacket and I could easily see my surroundings when it was on.
I should also add that I was having a tough time deciding on the fit. I called Outdoor Research and was connected to a customer service representative within a few touch-tone selections. He was incredibly helpful. For anyone wondering, it appears there's a one inch difference in the length of each jacket as it goes up in size. There's a one inch difference in the length of the sleeves and a two inch difference in the girth. I ordered both a small and medium. The medium was too large, but I found the small very close to being smaller than I'd like. The sleeves were a tad shorter than my preference and I found the length to be wanting. But I eventually tried the small on with my North Face Thunder down coat and it fit under the jacket fairly easily. Even though I won't likely be layering a down coat under this small a rain coat, I figured I didn't need it any larger than that size, so I went with the small. For reference, I am 5'7" and weigh around 130/135. 32B/34A chest. Most of my weight is in my hips. So I am a smaller person up top, but my height, just above average, makes it tough to find jackets that are smaller with the right length and arm length. In this case, I chose getting the one that fit better around my torso over getting one that was the right length. I also compared it to my Houdini jacket, which I own in the Medium. The Outdoor Research Helium II in SMALL was just about the same size overall - in every measurement - as the Patagonia Houdini in MEDIUM. It was also very similar in size to the Patagonia Supercell in SMALL, except the supercell is much longer, which made it harder to compare. Outdoor Research calls this the "standard fit," so think that it will be a little bit on the larger side. Also, I found that like most jacket companies, I wouldn't have minded a slightly smaller waist and slightly larger hips but it was actually a really great fit considering I don't have the average female body shape.
-Stores in its own pocket - super small
-great for keeping in a purse or backpack. Great for a trip where you aren't sure about the weather
-does not protect from lightning ;)
-does not have any bells and whistles. (If you are looking for hand pockets, wrist velcro, neck reinforcement, etc., this is not your jacket. Don't complain that it doesn't have all the bells and whistles - that's not the point. The point is to be as small as possible while remaining waterproof and breathable.)
-sizing can be a bit awkward, you may want two sizes to choose from
Living in the Pacific Northwest I tend to rely on more heavy duty shells and only brought this one because I was expecting barely any rain. We ended up with a lighter medium rain with some runoff from trees. Thankfully it wasn't cold today.
I will add due to me relying on hard shells so much I hadn't taken the Helium out yet , so the jacket is now 2 years old and I mostly store it full size, out of the pocket bag. I really thought this much money would by you something that actually would keep my dry. Nope. It would be okay if the jacket had cost mayb $20, but for over $100 it not keeping me dry is not acceptable. Be warned!
Women's size is fitted at the waist a bit so it looks sharp. Colors are true and vibrant.
It does not have a liner so it might feel clamy aginst your bare skin in a wet rain, but it isn't supposed to be a full jacket, its just a shell. One you can stuff in the corner of your carry on or day bag, even into the bottom of a medium sized purse. The one down side is that this jacket itself has only one pocket up at your chest. However if it had lots of pockets you would fill them with stuff, and then how would you fit it so easily into your luggage or carry-bag?
When you unpack it you will definately shake your head: You will ask yourself how something so slight and lightweight could cost so much.... but then when you pack it and use it you will see why its not inexpensive.... it is precisely because it IS so light and small and yet still 100% effective that it can command the price. If you have been looking for a lightweight rain shell buy this one, you will love it.
Then I went to Vancouver and it got rainy and windy. The hood would blow back and off my head if I didn't hold it, which was uncomfortable and impractical. There needs to be a way to tighten the hood so for that reason I don't really recommend it since it won't keep you dry if you are moving and there is wind.