November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket
Display Avatars Sort By:
Ceph Lotus
(Cephalotus) - MLife

Locale: California
Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket on 01/17/2012 11:36:37 MST Print View

Outdoor Research has recently released a new & improved version of their Helium rain jacket. I was wondering if anyone had a chance to try it out yet? Here are the specs:

Outdoor Research Men's Helium II Jacket
Ultra light Waterproof Breathable
Fully seam taped
Adjustable hood
Water-resistant zippers 7.5in. / 19 cm internal storm flap
Zippered chest pocket
Stuff pocket with biner loop
Elastic cuffs
Draw cord hem
Standard fit
Weight: (L): 6.4 oz / 180 g
Center Back Length: 31in. / 79 cm
Fabric: 100% Nylon, 2.5-layer 30D Pertex Shield DS ripstop fabric with clear laminate
MSRP: $150

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
interesting on 01/17/2012 11:39:47 MST Print View

looks like they made it more durable with 30d vs 20d fabric ... thats actually very good for the weight IMO ...

Justice Baker

Locale: Central Oregon
Re: Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket on 01/17/2012 12:15:20 MST Print View

This must be why I got the original for 1/2 price a few weeks ago.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Helium on 01/17/2012 20:16:47 MST Print View

I wonder how they cut weight out of the original while increasing the fabric thickness. I have an xl in the old version and i think it ways 7.2

Edited by GregF on 01/17/2012 20:17:59 MST.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
nice! on 01/17/2012 20:32:15 MST Print View

I always thought the hood sucked on the lacked any adjustability IIRC. Also curious where and how they shaved the weight given the added features and durability. Good stuff all around!

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket on 01/17/2012 20:39:04 MST Print View

So the #1 complaint that every single person I have seen have about this jacket (myself included) the lack of pit zips... has still not been fixed? Sigh.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket on 01/19/2012 09:18:55 MST Print View

Pit zips would add weight for this Jacket making it just another 10 oz rain jacket. I think this jacket is designed intentionally to be as light and featureless as possible.

I don't miss pit zips on the jacket as in the Canadian rockies rarely do you get warm rainy days. So using the front zipper to regulate heat works well enough for me. I can see in warmer rainy enviroments where pit zips would be advantagous.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Helium II on 01/19/2012 11:46:25 MST Print View

I tested one for a limited about of time this past fall (didn't have much time between when the sample arrived and the onset of cold weather, and I almost never have cause to use a WPB jacket Nov-March). Details will be published in a sub-8 oz WPB jacket SOTMR in a month or two.

In short, it's a good jacket. The Hood adjustment is improved over the original, though it could still be better. The coating seems lighter, and is not plasticy on the inside like the the first generation.

The Helium II with have strong competition with the Rab Pulse, which uses very similar fabric, has a very similar weight, identical features, and a much better hood for 25 more bucks MSRP. I found the Pertex fabric on both to be clearly better than the rest of the light PU jackets (stood up better to abrasion, more durable DWR).

wayne clark
membrane on 04/26/2012 16:28:05 MDT Print View

read somewhere a comment that the membrane looked thinner, that might be where the weight saving came from

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
OR Helium II or RAB Pulse on 09/20/2012 14:56:56 MDT Print View

I'm trying to decide between the OR Helium II or the RAB Pulse. The RAB has a better fitting hood and I generally like RAB's fit, but the OR Helium is made from 30D vs. the 15D for the Pulse. Does this directly relate to fabric durability (e.g. abrasion at shoulders from pack)?

Edited by FeetFirst on 09/20/2012 15:47:07 MDT.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: OR Helium II or RAB Pulse on 09/20/2012 15:17:41 MDT Print View

I'm willing to recommend the Helium II. It has been on every one of my trips this summer and holding up fine. I have to agree with David's statement in saying that the fit is a little too short, but I do like the hood on this years version.

Edited by timdcy on 09/20/2012 15:19:42 MDT.

Alex Wallace
(FeetFirst) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: OR Helium II or RAB Pulse on 09/20/2012 15:22:09 MDT Print View

Good to hear, Tim. I'm leaning that way since it's less expensive.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
beware zipper on 10/02/2012 03:17:56 MDT Print View

I have the original OR Helium, and liked it a lot last year --- wore it quite a bit over 5 months of hiking.
This year the zipper started to get wonky, I'd zip it up and then it would start peeling open. Perhaps just a little plier work needed on the pull (or a replacement pull), but in general I've become less of a fan of saving a few grams with a lamer zipper --- even when in other aspects I do want to save weight.

Put another way, lightweight gear items that have zippers (mostly jackets and tents) seem to wear out / fail at the zipper before elsewhere. I would include the original Helium in that set.

To be fair, if you're using it a more reasonable amount, I'd think the zipper and jacket in general would last you a good long time. Hopefully I'll replace the zipper pull on mine and it will last me a good long time too (the jacket itself is still in fine shape).

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
OR on 10/02/2012 08:46:07 MDT Print View

brian ... call OR ... chances are they will send you a new one ...

thats why i buy OR ... theyll take care of you regardless whatever the issue

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Breathability??? on 10/02/2012 12:10:10 MDT Print View

What are the numbers for waterproofness and breathability??

That tells the tale best (if the fit is OK).

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
my experience on 10/02/2012 13:27:08 MDT Print View

My old Helium got a mysterious rip in it this summer. OR sent me a Helium II. The warranty rocks! I would keep getting OR's for that reason alone.

A few notes,

* The hood is improved but still not ideal. Raindrops on eyeglasses, in heavy rain.
* Some of the older OR jackets fit kind of large (in the women's). This one is trim. I wish I'd sized up so that my puffy and other layers could easily fit under it.
* It came lighter than manufacturer spec. Mine is now just over 5 oz. after trimming a couple of things. That is insanely light!
* In spite of its lightness, it still does not breathe as well as eVent, etc. You will get clammy hiking in it - just as with every other WPB jacket.

Recommended. It is well-made, very light, guaranteed, and affordable. I got it for free, but would have paid full price for it.

- Elizabeth

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Helium II fit on 10/02/2012 13:41:20 MDT Print View

I have been eying this jacket but can find out little about the fit. I like to have long arms on a jacket to fit my long arms. How does this fit?

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
Re: "Outdoor Research Helium II Rain Jacket" on 10/19/2012 18:04:27 MDT Print View

Just picked one of these up recently and wanted to add my two cents since this community and this thread helped convince me to pull the trigger on the purchase.

I have a size Large Helium II and on my scale it weighs in at 6.4oz, which is exactly what OR lists it at. You may need to size up on this jacket, I usually wear a Medium in most jackets and a Large fits me perfect and can be layered over a thin midlayer. The issue of the hood fit seems to have been more of an issue with the original Helium, as I find the hood on this jacket to be excellent. The adjustment tightens around the crown of the head, but also pulls some of the excess hood close along the sides of the face. In my limited experience so far this negates the need for an additional adjustment around the opening of the hood. I will point out you will not be able to fit a helmet under this hood but I am not sure it was designed with that in mind. There is a hem draw cord and the elastic cuffs instead of adjustable cuffs seem sufficient. The fabric as David mentioned does not have a “plastic” feel and is quite comfortable against bare skin. Considering the price and the lifetime warranty by OR, I would recommend this jacket to other members.

Edited by deadbox on 10/19/2012 18:09:04 MDT.