It’s that time of year when the snow is melting, spring showers have arrived, and we all want to be outdoors all the time.

A spring must-have for your apparel arsenal is the Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket. Weighing in at just 6.5 ounces it is one of the lightest, waterproof jackets on the market, making it the perfect just-in-case layer.

OR Helium II Jacket

Bonus Feature: The Helium II becomes super compact when stowed in its chest pocket which doubles as a convenient stuff pocket. It gets so small and is so light, that I do not hesitate to add it to my pack, no matter how promising the weather report looks!


The one potential, emphasizing¬†potential, downside to this jacket I found is the lack of hand pockets. If you’re a lover of pockets, consider the Patagonia Torrentshell or the more technical OR Paladin Jacket.

To sweeten the pot, the Helium II Jacket has a matching pant. The Helium Pant is equally lightweight, compact, and awesome.

OR Helium Pant

Although I recognize that color is a very secondary consideration when picking out technical apparel, OR makes it easy by having a plethora of fun colors for you to choose from! Personally, I selected a bright red jacket so I would be easy to spot in a worse case scenario.

OR HElium jacket pinkOR Helium Jacket blueOR Helium jacket greenOR Helium Jacket maroon

Whether you’re backpacking, climbing, skiing in the backcountry, or heading out on an urban adventure, throw an OR Helium II jacket into you bag. You’ll find comfort knowing you’re prepared for whatever weather you may encounter!

- Gear review by Heidi



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