I am wearing the women’s Outdoor Research Helium Hybrid jacket. This is an ultra lightweight, super versatile jacket that you can tuck into its pocket and pull it out when the weather gets bad.
This jacket has more waterproof protection than you would expect in such a light weight piece. The hood and shoulders are made out of a Pertex shield fabric which is waterproof. And then the body and the arms is made with a stretch, nylon fabric. It is very breathable, not water proof, but it is going to be really good against wind and a little bit of light rain.
Since this is such a light weight jacket, it is not going to offer a lot of warmth, but it definitely is going to offer wind protection. I can see it being great for a long day on the trail, whether you are running and you are not sure what kind of weather you are going to encounter. You can take it out of your pack and just throw it on really quickly. The bottom section offers a lot of breathability. So if you are running or you are moving and pushing yourself, it is going to breathe while also having the waterproof protection in the hood and on the shoulders.
It is super streamlined so you only have one pocket. It is up here on the chest. And this jacket actually stows into that mesh pocket. You have a full length zipper which easy on, easy off and there is a storm flap also behind that zipper.
Just a stretchy cuff on either side and you do have adjustability just in the peripheral of the hood. So you can cinch the hood down. You also have one elastic draw cord on this side. So that really keeps weight down. But it also offers a little bit of versatility if you need to cinch that hem down.
Overall, I really like the fit and the feel of this jacket. I am wearing a small and I normally wear smalls in other outerwear pieces of other brands and it seems to fit really well. I am only wearing a light weight t-shirt underneath of this and it is not necessarily meant for putting any sort of warm layers underneath So, you know, with a t-shirt it fits really great. There is a little bit of stretch in it, as well, so you can really move in it if you need to, if you are climbing. But overall it fits really well. It feels pretty true to size and the hood is a pretty small, trim hood, but it seems to fit really well just over a hat.
Here I have got the Helium Hybrid jacket packed down into its stow pocket and you can see how small and packable that is. I can see it being really simple to just throw this in a hydration pack or your backpack and just get it out when you need that extra layer.
All in all, this is your go to piece when you want ultra light performance in the back country.
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