The full-featured 9.1-ounce Outdoor Research Men’s Helium HD Jacket is ideal for backpackers and hikers concerned about weight on the trail. Ultra-lightweight, ultra-compressible Pertex Shield+ fabric offers waterproof/breathable protection without compromising durability.
Backpackers who have an extended length rain jacket don’t necessarily need a full rain pant to get the weather protection that they need. The Sierra Designs Elite Rain Chaps give extended coverage and at just four ounces for the pair are certain to appeal to ounce counters. Let’s take a closer look at the fit, the features and how to use them.
The Elite rain chaps, as the name would suggest, are certainly not full fledged pants. You don’t have them up and over the waist. And that is fine if you have got a longer length jacket. You don’t necessarily need that. And because of not having it up that high, you have got great range of motion in the chap, better range of motion than you would find in a lot of rain pants. You have also got better breathability because of that, because you are not fully enclosed with a not terribly breathable fabric or a fabric that is more concerned with just keeping you dry.
The fabrication here certainly is a waterproof fabrication. If I peel that down here you can see it has certainly got taped seams. So confident weather proofing there. This is venting built into the side of the pant. And here those Velcro tabs and see how this throws open. That is excellent for venting. Those are really always open to a certain degree if you think about it, but because of that overlapping feature they are also certainly banishing rain and precipitation from getting in to your legs.
There is smart little features like this gutter. So, again, any rain that would get there basically follows that gutter and is gone rather than finding its way in to your pants.
As far as the connection points are concerned, you have got really nice elasticity here at the top of the leg. So you get a pretty nice bite or grip there at the top of the pant. And this height adjustable closure, really simple design here if you have got a belt, if you have got belt loops, even if you have got pockets. This clip confidently pinches into place and you ratchet down on that strapping and really do get a nice, confident fit. I was running it here just off the top of my pants, outside, in the rain, moving around, never had those chaps go anywhere and certainly stayed dry because of that.
Again, weighing just four ounces per pair, packing down so super small that you can throw it easily into a back pack and have it when you need it, it is not in your way when you don't. You have got that adjustable, easy use attachment point. Pair these Elite Rain Chaps with a longer cut Sierra Design rain jacket or any rain poncho and as a back packer, you have got all the weather protection that you need.