Ultralight storm protection.

When a flash storm rolls up and the outside temperature drops 10 degrees in 10 minutes, don't call in a chopper; reach in your pack and grab ultralight Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket. Built with weather-resistant Pertex Shield fabric, the Helium II weighs in under seven ounces and packs down to practically nothing.

  • Ultralight Pertex Shield fabric features a waterproof breathable PU membrane and DWR coating for severe weather protection
  • Fully taped seams and water-resistant zips mean water won’t roll down the shell and sneak in through the fabric joints
  • Single-pull hood drawcord so you can adjust coverage without dropping your ice-axe
  • Zippered Napoleon pocket keeps valuable items protected and handy
  • Elastic cuffs keep the ugliness out without added bulk or hassle
  • Stuff pocket with 'biner loop helps keep things simple
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Seam Tore On First Day Of My Trip

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

I had high hopes for this jacket from all the great review. I needed something light to for my recent trip of the high sierra route. I am so lucky it didnt rain the whole trip because the pit seam was torn on the first day before when I went to put it on. Luckily I was able to patch it and make it usable for the rest of the trip. It kept me extra warm over my down and on chilly mornings but because of the durability, its going back.

Lightweight and Does the Job

    What more can you ask from a packable rain jacket! Keeps you dry, is super light to stuff in a pack, and looks great!

    The best

      By far the best light weight water proof jacket. I use this jacket for mountain biking for those days when you get caught in a down you and it is amazing. Super light weight and stuffs super small in its own pocket.

      Light weight, packable, and water proof!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: L

      What else do you want in a jacket? well maybe arm-pit vents but for me, this is more of an emergency shell I take for day hikes and climbs. The taped seams means you'll be staying dry when the weather isn't on your side.

      The best !

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: L

      The best lightest weight rain jacket
      One night it was downpour raining and this jacket is amazing... kept me dry the whole time
      Super light and breathable

      Love it but.

      • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
      • Fit: True to size
      • Size Bought: Xl

      What can I say Everything is Awesome about this rain shell. Except for the fact that doesn't have pits zips.

      Hey Shawn, problem solved! If you want pit zips, and you don't mind a couple extra ounces, then look at the Helium HD. If you don't want the extra weight, then you are stuck! You can't have both... :-) The HD also gives you two hand pockets as well.

      Thank you for the 5 star review anyway!

      Leta
      OR Rep

      Super lightwieght

        This is the best rain shell I have owned. Incredibly light weight, and the thin material also keeps you warm on those chilly rainy days.

        Perfect! Thank you for the review, Carlos!

        Leta
        OR Rep

        great running water resistant jacket

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times
        • Fit: True to size
        • Size Bought: small

        Have used this about 4 times in drizzle to light/moderate rain. It appears to be fairly breathable. So convenient to just pull out of my pack and unpack out of its pocket and pull on without hardly stopping running. The only complaint is it does not have fasteners over the wrists so water can easily drip into the jacket from your hands, especially as I run with my elbow at less than 90degree angle. Thinking of coming up with a rigged velcro fastener I can attach to the wrist.
        I can wear in any weather temp, just varying my base layer . Overall a great jacket and very portable either by carrying in hand or in a running vest/pack. I'm 5'10'' 143 lbs and wear a small and its perfect. Love the waist adjuster and the hood adjuster. I use it solely for running, am an ultra runner but have not used for over 10miles yet.

        Hi there - Thank you for the review. We made this jacket minimalist so that we don't add weight. Penalty is not having creature comforts like the adjustable wrists... But if you want to add a few more ounces and have that, plus pit zips, look at the Helium HD.

        Enjoy your Helium!

        Leta
        OR Rep

        Great emergency shell

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
        • Fit: Runs small
        • Size Bought: Large

        Summary: Some compromises and not a workhorse rain jacket for bad conditions, but light, compact, and effective enough to carry as a just-in-case piece.

        - Fit is cut close and a bit short. I'm an athletic 6', 200, 44" chest to around a 35" waist with big shoulders, about a 20.5" torso length for backpacks. My typical sleeve length is around a 34/35. I own the large. Enough for some layering, but nothing too bulky (a close-cut fleece would work, my down puffy billows and gathers). It runs a bit short in the torso, which is my main complaint. When moving around, the jacket pulls up on my torso and exposes lower part of my waist/midriff.

        - This thing is unbelievably light at 6 oz, and packs down small into a dedicated pocket. Super impressive at this price point. There are more breathable, lighter options but they retail a good $100-150 more.

        - No vents. Get stuffy in high output activity.

        - Really bare bones on the features. No hand pockets (one Napoleon pocket), and no cinches on the cuffs. Hood is surprisingly functional for how bare bones it is, but not as customizable as a more full-featured jacket.

        - Pretty waterproof (Pertex Shield + is rated at 20k mm waterproofing), but will still wet through in bad conditions. It's also so thin that it can 'feel' wet in a downpour even though water isn't making it through the membrane.

        - Blocks wind, but requires an insulating layer if it gets really bad.

        Would give it 5 stars if it was cut a little longer. I carry mine around with me everyday in San Francisco or on late spring/summer hikes, just in case I need it. For hikes I expect to run into rainy conditions, I take a burlier, more fully featured jacket (but heavier) jacket.

        Hi there - Thank you for the feedback and the great review. Enjoy your Helium II !

        Leta
        OR Rep

        Don't care about the rain

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times
        • Fit: True to size

        Took this jacket on weekend trip with a soggy forecast, and it kept me dry without issue. I'm 5'8", 145lbs, and the small fit great, wasn't too big by itself, but I could still fit it over a light down jacket without issue for added warmth. It's a no frills rain shell, but has fully taped seams and zipper. No hand pockets, but there is a chest pocket for sunglasses or a phone. It packs down small, and didn't take up any room in my pack. There are more technical fabric that will breathe better if you're doing high intensity stuff, but if you just need something to keep you dry in a pinch, or on a hike, this will do that well.

        Thank you Jon!

        Leta
        OR Rep

        Exactly what I needed

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times
        • Fit: True to size
        • Size Bought: Large

        Great, lightweight jacket. I wanted something I could toss in a backpack and wear over other layers of the weather got bad. This jacket fits great, moves well, and you can pack it away when you don't need it.

        Thank you for the review, Ben!

        Leta
        OR Rep

        Love it!

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times
        • Fit: True to size
        • Size Bought: Medium

        I bought this for a friend traveling around South East Asia and so far so good! True to size and keeps him dry.

        Thank you for passing this on, Nicole!

        Leta
        OR Rep

        Great jacket

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times
        • Fit: True to size
        • Size Bought: Large

        Great ad shedding rain, even while on a bike. I purchased a large, which is slightly bigger than I'd like if wearing just a t-shirt. The large does offer enough room to layer up with a baselayer, or a lightweight puffy jacket. Construction of the jacket is good overall.

        Thank you so much for the review, Kris! Enjoy!
        Leta
        OR Rep

        Combined uses

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
        • Fit: True to size
        • Size Bought: Medium

        Jacket can be used in a few ways
        - rain jacket
        - sweatshirt underneath make it quit warm and function as a insulated wind breaker
        Fit: Im 5'8 167lbs M was perfect i got it when i was maybe 5'6 135lbs and it still fit perfect. greater then 5'9 i would suggest large especially if you wearing layers underneath.
        Durability: 9/10
        -It is light may rip if gets snagged on a piece of metal or something but not from tree branches or things like that.
        - I have worn this in complete downpour i was completely dry and the pockets and zippers are watertight my phone in the pocket completely dry
        Breathability : 8/10 (its a rain jacket...)
        Overall: Willing to bet I would remain dry even after a 100 gal of water was dumped on my head. It packs small to the size of my fist although do not store that way.can be used in many way i would totally buy this again i have had it at least 3 years with no issues looks like new an I have used it over 40 days worth of wearing.

        Different length than other OR products

          I own the hooded Filament down jacket (med) and love it, but when I ordered the Helium II jacket in the same size I was surprised to find out that the shell did not envelope the puffy. It’s lightweight and tougher than competitors but taking two inches off of the torso length is a cop out!

          Ultra light!

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
          • Fit: True to size
          • Size Bought: Large

          A great minimalist jacket that keeps me dry day after day in the backcountry. Everything from peak bagging, to a day at the crag, this jacket will perform tirelessly. Very durable for the weight and you'll forget it's in your pack.

          No complaints here...

            If you Google this jacket, it has made its way onto gear lists for bikepacking, thru hiking, trekking and pretty much anything where Ultralight gear is paramount. It was my go to rain/snow protection on a recent S24O and it left me feeling confident as I pedaled through the night with intermittent light rain and snow flurry’s at 9000 feet.

            Super Lightweight and Packable

            • Familiarity: I've used it several times

            This is a perfect ultralight rain layer. I love how small it packs down. The water resistant zipper is a little difficult to zip up and down but that may be because its brand new!

            Great Jacket, but tether loop breaks

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
            • Fit: True to size
            • Size Bought: Large

            I love this jacket as a rain jacket. I have written a previous review, and I bought a 2nd one of these after I lost the first one. Last week while hiking in Finland, I lost the 2nd one. One of the things I loved about this jacket is that it stores inside a small pocket, and it has a loop that you can hook a D-ring through and hook it to a belt loop, or a harness point on a backpack. Thats where I had it last week, connected to my backpack, when the nylon in the loop gave way and the jacket fell too far down the side of the trail for me to be able to go get it. $130 down the drain. Maybe some other lucky hiker will find it. I may buy an other, but I will not count on that loop to hold out. I did get 2 years of good use out of it, but I wish it had not broken

            Ken! I am so sorry! I will absolutely pass this on to OR. Thank you for letting me know!

            Leta
            OR Rep

            My Favorite

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
            • Fit: True to size

            This is the ideal ultralight jacket, providing plenty of protection from the elements without adding a lot of weight. It packs down incredibly small, so you will have no excuse not to bring it along on your next adventure.

            Thanks so much, Fritz! Glad you love your Helium II as much as me!

            Leta
            OR Rep