Outdoor Research - Helium II Rain Jacket - Women's

Category: Women's Jackets

Pros: I like how lightweight and packable this jacket is. The best on the market as far as that goes. I can't stand pit zips (so uncomfortable) so I like that this jacket doesn't have any.

I love this jacket because it is so light, and yet completely protects me during an intense rain shower. I live in Wyoming and we often get afternoon thunderstorms in the summer that last 30 to 45 min. I have tested this jacket in these conditions and find that it keeps me dry through it all. I highly recommend for hiking, camping, backpacking where the weather forecast is mostly sunn, but you know you need something waterproof in case it rains.

I do most of my hiking in the Pacific Northwest where rain and wet underbrush are a simple fact of life. This jacket fits well, weighs little and packs small, but those are the only good things I can say about it. I've used it for a few seasons now and it wets out in anything but the lightest drizzle. It is no match for the dense, damp rainforests of the PNW. I guess it works okay as a "what if" piece of gear, but you could accomplish the same goal and probably be drier in a $1 emergency poncho.

Such a great jacket in terms of features and materials. So sad that is too short and oddly narrow at the hips. I am 5’6” and wear a 12 in pants. I am far from wide at the hip or carrying much of anything in the trunk. Purchased the XL. Cannot fit a fleece underneath. Just too small. Sending back. Wish I did not have to.

I bring this jacket everywhere in the summer! It is super lightweight and compacts pretty small so I transfer it amongst my different packs. I use it for hiking, biking, and around town. Despite its lightweight, it has kept me super warm and dry all summer!

After reading so many good reviews on the OR Helium II rain jacket, I decided to purchase for a backpacking trip to Alaska. I had adequate jackets/layers for the trip; I just needed a waterproof shell, and the lightweight quality of this shell was very appealing.

My husband bought this for me so we could go hiking during the rain and not worry about getting soaked. This coat was perfect for rainy 70 degree weather and even cooler. Kept me dry and warm!

I returned this for poor fit before I got a chance to use it outdoors so this review is only for the fit. I am short and slim, and I found this jacket to be too short and wide. I like my rain shell tops to be longer so that it doesn't make a gap for water to get in when I shift around during activity or when I wear a lot of insulation layers. I was really hoping it would work out because this is the lightest shell out there, but alas ):

This jacket is nice and light but unfortunately for me not suitable for physical activity in warmer weather. Hiked through an hours-long drizzle in 60 degrees and had to keep taking off the hood because I was getting too hot. I ended up with a wet head and very sweaty so it didn't perform its main function which is keeping me dry. . I traded pit-zips for savings in weight and size. Never again.

This coat is great! Fits well (I am 5'6", 145# and a large is perfect!) It is definitely water proof. It is very light weight and definitely saves space packing.

This stuffs down so small, I always feel silly if I leave the house without it. I take it in my alpine climbing pack and also in my purse when I'm out around town on the bike. It's super lightweight but super protective.

Purchased jacket for wind and rain protection in hiking and biking. Lightweight and packable and functional.

A well priced lightweight jacket that fell short during heavy downpours in Cost Rica.



This is reported to be water proof but would the fabric tolerate water proof spray and if so is that even necessary or beneficial?

​Yes, you can use a waterproofing spray (or wash-in) on this jacket. Initially this shouldn't be needed, but over time, the DWR will wear down and a waterproofing product will be needed to restore the beading up properties of the shell.


Could you please clarify the sizing? Listed sizes are S,M,L, etc., but the chart shows numeric sizing (4,6,8,etc.).

The XS to XL sizes can be found by scrolling to the right in the size chart.


Is it made of ripstop nylon?

​This jacket is made from a 30-denier ripstop nylon.


Could you tell me how long this jacket is? I've tried on other OR jackets and liked them because they fit my tall frame.

​This jacket has a 26 inch back length.


Is this jacket also considered windproof as well as waterproof?

Yes, this jacket is windproof.


Does the helium II sound like a plastic garbage bag when you are wearing it? So many of them do..

The Helium is a nice packable rain jacket, but it does have a swishy nylon sound.

Running wild

I'm going backpacking in Washington state this June and am looking for a rain jacket. I don't want to be sweating under the jacket all the time.  And I don't want to hear the swish of nylon. Will this jacket work?

This jacket does not have pit zips, so you are unable to dump excess heat if you do get too hot while wearing it. You may want to look for something with pit zips or vents for use in warm weather.


There are two blue colors for this jacket that look the same on my computer. Is one lighter and one darker? Is one more like turquoise and one closer to navy? Robins egg blue?  Just trying to choose!!

Thank you for calling this to our attention. Both photos are actually incorrect. Hydro is the same blue color as pictured, but with a light blue zipper. Typhoon/Baltic is a more teal color with a dark purple zipper. We will have the photos on our site updated shortly.


Will this be brought back in stock?

Yes, we will carry the Helium II again starting in early 2017.

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