While I’ll admit that I’m not a “carry on no matter what” traveler, due to some of my adventures being rather gear intensive, I do try to avoid checking a bag. That’s especially helpful this summer, as the airline industry tries to get back up to pre-pandemic service levels despite there still being a pandemic. Making sure you have clothing items that can do double and triple duty is the best kind of planning.


The Helly Hansen Women’s Rapide Lifaloft Air Jacket is a light, insulated jacket for adventures where you need unrestricted movement paired with breathable warmth. It’s made with 20 denier nylon face fabric with an inherent PFC-free durable water repellency that can protect you from light rain.


The warm interior insulation is Lifaloft, which combines Helly Hansen’s Lifa technology with Primaloft insulation—retaining more heat while remaining lightweight and comfortable during even the most intensive activities. The insulation structure creates more pockets of trapped air, giving more warmth to the wearer. The Lifaloft insulation dries quickly after it’s gotten wet, due to its hydrophobic fibers that have better moisture transportation properties vs. traditional polyester insulation.


The Rapide Lifaloft Air Jacket is pretty lightweight, at about 11.6 ounces. I’ve been able to roll it up and stash it in the corner of my carry-on bag, or even a daypack.


The jacket’s hood is designed to be under-the-helmet compatible, and there’s an elastic band at the back of the hood to adjust for the best fit. There’s also a two-sided adjustable drawcord at the bottom hem. The jacket also features a chin guard, two side hand pockets with more than enough room for a phone and notebook, and two rooms inside stash pockets.


The Women’s Rapide Lifaloft Air Jacket comes in endive (light yellow) and deep steel (dark blue), and lists for $210 on the Helly Hansen site.