Rain isn’t only for winter, and even if you’re the kind of person who loves going out in wet weather, it’s hard to stay out for long when you’re cold and soaking. Rain jackets and pants can also be bulky, which means that they take up more room in your suitcase when you’re traveling, but often the lightweight versions are so flimsy that they don’t hold up on more rugged adventures.
When you’re searching for those rain gear unicorns—lightweight but durable—check out the Outdoor Research Helium Jacket and Pants.
Made from Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse material (2.5 L, 100-percent nylon, 30D ripstop) both pieces weigh in at 5.6 ounces and 6.1 ounces, respectively. But lightweight doesn’t mean wimpy here. The jacket and pants are lighter, yet 5 times more tear-resistant than the model’s predecessor, the Helium II.
The jacket and pants are completely seam taped, waterproof, and windproof, but are still breathable and don’t start a hothouse situation when you’re bundled up. The adjustable hood, elastic drawcord hem, and elastic waist with drawcord let you adapt to the changing outdoor conditions and fit for your comfort. For packing, the jacket tucks into its zippered chest pocket and the pants pack into a back pocket. Reflective logos on both pieces help you stand out when the light is low.
The women’s Helium Rain Jacket comes in black, clay (a red tone), and chambray (blue), and lists for $159 on the Outdoor Research site. The women’s Helium Rain Pants come in black and lists for $119, also on the Outdoor Research site. The men’s version of the jacket, priced at $159 (like the women’s jacket) comes in black, copper, and azure. And the men’s version of the pants is priced at $119 and are available in black.