Frontier Adventure

Review: Outdoor Research Helium Insulated Hoodie



Breathable Insulated Jacket
Outdoor Research Helium Insulated Hoodie

$199, 12 oz. (men’s medium)

Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL

On a late-September backpacking trip in Yosemite, this lightweight and packable puffy jacket kept me warm on evenings and mornings in the 40s Fahrenheit—including one morning when a steady, chilly breeze blew through our camp beside Yosemite Creek, even though I wore it over just one midweight, long-sleeve base layer. But the story only begins there. The Helium’s breathable synthetic insulation greatly expands its versatility to four seasons, wet weather, and wearing it while hiking, climbing, or pursuing backcountry snow sports in cool to cold temps. And it’s made from partly recycled materials.

Considering its low weight and bulk, I was surprised by the Helium’s warmth. Its breathable and stretchy, 60g VerticalX ECO SR insulation delivers not only a high warmth-to-weight ratio and the usual benefit of synthetic insulation—trapping heat even when wet—but it derives from Repreve recycled polyester and 37 percent plant-based Sorona textile. Beyond its green creds, the combination of these materials produces an insulation that lofts more than some synthetics and 20 percent more than OR’s previous VerticalX iteration. It even gives the jacket an almost down-like appearance.

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The Outdoor Research Helium Insulated Hoodie in Yosemite National Park.
” data-image-caption=”Testing the Outdoor Research Helium Insulated Hoodie in Yosemite National Park.
” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”″ alt=”The Outdoor Research Helium Insulated Hoodie in Yosemite National Park.” class=”wp-image-48123″ srcset=” 1024w, 300w, 768w, 150w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Testing the Outdoor Research Helium Insulated Hoodie in Yosemite National Park.

A hood always boosts an insulated jacket’s warmth proportionately greater than the additional weight and bulk it brings and the Helium’s adjustable, helmet-compatible hood seals neatly around your head and face to help keep warmth inside
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