The Helium is made from Karrimor’s 2.5-layer Weathertite Extreme fabric. This is slightly heavier-duty than some other fabrics in our test, which is why this jacket tips the scales at a relatively weighty 395g (men's size L). The fabric performs well, but like other 2.5-layer fabrics it is clammier than the higher-priced 3-layer jackets made from Gore-Tex Active Shell for example. However the design of the Karrimor X-Lite Helium is great for running, biking and light hiking as it is relatively close and short (some might say athletic) yet it still has a good set of more general features. So you get a pair of large chest pockets that are ideal for maps, and as these are mesh-lined they also can be used for additional venting. The hood can be rolled to the collar and secured if it is not needed when running or biking but open it out and the wired peak is ideal for walkers, while the fit and movement will suit any user.
Weight 395g (men’s L)
Fabric 2.5 layer Weathertite Extreme
Men’s sizes XS-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 2
Roll down hood yes
Side/pit vents no
The Karrimor X-Lite Helium is an excellent jacket for walking, biking or running with a good price tag, although there are lighter options if low weight is a priority. It won the ‘Best Value’ award.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012