Outdoor Research Helium

At only 130g (women’s small), the Helium is an incredibly lightweight jacket. It’s waterproof, but as always it’s a compromise and you’ll pay for not carrying much weight with limited breathability and a minimal storm flap. But it does what it’s designed to do, lying unnoticed at the bottom of your pack ’til you need it. With a bit of effort, the ultra-compressible fabric even stuffs into an inside hem pocket, packing down to the size of an apple. The hood is slightly on the small side, and you wouldn’t want to work up a sweat in it, but it will keep you dry in an unexpected shower. There are minimal features, and only one pocket, placed on the chest, but it does come with single-pull hood adjustment and water-resistant zips.

Fabric: Ultralight, waterproof/breathable 2.5 layer 20D
Weight: 130g
Men’s version: Yes
Contact: 0191 296 0212; www.outdoorresearch.co.uk
• Review from Country Walking magazine, May ’11