Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Softshell Jackets

Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie | Review

A lightweight windshell that gives up little in durability. We put the Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie to the test.

Why We Chose Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie: Lightweight, durable and breathable

Choosing the right jacket for fast and light trips in the hills can often become quite difficult: if you go on the light end of the spectrum, you typically lose durability. Then, on the durable end of the spectrum, you pay the price in increased weight.

This is where the Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie comes in. It’s a windshell that is incredibly light while packing an impressive amount of durability.

Who Is The Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie For?

The Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie has been designed to be light and breathable enough for trail running and fast-paced hiking ascents. The use of the Pertex Diamond Fuse fabric (more on that later) and the impressive level of abrasion resistance this brings also makes this a great choice for climbing and mountaineering.

The Helium Hoodie is made from Pertex Diamond Fuse. Photo: Chris Johnson


The secret sauce that makes this jacket as light as a feather but as tough as a diamond is Pertex’s innovative Diamond Fuse Fabric. This technology uses yarns with unique diamond shaped filaments (rather than traditional circular filaments).

While the filaments in normal yarns sit together like logs on a log pile, the diamond shape of Diamond Fuse yarns ensures they’re able to lock together, kind of like bricks, with no spaces between them. This in turn creates a durable and highly abrasion resistant fabric and a garment that should live a long life. 

The jacket features a single chest pocket. Photo: Chris Johnson
The hood offers a little adjustment. Photo: Chris Johnson
Adjustment can also be found on the hem. Photo: Chris Johnson

This Pertex Diamond Fuse Fabric is made up of 30-denier rip-stop nylon to help further boost durability and help the jacket shrug off any potential nicks and scuffs. On the sustainability side of things, the fabric has been bluesign-approved, meaning you can count on ethical and sustainable production methods being used in its creation.


This jacket features a low profile adjustable hood, a zipped chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack (with a carabiner loop to clip the jacket onto the back of your hardness) and an elasticated waist and cuffs that offer a good deal of adjustment, particularly so for such a lightweight jacket. 

Outdoor Research has made use of clever laser-cut perforations under the arms to promote airflow.

Will Renwick testing the Helium Wind Hoodie at the OM test team weekend. Photo: Jamie Barnes

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“This is an excellent bit of kit; one that I’ve loved using for trail running and hiking. What you’ve got is a super light jacket that doesn’t feel at all flimsy and that has all the essential features and details.

“The fabric feels light and airy, but you do get the sense that it’ll be able to shrug off a lot. I ran through a thick forest in mid Wales where I was pushing through sharp branches for a number of miles and the fabric came out unscathed. As for using this for climbing, I haven’t had the chance to take this out yet but I do feel confident that it’ll withstand repeated use against rock rock.”

“Obviously this isn’t waterproof but it does bring impressive levels of water resistance. I’ve worn this through pretty long spells of light rain and it’s been surprisingly protective for a windshell. I’ve found it be very breathable as well. I’ve happily worn it on runs that have taken me from the bottom of a valley to the top of a hill and I’ve not needed to stop to take it off.”

The jacket packs down into its own chest pocket. Photo: Chris Johnson

Outdoor Research Helium Wind Hoodie

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