Lightweight Raincoat

7:48 p.m. on May 22, 2017 (EDT)
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Hi, Im new to this forum but am really looking for some advice on which jacket to get.

I am currently looking at these 3:

Outdoor Research Helium II

Outdoor Research Helium HD

Berghaus Hyper 100

I would like a lightweight raincoat that packs small that I can easily take anywhere. I don't use a raincoat much and therefore don't want a bulky one because I would be unlikely to want to take it places. I want a raincoat that will last and will keep me dry in heavy rain.

The HD has pit zips and hand pockets but is heavier and bulkier whereas the Hyper is the lightest and most expensive. The II looks like it may be the best of both but it has no pit zips or ventilation.

Any opinions or help would be much appreciated, Thanks

8:01 p.m. on May 22, 2017 (EDT)
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Just to complicate your search a little, I recently reviewed a similar jacket for the review corps which I came away throughly impressed with...

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/montane/minimus-777-pull-on/#review37153

Lighter, and a three layer construction but the price is high. May be worth a look.

9:25 p.m. on May 22, 2017 (EDT)
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A couple of inexpensive but very workable rain jackets are by:

FroggToggs - https://www.froggtoggsraingear.com/

          They have basically 2 lines - FroggToggs and DriDucks - the cheapest and

               lightest versions are usually available for about $19

 and 32° - these can be found at Costco several times a year, about $20.

      https://www.costco.com/32-Degrees-Men%e2%80%99sRain-    Jacket.product.100315529.html         

I have found the jackets from each work well for breathability and waterproofness. Both the DriDucks and 32° jackets are a lot lighter than the rands you listed and Goretex shells. You might not have a Costco in your area, and they may not in stock when want them.

I do have some Goretex shells from Marmot, Patagonia, Wild Things, and some other companies over the years that I think are better quality and longer life. But, for almost all of my climbing, backpacking, skiing, winter camping, summer rain, and bicycling in the rain, and in blizzards  the DriDucks and 32° are what I use most of the time as shells over the warmth layers.

6:31 a.m. on May 23, 2017 (EDT)
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One of the jackets I listed was breathable and under 100g so I thought that would be better than what you suggested

7:44 a.m. on May 23, 2017 (EDT)
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I'm sorry, I'm not sure if your responding to mine, or Bills, comment. 

To clarify a little- it sounds like you need to decide what is most important to you.

Pockets, zippers, venting, etc is all going to increase the weight and bulk of any jacket. If this is a shell that's mostly going to be in your pack then sacrificing those for lower weight is a good idea. If the features are more important then you have to live with (slightly) more bulk. Also (as I believe Bill was trying to point out) there's a HUGE range of prices of jackets that can be serviceable. Heck you have a jacket listed there thats 300 Euros. 

I would list the order of importance to you (for ex-weight, cost, breathability, full zip) and that would help to narrow your search. 

7:25 a.m. on May 24, 2017 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

I'm sorry, I'm not sure if your responding to mine, or Bills, comment. 

To clarify a little- it sounds like you need to decide what is most important to you.

Pockets, zippers, venting, etc is all going to increase the weight and bulk of any jacket. If this is a shell that's mostly going to be in your pack then sacrificing those for lower weight is a good idea. If the features are more important then you have to live with (slightly) more bulk. Also (as I believe Bill was trying to point out) there's a HUGE range of prices of jackets that can be serviceable. Heck you have a jacket listed there thats 300 Euros. 

I would list the order of importance to you (for ex-weight, cost, breathability, full zip) and that would help to narrow your search. 

 Thanks, you bring up some very good points. 

Full length zip is a must, fully waterproof, packable.

I would like it to be breathable but it does not need to have pit zips.

I would also like it to be lightweight

I am happy to put in a fair amount of money but only if it will last a long time (300 euros is probably way too much)

The Outdoor Research Helium II probably ticks the most boxes but does not have the same breathability as the Helium HD

9:43 a.m. on May 24, 2017 (EDT)
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The Helium II and the HD use the same membrane so they will be the exact same in terms of breathability.

Where the HD would be a better choice is that it adds hand pockets and pit zips (which would increase air flow). If those are worth 100 extra dollars to you and 4 extra ozs then you have your answer. 

5:47 p.m. on May 24, 2017 (EDT)
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can't speak to these options, but they all seem pretty good.  i have reviewed a few jackets in this category:

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/montane/spine-jacket/  (gore tex jacket, full zip, pit zips, minimal pockets.  about 10 ounces)

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/patagonia/alpine-houdini/?review=31348 (membrane jacket, full zip, no pit zips, one tiny pocket.  about 7 ounces).  

8:58 a.m. on May 27, 2017 (EDT)
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Hi all,
I have narrowed my search down to two raincoats.

Helium II:
Lighter, $100 cheaper, more compact, better color

Helium HD:
Pit zips (more breathable), hand pockets, more versatile.

Anyone have an opinion?

Also how low do the raincoats come down? Below waist? Below butt?

3:50 p.m. on May 29, 2017 (EDT)
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As Jake suggested...it all comes down to what you need the jacket for. Both jackets offer the same membrane...which at 20,000mm is good in all but cold rain for myself. It will work fine in cold snowy conditions...but cold rain can get ugly quick if your jacket has a little age and you find you cannot eject or camp as you might need to.

As far as length and ventilation...these somewhat work against one another since a longer jacket traps more air...but anytime I can get a longer jacket I find it helpful in terms of protection (against both wind and rain) and comfort (hip-belt of pack). Save for those benefits of length...in everything but emergency situations ventilation is infinitely better than breathability in terms of moving moisture out of your shell. Breathability gets all the press (because dudes like numbers)...but the differences between the least and most breathable membranes is probably about 30 minutes drying time.

If I had to choose between the two jackets I would go with the HD. It does cost $50 more...but the added ventilation (full-zip/pit-zips/hand-pockets) is worth it to me since I would almost certainly be using the jacket during high aerobic activities.

December 7, 2019
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