Kit review: Quechua Helium waterproof jacket
Ultra light, ultra breathable and ultra packable. This is how Decathlon describes their Quechua Helium Rain jacket. Even the name brings to mind lightness and floatiness. I tested the women’s version in a bright pink colour (I actually like bright pink outdoors clothing although some might not.)
The technical details of the Quechua Helium jacket reveals the item weighs just 198g, which is pretty light. The jacket is made from Decathlon’s own NOVADRY 2.5 layer coated fabric (5000 mm) waterproof fabric. Taped zips and seams add to the waterproofing qualities.
While the NOVADRY is waterproof, it also boasts an hydrophilic membrane, which means it is breathable. The fabric allows sweat vapour created by body heat to evaporate so avoiding a build of nasty, wet condensation inside the jacket. Innovative mesh under-arm inserts enhance the management of moisture.
The Helium jacket has a great female-fit design and additional feminine touches, such as a pretty reflective detailing feature on the arms and a yellow contrast zip for the chest pocket.
While the women’s waterproof jacket doesn’t have hand pockets it does boast the zipped security chest pocket. There is an integrated hood with volume adjustor and an elasticated chord hem.
On test: Quechua Helium waterproof jacket
This is a minimalist style waterproof jacket that is perfect for stuffing into your rucksack on an outdoors day when you can’t be sure how the weather will change. I wouldn’t wear this on a windy and very wet winter day in Scotland’s mountains because I tend to reserve my more robust Gore-Tex waterproof jackets for those days.
However, in spring and summer when you set out for a day of walking and you need the security of a waterproof outer shell to pop on if the rain comes this is the perfect jacket. You might also want to wear this on a rainy spring day when it’s wet and warm-ish but not too windy. I found it to be a great jacket for speedy country park dog walks in winter when it wasn’t too windy.
Things I like are the comfortable lightweight fabric and the great female fit. The arms are also nice and long, which isn’t always the case. I have long arms and always look for a jacket with adequate arm length so that the cuffs do not end above my wrist. You want a jacket with arms that cover your wrists and go over gloves so as to prevent the wet dripping inside the gloves.
The addition of good pit ventilation and the ability to fold the jacket away into the chest pocket make this a brilliant “what if” country walking jacket and mainstay dog walking jacket.
The jacket would benefits from hand pockets and a two-way zip but for a technical waterproof that is priced at just £79.99 you can’t have everything.
Decathlon also sell a men’s Quechua Helium Rain jacket. And there are Helium windproof versions.