This neat, highly packable shell is a great option for slinging in a jersey pocket on summer rides ready to be pressed into service if the rain starts hoofing down.
The Endura Helium (not to be confused with the new Mavic Helium jacket) is made from 2.5 layer nylon, which means the fabric has outer and inner layers that have been bonded together, plus a raised pattern on the inside to stop it sticking to your skin. It’s not as breathable as a super-high end option, but it still allows plenty of moist vapour to escape while the full-length front zip and yoke vent add extra air-conditioning.
The main red panels aren’t stretchy but the smaller black inserts at the waist, armpits and neck are. This means that, though cut slim, the Helium seals out the rain well without feeling too tight or restrictive. You get a drawcord at the neck if you need to tweak the fit.
The Helium does a fine job of keeping out the rain. No water at all got in through the fabric or the taped seams even during a couple of, frankly, horrible test rides. a small amount of rain can seep in through the front zip but there’s a storm flap behind there so it’s really not much of an issue. Speaking of the zip, it’s positioned off-centre so the top doesn’t get annoying under your chin and there’s a fabric guard to stop it scratching.
The zipped rear pocket comes with a hole for plumbing in a headphone wire and it doubles up as a storage pouch for the rest of the jacket when not in use. Reflective trim will help you get seen in poor light while the whole thing weighs in at 235g and measures about 22x 10cm x 8cm when packed down.
Available in sizes S-2XL and in both red and black.
Slim-cut, lightweight waterproof with decent breathability; packs down small enough to fit into a back pocket
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Make and model: Endura Helium Jacket
Size tested: M
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it kept us dry and was perfectly comfortable
Would you consider buying the product? Yes; light enough for summer use and effective enough for winter riding too, so plenty of versatility
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yep.
Age: 36 Height: 184cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: Specilized Tarmac Pro My best bike is: Van Nicholas Aeolus
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.