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EMS Men's Helix Jacket

Item: 12441077 Product Description >

Regular Price: $169.98 SALE $119.98
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  • EMS Men's Helix Jacket

    You know that backcountry ski trip you've been dreaming of? With the Helix Jacket – made using award-winning Polartec NeoShell – on your back, there are no more excuses not to take it. The Helix is precisely the piece of gear you need to conquer anything you set out to do this winter, whether you're hiking, skiing, or climbing. (Pair it with the Helix Bib Pants and you'll be unstoppable!)

    Features/Benefits:

    • Made with Polartec NeoShell fabric
      ~ Waterproof like a traditional hard shell; stretchy and breathable like a soft shell
      ~ Uses convection rather than diffusion to promote more efficient moisture vapor transport
      ~ Constant 2-way exchange of air keeps your drier during high-exertion activity
      ~ Abrasion-resistant outer material with DWR (durable water repellent) finish provides extra protection from rugged and wet conditions
    • Center front Vislon urethane-coated zipper
    • Two front urethane-coated zippered pockets are raised to accommodate a harness
    • Fixed hood with wire brim is fully adjustable and helmet-compatible
    • Two interior mesh pockets and one interior zippered pocket
    • Sealed seams for extra waterproof protection
    • Velcro Adjustable cuffs keep the cold out
    • Hem cinch cord keeps wind and snow out

    Fiber Content: Shell 100% nylon with mechanical stretch
    Country of Origin: Imported

  • EMS Men's Helix Jacket

    EMS_Sale Yes
    Activity/BreathabilityLev High
    Insulation Type N/A
    Removable Liner No
    Back Length 30 in.
    Insulation N/A
    Snow Skirt No
    Ventilation N/A
    Waterproof Material Polartec NeoShell
    Weight 1 lb. 2.4 oz.
    Waterproof Yes
    Insulation Rating Uninsulated
    Packability Medium compactibility
    Hood Type Yes, fixed
    Construction 3 layer
    Fleece Weight N/A

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Eastern Mountain SportsEMS Men's Helix Jacket
 
3.8

(based on 25 reviews)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Waterproof (11)
  • Breathable (9)
  • Lightweight (7)
  • Windproof (5)
  • Breathability (3)

Cons

  • Bad zippers (3)

Best Uses

  • Hiking (6)
  • Skiing (6)
  • Climbing (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (12)

Reviewed by 25 customers

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(13 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Great new fabric

By ireveiwer

from Woods Hole, MA

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Hood Adjuster Can Hurt
  • Stiff Waterproof Zipper
  • Zipper catches

Best Uses

  • Wet Hard Work

Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

I use this as my all-around jacket. It is surprisingly comfortable over a t-shirt. It slips easily over my fleece or down sweater or both. It is not as warm as you'd expect: either air actually slowly blows through, or it conducts heat. Pretty amazing for a waterproof.

The very stiff waterproof zipper catches and jams on the inner storm flap. This is a big problem.

The hood adjuster is located at the back of the head. Leaning back against a chair or rock presses it into one's skull. So: no relaxing with the hood on.

The great chest pockets are waterproof, so you have to bail them out if water gets in. They have waterproof zippers, but if you are using them as hand-warmers water will run down your arms and into the pockets. There are large interior pouches for things you really want to keep dry.

While I highly recommend this NeoShell fabric, the zipper is making it very hard to use and I can't recommend this jacket.

(11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Waterproof AND breathable...bout time!

By Benny the Butcher

from Nashua, NH

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • breathable
  • Chuck Norris-proof
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Windproof

Cons

  • FIT
  • Hood

Best Uses

  • Emergency shell
  • Rain shell
  • Windproof Shell
  • Zombie Apocalypse

Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

Picked this up the other day and finally got a chance to give it a test-drive - in some unseasonably warm weather. Took it up Mount Monadnock on a 60 degree day. I purposely over-insulated myself (two wool layers) and pushed hard and fast to the top (Marlboro trail bottom to top in 35 minutes!). When I broke out of treeline I hit a gnarly hail/rain mix, 65 mph winds, and the temp had dropped to 40 degrees. And there I stood, sweating through both my base layers. However, this shell blocked out all the wind, rain and cold. I stayed at the top for about 30 minutes and guess what? The inside of the shell, fully zipped, had pushed out all the sweat and vapor. I was as comfortable as could be. This is no boring, stifling PU hard shell...this thing breathes! I laughed out loud in delight and ate a granola bar. Despite sweating profusely from my layers I remained comfortable the WHOLE trip...and now I was DRY! I have no doubt Polartec is onto something gamechanging here. Kudos to EMS for making a completely bombproof piece of equipment. One piece of advice for next season: give this jacket and hood more of an "athletic" feel. I'm a big guy and this was even a touch baggy for me. Honestly, this is the only criticism I have for this jacket. However, as a winter shell, with the extra layers, I don't see this being that much of an issue. Can't wait to try this as my full-time winter shell...psyched! Glad to see two New England-based companies collaborating and pushing out some SERIOUS stuff!

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Solid but could be better

By Gnartard

from Boston, MA and Waitesfield, VT

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Breathability
  • Freedom of movement

Cons

  • Helmet Compatability
  • Main Zipper Snags

Best Uses

  • Alpine mountaineering
  • Backcountry skiing

Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

Since I bought the jacket in late October, I've been using it for all purpose duty in foul weather, and as a ski jacket for more than 20 days on snow. I'm 5'10" 185 lbs with a wide, athletic frame. My measurements are 16 3/4" neck, 34" sleeve, and 42" chest. I wear a Large.

It's nice to see EMS among the early adopters of NeoShell, which is also made by a New England company. Overall, the fabric breathes very well and durability hasn't been a problem. When it's really windy, but not cold enough to warrant a mid-layer, it can get a bit chilly. But I feel that's a reasonable trade off for much improved breathability.

I find that the overall shape of the jacket is an excellent match for my boxy torso. I have the perfect amount of room in the shoulders and chest, and there are no areas that exhibit an over abundance of material. The fabric stretches a little bit, so freedom of movement is great. Occasionally, when I have reach for something, I find that the sleeves may be a bit short. The design of the large waterproof pockets is good.

My only real issue with the fit has to do with the hood, which is supposedly helmet compatible. I tried using the hood with 2 different snow helmets, and in each case, I was barely able to get the hood over the helmet. The hood would then slide off as soon as I started moving my head. Also, when zipped up, the fit is pretty tight around the chin, and it gets very constricting when the hood is stretched over a helmet.

Also, as others have reported, the operation of the main zipper has been a problem. The zipper routinely gets stuck on the inner storm flap, just below the chin, even when you're paying close attention. And once it's stuck, it usually means removing your gloves and goggles (since you can't see directly below you) to free the zipper. And guess when this happens? When it's cold, windy, exposed, and you really need the zipper to work. Smooth operation of the zipper is especially difficult with gloves on, and the zipper does occasionally get stuck in other places if you're not careful.

Overall, I think the jacket represents a good value as long as the issues I brought up aren't deal breakers. I'm not so sure I'd be as patient if there were more NeoShell jackets to choose from in a similar price range.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

nice jacket overall

By dschneiderch

from Boulder, CO

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Breathability
  • Features
  • Style

Cons

  • Sizing
  • Zipper

Best Uses

    Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

    I skiied in this jacket a few times and did some field work. Overall a nice jacket with enough pockets that really does seem to breathe well even without pitvents (spring skiing will really test this. most of my days out were <20F). the cinch straps worked well too. A couple caveats though: 1. zipper catches on the storm flap. very annoying. at least the zipper is big enough that it looks durable unlike earlier versions. 2. I ordered a medium which is usually fine but it seems to be cut a little slimmer than I'm used to making layering hard...afterall, it is a winter shell.

    (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    At last!

    By JC

    from Portland, OR

    Verified Reviewer

    Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

    Looked for a modern replacement for my 15 y/o Goretex jacket which is bombproof, but stiff, boardy, and doesn't breathe. It served me well for years of winter "fun" in the worst weather the White Mtns can dish out. Came down to Event or Neoshell, and I decided to go with the latter as the breathability claim seduced me - all of the waterproof/breathables I've tried are sweatboxes.
    The Zion really feels more like a softshell. It is a quiet fabric with just a bit of stretch. I've kept the jacket as it really does perform. I love the simplicity of its design and the breathability. I do have 2 issues: fit and hood. I own other size L Marmot jackets and they are bulbous around the torso. I am 5'10 170 with a climbers build (41" chest, 32 waist, big shoulders) and seem to be in-between sizes in a lot of jackets regardless of brand; a L with an athletic cut is best a la Arcteryx, Mtn Hardwear. Marmot claims the Zion is an athletic cut, to which I say "meh"... I bought a Med counting on some stretch. It fits well but is restrictive in the shoulders, and the most I could layer under it is a stretch fleece pullover type of thing. A L would have sleeves stupid-long and the same baggy torso so I kept the Med.
    The hood is large to fit over a helmet. I bought this jacket for fall-winter hiking, period. I climb rock and ice but have no intention of using this jacket for that. I gave up wearing hardshells for ice, NOTHING will breathe enough. I go with a softshell and throw on a W/P-insulated jacket at belays. I don't ski with a helmet...It is near impossible to buy a high-end jacket these days that DOESN'T have a huge helmet-compatible hood, and it annoys me as in use without one they don't sit very well all scrunched up... and look ridiculous in town.
    Aside from that, I am loving the jacket for its amazing breathability. It really works and leave it a lot rather than seizing the first opportunity (rain stops, out of the wind, etc) to take it off. The lack of pit zips is a BONUS, as they are unneeded - and not very effective in most jackets. I DO wish they had used mesh inside the pockets so they could serve as vents. Instead they doubled the fabric behind the pockets, which is heavier and probably doesn't breathe worth a dang. Hiking the Columbia Gorge, Olympics, Mt St Helens, etc, I have had ample opportunity to wear it in the rain. It keeps me dry!
    If you like Marmot fit, this jacket won't disappoint. Neoshell works, and Marmot quality is there.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Finally sweat can escape a hardshell

    By Jim the Chronic Sweater

    from Lancaster PA

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • breathable
    • Helmet Compatible
    • Quiet

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • zipper sticks

    Best Uses

    • Alpine travel
    • Climbing
    • Hiking
    • Snowshoeing

    Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

    I'll use this for hiking, snowshoeing and alpine travel. I sweat a lot and have tried several hardshells with condensation problems. This truly breaths better. After a fast, hour long walk where I sometimes get soaked in a softshell MH Dragon jacket, I was dry. The Helix was only slighly damp inside, my fleece was dry. Main zipper is a little sticky at times, otherwise I would have given 5 stars. Well built.

     
    3.0

    An Average Shell

    By ThunderTrailz

    from New York, NY

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • durability
    • Warmth

    Cons

    • sleeves too loose

    Best Uses

    • Hiking
    • Skiing
    • Work commute

    Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

    I was looking for a jacket that would be perfect for the trail as well as the chilly New York commute. I've bought from EMS because their products are top notch with a price thats unbeatable.

    This jacket was okay considering the price. Polartec shell is sufficient for the frosty winds and the hood will certainly protect from the elements. The fitting was a bit strange, with a slim torso but very loose sleeves. It would have been nicer to have a more modern fit. Also you have to be very careful zipping up, otherwise the frost flap might get stuck. I would recommend this if you buy it on sale.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    3.0

    Waterproof but hard to zip

    By UrbanDadofTwo

    from New York, NY

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • breathable
    • Lightweight
    • packable
    • Waterproof

    Cons

    • Bad zipper

    Best Uses

    • Rainy days

    Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

    I bought this during the clearance sale because I wanted to try out the Polartec Neoshell fabric. I wear this over my work clothes on rainy days, so I need something that breathes well otherwise I get sweaty. Definitely waterproof and more breathable than my Marmot Precip jacket. As mentioned in other reviews, the zipper is horrible. It takes me an extra 10 seconds just to get it right. I will live with that inconvenience due to the awesome deal that I got. I recommend Neoshell, but it is hard for me to recommend this jacket unless you have a lot of patience.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    4.0

    Zipper problems on the mountain

    By Matt M

    from los angeles, ca

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

          I love this jacket BUT the zipper does get locked up when it's cold outside. That is not so cool to be dealing with when you're going up and down the mountain, getting overheated and then cooling down.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Mediocre at best

          By Ryan

          from Maine

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Breatheable
          • Waterproof

          Cons

          • Hood Brim Too Small
          • Lack of pockets
          • No-powder Skirt

          Best Uses

          • Climbing
          • Skiing
          • Skiing climbing

          Comments about Eastern Mountain Sports EMS Men's Helix Jacket:

          The neoshell is a great feature. I noticed the breathability immediately as I hiked and skied bumps. I wear a small in every jacket out there, but this small fits different/ odd. It sits a tad higher and the zipper tended to cut into my chin. The hood can accommodate a helmet, however good luck trying to get the hood up without unzipping. The brim on the hood isn't long enough to extend beyond the helmet, which means on wet days the water just comes pouring right into the opening. Doesn't hold a candle to any of the Flylow offerings out there that I have used in the past. This jacket will be going back to EMS.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Displaying reviews 1-10

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