Gear Review: Helly Hansen Loke Rain Jacket and Pants (M/W)

The world can be a cold, wet, and windy place. So when venturing out into the elements you need to make sure you’ve got the right jacket for the job. Recently my wife and I had the opportunity to put Helly Hansen’s Loke Rain Jacket and Pants to the test both at home and abroad. What we found was an excellent water and windproof solution in a comfy, lightweight package.

Disclosure: Helly Hansen donated these items for review purposes, but this review presents an honest representation of our experiences using the gear.


Loke Rain Jacket

MSRP: $100
Weight: 8.7 oz. (M)
Material: Helly Tech® Performance

MSRP: $100
Weight: 10.6 oz. (XL)
Material: Helly Tech® Performance

Loke Rain Pants

MSRP: $80
Weight: 6.9 oz. (M)
Material: Helly Tech® Performance

MSRP: $80
Weight: 8.2 oz. (XL)
Material: Helly Tech® Performance


It’s not an uncommon trend in the outdoor industry to have some unexpected, hard-to-reconcile discrepancies appear in women’s versions of popular gear when compared to their male counterparts. This typically arises in the form of women’s gear lacking the same level of variety or features as the men’s version. Fortunately, this is not the case for the Loke Jacket and Pants. Both the men’s and women’s products are virtually identical in features with the only differences being the expected minor differences in construction for proper fitting. The color variation of the jackets between men’s and women’s also slightly differs, but the jackets still offer a wide variety of colors to choose from for both sexes. That being said, when it comes to the physical features of the jacket and pants, if it’s on the men’s, then it’s on the women’s and vice versa. Yes, it’s a somewhat sad state of affairs that this even needs to be pointed out as a “Pro” for a product. But, alas, here we are.


Loke Rain Jacket Women’s Medium


Loke Rain Pants

Loke Rain Jacket Men's XL

Loke Rain Jacket Men’s XL

Advertised Features

Loke Jacket (M & W)

  • Helly Tech® Performance
  • Waterproof, windproof, and breathable
  • 2.5 ply fabric construction
  • Fully seam sealed
  • Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR)
  • Printed Backing
  • Fully adjustable hood
  • Bottom hem elastic adjustment cord
  • Zipped hand pockets
  • Long pit zip vents
  • Velcro cuff adjustment
  • HH® logo at chest
  • Packs into pocket! (emphasis mine)

Loke Pants (M & W)

  • Helly Tech® Performance
  • Waterproof, windproof and breathable
  • 2.5 ply fabric construction
  • Fully seam sealed
  • Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR)
  • Zipped hand pockets
  • Adjustable waist
  • Bottom leg zipper
  • Packs into pocket! (Yeah, the pants, too!)

About Review

gorg scot

For this review we were able to test out the Helly Hansen gear in multiple locations and varying conditions. The majority of our hands on experience with the Loke gear was during an eight-day thru-hike of Scotland’s 96 mile West Highland Way in early to mid October, the verge of the incoming winter season. In addition we were able to take them with us into the highest reaches (11,500 feet to be exact) of southern California’s San Gorgonio Wilderness on a unseasonably cold and rainy day in late September. The jackets and pants were subjected to multiple days of rain of varying intensity, cold weather, and overall damp conditions. For sizing I tested out a XL size for both the jacket and pants while my wife, Christina, used a size Medium.

How was the fit?

Men’s: I’m just shy of 6 feet tall with a somewhat larger build. Based on the sizing charts on Helly Hansen’s website I determined a size XL in both the pants and jacket would be the most comfortable fit for me. The sizing charts implied a Large might be a little too snug after layering with the rest of my hiking apparel underneath the shells. However, once I was face to face with the jacket and pants I found a Large probably would have suited me fine as the XL was more roomy than I expected. The jacket sleeves and pant cuffs extended well past my hands and feet respectively and the jacket fell a good several inches past my hips. Granted this issue was mitigated thanks to the velcro straps on the jacket sleeves and pant cuffs allowing me to size them to my liking. I tend to prefer drawstrings over velcro, but it still got the job done. In any case once my pack was strapped on my back the jacket was essentially fixed in place making it so I couldn’t even notice I was wearing a size slightly too large.

The only true fitting issue I found regarded the jacket’s hood, as it seemed too short to adequately protect my face from the rain. It wasn’t drastic, but enough to be a minor nuisance. The hood has a velcro strap on the back to help adjust the fit if the hood is too long or loose. However,  even at it’s loosest I couldn’t quite get the length I desired.

Women’s: I am a very petite at just over 5 feet tall. Based on the sizing charts I determined I would need a medium to be able to fit my fleece and down jacket comfortably underneath the Loke Jacket. It turned out I was correct. I had the perfect amount of space for my other layers, but even without layering the Loke Jacket wasn’t too big. I did not have the same hood problem as Kenny did with the hood as for me it fit perfectly. The velcro strap on the back was helpful so I could tighten or loosen it as needed. The only fit issue I had was the length of the pants. However, because of my height, this is not an uncommon problem for me. And the pants were no longer than any other pair of pants I own. Though, I also would have preferred a drawstring or at least a slightly longer velcro piece so I could make the pants a little tighter.

Did they keep us warm?

Men’s: During level and downhill hiking conditions the Loke Jacket and pants kept me cozy and warm with ease. They held up magnificently to some of the windiest conditions I’ve experienced on a hike in recent memory atop Mount San Gorgonio. As we approached the final ascent to the 11,500 foot summit the treeline broke as we began climbing into the clouds. Ferocious winds picked up sucking the heat from me even as we climbed. However, once I stopped and equipped the Loke jacket I could almost instantly feel a change. I could feel the warmth trapped close to my body sheltering it from the soul-sucking winds.


Even so, when hiking in the cool, but still less frigid temperatures along the West Highland Way I found that most of the time when hiking uphill I was not comfortable wearing the Loke Rain Pants in conjunction with the jacket. Their effectiveness at trapping in heat worked against me in these conditions making me sweat and start to overheat on continuous ascents. This happened to a lesser degree with the Loke Rain Jacket due to its sizable pit zips (13 inches on the XL!) and the fact that I could simply just unzip the jacket to let in more airflow when necessary. However, the same kind of ventilation was just not possible with the pants. They do have a generous zipper at the cuff that runs up just shy of my knee cap, but it just wasn’t enough. As a result I often found it more comfortable to hike without the pants, even in some rainy conditions, except on particularly chilly days.

Women’s: I was very grateful for the Loke Rain Jacket on our hike up to Mount San Gorgonio. It did an excellent job of keeping us protected against the intense winds. Even when not wearing my pack I felt warm and comfortable while walking around. However, wearing my full pack and hiking up hill I did start to sweat and overheat. Though the larger pit zips were indeed helpful, no pit zip is going to help ventilate my back. The pack compressing the jacket against my back eliminates the possibility of any real airflow and that is the area that really needs to the most ventilation. Still, with all that said, I felt like compared to other rain jackets I’ve owned the Loke Jacket managed to simultaneously keep me warmer in the cold but better ventilated on an uphill walk. I definitely attribute this to the larger-than-life pit zips as well as the mesh lining of the hand pockets, which allows for just that much extra ventilation. It’s not much, but every little bit helps.


Did they keep us dry?

Men’s: The Loke jacket and pants performed about as well as I would hope any market rain gear would, providing a suitable barrier to Scotland’s outside elements. There was never a time where I felt that they were beginning over saturate and let moisture in. Helly Hansen’s Durable Water Repellency treatment (DWR) is effective and nicely beads water away. All of the various pockets and zippers are adorned with storm flap covers preventing stray drops from soaking through the zipper fabric (assuming all the zippers are actually zipped of course). The only nuisance I faced here is regarding the hood issues I mentioned previously, leaving me feeling like my face was slightly more exposed to the rain than I would have liked.


Women’s: Just as I would expect anything that calls itself rain gear to do, the Loke jacket and pants did a great job of keeping me dry in stormy conditions. Something interesting, and somewhat counter intuitive, that I found was that I was able to keep the pit zips open during the rain without any water leaking inside. I would have thought that with the larger than usual pit zips the opposite would have been true, but I did not have this problem at all with the Loke.

Were they practical?

Jacket and Pants packed into their pockets. Men’s XL on the left Women’s M on the right.

Jacket and Pants packed into their pockets. Men’s XL on the left Women’s M on the right.

Men’s: As far as rain gear goes the Loke jacket and pants I think hit a sweet spot between comfort and practicality. Both items provided me the piece of mind that I was carrying gear that was going to keep me safe in compromising weather conditions without weighing down my pack. Sure there are lighter jackets and pants out there, but not many you’ll be able to find for only $80-$100. The Loke designs retain many of the features ultralite jackets forgo (hand pockets anyone?) and still weigh little more than half a pound each (and remember I’m talking about the XL size here). Did I mention that both the jacket and pants can be stuffed and compressed inside their own pocket for easy storage and packability? It does its job, weighs nothing, and can be packed down into a tiny ball. What more does a thru-hiker need?

Women’s: The biggest thing that struck me when I removed the Loke Jacket and Pants from their package was their incredible lightness. It felt very light but at the same time still felt protective. Other extremely ultra light jackets on  the market haven’t provided me the same piece of mind as they feel like little more than a glorified plastic bag. Plus the fact that both compacted neatly in their own pockets and much smaller than previous jacket’s I’ve owned is a huge selling point. It provided good protection and features (pockets and pit zips) without adding unnecessary weight, which is exactly what I’m looking for in any outdoor product.


If you’re looking for an affordable, good quality, and lightweight set of rain gear then Helly Hansen’s Loke Rain Jacket and Pants are definitely worth your time. They’ve effectively created a practical lightweight set of gear without sacrificing comfort or protection in the process. Despite a few minor fitting issues our experiences have proven to us that the Loke Rain Jacket and Pants get the job done and, at only $80 – $100 each, won’t break the bank.

Helly Hansen Loke Rain JacketWomen’s || Men’s

Helly Hansen Rain PantsWomen’s || Men’s


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