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A storm is gathering in Europe, slowly making its way over that big, blue pond of ours to North America. Depending on the websites you choose to look at, you’ll see a bunch of competitions and special events sponsored by many foreign brands. One big brand that is making waves (and they quite literally started out in the waves) is ION.

Helium Jersey Specs

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This year’s ION mountain bike clothing lineup has been improved with a new cut and subtle style changes. The Helium jersey is made from an array of materials and process techniques. The front body is made of a blend of drirelease® fabric and polyester. This blend allows for a marginal amount of windchill protection, yet keeps the fabric looking like cotton (check below for more benefits of drirelease®). The back and sleeves of the Helium 3/4 are made of 100% lightweight polyester mesh.

A Sanitized® finish keeps the odors down. The Sanitized finish is a biocidal substance of zinc pyrithione, which prevents the division of fungal cells.

Other cool features include an integrated goggles/glasses wipe and lift pass pocket. This is perfect if you’re not in the mood to use a lanyard for lift-access parks.

drirelease®

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Casual looking, but highly functional, drirelease® is “a patented performance sports material that has the look and feel of classic cotton, but keeps you dry, cool, comfortable, and fresh,” according to ION.

Key benefits:

  • Dries four times faster than cotton and keeps you dry
  • High moisture wicking qualities that won’t wash out
  • Virtually neutralizes odor (FreshGuard)
  • Soft and natural to the touch
  • Resists pilling and wrinkling
  • Doesn’t discolor with perspiration; no underarm stains
  • No annoying static cling; great for layering
  • Environmentally friendly without harmful chemicals

Out on the Trail

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I found that the Helium has a pleasing fit and feel to it. It isn’t too large, so that it flaps around like a sail. Nor is it too tight, as if I were back in the 80s with an oh-too-tight-feeling clubbing shirt. For its given size, you can easily wear armor underneath if need be. I found that the Leatt Air vest fit just fine.

On the slopes and trails, I had no heat issues with the Helium, and as the name suggests, it’s a lightish-feeling jersey. I decided not to follow my instincts, and just tossed the Helium into my bike bag without tossing it into the wash, just to see if the anti-stink actually works. Surprisingly enough, (after a fight with the wife) I found that yes, in fact, that odoriferous nasty smell wasn’t around. Hmm, there’s something to say about that zinc pyrithione after all…

Presently, ION gear can be purchase online from http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ion, and the Helium jersey retails for $75.90.

Thanks to the folks at ION for sending over the Helium for review.

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