This season, I decided to change things up a little and try out a two-piece winter suit. In fact, for the last four winter seasons, I mainly wore one-piece suits. I must admit that I prefer this type of outfit since my snowmobiling outings mainly consist of off-trail riding. However, for the 2019-2020 season, I wanted to get back to the “classic” 2 pieces.
The FXR Helium Pro X kit was the perfect fit for its features, technical textiles, and performance. I was able to test its effectiveness on the trails and especially off-trail. Let’s begin with an overview of the main features and technical elements that make up the Helium Pro X jacket and pants.
Helium Pro Jacket
- Durable, Omni-Stretch™ polyester trilaminate shell with HydrX PRO ultra (20,000 mm/8,000 g/m²)
- Tear-resistant Teflon finish
- Several snow-proof Dry Vent™ openings
- Fully seam-sealed
- Removable liner with 175 g Thermal Flex™
- YKK® Aquaguard front zipper
- Adjustable wind skirt
- Removable/adjustable hood
- Adjustable cuffs with lycra inner cuff extensions and a whole for the thumb
Helium Pro X Pants/Bib
- Durable, Omni-Stretch™ polyester trilaminate shell with HydrX Pro ultra (20,000 mm/8,000 g/m²)
- Fully seam-sealed
- Several snow-proof Dry Vent™ openings
- Many pockets for the beacon and ring for emergency stop
- Adjustable suspender system
- Adjustable waist system
- Padded/removable knee pads
- Storm cuffs with hook & loop/snap closure and front/rear boot lace retention snaps
The first thing I noticed about the Helium Pro X is undoubtedly the simple look, with nice colour accents on the zippers that make it look great. It’s of incredibly good taste, and I’m convinced that this kit will last for many years without going out of fashion. As for the pants, it has a more sober look all in black. The whole kit is simply perfect, with a few splashes of colour.
In terms of trail trials, I was able to put the kit to the test over nearly 3,000 km of federated trails. I think it gave me a very good idea of the performance of the FXR Helium Pro X set. For example, the jacket provides excellent wind protection thanks to its Omni-Stretch fabric and HydrX Pro membrane. Also, moisture is efficiently evacuated when the level of effort is at its highest in tortuous trails.
One aspect that I much appreciated is the removable lining that provides good insulation (175 g) on colder days, and in milder conditions, it is easy to remove it for perfect warmth. Another detail that I loved is, without a doubt, the number of pockets. There are more than enough of them on the outside and inside, which allows you to bring many things with you. Despite the extreme cold, the textile remained relatively flexible, allowing for good freedom of movement. One thing that could be improved is that during outings below -30 degrees Celsius, I sometimes felt some wind enter through the front zipper when driving at high speeds. Nothing dramatic, and in most conditions, the FXR Helium Pro X jacket performed exceptionally well and offered optimal comfort.
As for the pants, it’s extremely comfortable with a good shape that hugs the contours of the body. The number of pockets is interesting and allows you to bring many useful objects with you. In addition, cushioned knee pads are included for optimal comfort when driving aggressively, with the knees leaning into the snowmobile’s plastics. However, the manufacturer’s insulation rating is only two and it is obvious very quickly that it is not insulated at all when riding in trails below -15/20 degrees Celsius. So, insulated shorts should be considered to counter this aspect that limits their use during a full season on federated trails.
Having gotten used to one-piece suits for several seasons now, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning of my trial in off-trail situations. However, the FXR Helium Pro X package quickly made me change my mind…
The jacket was very comfortable and flexible in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius. Another aspect that I loved with this kit is the Teflon finished outer fabric, which is very resistant, especially having bumped into several trees and other objects. As we know, this is not uncommon when you go all out in a tree-riding situation. The removable lining allows regulation of the level of warmth inside the jacket. So, when you get to the off-trail location, you can remove the lining. As a result, you end up with a shell that is light enough and, above all, extremely breathable. Indeed, it evacuates very effectively all the moisture released by our body during exercise. The openings on the Helium Pro X jacket are large and, above all, effective in preventing snow from getting inside. Once the day is over, and the level of effort is back to normal, you can put the lining back on and return to the chalet in full comfort. The level of insulation with the lining was simply perfect for me.
On the pants side, the cut is really good and lets us perform our maneuvers freely. The almost non-existent insulation is well suited for off-trail use with a sustained level of effort. The air intakes even offer the possibility to evacuate more heat when you move around intensely, and you can see that the designers have done an excellent job. Once again, the textile is extremely resistant even when unintentionally rubbing against obstacles. The Helium Pro X pants are efficient, comfortable, and optimal for off-trail snowmobiling.
- Efficient HydrX PRO membrane
- Versatile jacket with integrated and detachable lining
- Heavy-duty Teflon finish
Areas for Improvement
- Pants without insulation (Discomfort in trails at -15/20 degrees Celsius)
- Textile a little rigid at incredibly low temperature
After a full season and several thousand kilometres, the FXR Helium Pro X package has proven to be truly versatile and exceptionally durable when put to the test. If you’re looking for a high-performance 2-piece kit that will allow you to ride on trails as well as explore remote off-trail locations, the FXR Helium Pro X package is the one to consider.
The SledMagazine.com team would like to thank our partner, FXR, for this trial.