The original Helium 30 Jacket had hard plastic male Velcro wrist flaps, they didn't work well, they would not hold and would come loose while riding. This let snow and cold air into your wrists, you would also catch your open jacket wrists on the handle bar ends. It could be most annoying at times. The new wrist closures are much better, they hold on solid and they don't come loose. Those are the only two noticeable differences between the original and the new 2012 Helium 30 Jacket.
The fit is still great, the wrist gators are nice for keeping the snow and cold air away from your wrists. I don't were large insulated gloves with long wrist covers, I wear Mechanic style gloves, short wrists, so other jackets like Klim don't do well at protecting your wrists from cold.
This Jacket does very well at blocking wind intrusion, I wore this jacket on a ride this week in -25 degs F on the Mat-Su River, I was on a Freeride with no windshield, I had to use gauntlets to keep my hands from freezing. My torso was nice and warm though, all I wore under the jacket was the BRP Thermal base layer, the BRP Technical Fleece jacket.
Yesterday I rode the deep powder North of Petersville, the snow was cold and dry, I was working hard and sweating. The pit vents and back vent do well at venting perspiration. The back vent is high enough that my pack doesn't block it like it does on other jackets. The zipper pulls are easy to grab with my gloves on.
The powder gator also works well to keep my belly warm, jackets without a powder gator let a cold draft up and freeze my belly.
I like that this jacket is water and wind proof, I also really like that it is not insulated, as I like to layer for warmth and for cooling. I can also wear this jacket for spring riding, the only thing that makes this jacket too warm in the spring when the sun is hot (May/June) is the black color. A white option would be nice.
Pics of Yesterdays ride.