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  • Ground Effect Storm Trooper jacket
  • NZD$299 (About £100)
  • Ground Effect
  • +64 3 379 9174

New Zealand clothing company Ground Effect has made a name for itself for well-designed and constructed cycling gear that's amazingly good value even when shipped half way around the world. The Storm Trooper is GE's top of the range rain jacket, made from its own Hydrofoil fabric. Naturally enough, the fabric is designed to be waterproof and breathable. It's certainly waterproof, aided by fully-taped seams, and breathability is respectable. In common with most jackets, the fabric alone struggles to deal with high-output efforts but long pit-zips add supplementary venting power to keep you cool. The elasticated cuffs also let you push the sleeves up but prevent them riding up - there are thumb loops if you need extra holding power.

Hoods are somewhat out of favour in cycling jackets, but the Trooper has one. To prevent annoying flappage and visibility problems, it's a close-fitting 'skull-cap' style hood designed to go under a helmet. It works, and in heavy downpours it's a boon. Other features include a rear bumbag pocket, waist drawcord and reflective trim. It's pretty visible anyway, being available only in bright orange.

A few things we quite like in jackets have been sacrificed to get the Storm Trooper down to its impressive 470g weight. There's no fleecy collar, the jacket is unlined and there's just the one pocket. Cut is classically bikey with long sleeves and tail. It's worth noting that the jacket is generously cut - Ground Effect says that it's to accommodate warm layers underneath, but even so it's quite a big jacket. If you're wavering between sizes according to GE's guide you'll probably want to go for the smaller option.

Verdict

This is definitely a jacket for people who are serious about riding in the rain. Maximum waterproofness at minimum weight is the aim here, and the Storm Trooper is certainly a match performance-wise for a number of heavier and bulkier jackets. Some riders will want more features, though.

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