- Sizes: WS, WM, WL (see chart)
Under-arm zips scoop air inside for serious cooling.
Rear pocket turns into itself to form a lightweight bumbag with room to squeeze in a pair of Daddy Long Legs, playlunch money and the bat phone.
Australian Cyclist - Sep 05
WHO NEEDS A RAIN JACKET IN A DROUGHT? It turns out that I did. When the rains came down on my winter tour in Western NSW I was very glad I'd packed the She Shell jacket. Weight and size do matter on tour, especially on winter tours when warm sleeping bags and clothes make up a significant part of the load. The She Shell is light (380g) and compact and that makes it an attractive touring option, as well as an excellent everyday cycling jacket. I tested the jacket in plenty of rain and it certainly is waterproof. The breathable HydroFoil fabric worked well and the jacket's design kept water our of those common seepage points - the neck and cuffs. The hood is small and flexible enough to fit comfortably under a helmet and so eliminate that lovely cold water down the back of the neck sensation. The sleeve-ends have an elastic thumb loop that keeps them down and over your gloves to help stop the water creeping up your arms. A longer back also aids rain protection when you're leaning forward into the wind.
The She Shell makes a good wind break in dry weather too. I wore it over a jersey on days when the wind was cool and it acted as an extra lightweight layer that helped to keep me warm. The under-arm zips allow for more temperature control on warmer days.
As the name suggests, this jacket is cut for women and I found it a comfortable fit over my hips. Ground Effect also make the Storm Trooper in the same waterproof-breathable fabric for snake-hipped male riders.
Reflective trim on the back, arms and shoulders will help with night-time visibility but my only concern with this jacket is that the lovely sky blue colour helps to merge the cyclist into the sky on the open road. Orange and yellow may not be such attractive colours but they certainly help drivers spot the cyclists (also available in Agent Orange - Ernie).
Specifically developed for high aerobic activities. 2.5 layer HydroFoil™ fabric combines a lightweight ripstop nylon shell with a composite membrane that is completely waterproof, totally windproof and extremely breathable. The outer fabric is treated with a water repellent finish that encourages rain to bead up and roll off, while an inner textured finish enhances comfort against your body.
- Composition: 100% nylon with PU laminate.
- 20,000mm hydrostatic head with durable water-repellent finish on face fabric.
- Breathability: 15,000gm per sq.m per 24h.
Check out the chart to suss out where you fit. This is a guide only - if you fall in-between sizes, the right size for you will depend on your body shape and how loose or tight you like to wear your clothes. It's no hassle to swap it, if your first choice is not the best fit.
88 - 92 cm
93 - 97 cm
98 - 102 cm
63 - 69 cm
70 - 76 cm
77 - 83 cm
89 - 95 cm
96 - 102 cm
103 - 109 cm
Unisex vs Women's Sizes
If you're struggling to find that certain something in the Outskirts™ women's range, then check out Ground Effect's standard range of unisex gear. As unisex items tend to be larger than our women's designs selected products are also available in XS (approximately women's small) to provide a more complete range.
No-compromise defence against crappy weather and tongue twisters. The She Shell repels rain and wind with its waterproof-breathable HydroFoil™ fabric, fully tape-sealed seams and WhaleTail™ back.
> Super lightweight waterproof-breathable 2.5 layer HydroFoil™ fabric with fully tape-sealed seams for maximum waterproofness.
> Zip-away skullcap hood fits snugly under your helmet - without blocking peripheral vision or restricting movement.
> Full-length front zip and storm flap with velcro closure.
> Under-arm zips scoop air inside for serious cooling.
> Thumb loops keep your wrists under wraps.
> Shockcord hem.
> Sewn in emergency tube repair patch, because you can never be too well prepared.
> WhaleTail™ cut keeps all of your back covered all of the time.
> Hazard! reflective trim explodes with brightness under headlights.
> Rear pocket turns into itself to form a lightweight bumbag with room to squeeze in a pair of Daddy Long Legs, playlunch money and the bat phone.
> Made by us in New Zealand.
What's the difference between this and the other rainwear?
> The Flip Flop, Flash Gordon, Storm Trooper and She Shell are all shells, ie. they have no insulation. Your shell is the primary defence against wind and rain - and is good insurance to take on any ride at any time of the year.
> All are made from HydroFoil fabric. They are 'high performance jackets' that provide effective protection in serious weather but are still relatively light and low bulk to carry.
> The Storm Trooper and She Shell are tape-sealed and have hoods for maximum protection from the elements. They are most suited for multi-day mountain bike trips in the back-country and commuting or touring when you're likely to encounter rain for more than a few hours. Both have under arm zips for additional ventilation.
> Zipping off the yoke and sleeves of the Flash Gordon and Flip Flop lets you quickly change between jacket and vest mode. The hi-visibility vest delivers a decent shot of weather protection - all with substantially more breathabilty than the full jacket.
How waterproof is it?
> The challenge is for a jacket to keep you as dry as possible. With all shell fabrics this involves a trade-off between waterproofness and breathability. Even garments made from the most waterproof fabrics will eventually leak when you're belting along at 30kph in the wet (rain gets in through the collar, cuffs or closures). It's difficult to quantify waterproofness in meaningful terms for cycling. Keeping the wind out stops the majority of heat loss.
> The Flash Gordon and Flip Flop provide extended protection and are good for up to a couple of hours in continuous rain.
> If you're heading into exposed areas for a day or longer or often ride in the rain for more than a couple of hours, then choose the Storm Trooper or She Shell for maximum protection - with its tape sealed seams and hood. And remember, if it all gets too grim then it's okay to hunt down a warm fire and a pint of Guinness.
> What ever your choice, it's important to use any shell in combination with an effective base layer (a Heatwave Merino, HyperActive or micro-fleece top) so that any accumulated moisture is transferred away from your skin.
How breathable is it?
> Cycling is a highly aerobic activity - so you sweat a lot. Even the most breathable fabrics won't actually stop you sweating and because they're windproof, you lose the cooling effect of the air rushing past as you ride.
> The Flash Gordon, Storm Trooper, Flip Flop and She Shell all use 2.5 layer HydroFoil fabric. Specifically developed for high aerobic activities, it is extremely breathable - around 2-3 times more so than standard waterproof-breathable fabrics. The latest spec 2.5 layer version has a textured finish on the inside that improves comfort. Under arm vents in the Storm Trooper and She Shell provide additional temperature control and all the HydroFoil jackets feature full-length front zips.
> Avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach. The cold-water varieties have little enzymes that are super-charged to brave the cold but can damage the HydroFoil fabric. Bleach may attack the HydroFoil laminate. Also avoid products containing fabric softeners, ie. wool wash. These destroy the water repellent finish.
> Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware. A specific sport wash like Grangers Extreme Cleaner or Nikwax Tech Wash (around NZ$30 from most outdoor shops). Any stubborn stains should be dabbed not rubbed clean. For grease spots you can use a degreaser like Swarfega. It's aggressive stuff though so take care - it might be best left alone as added character.
> Try not to wash too often. General wear along with washing progressively removes the water repellent treatment from the outside the fabric. This treatment helps rain to bead and run off - and enhances the overall performance of the fabric. You can help restore it after a wash by chucking your jacket in the dryer using a warm (not hot) cycle. This 'recharges' the water repellent treatment so it lasts a bit longer. When this trick no longer does its magic you can beef up the original treatment to some extent with a product like Grangers Extreme Synthetics or Nikwax TX Direct (around NZ$30-40 from most outdoor shops). A bottle is good for two or three rounds with your jacket.
> The effectiveness of this process depends on the age and condition of your jacket. Expect ok results if the fabric is only 'wetting out' in patches (the 'mid-life' crisis). If the entire jacket is 'wetting-out' rapidly in light rain then it already has one-foot-in-the-grave and beading is unlikely to improve much from the treatment. The 40 bucks maybe better spent put towards a new jacket. Note that while the fabric's wetting-out impairs performance, particularly breathability, the HydroFoil laminate should still be waterproof.