- Sizes: S, M, L, XL (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.
Spoke Magazine - Aug 10
If you haven't already heard of the Storm Trooper then you must have been living under a rock, or perhaps on a planet in a galaxy far, far away. This jacket has developed a bit of a cult following over the years, with very good reason, as regular Spoke reviewer Mark Dangerfield can attest to:
It's tough. "I don't have to be a pussy about riding in it. I know it's going to take whatever I throw at it... like the ground."
It's waterproof and breathable, and it lasts. "After six years of frequent use it's only just starting to take on some water."
It's got some nifty features. "I don't often use the zip-away hood, but the fact that it stows away in the collar is great as it stops the collar from flapping around."
It's highly visible. "It comes in two really bright colours: orange and lime green. I only wish they had a colour that better expressed my inner yearning for world peace and a greater understanding amongst men."
Well, Mark's in luck because the Storm Trooper is now available in a third colour, azure blue, and it still has all the handy features: lightweight waterproof breathable fabric, fully tape-sealed seams, full-length front zip and storm flap, pit zips, thumb loops, shockcord hem, reflective safety trim and sewn-in emergency repair patch.
The price, $299, might seem like a chunk of change, but as anyone who has been biking in a cheap jacket will know, it's well worth it for the years of dry, comfortable and safe winter riding.
BikeMagic.com - Nov 03
New Zealand clothing company Ground Effect has made a name for itself for well-designed and constructed bike 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.
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.
Adventure - Aug 03
Ditte van der Meulen was given the unenviable task of seeking out inclement weather to truly test out the new Ground Effect Storm Trooper rain jacket.
First impressions... a well-resolved piece of high performance outdoor kit. Lightweight waterproof-breathable fabric with tape sealed seams, a hood and under-arm cooling zips. The Storm Trooper's bright orange colour and reflective trim provide added confidence commuting to work and it folds away nicely for the return journey home. I was impressed by the fit. Not too flappy and nice long arms with thumb loops to keep them secure at the glove end.
Crappy weather was in short supply in the South Island so we headed overseas to give it a thrashing. The guys had planned a two-day jaunt in Taranaki and the weather forecast was optimistic. "warm and wet". Thanks Toni. Sure enough showers prevailed as we rode from farm track into lush green bush, all dripping and shining. The under arm vents, fully zipped down provided the additional ventilation required on the long hot climbs.
We hit a section of single-track and were mercilessly slapped around by the overhanging wet foliage. I stayed dry. The jacket was obviously waterproof and seemed to breathe well. As we climbed to the tops the temperature dropped dramatically as we were exposed to the southerly. I whipped out my Ground Effect Baked and pulled on the Storm Trooper's zip-out hood. It all fitted snugly under my helmet, keeping my head toasty and the cats 'n' dogs at bay. A hood is a great addition to any waterproof jacket and this one fits particularly well under a helmet.
The other excellent feature that I have almost taken for granted with Ground Effect jackets is their full-length zip. It just makes it so much easier to put on your jacket, without the drama of dragging it over your helmet, pulling off the peak and getting it caught on every protrusion imaginable.
At dusk I arrived at the hut, dry and warm. The Storm Trooper had done its job.
What Mountain Bike (UK) - Jun 03
Just occasionally we come across a bad weather riding jacket that's a whole lot more than just a glorified walking jacket. The Storm trooper is such a product. It's obviously designed to keep bike riders snug and dry under all that the heavens throw at us. We've been using and abusing our first test jacket for a year now. The new model has under arm zip vents, effectively dealing with our one criticism of the first model... it got a bit sweaty in action. The HydroFoil fabric is very waterproof but the construction of the jacket is so well tape-and-cuff sealed from the elements that you do get toasty. Breathability is average. Still, it packs down into its own waistpack, with room to spare, if the sun comes out. Notable extra features include a foldaway helmet-friendly hood, thumb loops, long arms, high neck, reflective trim and a dropped back.
Performance: 9 /10; Value: 9/10
Verdict: One of the best biblical deluge jackets around.
What Mountain Bike GOLD Award
Cycling Plus (UK) - Jun 02
This waterproof didn't actually make it into Testbench when it arrived at C+ a couple of years back - but when I needed a waterproof for my recent travels this was my choice. And for the first ten weeks it stayed in my pannier, only coming out for the occasional cold evening or morning ride. But then came a 90-mile ride for Oamaru to Dunedin in New Zealand Ground Effect's homeland.
Halfway into the ride a headwind blew up, and for the last 30 miles (nearly three hours in these conditions with a four mile climb) a driving, punishing rain. And through all of this the Storm Trooper kept me dry. Totally, and kept me sane and motivated as a result on what would have otherwise been a horrible ride. The zip-away hood fits under a helmet, keeping your head both dry and warm, and the waterproof breathable HydroFoil fabric, with tapped seals and seams did its job.
All in all another excellent product from the antipodean masters, competitively priced even with delivery from the other side of the world.
Australian Cyclist - Nov 01
I did get to try out the weather resistant qualities of the Storm Trooper and I can vouch for it being 100 per cent waterproof.
I am an admirer of Ground Effect gear. It's not cheap but you do get what you pay for and you know what they make will last and last and I wouldn't expect anything different from the Storm Trooper. The cut and stitching is faultless and all the seams have been expertly sealed. There is plenty of length in the arms and the tail. There are thumb loops to hold the sleeves in place but I haven't found them necessary as the elasticated cuffs are very effective. The Storm Trooper is bright orange (and I mean bright orange) with reflective piping and a reflective decal on the back for maximum visibility in both daylight and headlight. It is cut large to allow for a fleece to be worn underneath. All the features clearly show it has been designed specifically for active cyclists.
There is a full length zip (protected by flaps) for easy donning and to control ventilation. The tail has an elastic cord that can be tightened for a closer fit or loosened to assist flow-through ventilation. I did have a small problem with the zip at first. A generous and stiff seam seemed to push the lining into the zip which then jammed. With wear, the material has now softened and this has become only an occasional annoyance.
It is definitely as water-resistant as claimed and also 100 per cent windproof which adds something to the enjoyment of mid-winter rides. It also has a neat rain hood, which is worn under the helmet. The hood folds up into the collar when not needed but I have found this makes the collar a little bulky and rubs on the helmet stabilising system I have and tends to tilt my helmet forward. More careful folding may fix this problem. A soon as it gets a bit warm outside it gets very warm in the Storm Trooper. However, it is very light and folds up into a tiny space in the pannier or into its rear pocket to become a bum bag.
My overall opinion of the Storm Trooper? It is a great addition to my cycling wardrobe and is well worth considering if you want a high-performance rain jacket.
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.
This chart 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.
169 - 178 cm
175 - 185 cm
183 - 191 cm
98 - 104 cm
105 - 111 cm
112 - 118 cm
73 - 79 cm
80 - 86 cm
87 - 93 cm
94 - 100 cm
87 - 95 cm
96 - 103 cm
104 - 111 cm
112 - 120 cm
Unisex vs Women's Sizes
Most Ground Effect designs are unisex. The jackets, tights and baggy tops generally fit both men and women equally well. Fitted garments like cycle shorts and some tops are more gender specific so there is generally a women's version in the Outskirts range.
Battledress for toughing it out when the weather turns to custard. The Storm Trooper shields you from the torrent with waterproof-breathable HydroFoil™ fabric, fully tape-sealed seams and WhaleTail back. Its zip-away skullcap hood doubles as a prop for Buzz Aldrin impersonations.
> Super lightweight waterproof-breathable 2.5 layer HydroFoil™ fabric with fully tape-sealed seams for maximum waterproofness.
> 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.
> Zip-away skullcap hood fits snugly under your helmet - without blocking peripheral vision or restricting movement.
> 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.