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Flash Gordon

Water resistant-breathable rain jacket.
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Interstellar garb for storming wide open spaces or darting through rush hour traffic. Gordon repels rain and blocks out nasty winds but remains highly breathable thanks to its lightweight 2.5 layer HydroFoil™ fabric. Zipping off the yoke and sleeves converts it into a hi-visibility waterproof vest... great in warmer conditions when you want maximum cooling but only need partial protection from the elements. Sometimes less is more.

Lightweight 2.5 layer HydroFoil™ fabric - highly water resistant, extremely breathable and totally windproof.
Fleece lined collar.
Zip off yoke and sleeves.
Full-length front zip with internal wind flap.
Thumb loops keep your wrists under wraps.
WhaleTail™ cut keeps all of your back covered all of the time.
Hazard!™ reflective trim explodes with brightness under headlights.
Zipped rear pocket to store sleeves.
Turns into itself to form a tidy package that you can stash in your backpack.
Waterproofness: 20,000 mm hydrostatic head with durable water-repellent finish.
Breathability: 15,000 gm per sqm per 24hrs.
Weight: 290 gm.
Made by us in New Zealand.

What's the difference between the Turbine and the Flash Gordon

> The Turbine is a windproof stretch riding top, with pockets on the rear for easy access, and a softshell interior that can be worn over a short sleeved jersey. The Flash Gordon is a 'hard' shell - its HydroFoil ripstop nylon outer providing a waterproof barrier, but not as much rain protection as the seam-sealed and hooded Storm Trooper. The Turbine's Vortex fabric is waterproof, but without sealed seams and zip flaps it'll only keep you fully dry for up to an hour in light rain.

> The Flash Gordon's ability to morph into a vest makes it a handy jacket for commuting or cycle touring, whereas the Turbine is wear-all-day to keep the chills at bay.

What's the difference between this and the other rainwear?

> The anti-Cyclone, 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 anti-Cyclone, 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. The Storm Trooper and She Shell have under arm zips for additional ventilation. The anti-Cyclone sports mechanical venting at the chest and arms to keep you cool along with waterproof zips to shut out the wet.

> 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 breathability 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.

> Our HydroFoil fabric is built to a very high specification with a 20,000 mm hydrostatic head and a durable water-repellent finish. Many other lightweight fabrics with a 10,000 mm head are also described as waterproof. However all waterproof coatings become less waterproof with time and use. Our field testing over the years has shown that the higher 20,000 mm fabric stays waterproof for longer.

> Yet, even garments made from this most waterproof fabric will eventually leak when you're belting along at 30kph in the wet (rain gets in through the collar, cuffs or closures). So 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 anti-Cyclone, Storm Trooper or She Shell for maximum protection - with their 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 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 anti-Cyclone, 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. It has a water vapour transfer rate of 15,000 gm per sqm per 24hrs. 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, while the anti-Cyclone sports mechanical venting at the chest and arms. All the HydroFoil jackets feature full-length front zips.

Washing Instructions?

> Avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach or fabric softener. 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.

> Keep it clean, but don’t wash too often. General wear and dirt, along with washing, progressively removes the 'durable water repellent' (DWR) treatment from the outside the fabric. The DWR helps rain to bead and run off, enhancing the overall performance of the fabric. Dirt, body oil, sunscreen and sweat also attack the water repellent treatment and can cause the waterproof-breathable membrane to delaminate. Wash frequency depends on how often and how hard you use your garment. We suggest washing after a particularly grubby ride or after say a dozen sessions in the rain. Use your judgement - if the garment looks dirty, the fabric is 'wetting out’ too quickly, or feels clammy then it's probably time for a clean.

> You can help restore the DWR after washing 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.

> Always ensure your HydroFoil garment is completely dry before storing. Putting it away damp can destroy both the DWR and the waterproof coating. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.