Helter Skelters


Out-of-control rain pants for committed commuters, the playfully insane and long distance tourers. Three-quarter length styling makes 'em easy to pull on and off, enhances breathability, avoids chain suck and reduces bulk when stashed. 3 layer HydroFoil™ Plus fabric shields your thighs from deluges and your bum from rear wheel splatter.
    • Lightweight waterproof-breathable 3 layer HydroFoil™ Plus fabric with fully tape-sealed seams for maximum waterproofness.
    • Zipped fly with gripper elastic waist keeps them hitched up.
    • One piece gusseted crutch.
    • Articulated knees.
    • Velcro speed tabs at cuffs.
    • Zipped rear pocket.
    • Turns into itself to form a tidy package in your backpack or pannier.
    • Hazard!™ reflective labels.
    • XS size option (approx. women's small), and XXL size option.
    • Waterproofness: 23,000 mm hydrostatic head with durable water-repellent finish.
    • Breathability: 33,000 gm per sqm per 24hrs.
  • Specifically developed for high aerobic activities, HydroFoil™ Plus combines a lightweight ripstop nylon shell with a composite membrane that is completely waterproof, totally windproof and extremely breathable. The outer fabric is the latest new-generation Pertex® Shield+ membrane. It is more than twice as breathable as most other quality waterproof-breathable fabrics, and has a small amount of stretch allowing a closer fit. The outer fabric is treated with a durable water repellent finish that encourages rain to bead up and roll off, while there is a lightweight tricot mesh on the inside for greater durability and improved moisture dispersion.

    • Composition: 100% nylon with PU laminate.
    • Waterproofness: 23,000mm hydrostatic head with durable water-repellent finish on face fabric.
    • Breathability: 33,000gm per sq.m per 24hr.

      ▹ Hazard!™

      Night travel is a spooky experience. Many Ground Effect garments feature our Hazard!™ reflective logo and piping to help remind traffic that we're on the road too.

      ▹ More than Kiwi Made

      Ground Effect clothing is crafted right here in New Zealand. Has been ever since we started back in 1994. Manufacturing locally works for us. We operate a quick-response system - holding minimal stock of any one item, but churning out a few more quick-smart when the pile gets low. The upshot is that we are seldom caught with our shelves empty, so orders get despatched the same day you place them.

      ▹ Weight

      Garment Weight: 220 gm
    • ▹ Why 3/4 instead of full-length over trou?

      We've extensively tested both full length and 3/4 waterproof pants over the years. In our experience 3/4's provide the best trade-off between functionality and performance.

      • They are easy to whip on and off over your shoes.
      • Repel rain from the most exposed areas - your bum and thighs.
      • Avoid 'chain suck' at your ankles.
      • Minimises overheating when pedalling hard.

      • All Ground Effect clothing enjoys a warm 40ºC machine wash. Try to avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach, 'oxygen whitener' or fabric softener.
        • The cold-water varieties have little enzymes that are super-charged to brave the cold but can damage technical fabrics and cause skin irritation. 
        • Bleach rots natural fibres like merino, strips the dye, attacks laminates of waterproof fabrics and can also cause skin irritation.
        • Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run.
        • Fabric softener and stuff containing it like wool wash destroys the water repellent finish on waterproof and water resistant fabrics, and can cause colours to run. 
      • As a rule of thumb, a product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
      • Hand washing is sometimes the only option on tour, but a washing machine rinses more thoroughly and is preferable if you have the choice.
      • Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast so hanging on the line or drooping over the bedpost is generally the best option. High heat can damage some fabrics so if you do take your threads for a spin, set the device on 'medium' or 'warm' rather than hot. A lap in the dryer is recommended for your rain jacket, after it has dried on the line, as it helps recharge its water repellent finish. 

      • In addition to the plant-based products above you can also opt for a specific sport wash like Grangers Extreme Cleaner, Nikwax Tech Wash or our new favourite Atsko 'Sport Wash' (from the makers of 'Sno Seal'). 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 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. 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 water repellent treatment after washing by line-drying your jacket, then chucking it in the dryer using a warm (not hot) cycle. This 'recharges' the 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.

    Made by: Ground Effect in New Zealand

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 53 reviews
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    • Reviews (53)

    Thanks For Your Review

    We value your feedback. If you're stoked with your Ground Effect kit then you might like to share it (the review not the gear) with your mates. Thanks again.
    Jac W.
    New Zealand

    Cycling pants?

    These have been tested in the wettest winter in CHCH for decades. They are great BUT they are meant to be cycling pants - so where is the high cut back on these pants? Any decent cycling pants has a high-rise rear to ensure a generous overlap with your cycle top. And what better time to have that overlap than when it is cold and wet? Still worth buying and great to wear even as a wind breaker on cold days. It is amazing how much warmer you (and your knees) stay.

    Chris Moores

    Perfect.... almost!

    Just completed the Heaphy Track with the typical West Coast weather testing rider and gear! These Helter Skelters performed superbly BUT they do need a waist drawstring as they kept slipping down, particularly when laden with crud from the tracks. I saw a comment before buying about this but felt it was a one off... clearly not the case. Rate them highly for what they are designed to do but I will have to add a drawstring myself for future use as do not have glutes like Jonah Lomu to hold them up.

    Mike G.
    New Zealand

    Light and compact

    Really enjoying my Helter Skelters. Perfect for those commutes to work and then it fines up for the trip home. Light and compact enough for the back pocket at a push. Matches perfectly with my Storm Trooper top. They'd get 5 starts if they were a bit cheaper.

    Mike G.

    Helter Skelters

    Just the job. I love big back country rides & these are great .Long enough to cover & keep the knees warm & dry . Don't even notice they are on


    Helter Skelters

    Just bought these for my daily commute, but took them for a test drive this morning on the hill on a typical Wellington winters day. Worth their weight in gold!!