Today's downpours reminded me that I'll soon need to consider a replacement for my Ground Effect Storm Trooper, as it's starting to shed some of its lining and therefore becoming less waterproof.

I've had a look at the latest Ground Effect offerings of both the Storm Trooper and the Anti Cyclone. I have reservations about the new Storm Trooper because of its lack of vents. I've found that the under arm vents in my existing jacket are usually needed to be left open so that I don't cook. I don't know how the 

  • Waterproofness: 23,000 mm hydrostatic head with durable water-repellent finish.
  • Breathability: 33,000 gm per sqm per 24hrs

compare with my existing jacket, so I'm a bit reluctant to spend NZD349 on something that may be too hot. To pay an extra NZD100 to get 4 zips in the more expensive Anti Cyclone just seems crazy, as it looks to be essentially the same jacket as the Storm Trooper. Not only that, the zips don't appear to be in places that allow ventilation to flow around the body and be left open while it is raining, and still remain dry.

Now the questions -

  • Has anyone used the latest Storm Trooper and found its breathability and waterproofness to be OK? 
  • Has anyone used the latest Storm Trooper and found it to be too hot? 
  • Can anyone recommend an alternative that is light weight, waterproof, highly breathable and has an inbuilt hood?

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Ground Effect alwys comes up as The Best Wet Weather gear ; but you already know that

How long did yours last for ? 

I have Mova jackets https://movacycling.com/ that has seen very little use as I'm a marshmallow, but 3.0 is on kickstart if your StormTrooper can live till delivery

Thanks Peter. It's an interesting bit of gear. Is yours 2 separate layers of fabric, or are the colours bonded to each side? I like the number of pockets and the underarm zips. The waterproof standard appears to be slightly less than the Ground Effect stuff, but, like you, I don't get wet if I don't have to!

I've had the Storm Trooper for maybe 8-9 years. The internal silver lining is starting to delaminate, but it's not major problem yet, so I've got plenty of time to look around. I'm off to UK next week, so I'll haunt a few bike shops there to see what they have, but breathability is probably not as important there as it is in Oz.

2 separate layers of fabric.

I like this little light they have too

8-9 years is awesome value for $ for your ST !!!

I sent an enquiry to GE about the differences between my Storm Trooper and the latest model, and I mentioned the fabric de-lamination. This is some of their response 

"The Storm Trooper has had a significant upgrade to our new HydroFoil™Plus three layer fabric. Uber breathable (over 2 and a half times the old 2.5 layer version you have) fabric makes underarm zips unnecessary, and keeps our local manufacturing costs down.

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.

Just note, delamination usually happens in jackets that haven’t been washed quite enough - the build up of acidic sweat etc erodes the membrane. Having said that, the new hydrofoil fabric has a tricot mesh on the inside for greater durability."

I've had my Flash Gordon for 10 years.  Still going strong.  Nowadays it is mainly used as a winter wind jacket rather than a rain one (a combination of climate change and my marshmallowing has reduced rain events).

However I have recently noticed this around the neck area "delamination usually happens in jackets that haven’t been washed quite enough - the build up of acidic sweat etc erodes the membrane." Normally I avoid washing waterproof materials lest they lose their waterproofing, now I understand the opposite can be true.  Will start hand washing when required.

It’s like Teflon on saucepans, if it starts peeling off and you complain to the maker, they say you didn’t follow instructions! 

I had one jacket that just  started shedding its lining, left me covered in small white bits every time I wore it. 

I wear my waterproof jacket into shower after a wet ride - let the fresh water rinse it, then hang it up to drip dry.

Same way I wash my cycling caps, but I use a bit of soap on those.

Very wary about washing machines on relatively expensive waterproof kit!

JM

While I was in UK during Jun/Jul, I did the rounds of the bike shops, where I could, in search of some good wet weather gear. I reasoned that, given UK climate of rain or less rain, they would have a good selection of wet weather jackets. All of those that I saw didn't stack up against the Ground Effect Storm Trooper for either waterproofness or breathability. However, they were a lot cheaper.

Waterproofness - most UK jackets seemed to be 10,000 mm hydrostatic head compared to Storm Trooper 23,000 mm hydrostatic head

Breathability was not as much of an issue in UK due to the lower temps, but again they were about 10,000 gm per sqm compared to 33,000 gm per sqm for Storm Trooper.

Most of the UK versions had vents, but based on Ground Effect's claims of substantial improvement in their fabric breathability over my 2006 and 2012 models, the significantly better waterproofness and breathability made the Storm Trooper my go-to jacket again. Gotta have the hood!

Both of my 2006 and 2012 models were a medium size, with the 2006 being roomier, allowing me to keep my bum-bag under the jacket in the rain - not able to do with the 2012 size even though I had not put on weight between purchases and still weighed in at 75kgs and 173cm height. (I used both of these jackets until recently). As I am the same weight/size now as I was for the 2006 and 2012 jackets, and the 2012 incantation was too snug, I opted to buy a large size. It duly arrived, and seemed to be as tight as the 2012 medium jacket. Like the 2012 medium jacket, the 2019 large jacket was too tight for me and bum-bag, so I returned it for a 2019 extra large jacket, which now fits my bum-bag if it's high on the small of my back, but not as low on my derriere as the 2006 version allowed. 

The moral of the story is that the sizes seem to be a bit out from reality (for my size anyway!) and appear as though they're made to fit the Asian market, so before ordering, have a very close look at your measurements and order accordingly.

When I've had an opportunity to test it in wet weather, I'll update with a report. The jacket is up to the usual Ground Effect standard and is well made.

In the course of using my 2013 StormTrooper yesterday I noticed the label and it also is a medium, it is certainly big enough and I wouldn't want anything larger even with extra layers under. The underarm zips are sometimes annoying, never "just right" either too hot if not unzipped enough or let too much water in if unzipped too much but It still seems waterproof enough so hopefully it will last a few more years

I'm interested in this one:

https://zpacks.com/products/vertice-rain-jacket

  • Equally waterproof
  • More breathable
  • Much lighter
  • Pit zips
  • More expensive
  • Not cycling-specific (FWIW)

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