The following review of Ground Effects Storm Trooper Jacket is based on my personal experience while riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike and Scott Sub 20 hybrid.
The Storm Trooper is by far the single most expensive piece of clothing I have in my touring gear, but totally worth the expense. I previously wrote about my initial impressions in a review here. Here are my thoughts 3 years later.
Pricing Note: Products that are shipped outside of New Zealand do not get charged 15% GST (NZ’s VAT). The price I quote below is what I paid while living in South Korea unless otherwise stated.
Shipping Note: Shipping of the orders cost between $5-12 NZD which is next to nothing for international. My orders generally took the standard 8-10 working days to arrive
Storm Trooper Jacket
Cost: Purchased Aug 2008 for $279 NZD + 5 Shipping (not GST free). The current price of the jacket has gone up slightly by $20 NZD. For shipping outside NZ it currently retails at $260 NZD.
Durability: AMAZING. 3 years of harsh conditions an no signs of wear. The velcro is still strong and I have had no problems with any of the zips. Have only cleaned it twice.
Likes: EVERYTHING. If I were to get into specifics, the shape of the hood is great. Their website states that it is designed to “fit snugly under your helmet – without blocking peripheral vision or restricting movement” I’d call it designed to not be bloody annoying and love this feature.
Dislikes: The only dislike which I have is the underarm zips are hard to open while riding, especially as I often have gloves on. They also get caught on the inside zipper flap. I noticed on Katies She Shell (female equivalent jacket) that bigger zips are on the newer version, so this is a moot point.
Overall Performance and Usage: My “Agent Orange” Storm Trooper has taken a beaten through rain storms in China to freezing cold temps over passes in Kyrgzstan and Switzerland. This jacket is made to protect in rainstorms (expect after 8 hours of constant downpour where only a wet suit would have done the job) but more importantly I have found it most valuable on cold windy days and long downhills. The light weight build of the Storm Trooper makes layering easy on those cold days. On my recommendation 3 friends have also bought this jacket, or the female version (The She Shell) and despite the initial sticker shock (yip it is expensive) absolutely love it.
Ground Effect has it spot on with The Storm Trooper. Light-weight, great shape and super waterproof, you can’t go wrong with it.
Storm Trooper Jacket in Action
Storm Trooper keeping me warm as I go over a 3000 meter pass in Kyrgyzstan
Layered up on a chilly fall day in the mountains of South Korea
Link to Product: Storm Trooper Jacket