Ground Effect - Draft Dodger Review

Ground Effect, the hardy New Zealand cycling clothing company, was established in 1992 by a few mates with a shared passion for cycling and a better way of life.  Now, Ground Effect has grown up and stocks a wide range of great quality products, the majority of which are made in New Zealand.  

Today we are having a look at the recently updated Draft Dodger.  It's Ground Effect's cold weather, relaxed fitting jacket that will keep the rain out for a while and still looks good off the bike.

About - The Draft Dodger is a wind proof and water resistant jacket.  It's described by Ground Effect as the being a jacket that shuts out wind and light rain and will keep you warm.  It is a heavier weight jacket, lined with a really nice light weight fleece. The outer is Ground Effect's own WindFoil soft-shell fabric.  The WindFoil outer has a matt slightly textured quality feel that is not in any way like plastic.

Orange, the commute choice.... high viz but still looks good, it's bright without needing sunglasses...

..... or black, reflective piping does a good job at making sure you are still seen.

The jacket is part of Ground Effect's "unfashion" fit range, meaning that it is an on and off the bike cut, designed to look good and function well in multiple situations.  

We've had this jacket on test for over a month now and can confirm that it does what it's meant to do really well.

Quality - The Draft Dodger is a quality product, the feel of the fabric says it all. It is super comfortable and all the seams are beautifully finished and look tough enough to withstand some major punishment.

Zips have a solid feel, but are still really easy to open one handed on the bike. they also have nice tags to make them easy to grab when you have gloves on.  There is a massive zipped rear pocket that can hold your gear, but also houses a fold out high viz yellow "tail" for night, low light or bad weather riding.

We have thrown some serious weather at the Draft Dodger including, heavy rain for 20 to 30 minutes, mud, road spray, freezing midwinter Melbourne mornings and more. It has taken it all in its stride. 

Ride - On the bike the Draft Dodger keeps the nastiest chills out.  On sub 5 degree mornings we found a base layer or t-shirt was all that was needed under the Draft Dodger to keep warm.  Once it's beginning to reach 10 degrees you won't even need to have the jacket fully done up.

What we are saying is that this is a jacket for really cold weather.  You'll find you'll be overheating once the sun is up or if you start to work a bit harder on the bike. If you do start to get warm the WindFoil inner does a good job of wicking sweat away from the skin.

We've also found ourselves reaching for the Draft Dodger when heading out for non bike activities...for a walk or out for a morning bread and milk mission.  It's a jacket that looks good.

Sizes - 4 sizes S, M, L, XL - The Ground Effect sizing guide is good.  Our tester was on the edge of large and medium (188cm tall, 80kgs). A call to Ground Effect HQ and their super friendly staff sorted it out and we went with the large. 

Price - At AU$199 this jacket is fantastic value. It has the finish level of products that are a lot more expensive.  If you are a new customer you'll also get $20 off Ground Effect products.

Overall - A jacket for cold weather riding, camping, the great outdoors and general use. It looks good, is not covered in logos and is good quality.  These guys have some some seriously good kit.  They only sell direct so check them out at www.groundeffect.co.nz

Key features:

  • Full length front zip to prevent burnout.
  • Zip pockets for parking your hands and loose change.
  • Foreplay™ arm vents - zip 'em down for additional cooling.
  • Hi-vis Tailgate™ tucks into zipped rear pocket.
  • 360° Hazard!™ reflectivity.
  • Secret tube repair patch.
  • Weight: 450 gm.
  • Made in New Zealand.