Who likes a wet arse? Not me. But I thought I could withstand one for the sake of saving $150. That was until I experienced the benefits of some Ground Effect Helter Skelters. These are ¾ length waterproof trousers that you would normally wear over your riding shorts—think of a shell jacket for your lower half. They’re made of special breathable Hydrofoil fabric, so they’re “totally waterproof, completely windproof and extremely breathable” according to Ground Effect.
After a few months of use in one of Wellington’s wettest autumns in memory I am a total convert. Every wet day I went out I stayed bone dry. The ¾ length keeps your knees warm, the Velcro fastenings keep them from riding up and overall they’re much more comfortable than a full length trouser. The waist is elastic with a drawcord, but the fit is on the large side so I went for a smaller size than usual. I found them easy to get on and off over my clothing, even with my shoes on. The real beauty is that they fold up into their own pocket to a size not much larger than your wallet, so they easily fit in your bag. I should note, however, that if you’re working hard in warmer weather the Helter Skelters are likely to get as moist on the inside as they are on the outside, but that’s no different to any other fully waterproof clothing I’ve tried.
Waterproof trousers may not be a sexy investment but a pair of these will be an addition to your wardrobe that you won’t regret. A must for any all-weather rider. Highly recommended. MARK DANGERFIELD