- Ground Effect Frosty Boy
- NZ$159 (about £56)
With the UK weather apparently predictable only in its unpredictability, a suitable arsenal of clothes to combine in various ways is something of a must if you’re keen to ride all year round (and you are, aren’t you?). New Zealand’s Ground Effect has an extensive range of well-thought-out kit that’s all designed to play happily together, with the Frosty Boy covering “crikey, it’s really cold out” eventualities.
(As an aside, as I typed that it started to hail heavily outside. Clearly I have previously-unsuspected weather-control powers – watch out for lots of reviews of shorts and sunglasses in an effort to improve matters…).
The Frosty Boy we’ve been riding around in is actually last winter’s model, but the changes to the current one (as pictured) are fairly minor – colours, those bits of contrasting stitching and that’s about it. The fundamentals are the same – it’s a lightweight micro-fleece top, with Ground Effect’s own WindFoil fabric on the front, sleeves and shoulders to keep the breeze out. The back is plain fleece, which allows a bit of extra breathability. If you start getting a bit warm, the long front zip affords plenty of ventilation – it’s got a small windflap behind it to avoid chilly-zipper syndrome.
Cut is eminently sensible non-flappy but not too snug, as befits a garment designed to be worn on top of a base layer and under a shell. It’s notably long in the body, and of course even longer at the back. The sleeves are a decent length and incorporate thumb loops in the cuffs to stop them riding up – something of a Ground Effect trademark.
As is typical of Ground Effect gear, you won’t be overburdened by features, but you get all the ones you need. Reflective trim along the zip, on the elbows, around the back of the collar and across the top of the twin zippered rear pockets enhances visibility. And of course, there’s a tube repair patch tucked away in a secret location…
We’ve always been impressed by Ground Effect stuff, and the Frosty Boy is no exception – it’s light, it’s warm, and it’s been through a healthy number of wet/muddy/wash cycles and still looks like new. The current turmoil on the international money markets potentially makes the pricing a bit random (you can only get GE stuff by ordering from them in NZ) but at the time of writing the Frosty Boy is very reasonably priced.
Ups and downs
Positives: Warm and comfy, just feature-laden enough
Negatives: Only available mail order
This is another solid performer from Ground Effect – it may not get cold enough to need it all that often, but when it does you’ll be glad of it.