Words and photos: Colin Levitch
 
Rain Jackets are in a constant battle to keep the weather on the outside, while also allowing the heat and moisture from your body to make its way out. This herculean task can be compounded if you're already wet or sweaty when you put the jacket on, or the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) on the exterior is still causing water to bead.
 
The Rivet is New Zealand based Ground Effect's lightweight wind and waterproof packable rain jacket. It's made using what Ground Effect calls Hydrofoil, which is a three-layer laminated fabric with a Pertex Shield Plus membrane. Pertex is one of many waterproof textile manufacturers and provides fabrics to the likes of Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot and Outdoor Research, so Ground Effect is in good company.

 

The Hydrofoil fabric is specifically designed for high-intensity activities and puts a premium on breathability with a claimed 33K moisture transfer rating and 23k waterproofing. If we compare this to other similar jackets on the market like the Dakine Arsenal 3L (20K Waterproof, 20K Breathability) or the Fox Flexair Pro 3L (10K Waterproof, 30K Breathability), the specs are impressive. All of the seams are sealed and so is the zipper to prevent any leaks — a full-length placket also backs the zipper.
 
With the rain southeast Queensland has experience in January and February the Rivet Jacket has accompanied me on just about every ride whether that be a singletrack session, groad adventure or road ride. The Hydrofoil fabric works as advertised keeping the rain well and truly on the outside, but what's impressed me most is the way the jacket manages moisture within.


 
Like all three-layer fabrics, there will come a point when the DWR waves the white flag, and the face fabric will wet out. With the waterproof membrane laminated underneath the exterior fabric, when it becomes wet, the moisture blocks the perforations in the membrane, causing many jackets to turn into a lukewarm sauna.
 
I have been on many a ride in the past few months where the Rivet has wet out; however, the Hydrofoil fabric still maintains an extraordinary of level moisture transfer.


 
The Rivet has proven to be pretty hard wearing too, it's hit the deck a few times with no holes, and has regularly been stuffed into a bag gritty and wet with no love bar a quick rinse in the sink post-ride, and it is showing no signs of wear.
 
For my 177cm frame with a relatively average build (100cm chest) the size medium fits suitably on and off the bike, although the cut feels a bit boxy. There is some stretch built into the fabric, which helps the jacket to move with you and prevents binding and pinching; I think Ground Effect should cut the jacket slimmer and utilise this stretch as the coat gets flappy when your pace increases. That said, the baggier fit allows room for layers underneath.

 

Hidden inside each cuff are thumb loops to prevent them from creeping up, and the elastic that runs the circumference does prevent water ingress. The WhaleTail dropped lower hem prevents mud from ending up where the sun don't shine, and the raised 7cm collar keeps errant droplets from sneaking in through the top.
 
There is only one pocket on the chest that's plenty large enough for a modern smartphone, with a waterproof zip keeping the contents dry as a bone.
 
Tipping our scales a 240g, the jacket is lacking its own stuff sack, but packs down plenty small enough to fit comfortably into a jersey pocket or hip pack.

 

The jacket is made in New Zealand, and the build quality is at or above the level of any premium brand, but doesn’t come with the heavy price tag. The design is minimalist and packs down to almost nothing serving as an ideal layer to get you through a ride when the weather turns south.
 
RRP: $260
From: groundeffect.co.nz
 
Hits:
-      Very breathable for a fully waterproof jacket
-      High quality and high value
-      Sized to fit layers underneath
 
Misses:
-      Could be more fitted