A lightweight jacket designed with packability in mind, the Flash Gordon does without some common features, such as adjusters at the cuffs, making do with simple, thin Lycra. You do get thumb loops to help keep things in place, although they tend to pull the sleeves into a glove-interfering position.
The Flash Gordon’s secret weapon, though, is that you can undo the two zips at the front and remove both sleeves and half the back to leave a mesh-backed gilet. The side effect of the design is a well-vented back – assuming you’re not blocking it all with a large pack.
On the negative side, the sleeve zips aren’t waterproof, which means that Ground Effect can only describe the Flash Gordon as water resistant rather than waterproof. In practice, though, the amount of rain that comes in through the zips doesn’t give much cause for concern under normal wet weather conditions.
Ground Effect sell direct from New Zealand, and the current exchange rate means the Flash Gordon jacket isn’t as fantastic value for UK buyers as it once was.