A great jacket in lots of great colours too
The Madison Zenith jacket blurs the line between a lightweight packable and an all-day waterproof and it does it well and at a good price.
The stretchy fabric is soft and comfortable and proved waterproof throughout the test as well as reasonably breathable. The seams are all taped and proved 100% reliable, and a storm flap behind the main zip kept water from entering through the front.
When the going got hot, lengthy pit zips helped spill some heat and the sleeves pulled up easily, thanks to a useful combination of Velcro tabs and elastic. The pit zips proved to be pretty sticky though, making it almost impossible to zip them up or down when actually pedalling.
It has two pretty sizeable chest pockets – definitely useful but again, probably not needed in a lightweight, packable jacket; and a superb hood which easily goes over a helmet and also has a decent reinforced peak to really hide behind on a bad day. This is permanently fixed though, and doesn’t tuck or roll away so it can whip about on windy day.
At 325g, it’s one of the heavier packable jackets, and with all the features it doesn’t pack down as small as some of the others either, but if it’s going to be your only jacket and you ride in a real variety of conditions, it definitely provides a good compromise. Great range of colours too.