Madison DTE Waterproof Jacket uses heavy-duty fabric; triple-layer shell rated 20k waterproof and 20k breathable, which are at the top end of both scales.
The performance stands up in the real world where the Madison DTE Waterproof jacket fends off heavy downpours and repeated splashing on the worst days as well as any other high-end waterproof. Madison’s top-tier mtb jacket has been continually improved over the years and, since I last reviewed it in 2019, the cut is now more fitted with a cleaner silhouette.
Elasticated cuffs keep water out and, without any Velcro fasteners, do the same job as the side-fastening waist hem in reducing bulk and staying unobtrusive while riding. The DTE neckline is high and fleece-backed, so you can also really shelter your face behind the material in the worst conditions. Add to this a roomy hood that fits over enduro helmets (with a drawcord tensioner on the back) and there’s enough protection for even storm conditions.
The biggest visual change on the new design are long waterproof front zippers that double up as vents and reveal pockets when fully undone. These work by zips going in both directions; so you can open just the lower part (and pocket) or zip right upwards to get a ton of air inside when working hard. It’s a very neat solution.
Out riding, there’s good heat management and moisture clearing from inside the fabric on milder, wetter days and the long vents pump in plenty of air for cooling. Or in foul conditions, you can basically hunker inside with the big zips closed for shelter and the collar up high and the shell will shrug off hours of heavy rain. Madison’s fully seam-sealed material doesn’t make for quite the most breathable three- layer jacket I’ve tried, but there’s no boil-in-the-bag effect at all, considering it can handle full-on winter conditions with the right layering.
Madison has done its homework on this Madison DTE Waterproof Jacket and clearly taken feedback from mountain bikers riding in UK conditions. Properly durable, it can shrug off knocks and scrapes without damage, without feeling restrictive when riding dynamically. At £160, this is a good price for a top quality, tough and fully seam-sealed three-layer jacket (£70 cheaper than the excellent Endura MT500 II jacket), and it’s a bonus that DTE actually offers much better breathability than plenty of thinner two-layer jackets on top.