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.
We couldn’t squeeze the Zenith into the waterproof jacket test last month, which was disappointing because it’s a lot of jacket for very little cash. It’s built from a 2.5 layer stretch fabric, which simply means it has a polyester outer layer, a membrane and then a printed inner surface – that’s the half layer to save weight and cost.
All the seams are fully taped and there are waterproof zips on the pockets and underarm vents. The front zip is also waterproof and it’s backed up by an internal storm flap. This stops water ingress, but I constantly snagged it in the zip at the top – it has a soft fleece backing here and it causes the flap to bunch slightly when you do up the zip.
On the front there are couple of massive pockets for gear and the pit vents are also big so you can really vent some heat when working hard. The hood features an extended and stiffened peak that’s designed to go under the helmet. A couple of draw strings pull it tight in against your cheeks, so it doesn’t restrict your peripheral vision. The cuffs get small Velcro tags and there’s a big elasticated adjuster on the waist.
At 10K/10K the breathability and waterproof figures are evenly split but I found the Zenith more waterproof than breathable. It’s great for really cold wet weather, or when riding an e-bike, but on milder winter days I noticed some clamminess next to the skin. With it nice and snug round the collar, it will keep out the worst of the weather and the water run-off has been impressive due to the extra durable DWR outer finish.
At just under a £100 the Zenith is a great value, lightweight waterproof that you can wear from the outset, or something you pull out from your pack when the weather breaks.