They fit and feel like regular trousers, but the DWR coating means these trousers from Madison will ward off water

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 7

Madison Zenith 4-Season Trousers


  • Good all-round weather protection, Knee pad compatible 


  • Waist adjusters just don’t work, Pockets are too small


Madison Zenith 4-Season Trousers review


Price as reviewed:


No one likes getting caught short out on the trail, but carrying a load of extra waterproof clobber in a backpack can also be a real drag. Madison’s new Zenith 4-Season Trouser allows you to have your cake and eat it because it features a four-way stretch fabric that feels like a regular riding trouser, but it gets a water-repellent coating and extra waterproof panels and seam taping in the seat. This means if there’s a downpour, you’re not going to get a soggy arse, but you also won’t boil in the bag when the sun comes out.

To ensure a good fit, the Zenith comes with articulated legs, which are also loose enough to accommodate knee pads. However, this trouser is a little too loose for my liking and it also doesn’t stay up. That’s because the stretchy waist adjusters pull way past the fixed Velcro on the waistband. I got them to connect by tying a knot in the strap, but Madison needs to reposition the Velcro or just make it longer.

I like pockets in my trousers for keys and such, and the two hip pockets on the Zenith have waterproof zips and good-sized pull tags. They’re not very deep though, and the zip is rough against your hand. It also runs into the concealed vents, which meant I often opened them by mistake.

Check out the competition! Our guide to the best mountain bike trousers and pants has a selection from different brands, tried and tested by our experts. Or jump straight to the best waterproof mountain bike pants. Up your game with a new pair of the best mountain bike shoes


Even though this seems like a different take on the riding pant, the Zenith has a lot of competition from highly rated trousers like the Dainese HGL and the Troy Lee Designs Resist – both have a lightweight feel but with that extra wet weather protection. They’re also not that much more expensive, and definitely fit better in the waist and lower leg.