Ultra endurance rider Vedangi Kulkarni has been putting in the miles in the Madison DTE women’s waterproof jacket as part of our ADVNTR winter waterproof group test.
Madison have been making riding apparel since 1977, and you’ll find their kit conveniently available in a wide range of stores as well as online. A concise description for their cycling clothing would be that it is all minimal, functional and built for the British weather.
I’ve always perceived Madison products as great value for money. Their 30-day money back guarantee sounds like a great deal (refund or exchange within 30 days, no questions asked), and the Limited Lifetime Warranty covers any potential manufacturing faults that may arise.
Since I got the jacket, I have ridden at least 1,000 kilometres, both on the road and off-road, along with using it during hikes and for everyday use. The worst (or shall we say, most testing) conditions over this period involved being pelted down by hail and a day full of constant rain!
The jacket has been ridden in some seriously muddy conditions in trail centres in Devon, Cornwall, and Dorset, as well as long and sweaty training days out on the road. It’s been used for quite a few runs too, some of which saw me struggling my way to finishing a half marathon without busting my kneecap…
Waterproof and breathable
The Madison DTE 3-layer women’s waterproof jacket is sturdy, warm and great for British weather, which although Madison claim to have designed as the ‘ultimate mountain bike jacket’, has been a great all-rounder for road riding, running and general utility use too.
The 20k waterproof and 20k breathable fabric, joined with fully sealed seams and waterproof zips ensures that you stay dry and warm, whether it’s wet or windy out there (or more likely both)! I loved the fact that out of all the waterproof jackets that I have ever used, this one, actually kept me both dry and warm at the same time.
A hood optimised for helmet use
The hood on the DTE jacket is helmet compatible, which helps to stop the nasty trickle of water down the neck (we’ve all been there) or helps to keep your ears out of the windchill. The hood can also be stowed away when you don’t need it, rolled down and secured using a strap and popper system on the back of the jacket, although I did get some slightly odd looks when it was in this position.
The hood is a generous size to accommodate peaked and often a little bulkier mountain bike helmets, but also works well with road style helmets. A strip of subtle silicone grippers on the inside of the hood also help to keep it in place when popped up over your lid. Two points of adjustment, both at the back of the head and at the collar, mean that you can get the fit just right for you for the stormiest of days.
Fit, features and options
The DTW jacket is available in UK sizes 8 to 16 for £150 (well, £149.99). After consulting the size guide online, I wore a UK size 10, which was true to size. The fit gives room for regulating body temperature, layering up, and doesn’t restrict upper body and arm movement (which I’m sure you’ll agree is pretty crucial when it comes to the off-road disciplines) and most definitely, the waterproof does what it’s meant to.
There’s plenty of storage space available with the three waterproof pockets (on either hip and a smaller chest pocket), which ensure that the valuables are safe. That being said, I’d still always suggest keeping valuables like electronics in a dry bag, just in case.
Colour choices are limited to this bright blue colourway and stealth black. The men’s equivalent of the DTE 3 Layer waterproof is available in either black or red, although that does retail for £10 more.
Design-wise, the only thing I thought was missing is a stripe or two of reflective fabric on the back, just to ensure that riding at night is safer. That being said, the teeth of the main zip are quite sharp and sometimes a bit hard to get going, especially with numb hands!
Overall, though, I think that the Madison DTE women’s waterproof looks great. Minimal branding is aesthetically pleasing, as is this eye-popping colour that means you’ll be as easy to see on the trail as on the road.
The jacket has now been through four wash cycles (with Nikwax TX.direct wash-in waterproofing agents of course) and after all the miles and crashes and walks and sweats and all, it’s still going pretty strong. Good going considering that I’ve worn it every time it’s rained this winter, which has been a lot!
The Madison DTE women’s waterproof verdict
All things considered, although the main zip teeth felt a little sharp and it doesn’t have reflective details on the back, I think this jacket does a great job at ensuring that you have a good ride while you are wearing it, no matter what the weather is throwing at you.
I’d say it’s definitely good value for money, just like most of the Madison clothing range, and would like to think it’s built to last too. It would make a great gift for a nature and adventure lover, and I would consider investing in the jacket having proven just how effective it is.
Madison DTE Women's Waterproof Jacket£149.99 (approx €165 $202)
Last modified: 20th January 2021