In my experience there are three main issues with waterproof jackets:
First, they don’t stay waterproof for more than a few rides. Second, they make you feel you’re like riding in a mini sauna, and third, they’re not very stylish.
Here’s how the Prima jacket from Madison measured up:
Is it waterproof?
Yes – and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. I haven’t put its long term waterproof–ness to the test as I’ve only had the jacket for a few weeks: but up to now, so far so good.
When the jacket is wet the water settles in drops on the outside, the seams are taped and the exposed zips are plastic coated.
I hosed it off after a particularly muddy ride and, even with a pressure hose, the water didn’t soak into the jacket. What’s more the fabric didn’t absorb any mud stains and the white zip cleaned up well too: in fact it looked as good as new afterwards.
Is it clammy?
The jacket is lightweight – you could wear it for most of the year so long as you adjust your layers beneath. It has a mesh lining – I’m guessing this is to assist breathability, and under arm zips to allow extra ventilation. These are a good idea but, despite the zip pulls, proved to be quite tricky to undo once the jacket is on – consequently there was no hope of opening them while actually riding along!
However, I am pleased to report that the clamminess factor is low (don’t think you can ever be rid of it completely with a waterproof) and, mostly, it passed the ‘so comfortable I’d forgotten I was wearing it’ ride test.
The jacket features a lined (polyester) collar, which, as with the bottom hem, can be adjusted via a toggle at the back to give a snug fit.
The sleeves have a plastic and Velcro cuff fastener that works well, although the sleeves are a bit short for me and I have to wear cuffed gloves to keep my wrists covered.
Is it stylish?
It’s certainly functional! The jacket shaped for a female figure and is cut short at the front and much longer at the back so there is plenty of cover. It’s lightweight and folds up to fit into a backpack. There’s a deep mesh lined pocket at the back that carries lots of kit, and the jacket has reflective details on the front and back.
Looks wise, I don’t think this jacket is ever going to have other female cyclists stopping you in your tracks to find out where you got it from: sorry Madison design department, but – as with many rain jackets – it’s just a bit too plain to set my fashion pulse racing.
I do however like the contrast white zip detail and am impressed that the visible zips are plastic coated to help them stay white! However the front zip is fairly lightweight and I wonder how well it will stand up to long term use (I am not a fan of flimsy zips!!!) – though the lifetime guarantee would presumably take care of this if it failed.
You get a lot of bang for your buck with Madison’s Waterproof jacket. £69.99 for a fully waterproof number that is incredibly comfortable – fantastic. Perhaps a bit too much to ask for style points at this price-tag, however, performance wise it’s a stellar purchase.
– Lifetime guarantee
– All year round wear
– Easy to clean
– Sleeves a bit short
– Can’t open underarm vents whilst riding (or is that just me?)
– Not very stylish.
What Madison says about the Prima waterproof jacket
Our performance materials offer complete protection for all weather conditions at any season of the year. This fabric has been engineered to be permanently waterproof, windproof and highly breathable.
Waterproof, breathable, windproof, taped seams, lifetime guarantee.
Shell 100% polyester, lining 100% polyester. Machine wash 30 C