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It’s been a stormy winter with more rain-lashed rides than I can remember in a long time, and through it all the Addict waterproof jacket from Madison has been doing a cracking job of keeping the elements out, and keeping me dry.
It’s made from a 3-layer seam sealed waterproof fabric which Madison claims offers “12,000mm waterproof and 15,000gms breathability”. Those are high numbers indeed, but what it boils down to is a jacket that will keep all the rain out, even in a heavy prolonged downpour, and will ensure you don’t overheat into a sweaty pile halfway up the first climb of a ride.
No matter how breathable even the best waterproof jackets are, it’s still possible to overcome the materials ability to cope. For that reason Madison have included two large zippered vents on the chest panel, and they’re angled so not to be covered by the straps of a hydration pack. A nice touch.
I didn’t find the heat too much of a problem in this jacket. Of course a lot depends on what layers you’re wearing underneath it, how hard you’re riding and just how much heat you produce when riding. Some people run hot while others run cold. I found a long sleeve base layer underneath was enough on milder days, and maybe adding a short sleeve mid-layer on colder days worked best to help regulate temperature.
The jacket works well to justify its price tag with lots of nice details and features, that makes it very functional as bike jacket. There’s the hood, which is actually more useful than you might imagine, especially when the rain gets torrential. Wwhich it has done on more than a few occasions this winter. There’s plenty of pockets too, and they’re all waterproof so you can be confident that your money, or whatever you decide to stash in them, won’t go soggy. Draw cords around the waist and hood help adjust the fit. There’s a couple of silicone prints over the shoulders to help keep a hydration pack in place. There’s also good length Velcro cuffs on the sleeves.
The fit is good, though the jacket is a smidgen on the large side, it’s more relaxed than fitted. That means you can comfortably wear it over a couple of layers when you need to wrap up warm. The jacket is well shaped though and the arms a good length, and it feels good on the bike when you’re throwing some shapes down the descent, there’s no restriction on freedom of movement when getting animated.
It’s competitively priced, and packs in all the features you really want in a jacket. The waterproof sealed pockets are a nice touch, and they’re big enough to get phones or wallets in there. That’s ideal if you don’t want to wear a hydration pack if you’re just dashing out for a shorter ride.
A high quality waterproof jacket is an essential investment for any mountain biker, and the Addict proves you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a decent waterproof jacket. It’s well designed,stacked with features and works really well in the conditions it’s designed for. It comes in three colours and five sizes.
We are seriously impressed by the Madison Addict jacket. Quite simply, finding a genuine three-layer waterproof at this price is outstanding value. We also love the colour of the blue jacket we tested (black jackets make for poor photos) - it was bright, without being excessive. Fit was good, with a good length on the sleeves and a nice bit of length at the back to keep you covered as you're pedaling. It isn't perfect. The biggest faults being that the attachment for the hood is not comfortable for riding when the main zip is fully closed - something you can solve be releasing a couple of the poppers that hold the hood on, and the main zip is a touch small and was never easy to close. Yet, we can forgive those issues because of the performance you get for such a low price. We have a couple of other high-end options in the cupboard, but this winter we ended up reaching for the Addict jacket more often than not. This wasn't because it is better than the high-end jackets - when you get into the top-shelf jackets, the level of refinement goes up a fair bit. But, that quality and performance comes at a big price and for riding and digging trails it's all too easy to trash a jacket in no time. The Addict may lack some refinements of those more expensive jackets, but that it offers comparable performance for a fraction of their cost makes it a winner.
I am set in my anorak ways. I want my very breathable waterproof jacket to be light, pack away nicely and have a decent hood. For years this has meant that I've used generic outdoorsy Gore-Tex or eVent jackets, usually forgoing a little longeviry (and value) in the quest for minimalism. The Addict isn't a jacket designed to be kept at the bottom of your riding pack just in case, though. It is a jacket of substance ... but is it heavy duty, or just plain heavy?
A cool, damp spring gave me plenry of testing time and I've been pleasantly surprised. On big days in the mountains, with the clag well and truly set in, there was something reassuring about the weight. Its voluminous (detachable) hood repeatedly got pulled over my helmet at gate stops and food breaks. Riding alone, there was comfort in listening to the patter of raindrops across my shoulders as I wriggled deeper into the collar.
When it comes to the crunch, no: Madison's 3-layer, own-brand fabric - like other 3-layer, own-brand fabrics - isn't as breathable as more expensive fab rics. In the middle of summer this may be an issue. On a cold wet day, it made not one jot of difference to me. There are vent zips at the front which are ea.Sily zipped while riding and suck in decent airflow, helping temperature regulation. The cut is fairly square, which allows for plenty of layering underneath
(good, in my opinion) although the long oflimb may find the sleeves a bit short. Multiple pockets mean that at least a couple should be accessible while wearing a pack; I would have loved an OS map-sized chest pocket though.
Overall: A dependable friend for when the weather forecast changes from grim to minging (Met Office-approved terms, honest).
Built to take everything the Great British weather can throw at it, the Addict 3-layer storm jacket is the ultimate mountain bike jacket