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Madison Roam 2.5 Layer Waterproof Jacket
323g Medium as tested £89.99

The Madison Roam 2.5 Layer Waterproof Jacket is a very competent all-rounder. Performance and detailing have certainly exceeded my expectations of this price point and it morphs very nicely between different genres of riding. Styling is also subtle enough for, general everyday wear. Being picky, I would’ve preferred a removable hood and a breast pocket, but these are minor, “Michaelisms” rather than cons, or criticisms.

Pros: Good cut, fit, weather resistance and breathability, gender specific versions.

Cons: Non removable hood, no breast pocket, water resistance good but heavy, persistent rain found its way inside.


Typical of the price point, we’re talking 100% polyester with waterproof and breathability ratings of 10,000 apiece. There are three colours. I went for dark olive but Black Phantom, or at the other extreme, Chili red are the alternatives. The fabric is a 2.5-layer laminate with taped seams to, theoretically, keep the elements from creeping in, extended zippers along the pits to allow additional, tuneable airflow.


Now, 2.5-layer laminates have a reputation for turning a bit clammy - most noticeable when worn atop a short sleeve jersey, where the fabric’s resting against the skin. In common with others, the Roam features a rip-stop polyester outer bonded to a breathable mid layer. Completing the sandwich is a thin nylon inner layer, which protects the mid from wear, although a relative lack of texture can have an impact upon breathability.

The hood is integral, so cannot be detached, but I'm told, is designed to fit atop a helmet. There are three pockets in total - these also have taped seams to keep the contents dry. The classic “poacher” for gobbling bigger stuff at the rear and two sensibly proportioned hip pockets for parking hands, wallets and other essentials. All have zippers. Talking of zippers, it’s not unusual to find a “garage” the main front zipper, protecting the wearer’s neck but there’s also one at the bottom to protect the fabric from premature wear. 

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cycling walking waterproof jacket madison roam

The zipper tags, though not overly big, are at least sensibly proportioned. Velcro cuffs continue the tuneable, weather-cheating theme. 

tst review cycling gear jacket waterprof

Sizing/Fit 4/5

The size chart is very accurate, taking the guesswork out of online purchases. I wasn’t surprised to find our medium fitted me and my 1m81, 70 kilo frame beautifully. The fit is more relaxed but think layering friendly, not flappy and the drop tail is sensibly proportioned without looking odd, worn with jeans, or other street clothing. I’ve had no problems with a middleweight long-sleeve base layer and winter weight softshell jacket. The slight exception to this narrative is the hood.- It's not poor but I found it pulled on the shoulders a bit, when pulled over a lid. No issues worn beneath though. 

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Weather proofing/breathability 3.5/5 

I’ve tested ours during a very changeable December and was pleasantly surprised by how well the Roam has blocked some very icy winds and air temperatures bailing to minus 2 and 4 degrees. I could feel them tugging at the outer shell, while still being completely temperate. Little surprise that I was completely dry after 90 minutes, chugging along at 85 rpm - as fast as I’d dare, given roads were resembling a skid pan.

In milder weather, layering in similar fashion, I wasn’t surprised to discover some misting around the lower back, pits and chest, given 20 odd minutes at a quicker tempo. Again, taking base and mid-layer quality into account, it lifted promptly. Need a bit more airflow-just drop the zipper, or pit zips to taste.

The DWR (Durable Water Repelling) coating seemed less effective than some in moderate, steady rain with some more obvious patches around the arms. I’d expect it to bead-up and roll off, so this came as a slight culture shock (but was easily boosted by an in-wash formula) and I've remained primarily dry- to the same standard as others, including The Oxford Venture Jacket , but predictably, lower than those, including The Showers Pass Men’s Elements Jacket .

Again, the roam dried promptly given a break in the cloud and a gentle breeze.

The rear “bung it in” poacher is sensibly proportioned and will carry a decent amount of stuff - I've gone for spare tubes, lobster type gloves, buff and similar soft items. The base had ample support, so loads weren’t bobbing around but depending how much you’ve bunged in, contents could become a little clammy. Jackets of this price point and genre can show limitations wicking wise, on long, slow climbs in milder weather. The Roam has done so, which may be a consideration for riders living or commuting in hilly areas. Especially if you’re fond of rucksacks, messenger bags and bigger hydration packs.

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Talking of breeze, no issues with rain being blown inside; the cuffs give a reassuringly effective seal with most gloves in my collection: the drop tail offers similarly good defence against wet slimy stuff. Letting rip at 25mph, no issues with annoying flutter, or similar distractions. This includes the hood, which hasn’t allowed any incremental creep when worn loose. It’s not a match for the Showers Pass Elements, but worn beneath a lid, I’ve not had any issues with staring into it when scanning left/right at junctions, or indeed weaving through forest trails.

Durability/Care 3.5/5

I’ve run ours on and off road for a few hundred miles and to date, its virtually packet fresh. Thorns and similar foliage have made no impression and presently, there’s not so much as a loose thread. Oily stuff - transfer from chains, tyres etc - hasn’t stuck, although the dark colour obviously helps hide patina. Otherwise, care has been very straightforward. Hang out- don't leave scrunched up after riding so the laminate can air. Machine wash at 30 degrees with minimal detergent and hang out to dry, away from direct heat. Bargain on around 90 minutes at room temperature, quicker on the line, with some sun and a moderate wind. I added some reproofing agent early on, which has addressed the DWR issue I was talking about earlier and topped up every fourth wash.

Value 4/5

Minor grumbles aside, the Madison Roam 2.5 Layer Waterproof Jacket offers a lot of cheer, for not much money.  Altura All Roads Men’s Waterproof Jacket (£90) also comes complete with hood, two pockets and in a choice of three colours. However, the waterproof breathability ratings aren’t cited on their site.

Endura Humvee Waterproof Hooded Jacket also features a hood, chest and hand warmer pockets, ventilation zippers, seam sealed construction, PFC free DWR fabric and a choice of three colours. However, it’s a bit dearer at £119. Steeper still is the Showers Pass Men’s Elements Jacket  but the specification and detailing are in line with this.


I would’ve preferred a breast pocket and a detachable hood, but the fabric has generally kept me dry and smiling. Spending a bit more will buy better breathability and waterproofing. If you had the budget, I’d point you to the Showers Pass Elements. There are also better options if you wanted a jacket that will pack very small. Minor points, (which are in fairness shared by some price point rivals) the Roam offers plenty of smiles per mile and works very well sans bike, too.

Verdict: 3.5/5 Capable jacket for riding and general outdoor use and not a lot of money.


Michael Stenning – The UK’s largest cycle parts & accessories distributor





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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