A stylish riding jacket that performs well and doesn’t break the bank, and has all the girls asking where you got it from!
Anyone who rides with me will know that I have yet to find the perfect waterproof jacket, or even just one that keeps me dry. I spent a lot of time moaning about my top branded, highly overpriced waterproof mountain bike jacket…. that didn’t do any of what it said on the tin.
So have I found it? The Madison Flo Jacket certainly looks the business, the striking blue colour makes it look feminine; yet not too girly! The taped seams, hard wearing 1200mm waterproof, 15,000gms breathable three layer fabric ensures you stay dry whilst not feeling like you are cooking like boil In the bag rice!!! The 3 layers comprise of the outer membrane which protects the 2nd waterproof layer and then an inner layer.
The Madison Flow Jacket is bursting with so many cool features that are simple ideas but make the jacket superior. Take for example the hood, previous jackets I have used have not had hoods and I always thought of them as pretty useless; but this one has been designed specifically to fit over a peaked mtb helmet; and even fits over my Urge one which is rather bulky.The silicone print on the shoulders; just a styling addition? No, these are to stop your hydration pack sliding around!
The storm flap on the neck behind the main jacket zip is soft and velvety against your skin so as not to chafe your already cold wet face and features a laser cut breathing panel so you don’t steam up your goggles/glasses. Plastic press studs also keep this securely in place.
Vents are fairly well placed and have taped waterproof zips; the one on the sides is out of the main splash areas from upwards trail rain and will certainly give a good flow of air through and is backed with mesh; but may be hard to get to if it’s under the waist straps of your hydration pack.
The Madison Flow Jacket arm vents although providing a great cool stream of air just where u need it do feel a bit odd when you first wear the jacket; especially if it’s just over a T-shirt. They finish just below the elbow making the arms feel a little restrictive until you get used to them being there.
It’s well cut and the size 12 is perfect on me and will easily fit a base layer or 2 underneath, I would usually go up a size for a waterproof but don’t seem to need to with this.
The fact we have not had any decent rain as to speak of has made my boyfriend very happy: he has been the rain maker for the photos; cue hosepipe…. at first a gentle rain shower saw the jacket working well down as it should; water droplets beading nicely on the surface.
The ‘rain’ got stronger and stronger and lasted for a good 5 minutes,
as the pressure increased, there was less beading, but I was still nice and dry underneath.
Verdict: A stylish riding jacket that performs well and doesn’t break the bank, and has all the girls asking where you got it from!
"On initial impression this is a serious, contemporary riding jacket with a surprisingly modest price tag."
Madison describe their Flow waterproof jacket as the ultimate women’s specific Mountain Bike jacket. On first impressions we’re finding it hard to disagree.
Firstly it should be said that the Flo Jacket looks great. It is a serious looking piece of kit with a super contemporary style. It is immediately striking yet understated and its features quickly become apparent as you start discovering new pockets and gadgets built into it. The aqua blue, which we have on test, has been noted as being “just the right amount of girly”. It is a treasure chest of a jacket – the more pockets and zips you open, the more details and features you find.
It includes a super hard wearing fully seam sealed fabric that boasts 12,000mm waterproof and 15,000gms breathability to ensure you stay dry without cooking. It has a detectable 3D hood that’s been designed to integrate with a peaked mountain bike helmet, front facing chest vents that easily allow you to regulate your temperature and work around your hydration pack. It has an abundance of pockets including fully waterproof chest pockets and hand pockets which give tons of storage.
It also features neatly concealed hem and hood draw cords are hidden out of the way to avoid irritation, a storm flap behind the front zipper which features a laser-cut breathe panel and pop studs for ultimate weather control and lastly a neat little addition – a silicone print over the shoulders to prevent your hydration pack from sliding around.
At a RRP of £139.99 it is surprising to come across a jacket with a genuine 3 layer design. The three layers come in the form of an outer membrane which protects the waterproof layer and then an inner layer which is for cushioning and comfort. The zips are chunky, heavy duty things and have a satisfying and positive action. Weak, cheap and cheerful zippers give an indication on the longevity of a garment as a whole but none of the (many) zips on the Flo are anything but top notch. Combine that with the very well thought out features and this is a seriously well priced waterproof.
Ergonomically it is very well cut and shaped. The biggest compliment being that “you don’t really notice you’ve got it on”. The oversized hood is a very cool little feature and it certainly holds over a helmet in windy conditions. Due to its 3 layer design the outer membrane that protects the waterproof layer means that cleaning the jacket is effort free. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth and it’s as good as new. Given the usually delicate nature of waterproof layers knowing that it features the protective membrane is a double bonus.
There is no doubt the Flo is a genuine all- weather jacket and the 3 layer durability and features packed into it should make this a strong consideration. It’s a great looking jacket and will be perfectly suitable for general ‘outdoorsy’ activities given its understated styling. It’s going to be put through as many riding conditions as 2014 can throw our way but on initial impression this is a serious, contemporary riding jacket with a surprisingly modest price tag.