Madison Stratus jacket review£33.00

Windproof softshell

BikeRadar score2.5/5

This basic, low-cost shell top will keep off the worst weather as you scurry for home, although extended rides or serious exertion are beyond it.

The M:Tec 100 fabric is a bit noisy and plasticky in feel, but the ripstop reinforcement shrugs off swipes from thorns and trees in tight singletrack.

The fabric cuts out a lot of windchill on frosty mornings and it bounces a fair amount of water off before it wets out. The longer tail and high collar means not much in the way of drips or draughts are let through, although the fabric feels clammy wherever it touches bare skin.

It’s pretty light for the money and, like a school anorak, it stuffs into its own zipped pocket. Even so, it would still be a squeeze to fit into most jersey pockets, so it comes with an elastic strap for dangling off bike or bag when you aren’t wearing it.

While it’s okay when you’re cruising or the weather is sure to soak you, putting the hammer down creates immediate steam build-up, and left us sodden inside after high-intensity rides.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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