When I first took the Sprayway Zeus jacket out of the packaging I had a few moments reminiscing about a cagoule I had as a child. The cagoule was light, and packed small, but that was really its only good point. It was *mostly* waterproof, it was noisy, it smelled funny and it was so thin that you’d be freezing even if you weren’t wet. It was also like wearing a plastic bag – you’d soon be dripping in sweat even if the rain wasn’t getting through.
Cagoules in the 80’s weren’t great. So when I looked online to get the blurb about this waterproof shell I was a little gobsmacked by the price, which is somewhere around the £250 mark. However, this review is one big collection of misconstrued opinions being corrected by this great jacket…
- It is absolutely waterproof. I’ve stood in fields in rain, and I’ve been outside working hard in a hurricane. It’s totally waterproof, from the zips and the pockets to the taped seals.
- The wired hood is an absolute wonder, once it’s adjusted you can thrash around and it’ll not get in your way, and it’s not even noisy. The hood can roll up and be held out of the way with poppers, so it won’t blow around in the wind.
- It’ll even take a helmet with no bother.
- The 3-layer Gore-Tex is very breathable. With the hood up, the cuffs tight, working fairly hard I didn’t get clammy at all.
- The Zeus has 4 pockets, including a chest pocket that is exactly the right size for a Ordnance Survey map, which is tremendously helpful.
This simple looking hard-shell mountain jacket, has an elegant simplicity to it, and it does the job perfectly.
There’s no fuss, no drama, no offensive styling, and nothing to go wrong with it. It goes without saying that it’s entirely windproof. It weighs next to nothing and packs down very small. As you’d expect with a jacket of this type, there’s absolutely no insulation in it at all, so your warmth will be entirely provided by whatever you wear under it.
I can’t think of any reason why you’d not have it at the top of your bag in the mountains, to pull out whenever the rain arrives. It’s simply brilliant.
Price: £260 (RRP)