Zena is just one of 4 offroad clothing collections aimed at women from Madison, a brand who really seem to appreciate the female rider more than most. It is aimed at the cross country and all-mountain type of rider, with a looser fit than traditional road jerseys and a more durable fabric to shrug off bumps and branches. It has a short zip neck and one zipped side pocket big enough for a medium sized phone or wad of cash for the cafe, plus a micro-suede glasses wipe inside the hem.
Although the fabric feels pretty substantial we found the open weave was sufficiently cool to use on warmer days, allowing a pleasant breeze to waft through. A slightly more open weave mesh under the armpits also helped remove moisture from a
Throw a windproof shell over and the Zena holds on to more heat, with air presumably trapped in the mesh, so it was a good compromise when heading up onto the hill for a long day in the saddle.
There are no grippers around the hem and some riders did comment on how it could ride up their backs slightly over time, particularly when wearing a hydration pack, but that is more down the cut and style of a mountain bike jersey.
Our testers were especially impressed with the pocket which, although small, was intelligently placed as to be accessible on the move, easily unzipped and rezipped with one hand. A small but welcome detail was the smooth pocket liner which didn't grip onto keys or similar as the mesh would when attempting to yank them out.
With 3 eye-catching colours available - pink, blue and yellow - this is a very appealing jersey for virtually all types of mountain biking, from cafe hopping to serious trail riding. The fabric is durable yet runs cool when the temperature racks up, aided by a loose fit which promotes air circulation and comfort. And all this for a steal of a price.