'The Zeus is a really capable all-round UK mountain jacket with a decent hood, but the basic Gore-Tex fabric isn't as breathable as the competition.'
Outdoors Magic: Decent spec, nice cut and thorough design with a capable mountain hood complete with wired peak.
Outdoors Tragic: The fabric is basic 3-layer Gore-Tex and not as breathable as higher spec materials.
Outdoors Grabbit? Sprayway's top of the range shell is a pretty decent bit of kit that's well designed and specced. It's expensive at full price, but we've seen it a lot cheaper online.
The only downside is that the standard issue Gore-Tex fabric isn't as breathable as some more expensive options, making it a tad sweaty at times.
Mountain jacket / 3-layer Gore-Tex fabric / helmet compatible mountain hood / adjustable cuffs and hem / two-hand pockets / internal and external chest pockets / YKK moulded tooth zips throughout.
Full Review Below
Sprayway Zeus Jacket - the Tech
Here's the thing, not all Gore-Tex fabric is the same. While jackets like sister brand Mountain Equipment's Janak use swanky, tougher, lighter and more breathable Gore-Tex Pro, the Zeus has to make do with common or garden 'Gore-Tex'.
That's not the end of the world, it's still carefully produced waterproof (guaranteed) and breathable fabric. But it's not as breathable as Pro or indeed fabrics from rival brands like Polartec NeoShell or eVent.
The end result, on paper, is that you're more likely to get hot and sweaty in the Zeus. And that's pretty much how it turned out. Don't write the jacket off too quickly though, the rest of the tech is pretty decent, so if you don't run hot and sweaty, it may actually do the job just fine.
Sprayway Zeus Jacket - Performance
If you had to sum up the Zeus in a single word, it would be 'honest'. Or maybe 'capable'. Or 'unpretentious'. Oh... anyway, it's all those things in a deceptively able package. The cut's a happy medium with enough room for mid-layers, but not overly flappy.
Similarly all the adjusters work smoothly with gloved hands and the hood, with a wired peak, is very good. You can even use it with a helmet for occasional mountaineering outings, though it seems at odds with Sprayway's 'family outdoors' ethos.
You Just Need To Keep Breathing
The only area that lets it down is the breathability of the fabric. We found it sweatier than other jackets when tanking uphill and there are no vents to come to your rescue when you do get hot and bothered.
It's not necessarily a deal-breaker if you run on the cool side or maybe move steadily in the hills, but if you're prone to running hot and sweaty, it's probably not the jacket for you.
Sprayway Zeus Jacket - Verdict
The Zeus turns out to be a surprisingly capable, non-nonsense all-round mountain jacket of the type that Mountain Equipment were making a few years back. It has a decent hood, thorough design and reliable components.
The one thing that compromises it a little, is the basic Gore-Tex fabric. It's not that it's 'bad' per se, but it does lack breathability compared to rivals and that means the jacket can get hot, sweaty and uncomfortable more quickly.
If that's not an issue for you and particularly if you can land one at a bargain price, the Zeus is a bit of a dark horse in the waterproof mountain jacket stakes.