The MAAP Alt_Road Lightweight Anorak is ideal for relaxed road rides, gravel adventures or even riding around town. With a generous fit it's perfect for layering up, and it's impressively waterproof, but it's a very high price for a jacket that doesn't quite hit the mark everywhere. You can check out other options in our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.
I've been reviewing this anorak for a few months, and I've worn it a lot, especially on gravel rides and on the commute to the office. The relaxed fit makes it quick and easy to put on or take off, even when you've layered up underneath, and it doesn't look out of place when you're wandering around town or walking in the countryside.
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As well as having a relaxed fit, the Alt_Road is more generous in its sizing than most. This one on test is a medium and even with my post-Christmas 'insulation' it's roomy, but the cut is slightly tailored so there isn't any excess material flapping around in the wind.
There is plenty of length in the arms so your wrists are never exposed, whether on the hoods or stretched out into the drops, while the tall zipped neck keeps breezes out.
If I'm being picky, a little more drop to the rear would be nice for coverage from spray from wet surfaces when riding.
The Alt_Road comes with a hood but it isn't detachable and can flap around in the wind a bit on rides. Being able to roll it up and secure it in place would be ideal, fastened with something light and unobtrusive.
Should you find yourself in conditions that require a hood, though, you will be thankful for the generous size as it will easily go over the top of a helmet, and you can cinch it in at the neck for a snug fit.
The Drytex material used in the jacket's construction has a 10k waterproof rating, and the seams are taped. I had an hour-long ride back from the office in very heavy rain and blustery winds and the MAAP's waterproof performance was very impressive.
Some water did get through the half-length zip (the front panel was seeing a lot of the rain as I was riding into a headwind), but otherwise I arrived home with my baselayer underneath completely bone dry.
The material itself doesn't really have any insulating properties, but because of its windproofing, cold breezes don't get through.
Breathability is okay, but there are no underarm zips or anything to help the flow of air should you need it.
MAAP recommends a sweetspot temperature of around 17°C on its website, but I'd say that's a bit high. Even with just a long-sleeved baselayer underneath I'd say you are looking at a max of up to around 12°C, 15°C at a push.
With a jersey on top of the baselayer, the Alt_Road will be fine down to freezing.
There are a couple of pockets should you want to stash any essentials: under the Velcro flap on the front there is a pouch big enough to store a large phone, snacks, map and so on; lower down you'll find a zipped opening either side, with a pocket that runs right the way through. I didn't use it that much, as any weight you put in there is going to be pulled down by gravity, but it is roomy.
The biggest stumbling block for many, though, will be the price.
I can't really knock the quality – it's very well put together throughout, and after three months of tough use carrying rucksacks, pulling bikes through hedges (I get lost a lot on the gravel bike) and hitting low branches, it is showing no signs of wear and tear at all.
It's not alone either – there are other jackets out there with similar price tags.
Specialized's collaboration with Fjällräven spawned the Raven anorak, which costs £265. It's a bit more 'hiking' jacket than true cycling top, but Lara was impressed with its performance.
And 7mesh's Copilot isn't far behind at £250. That even got a spot in our road.cc Recommends – Hollis thought it was excellent.
There are plenty of cheaper jackets that offer a similar performance, though.
Gore's Spirit Jacket differs from the MAAP in having a full zip, and the Infinium fabric doesn't offer the same levels of waterproofing, but it works incredibly well everywhere else according to Hollis's review.
Hollis was also very impressed with Chapeau's City Jacket, which is similar in terms of fit and performance to the Alt_Road, and it comes with a hood.
Both the Gore and the Chapeau jackets cost £149.99, so a saving of £120.
Overall, I like this MAAP anorak: the relaxed fit is ideal for its aims; its performance, particularly in wet weather, is impressive; and the manufacturing quality is also very good. It's a lot of money, though, and there are a few too many niggles that stop it being a great jacket – I'd expect it to have better breathability, some way of fixing the hood in place so it doesn't flap (or be able to remove it), and ideally a slightly longer tail. It's good, but should be great for £300.
Impressively waterproof, and excellent quality for all kinds of riding, but it ain't cheap
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Make and model: MAAP Alt_Road Lightweight Anorak
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
MAAP says, "The Alt_Road Lightweight Anorak is ready for every adventure. Crafted from Drytex shell fabric with thermo-taped seams, this waterproof and breathable anorak features an adjustable hem and hood with cinches for additional protection against the elements. A front chest pocket with flap and velcro closure alongside two front pockets provides extra storage. Lightweight and stashable, it is the perfect bit of kit to throw in a pocket or bag to ensure you are ready for the road ahead."
It's a versatile jacket for all kinds of riding, with impressive waterproofing.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Drytex shell fabrication
10k Waterproof rating
Thermo taped seams
Easy to stow
YKK Vislon Zip Front Closure at neck
Front chest pocket with flap and velcro closure
Reflective print transfers
Two front entry pockets
Adjustable hem & hood cinches
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for fit:
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Sizing is generous, but follows MAAP's guide.
Rate the jacket for weight:
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Rate the jacket for value:
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
MAAP recommends a 30 degree wash, and following this I had no issues getting the jacket clean even after very muddy rides.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's windproof and waterproof, and the shape lends itself to many types of riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Works on and off the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's comparable with some, but you can also get very good jackets for a lot less.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? On the whole, yes.
Would you consider buying the jacket? No, not at full price.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
There is a lot to like with this jacket, and if it was half the price I'd highly recommend it, but there are a few niggles that stop it being great, considering how much it costs.
Age: 44 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
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