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review

MAAP Draft Team Vest

8
£120.00

VERDICT:

8
10
This thoughtfully constructed and premium wind shield isn't all seasons, but it is all good
Super stretchy mesh rear panel
Available in 11 colours
Light & quick drying
Vent holes dotted everywhere
Breathable with decent windproofing up front
Zip guard creates level windproof
Thoughtful details throughout
Very grippy and bendy bottom seam
Double-ended YKK zip
Discounts for crash replacement
At the expensive end of the market
DWR doesn't offer much protection beyond mild weather
No pockets, if you want pockets…
This ‘fog’ colour is the brightest option
Weight: 
100g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The MAAP Draft Team Vest is a very lightweight gilet that acts as an effective barrier against nippy winds, plus it is conveniently packable and stashable on the go. Don't rely on it for anything beyond mild inclemency, though, as the water resistance is nothing to write home about.

Check out our guide to the best cycling gilets for more options.

> Buy now: MAAP Draft Team Vest for £120 from MAAP

MAAP is known for its more premium apparel – but although other well-reviewed and nicely designed gilets are available for under the £100 marker, the Team Vest does deliver technically, and once you've enjoyed its careful design and durable construction, you're unlikely to feel like you've overpaid.

The Draft Vest is ostensibly here to keep out draughts, so either the Aussie brand MAAP has gotten slightly confused with its spelling, or the model name is referring to the wind-dodging qualities afforded by drafting your mates in the club run.

Either way, this gilet isn't meant for the nasty stuff we get dished up in the UK. It functions well in the early mornings and late evenings, or as a little topper when you're flipping from sun to deep shade. I was wearing it over a jersey and no underlayer for rides up to 20°C with a windchill that felt a good bit colder. At my coffee stop I felt like I'd layered up to the right level.

The wind resistance is contained in the front panels which MAAP claims has "2 Way Stretch" but feels decidedly unforgiving compared with the bungee-like bendiness of the back panel. There is also some shoulder and side wind resistance, but these panels are punctuated with holes to help with breathability.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - logo back.jpg

When descending I could feel the benefit of this blocking material which kept out the worst of the chill. Then, when climbing, the holes allowed hot air to escape, though I normally made use of the reversible bottom zipper, or unzipped entirely.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - side panel.jpg

It was also straightforward to ball it up and stuff into my jersey pocket, though putting it back on is the only time when the reversible zipper can be a slight fiddle as you need to carefully align things.

Though it has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatment, I didn't see much evidence of this when I encountered wet weather. The gilet was soon wet, and so was I. It's super light and airy, though, so it dried off in no time.

It's worth mentioning the internal zip guard which hides behind the zipper to make sure you don't have a vertical zip-shaped breeze throughout your ride. This folds over and becomes part of a neat zip garage at the neckline.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - collar.jpg

MAAP has added a blue half-moon rear collar tab to match the colour of the top zipper. I'm guessing, but maybe this helps when you're in a rush and not paying attention... a nice little detail, anyway.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - shoulders.jpg

Size me up

As well as letting warm air escape, the combination of the mesh panel and OEKO-TEX-certified elastic hem band (it's been tested for harmful substances) means the sizing is handily flexible. It will hug to your frame and adapt, so adding bonus items to your pockets mid-ride won't be an issue. And this hem is a sizable chunk of elastic that grips effectively to your jersey or bibs.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - tail.jpg

I am always a fan of a double-ended zip. Having it all zipped up with the bottom undone slightly gives you more room to manoeuvre and maintains the majority of the wind protection.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - hem.jpg

The MAAP website slightly confusingly shows both a 191cm and a 178cm model wearing a small. I'm 188cm and found the medium quite snug, so there's a little bit of fogginess there.

2023 MAAP Draft Team Vest - back.jpg

Speaking of which… the 'Fog' shade I tested is actually one of the lightest and brightest of the 11 available colours. I like being visible without promoting myself to head lollipop man, so the reflective MAAP logos were welcome – albeit not wildly lighthouse-like. The other thing about an off-white top layer is spray damage. Even on good days, you're likely to get a bit of dark matter up your back, and this did start to tell a little on the meshy porous material.

Value

One of the cons of Nick's review of Rapha's Men's Pro Team Lightweight Gilet was price, and it comes in £15 less than the MAAP. It's also 12g lighter, also has a double zipper, and Nick was pleased with the wind-repelling properties.

The MAAP is cheaper than the Universal Colours Chroma Insulated Unisex Gilet, but that is obviously offering some extra protection for its £155 price tag, as well as some environmental credentials, though it didn't score quite as well.

It weighs more, 119g, because of the insulation, and has some decent DWR for inclement spells, but didn't perform that well on descents according to Ali.

Conclusion

Spend £120 on a gilet and you might reasonably expect to receive something that offers a bit of water resistance as well as versatility in other conditions. That's not really the case here, but equally MAAP doesn't herald this as an all-weather garment; it falls firmly into its 'Wind' category. If you're happy to be guided by that, and will be satisfied with an excellent quality bit of apparel that will likely last for years (and if you damage it in a crash, MAAP has a 40% discount replacement policy), then the Draft Team Vest is a very good option.

Verdict

This thoughtfully constructed and premium wind shield isn't all seasons, but it is all good

road.cc test report

Make and model: MAAP Draft Team Vest

Size tested: L

Tell us what the product is for

From MAAP:

"The Draft Team Vest is our most lightweight yet, the perfect partner to bring along on the bike when you may need an extra layer of protection. Designed for cool, wet, and windy weather; it's easily stowable and features 360 degree reflective print graphics to provide additional visibility in low light conditions."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From MAAP:

Body fabric has mechanical stretch for close fit and comfort

Highly wind resistant

DWR water resistant coating

Lazer cut ventilated panels

Breathable mesh back panel

Ultra-lightweight and stowable

Reflective print transfers on chest and back

2 way YKK zip with camlock puller & internal zip guard

Hem with silicone gripper

Elastic hem band OEKO-TEX® certified

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

As with other MAAP products, the Team Vest is made with noticeably high-end materials that feel and look distinct from mid-range cycling apparel. The YKK zip is particularly sturdy and has small blue detailing that matches a blue neck tab.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Strong performance overall. Easy to get on and off while moving and the materials selected on different panels make sense and work as they should.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Out of the packet, there is no slapdash stitching or dodgy manufacturing. The colour is likely to attract staining over time, though. I hope the reflective print transfers on front and back will last, but they do have a habit of peeling off after a good few months of washing.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

Well cut. It's a "high-performance fit" so don't expect much flap.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

A medium was slightly on the small side for me: a little short in the body and a bit tight around the abdomen (I'm 188cm and 85kg). I'd probably opt for a large.

The MAAP website slightly confusingly shows a 191cm model wearing a small, but they don't look like they're battling middle-aged spread, if you know what I mean.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

At 100g this is very light on the scales. The focus is on breathability and ease of packing, and while there is a decently chunky zip, lightness is certainly a strength.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

Soft, smooth material and the mesh on the rear feels lovely. The collar comes up quite high without becoming an irritant.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's £15 more than a comparable offering from Rapha, but £35 less than the far more insulated Universal Colours gilet. MAAP isn't known for churning out bargain kit. The Draft Team Vest feels and rides like an expensive gilet and includes lots of thoughtful touches, some of which are more useful than others. In this case, to my mind, you get what you pay for.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Cold washing only and leave out the fabric softener. I ended up just washing it in the shower with me to avoid any violations.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I was using it on early summer mornings, so pretty much in the 12-20°C range specified by MAAP. It added a few degrees to my core which is what I needed and packs down okay into a rough fistful.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The rear mesh and the base elastic gripper are super stretchy, which allow a bit of leeway on underlayers. The double-ended zipper provides excellent zip-up and zip-down flexibility if your pockets are loaded.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A pocket might have been useful.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's £15 more than a comparable offering from Rapha, but £35 less than the far more insulated Universal Colours gilet.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

For its designed purpose of being light, wind resistant, and breathable, the Draft Team Vest doesn't really put a foot wrong. The DWR coating often underperforms in cycling apparel in my experience, and it's no different here, which is the only area where the gilet loses some marks. It's enjoyable to ride in a garment that is so carefully designed.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 34  Height: 187cm  Weight: 80kg

I usually ride: Pearson Hammerandtongs  My best bike is:

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: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Ultra endurance

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1 comments

Avatar
OnYerBike | 9 months ago
0 likes

"Draft" and "Draught" are essentially the same word (and a very versatile word at that). It's very much a quirk that we Brits have setled on "draft" for some specific use cases and "draught" for others. This is a prime example of that - drafting another cyclist is benefitting from the draught they create!

I did also wonder if "draft team" was playing on the sporting meaning of "draft" - i.e. those picked to be on the team.

https://blog.oup.com/2009/05/draft/ 

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