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The MAAP Women's Draft Team Jacket does a great job of keeping wind chill off without causing you to overheat. That it's light and packable makes it perfect for long days in the saddle when cargo capacity is hotly contested, but don't rely on it in rain because the DWR treatment simply doesn't work.
MAAP has taken its successful Draft Team Vest, added sleeves and replaced the mesh rear with a solid fabric to create an exceptionally lightweight shell that packs away to take up very little space when it's not required.
The jacket's designed to offer a close fit and, by using the size chart, that's exactly what I got. The medium I've been testing doesn't look or feel excessively tight, but neither does it flap about in the wind.
With a decent percentage of elastane (11, to be precise), the fabric has plenty of give. I've only worn it over a couple of light layers (testing in May and June) but it has the capacity to accommodate a thicker jersey.
Sleeve length is generous and the collar height sufficient without being stifling. The latter has a decent girth, noticeably more than most I've tested. Arguably, this could let too much cold air in, though I prefer that to the other extreme – it's 100 per cent better than a constrictive collar when fully zipped up – a bit of airflow around the neck is good in my book. Perhaps I may have had complaints if I'd been testing in the depths of winter...
Body length is enough to cover a standard fit jersey. There's no real drop at the rear, so if you like lower back protection, or tend to wear longer jerseys, this isn't for you. The material stretches to accommodate bulging pockets, pulling nicely over the entirety of all my pockets without issue. The elasticated silicone-lined hem holds it firmly in place.
While the rear is a solid panel, in contrast to the Draft Team Vest's mesh, MAAP has incorporated lazer-cut ventilated side panels that reach up under the arms to enhance breathability.
A full-length, two-way YKK zip with camlock puller feels robust and runs smoothly – most of the time... The internal zip guard is a 'floppy' fabric and prone to getting caught in the zipper if you're pulling on the jacket in a rush. It's happened a couple of times, though I've admittedly been zipping up the jacket while actually riding. If you take your time, this should be avoidable.
I've been impressed with the fit both on and off the bike. I'd normally prefer more of a drop at the rear, but given I've been testing in milder conditions, I was appreciative of the race cut. I'd say it's all 'just enough' in terms of length. The fabric adapts to every position on the bike, always leaving some breathing room, and there's no rustling, pulling or restriction in or out of the saddle.
The two-way zip is a great feature for letting a little more air in, though the zip guard can get in the way again here. Maybe doing away with it could be a positive revision for MAAP as I'm not convinced it's doing much.
Recent weather's been ideal for the jacket; we've had some pretty cold starts and a few days when the wind has really picked up. I was impressed that I wasn't overheating with it fully zipped up in cooler weather (8-10°C); the ventilation up the sides and under the arms is well placed.
In milder conditions (12+ degrees), it's a good barrier against cool air if you've worked up a sweat on a long climb and don't want to feel chilly on the descent, though it's certainly not as breathable as Assos' UMA GT Wind Jacket. I soon wanted to get it off once I'd finished descending and increased my efforts (in milder conditions).
In any kind of rainy weather, though, the jacket really fails. The first time out in the rain, it stood up to light drizzle for about five minutes, with the DWR causing water to initially bead and roll. The moisture soon penetrated the shell, though. A week or so later, it wasn't standing up to even the lightest of showers. My torso remained warm and dry for longer, being less exposed to the weather, but my arms quickly became soggy and I could sense the cooler air hitting them.
In short, this is really only good for dry conditions, making me think that MAAP could have left the rear panel as a mesh affair and therefore upped its breathability in milder conditions.
Packability is a real bonus, making layering easy if you are out for long days. It scrunches up to the size of a small orange and this medium only weighs 111g. It'll fit in a pocket, bar bag or top tube bag very easily, especially if you avoid using the pouch as it is then more mouldable.
I'd say it's perfect for anyone who ventures out early and/or returns home late and needs an extra barrier for those few hours before the sun does its job and after before it sets.
The zipped pocket, which doubles up as a pouch to store the jacket (though not compressing it to its full potential), won't hold a huge amount, and the jersey pocket that sits under it needs to be empty for it hold anything remotely bulky. Since the rear is a single panel of fabric, if you want to access your jersey pockets you need to lift the whole jacket up – thankfully, the stretch in the fabric makes this a simple task, even while riding.
It's good to see a couple of other colours in addition to black. Raisin, which I've been testing, and Fog (which, ironically, will see you disappear in a cloud of fog on a descent) might not be the most visually striking even if they are pleasing to the eye. Reflective print transfers are sizeable, though, a bonus in low light conditions.
At £130, this is right up there with premium brand equivalents such as Castelli's Aria Shell W Jacket at £120, and Velocio's Women's Ultralight Jacket at £129. I'm not sure the MAAP outperforms either of them, so can't be sure that it justifies its price tag, but it's not quite as breathable as the Assos UMA GT Wind I've mentioned already, which undercuts it by £20.
There are more affordable options that could well perform on a par, though; for instance Specialized's Hyprviz Race Series Wind Jacket is £100, and Pactimo's Divide Wind Jacket is usually £95, though currently on sale for £48.
Overall, in terms of quality of construction, comfort, fit and performance as a barrier against the wind, the jacket is very good. However, the DWR treatment is ineffective, and despite the jacket being designed to work in the rain, wind and cold, it falls short in the rain.
Well-made, packable, lightweight barrier against chilly winds, but don't expect it to stand up to any rain
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road.cc test report
Make and model: MAAP Women's Draft Team Jacket
Size tested: Medium
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?
From MAAP: 'Your favourite vest reimagined with sleeves, the Women's Draft Team Jacket is our lightest yet. Constructed with lazer cut ventilated panels and a mechanical stretch body fabric to provide a close fit and extra comfort on your descents. Designed for cool, wet, and windy weather, this jacket features a stowable internal pocket to pack away with ease when things heat up.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
PRODUCT WEIGHT: 150 g - 5.29 oz
MAIN FABRIC CONTENT: 89% Polyamide, 11% Elastane
MAIN FABRIC WEIGHT: 79g/m2 - Lightweight
Does what it should in windy conditions, but the DWR treatment isn't really water repellent and doesn't hold off anything more than moisture in the air where precipitation is concerned.
The actual jacket is well made and I'd have no concerns about 'structural' deterioration.
MAAP says the jacket is 'for cool, wet, and windy weather'. In my experience, the DWR doesn't work – the jacket simply isn't water resistant.
Very good, though perhaps not as good as it could be.
The only thing to watch out for is the generous collar circumference, which might not be everyone's preference, particularly in cold weather.
Stay true to size for a fit that's close without being too snug.
It struggles here. Despite being priced similarly to others, the DWR is quickly ineffective and the jacket's not quite as breathable as the comparable Assos, mentioned in the review, which is £20 cheaper.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Fine, in with all other cycle gear and comes out clean.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good protective layer in windy conditions, particularly useful when you've worked up a sweat on a long, demanding ascent and need extra protection for the descent. It's also great for those days when you head out early, and/or return late and need a barrier against the cool air. It's useless in rain.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Fit and give.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Since it doesn't really protect against rain, having a perforated rear would have enhanced breathability.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Rivelo's Lanterne is £100, the Assos UMA GT Wind Jacket is £110. Both make the MAAP look pricey. Indeed Castelli, Specialized and Velocio all have cheaper models.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Unlikely
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
This isn't an easy one... Judging on quality of construction, comfort, fit and performance as a barrier against the wind, the jacket scores very well. However, since it's advertised as having a DWR treatment and 'rain' is ticked on the website under 'conditions', and it's described as for rain, wind and cold, it simply doesn't perform in the rain, which drags the overall score down.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…