MAAP Roam Jacket - Unisex review

Oozing in quality, exceptionally comfortable and brilliant in foul weather.

Main view
(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Roam Jacket has a great deal to offer, both on and off the bike. The unisex cut means no gripes with fit, full freedom of movement on the bike and stacks of room for bulky layers underneath. A sleek, versatile design, along with technical fabrics, high quality construction and finishing all justify the price tag. You're sure to get as much use of it off the bike as you do on it.

For
  • +

    Well-made

  • +

    Versatile

  • +

    Good performance in all conditions

  • +

    Unisex

  • +

    Stylish

Against
  • -

    Limited colour choices

  • -

    Waterproofing could deteriorate over time

MAAP’s MTA (MAAP Transit Apparel) range is squarely targeted at commuters and those wanting gear that blends in off the bike; clothing that doesn’t scream ‘cyclist’, but still performs technically.

Its usual focus on style, quality and sustainability is distinctly noticeable throughout the range. The Roam Jacket has a lot to offer in terms of technical fabrics and its performance impresses. On top of that, it’s one of the best made jackets I’ve had the pleasure of testing. For me, one of the more appealing features is the fact that it’s unisex. 

MAAP Roam Jacket - construction

The jacket is made up of a 3-layer high functioning shell, a durable water resistant coating and fabrications that are waterproof and windproof. Inside, taped seams are branded and thermo-welded. The rear has a vent to improve breathability. It’s centrally stitched, presumably to ensure that it doesn’t lift in windy conditions and let any rain in. 

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Internal seams

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
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Internal seams

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

Generous sleeves are finished with thermo-bonded, shaped cuffs and a concealed, elasticated internal jacquard. There’s loads of room for long-cuffed gloves under the jacquard. Without a glove, the jacquard is soft against the wrist. For me there wasn't a snug fit here but with a layer or two under the jacket, I didn't want to fully block off the air flow. 

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Cuff 1

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
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Cuff 1

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

The lower hem is adjusted with internal bungee cords. Press-toggles are fixed in the seams, at either side of the jacket. I always tightened off the hem; the jacket is a relaxed fit and the bungee gave it more shape, as well as stability on the bike. 

Hem bungee

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

The sizeable hood, big enough to go over a helmet but not too bulky to fit under one, is thoughtfully designed. It has two-way adjustment to achieve the perfect shape and fit for any scenario. The adjusting toggles for the hood's rim sit inside the jacket, the bungee cord pokes out a little lower down. The toggles are in a fixed position, making them easy to locate and press, even with gloved hands. 

The second bungee adjuster sits at the rear, it shortens the length of the hood. This means it can genuinely adapt to any helmet, be shortened to sit under one, or completely compressed to stop it flapping in the wind if you aren’t using it.  

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Hood

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
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Hood

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

The two humongous pockets have YKK Aquaguard zippers, designed to be waterproof. I’ve had no issue with ingress. Not only can you get a serious amount of stuff in the pockets, there is also no issue with access. I could easily retrieve the stored items without having to take off a thick winter glove. 

The main zip, again a YKK Aquaguard zipper, is two-way. I initially struggled with this, it's a bit stiff to engage. A firm hand's required to seat the zip firmly in place. But once there it’s smooth and hassle-free. The two-way element works really well, though I rarely made use of it. I suspect it will be a useful addition to regulate body temperature in milder conditions. 

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Zipper 1

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)
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Zipper 1

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

Sizing and fit

I think it’s great that MAAP have made the Roam a unisex jacket. A lot of women will gladly grab a men’s jacket over a women’s; not all women have what manufacturers deem an average female figure, others simply don't crave a 'feminine cut' in everything that they pull on. For commuting gear, I personally prefer something that can accommodate bulky layers without transforming me into a Michelin Man. The Roam does just this. 

I've been testing a small. I would normally be wearing a medium in MAAP cycling gear, which gives you an idea of just how generous the jacket is. The photos show this well too. It’s become my go-to jacket for all 'general purpose riding'; it's been very cold and I've not ventured out without at least 3 layers under it. 

There's plenty of room all over- so lots of length in the arms and body, as well as space around the torso. The lower hem bungee is a must if you have opted for a ‘larger’ size. I’d say size down if you want a snug fit. 

MAAP Roam jacket - the ride

The jacket isn’t intended solely for cycling. That said, MAAP have made no compromises with technical fabrics and detailing to ensure it performs brilliantly on the bike.

My first outing was a three hour ride with Storm Barra for company. It was cool rather than cold, but the elements were far from friendly - squally showers and heavy bursts of rain carried in on super strong winds. I felt 100% protected from it all. I’ll admit to being surprised that it kept me dry for the duration. Water stopped beading after about an hour but it didn’t permeate the fabric though. The hood stayed put throughout - I had the cords adjusted to give a great over-the-helmet fit. With the two-way adjustment, you can get good all-round vision. The rain peak worked well too; it's a good shield for the eyes in the absence of a helmet peak or cap.

I’ve had the jacket out in a range of conditions since - significantly colder ones, misty and drizzly ones and even more rainy ones. In short, typical UK weather. I’ve never once felt too cold, or too hot. After a couple of visits to the washing machine, the jacket continues to hold off rain very well.

Breathability is perfectly good enough for commuting purposes; I've never been excessively sweaty, even when pressing on a little. I’ve not had it out in temperatures above 13 degrees - we simply haven’t had them. Ultimately, you can adjust your level of protection by adding, or losing layers underneath. It’s roominess significantly helps with its breathability too.

The jacket's had plenty of use in low light conditions and into the evening. The Fern colour I’ve been testing is good for visibility, and practically placed reflective trims are effective with a cars headlights on them. 

Black is the only other colour option, hardly great for being seen on the road. It would be good to see MAAP offer another colour option; the green won’t appeal to everyone. It’s not taken long for it to look rather grubby around the cuffs and hem; unfortunately, some marks don’t fully wash out.

Rear reflectives

(Image credit: Emma Silversides)

Value

The Roam Jacket has an RRP of £220. For a jacket brimming with technical features suited to cycling as well as being designed to be used off the bike too, I’d say that this isn’t wildly over-priced. Given it’s unisex, two of you could be benefiting from it! Joking aside, similar dual-purpose jackets have comparable RRP’s. La Passione have a rather formal looking one for £218. Chrome’s £189 / US$190 Storm Salute's  styling and technical features are very similar to the Roam. Neither of these are unisex, so cut and fit may not be as accommodating.

Verdict

In my opinion, the Roam’s quality, comfort, performance and style all justify the £220 price tag. I’ve personally been impressed with the waterproofing to date; many commuter jackets wouldn’t even last an hour in the rain. However, I’ve only been testing for six weeks and can't say how it'll perform in the long term; DWR treatments always deteriorate over time. Admittedly, in-wash treatment can revive them to a certain extent, so further up the line, the Roam should still be fending off rain to some degree. However, it's quality, comfort and style are never going to deteriorate. 

Specs

  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Colours: Black, Fern
  • Weight: 565 g
  • Fabrics: 42% Polyester, 51% Polyamide, 7% Elastane
  • Contact: maap.cc

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Emma’s first encounters with a 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. 


With a couple of half decent UK road seasons under her belt, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there, spending 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, working primarily as a domestique for Emma Johansson. When Redsun folded, Emma was offered the opportunity to ride with a newly formed Belgian team and home to the first year senior and budding rider Anna Van Der Breggen.

After retiring, Emma returned to teaching, setting up her own tutoring business. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. While the road bike remains her true passion, she has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been sightings of Emma off-road, on mountain and gravel bikes… As if all of this isn't enough, she's been working as a freelancer since 2005, testing and reviewing the latest kit and sharing her insight into the sport.