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.
Good performance in all conditions
Limited colour choices
Waterproofing could deteriorate over time
MAAP’s MTA (opens in new tab) (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (opens in new tab)have a rather formal looking one for £218. Chrome’s £189 / US$190 Storm Salute's (opens in new tab) styling and technical features are very similar to the Roam. Neither of these are unisex, so cut and fit may not be as accommodating.
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.
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Colours: Black, Fern
- Weight: 565 g
- Fabrics: 42% Polyester, 51% Polyamide, 7% Elastane
- Contact: maap.cc (opens in new tab)
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