Maap's Base Long Sleeve Jersey sits in its Winter Collection, but bearing in mind Australians have a rather different idea of winter to us Brits, it translates into a pretty versatile garment for a range of UK cool weather conditions at almost any time of year. If you can get away with the 'pro' fit, it looks great too.
While Maap has chosen to have the garments made in Italy, the design is done in Melbourne. I looked into what constitutes a typical winter's day in Australia's second-biggest city and found that, a year or two back, the citizens had been 'shivering' in an unusually cold spell when average temperatures fell below 14°C for the first time in 26 years. Since 14°C equates to a pretty outstanding spring day where I live – and is far from unknown as the top temperature in August – it's arguable that May and June in the UK would be a fair testing ground for this garment's performance.
Don't be misled by the garment's 'Base' label either. That's just the name of the clothing range in which it sits, which also includes a thermal long-sleeved top, gloves, hat, gilet and a short-sleeved version of this jersey (for those milder days). (The Base Long Sleeve Jersey also comes in a women's fit.) However, I did try it against the skin, in baselayer style, where the light, brushed fleece interior proved perfectly comfortable. This increases the versatility of the jersey as you can always add a baselayer for extra warmth.
The next thing you need to know is that this jersey is a figure-hugging fit, even more so for me as I came right at the top of the size range for a medium. This will show any 'winter insulation' you might be carrying at the start of the season, when conditions are likely to be ideal for pulling it on. Maap advises you to size up for a more relaxed fit. Having said that, the stretch is excellent, so this never felt too tight on me.
The sleeves, while snug, are plenty long enough and have a broad, seam-free cuff that is stretchy enough to pull up if you find you are too warm. The full-length zip also helps with ventilation but I wore this on some mild early summer rides with the zip pulled up and didn't overheat, to my surprise.
Talking of the zip, this is full-length, for extra versatility, and the pull parks in a little 'garage' at the collar. The collar is cut quite low which I really like, as I hate zips pressing against my Adam's apple. I did find the zip pull a bit small and fiddly for gloved fingers, though.
The inch-wide, elasticated hem has plenty of gripper-dots around the inside to keep everything in place. This is cut high at the front, which prevents the jersey from bunching in a riding position, but also means you will want to match this with bibs to ensure full coverage. Maap has taken note of feedback on its summer race jerseys and made the pockets both deeper and bigger for extra winter cargo. There is no zipped or waterproofed pocket, though.
Regarding insulation, this is at the lighter end of the spectrum for a winter jersey – you don't get any windproof panels here – but the light nature of the garment makes it ideal for layering up with a base, gilet or shower jacket and extends its use from autumn well into the spring and even a bit of summer, which makes this good value. It will get plenty of use.
I loved the plain, navy blue design with just the Maap wavy M motif on the sleeves and the logo on the breast in coral pink for a very striking look. Unfortunately so must other people, as it's out of stock at the moment. It also comes in black with the pattern in reflective white print. All Maap's designs are unusual and worth a look if you want to get away from the mainstream cycle jersey style.
All in all, I enjoyed wearing this jersey and suspect many of you will too, if you can tolerate the race fit. What more motivation do you need to step away from the pies?
Great looks, comfort and performance for an Australian winter or English autumn and spring – or even summer!
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Maap Base Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product 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?
The jersey sits in Australian outfit Maap's winter collection. It says: "A high performance jersey engineered for long training rides, and based around our new Mod Fit. Featuring a luxurious fabric with a light brushed inside face which helps reduce wind chill and manage core body temperature.
"We've designed the pockets to be larger than our race oriented jerseys and feature a thicker elastic opening to keep items more secure and protected from the elements. The body hem uses a half elastic construction with internal silicone dots to ensure the jersey doesn't ride up, while the front hem is cropped to reduce the jersey bunching and uses a seamless welded construction which sits flat against the bib short.
"The Black colour way features Italian made reflective transfer graphics to increase visibility in low or fading light. The Navy colour way uses our signature coral colour direct print.
"Our Jersey is a true pro fit and if you're looking for a standard fit we suggest you size up."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made in Italy
Signature Mod fit
Larger back pockets
High-wicking, lightly brushed fabric
Secure elastic hem
Reversed YKK zip with camlock puller.
SPF 50+ sun protection factor.
It's well made and the fabric quality is also good but some seams, while double-stitched, are not flatlocked. At this price I would expect that. This didn't appreciably affect the comfort though.
A surprisingly versatile garment; although I haven't had it for a UK winter it was ideal for cooler spring – and even summer – days, which probably have more in common with an Australian winter! Without a baselayer I didn't overheat and the cuffs have enough stretch that you can pull up the sleeves for uphill work. I like the draught-proof baffle on the zip and the low-cut collar that keeps the neck warm without stifling.
No reason to suppose this will not wear well. The fabric seems resistant to snagging.
There's plenty of sleeve length, the fit – as Maap says – is "pro" rather than sporty and if you are not of slender build, or you want a less body-hugging look, then go a size bigger. Because there's plenty of stretch in the fabric, though, you should find this fits well.
Maap advises on its website that "Our Jersey is a true pro fit and if you're looking for a standard fit we suggest you size up" and I would say that's exactly right. I was at the top end of the size guide for a medium and it fitted closely but well. There was still enough length in the sleeve. It's possibly not for you if you are bulgy!
At the lighter end of the long-sleeve market, both in weatherproofing and weight.
Lovely to wear with no annoying features. The collar suited me particularly well as I don't like zips pressing on my larynx.
Given the versatility, great look and fit, quality of construction and fabric, I would say this offers good value for money. The best value top is one you will wear a lot and I think this jersey will suit a range of rides and conditions.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
30 degrees wash, and as with most technical wear it is advised not to use fabric conditioners. Although the fabric seems snag-free, probably best kept away from Velcro.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
road.cc hasn't sent me to Australia to test it in their winter, which is what Maap had in mind, but on cool to mild spring days it's been very good and should get plenty of autumn use. Being a light garment it can be layered up to fine-tune the weather protection. Don't be afraid to try it on cold, wet summer days!
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great looks, well-considered design and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The small zip-pull is fiddly with gloved hands.
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 score
A really good-looking, comfortable and versatile garment. The tight fit isn't for everyone, but if you size up you can avoid that.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAAD10 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking