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The MAAP Force Pro Winter LS Jersey can be worn as either a mid or outer layer, offers good warmth for its weight, and has some great features such as fleece-backed lining, usefully large zippered pocket and DWR treatment. It's very breathable, making it great for doing hard efforts in, but the particularly long sleeves and high price won't be for everyone.
The Force Pro Winter jersey is designed to be worn primarily as an outer layer, with MAAP giving it a recommended temperature range of about 10-20°C. In the UK that doesn't make it very 'wintry' at all, but I did find it performed well at lower temperatures when paired with some additional layers. During testing I found that from about 8-15°C it worked well with a thin summer baselayer, from 4-8°C with a thicker long sleeve winter baselayer, and below that I used it as a mid layer under a winter jacket.
As with many winter or three-season jerseys, this one features a brushed fleece lining which feels soft and luxurious, with the exception of the side panels and under the arms where a thinner material has been used to aid breathability. As these areas are out of direct wind chill this doesn't really impact the overall warmth of the jersey, but makes it well suited to hard winter efforts when temperature regulation is key.
To offer further protection from the elements the fabric has been treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. This gives it enough water resistance to repel road spray and light drizzle, though any prolonged showers will overcome it.
Breathability and wicking are good for a winter jersey – I didn't find myself overheating or becoming excessively sweaty while wearing it, even when using it as a mid layer. As an outer layer it also kept my temperature well regulated. The material has decent wind blocking ability, albeit not completely draught proof, and its ability to dry quickly meant I stayed both warm and comfortable.
As far as fit is concerned it's actually slightly larger than I was expecting. MAAP is well known for its race fitting garments and while the jersey still has a performance fit, it does allow space for a thin layer or two underneath. If you're of hillclimber build then consider sizing down if you're after maximum aero gains and don't plan on wearing much underneath; you can get away with it because of the stretchiness of the fabric.
The jersey does have particularly long sleeves; personally, I'm a fan of this as I have disproportionally long arms, but if your arms are more regular length you might find there's some spare material.
The length of the body seems much more regular. It's cut slightly shorter at the front to prevent there being spare material when hunched over in the drops, and it's held in place with silicone MAAP text around the elasticated hem.
The neck is lower than some winter jerseys, such as the Gore Progress Thermo, so I did reach for a Buff-type affair on particularly chilly rides, but was grateful for the lower collar on milder rides.
For storage you'll find three decent sized open-top pockets on the rear as well as a zipped one for valuables. The main pockets are just about large enough to fit my average sized hand in, which is a very technical test I know. I could tuck a thin gilet into them, and they're deep enough to keep a handpump contained. The pockets are made of the same slightly stretchy material as the main body of the jersey, which helps to keep the contents secure.
I was pleased to find that the zippered pocket is not only waterproof but also large enough to fit my phone in. It's also positioned inside the jersey; I find this much better than a valuables pocket on the outside of the pockets as it keeps a heavy object (phone) close to the body and stops it bouncing about.
From a visibility point of view this yellow – or sulphur as MAAP calls it – is excellent, but there is also a black option if you're after something more subtle, as well as Wasabi (green), Desert (brown), and burgundy.
It's also good to see that MAAP has included some reflective accents for increased visibility after sundown. There's a reflective logo and stripe down the back and some small accents on the shoulders and sleeves. I've also just noticed that the logo on the inside of the garment is reflective – though I'm not sure how that one's going to be of any use...
There's a lot to like about this jersey, but one thing that's less appealing is the price. At £160 it's one of the most expensive winter jerseys out there, and whilst it's very pleasant to wear, unlike MAAP's very expensive bibs that I reviewed recently, I don't feel that the jersey adds much functionality over some cheaper (if still not cheap) alternatives, such as Chapeau's Etape (£129.99), Lusso's new Long Sleeve Jersey+ (£90) or that Gore Progress Thermo I mentioned earlier (£89.99).
Overall, the Force Pro Winter jersey is a high-quality product made with excellent materials, comfort and style throughout. The lightweight, breathable fabric makes it very functional for three-season use when paired with a summer or winter baselayer, and it can easily be worn as a mid layer under a jacket or gilet when conditions require.
Luxourious, breathable and functional thermal jersey, but very expensive
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road.cc test report
Make and model: MAAP Force Pro Winter LS Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
MAAP says: "Strategically positioned panelling uses a combination of fabrics to provide additional thermal regulation or increased warmth where it is needed most. Coupled with our DWR coating, helping you stay dry when the weather is unpredictable, this is your new ultimate winter training partner."
It's a high quality jersey with great breathability and warmth for its weight. In the UK it's probably more suitable for late autumn and early spring rides rather than "winter" unless you pair it with an outer layer. And it is very expensive.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Signature Pro Fit
100% bluesign® APPROVED fabrics
Water-resistant DWR coating
Brushed fleece lined fabric
Contoured breathable side panels
3 bonded back pockets
1 waterproof zip pouch pocket
Reflective print details on rear
YKK lock zip
MAIN FABRIC WEIGHT: 130g/m2 - Midweight
MAIN FABRIC CONTENT:37% Polyester, 51% Polyamide, 12% Elastane
Good length torso, very long arms, roomier around the shoulders than I expected. I'm usually a medium and think that because of the stretchy material and long sleeves I could get away with sizing down.
Feels roomier than MAAP's summer jerseys featuring its 'Pro' fit, so fine if you want to wear a baselayer/jersey underneath, but go for the smaller one if in between sizes and you want it as aero as possible.
Good warmth for its weight.
The fleece-backed fabric feels luxurious and the cut around the neck is very comfortable even when in an aggressive riding position.
There are some very good jerseys out there for a lot less.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I wore the jersey in all weathers and have washed it several times at 30 degrees and it has held up very well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It kept me warm and comfortable in most winter temperatures and coped well with colder days when paired with a light jacket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's pretty versatile; I found uses for it from freezing up to about 14 degrees.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
This will split opinion, but personally I'd be prepared to buy this MAAP jersey over one half the price because of the brand – so it would be nice if it said it somewhere on the front.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very expensive – double the price of some of the competition that feature nearly all the same functionality. That said, it's not alone – the Santini Adapt wool jersey, for example, is quite similar and £155.
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
It's a good product. It does a lot of things right but doesn't have that certain magic that a jersey twice as expensive as much of the opposition should have. It's breathable, comfortable and the pockets are excellent, but the fit won't suit everyone, the zip is hard to use in gloves, and there are no reflective accents on the front.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...