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The MAAP Alt_Road Jersey is the priciest in the women's range perhaps thanks to its merino wool blend. It's made for 'alternate paths,' by which they presumably mean gravel riding, with robust ripstop panels and earthy tones. It doesn't look out of place on the road either. It's very breathable for hot rides with a high quality feel, but it doesn't hide moisture (or you) very well and is very short in the body.
This jersey is silky-soft to the touch, a blend of 47% merino wool, 49% nylon, and a bit of elastane. This natural/synthetic mix not only feels dreamy against skin but also delivers a smooth, crease-free finish for a clean aesthetic.
The inside is pretty smooth too, with soft flatlock seams which left no imprints on me even after a good few hours on the bike. Unfortunately all this, in combination with the single colour, leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, which is a bit annoying.
The rear pockets and sides are ripstop (woven nylon) for durability, and certainly there are no signs of wear or tear anywhere on the jersey which I have had for a rather elongated test period.
I tested a size small, which is my standard and what MAAP's guide suggests, but it was very small on me. I can just about get away with wearing it, but I feel a bit self-conscious.
The most obvious issue is the body length – sure, this is MAAP's Team Fit for a streamlined, aero, second-skin feel, but it's a full 4cm shorter than my race-cut Rapha jersey in size small.
At least the grippers do the job well, clinging without leaving any marks despite sitting in the wrong place for me (do I have to say that's not me in the pictures? Because it's not.)
I do like the long sleeves. They finish just above my elbows with no hem for a classy feel, and there are breathable green panels under the armpits. While it could look a little odd to have racing green 'pits, the matching hip panels and green zip pull the look together nicely.
The neckline is military-neat with a smooth round shape and sits in a comfortable spot. There's no zip garage but this adds to the clean aesthetic. The YKK zip has a robust, secure feel and its bold blue toggle is a nice extra touch.
This jersey is designed for 20-40C temperatures, with an antimicrobial and anti-odour treatment and SPF 50+ protection to match. I tested it on everything from the turbo to sweltering heatwave rides and found it quite cool, but unfortunately sweat leaves visible patches. It does at least dry quite fast.
Obviously this is a very light colour, which doesn't help, but while two of the three other colour options are dark (teal and burgundy), it remains to be seen if they're dark enough to hide the dampness. The final colour, lilac, definitely won't be.
The three pockets across the back sit flush against the jersey and are at a practical height for easy mid-ride access. The zipped valuables pocket looks classy in a pop of violet, finishing with a blue toggle to match the front.
At £150 this is a very expensive jersey, but certainly not alone. Pas Normal Studio's Women's Escapism Wool Jersey is £155, for instance (and also comes up short for size). Santini's stay-cool UV offering, the Redux Stamina Women's S/S Jersey is £160 and scored well in our test, too.
However, the majority of summer jerseys we test are under £100, and some – such as the nicely breathable Nopinz Pro-1 Jersey – are very good indeed, though admittedly don't use the virgin merino wool you're getting here.
The Alt_Road is no small investment, but it won't leave you wanting for quality, breathability or looks – provided you're not shy, anyway, given its revealing nature. The visible sweat patches might not suit you though, and you may well want to size up, especially if your summer shorts aren't that tall.
Silky-soft, beautifully made and very breathable, but small, short and rather revealing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: MAAP Women's Alt_Road Jersey
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
MAAP says, not all that helpfully: "Engineered for alternate paths, the Women's Alt_Road Jersey is for cyclists who want it all. Crafted with proprietary NATURALMATCH merino wool technology, the Jersey's all natural fibres are both renewable and environmentally sustainable without any trade-offs in terms of superior performance. Stretch woven ripstop side body and pocket panels provide extra durability and unmatched thermoregulation, for whatever lays ahead."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- UPF 50+
- virgin merino wool blend
- YKK zippers
- Ripstop side panels and back pocket
- Reflective branding
Very high quality, excellent attention to detail and aesthetics.
No signs of wear and tear after a good few wears and washes.
Very nice collar and arms, but a bit short in the body.
Sizes up small.
The short body takes away from comfort, although the silky soft fabric is lovely against skin.
It performs a bit less well than others I have tested in terms of cut and moisture, and is very expensive given this.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
It is cool wash only, but handled an accidental 40C too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In hot weather it helped me to stay cool, as advertised, but ideally you'd want it to show sweat a bit less.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The soft fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The way the material shows sweat and quite obviously displayed nipples.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only if they specifically wanted a merino jersey
Use this box to explain your overall score
While this jersey feels very high quality in its construction, the oddly short body and revealing fabric that darkens with sweat are big disappointments – especially given the premium price.
About the tester
I usually ride: My Scott Foil My best bike is: Oldie but the goldie, CAAD 8
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Triathlon, Audax