I’ve been sent the Block Out Pro Jacket to test. Through luck or judgement, MAAP have introduced this breathable rain jacket just as England is being subject to the worst rain I’ve seen in ages.
At first glance, the price of the Block Out Pro Jacket seems high for what is essentially a rain cape. There’s no pockets, and no fancy gimmicks are obvious. Bear with me though, because once you put it on the price starts to make sense.
The fabric on the Block Out Jacket is surprisingly stretchy. It’s designed for an aero fit but it’ll easily accommodate an extra layer. With my long orangutan arms I often find sleeves come up short, but MAAP seem to have thought of this and the sleeves on the Block Out Jacket have plenty of coverage. If you have shorter arms don’t worry, because the fabric is such good quality. Despite being quite thin it doesn’t flap about or ripple in the wind.
I’ve been using the Block Out Jacket as an extra layer. This means that in the cold it’s worn over my Winter jacket (my Winter jacket isn’t very bulky), and now its starting to warm up I’ve been wearing it over either a long sleeved or short sleeved jersey when it’s raining. Because of its breathability it doesn’t provide much extra warmth, although it will keep the wind out.
The Block Out Jacket does roll up enough to fit into a jersey or jacket pocket, but you don’t spend over £200 on something to have it sitting in a pocket. Whilst the Drytech fabric does a lovely job of keeping rain out, the ClimateControl membrane works well enough to keep you from sweating too much if the rain stops and the sun comes out. Obviously if you’re working hard, then you’ll be sweating. Whilst the ClimateControl membrane does a great job of maintaining breathability, it won’t eliminate sweat entirely. But it’s certainly as good as other not-quite-waterproof jackets I’ve used. And it’s much better than the boil-in-the-bag rain cape I usually have stashed in my jersey pocket.
There’s lots of reflective print on the sides and rear of the Jacket. It’s all subtle until the light hits it though. The YKK zip is chunky and looks and feels durable. A silicone strip around the waist keeps the jacket in place, and the close fitting collar stops draughts and rain from getting down your neck. It’s even machine-washable.
Is the Block Out Jacket for you? If like me, you tend to ride in all weathers, then yes. It’s at home in the chaingang, a wet training ride or a race/ sportive. Only when you ride regularly in the rain and damp conditions can you appreciate why the Block Out Jacket costs so much. If you get out the indoor trainer at the slightest chance of rain then possibly not, but the Block Out Team Vest might still be worth a look.
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