Review: Mavic Sprint Jacket

For the last few years my waterproof has been a lightweight Dhb hi-vis jacket from Wiggle. It's done the job, and certainly I've been grateful for it when stuck out in a heavy downpour. But on my recent touring trip in France and Spain we experienced some pretty torrential downpours and quite a few hours in the saddle grinding through drizzle and road spray.
You realise when you're touring how important it is to be warm and dry, it makes cycling a lot more enjoyable; whereas at home you can normally just bail on your long ride plan and run for home, when you're touring this is not an option. As a result on returning to the UK I started looking for a decent, fully breathable raincoat that would keep me dry and not too sweaty even on long, hard rides.

When I'm looking at cycling kit to purchase there is always a compromise to be met between quality and price. As a student I don't have the funds or courage to dish out a month's rent on a Rapha or Assos Raincoat, but at the same time I decided I needed something better than the PVC coated nylon (plastic bag!) jacket I had been using.
One of my fellow tourers was using a £90 Endura jacket, which seemed to be of good quality and a reasonable price, so with that in mind I started browsing the web. I found the Mavic Sprint Jacket for £80 reduced from £110 on Wiggle.
For Christmas last year I received a Mavic Jersey, which has always been my favourite; it's got a great cut and feels incredibly good quality. Cut seemed like a key attribute for a jacket - the Endura Equipe Helium Jacket was my other option, but it seemed to have a more relaxed (flappy) and shorter cut, which in my mind is far from ideal, especially for a road cyclist.
The Mavic jacket also looked like the usual good quality, and promised good ventilation and good waterproofing, so I went ahead and dished out the cash, hoping that this winter I would be able to ride in comfort on the rainy days.

The jacket arrived, and looked great straight out of the box. Here are a few fairly unique and useful features visible from the start:
  • Large zip pulls so that you can put the jacket on with ease, even with gloved hands
  • The entire back section is mesh (underneath the waterproof outer) and is then vented low down on the back, allowing minimal flap from the material, but still allowing the back to breath. It also means that your back doesn't have to touch the outer material of the jacket, which causes condensation and a reduced breathability.
  • There is a zipped back section in the jacket that contains three jersey-like pockets to stash snack bars and a mobile in; far more than in any other jacket I have seen and a really useful feature as it means you don't need to wear a jersey to put your supplies in underneath your jacket, but instead can just wear a long sleeve baselayer (again helping to increase breath-ability)
  • The cuffs have velcro tabs that mean you can have them wide enough to fit over winter gloves, or narrowed down to keep the spray out during summer downpours.  

Its performance on the road/trail:
Today I really put the jacket to the test for the first time on a 4 hour, windy and wet mountain bike ride, where I was confronted by driving drizzle, mud and some pretty cold temperatures.
I'm pleased to say that the jacket performed well:

  • The waterproofing is fantastic, with water beading on the surface and quickly running off, leaving the jacket feeling light and comfortable.
  • The added pockets were a real benefit for stashing extra flapjack and bananas on the long ride, and didn't seem to weigh the jacket down at all, because of the tight fitting waist band.
  • In terms of breathability, it got a bit moist inside on a few of the longer climbs when the air flow through the venting system wasn't quite enough, but it soon dried out when the speed picked up and the light nature of the material and the mesh back panel means that it dries quickly, stopping condensation building up.
  • The ergonomic fit of the jacket is the usual Mavic quality - their products seem to fit me very well and with a jacket perhaps more than a jersey you really feel the effects; there was minimal flap, even pedalling into a force 7 headwind, and even when the material does begin to flutter a bit, it is not so rigid that it is irritating.
  • The "Ergo-cuff" design seems to work well as well - fitting snug around large winter gloves, but with the ability to taper them down to a smaller opening. I think that the venting on the jacket would be even better if you were wearing normal gloves and so had more air-flow up the sleeves, but with a long-sleeve jersey on, the moisture build-up on the arms isn't really a problem.
So overall, I'm very happy with the jacket; it seems to be great quality, nice materials and has some unique features that really add to comfort and performance. If you are of a fairly slim upper build I would certainly recommend it.
A good jacket is such a great investment and an essential bit of kit; you will no longer be able to complain about the wet and cold on those long winter rides...just need to find a cure for the tired legs now!  

N.B. [Mavic clothing is usually sold in international sizes so go for the next size up from the UK size you wear]


Comments

  1. what's the scotch lighting on this bad boy? as good as the 90quid endura?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's got quite a bit on the back mate, and a few little reflective tabs on the sleeves etc. Not bad, but maybe not quite as many little "dots" as the Endura ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am interested in how small it packs up ? Could you easily take it off and stuff it in the back of the jersey at all ??

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi there,
    I have taken it off and rolled it up enough to stuff in a jersey pocket before yes. It's not really designed to be a stuff sack jacket, but it will roll down to about the size of a 750ml water bottle quite happily. Hope that helps. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Tim,

    After spending ages looking for a jacket your review made my mind up to get the Mavic Sprint. So far, so pleased.

    I was wondering if you've reproofed the jacket (Nikwax etc) or just washed as normal. If so how has the jacket stood up one year later, still just as waterproof?

    Thanks

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Lee,
    Glad to hear you're pleased with the product. I have yet to re-waterproof mine, but admittedly it is probably approaching the time when I should.

    I haven't re-proofed a cycling jacket before, but I am also a keen yacht sailor and when I re-waterproof my kit for that (which takes a lot of soakings), I use a two part process from Nikwax. The first is called TechWash, which cleans the product without damaging the waterproofing. The second is then called TX Direct, which is the waterproofing part and effectively re-vitalises the breath ability and waterproof nature of Gore-Tex and similar products.

    Both products are "Wash In", so you do it in the washing machine. The Mavic jacket is a bit more of a delicate nature than my sailing kit though, so I might instead opt for the spray on TX-Direct waterproofing that you can buy, and apply that after giving the jacket a good wash in either warm water or with the Techwash. I hope that helps
    Cheers
    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks Tim and thanks again for your helpful review of the jacket

    ReplyDelete
  8. Picked up one recently, best fitting jacket i've ever had, and does a great job of keeping you dry without overheating. Jury out on durability but mavic kit tends to be up there with the best.
    Buy one size up

    ReplyDelete

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