Monday, October 29, 2018

Packing Light: Maloja MAXM Jacket Review

Hey!  Look who is back!  I know...  looking at my blog and realizing it's been since February since I've posted anything at all, including reviews.

Hope everyone had a great spring and summer!  I kind of ended up taking a long break.. not just from blogging, but from running as well. Did get a lot of projects done at home though!

Anyway, I am ready to get back at it... started training again this week, and am looking forward to sharing more posts with you, and reviewing some great products that I have found.

And to kick it off, I have a review today of the MAXM Jacket from Maloja. Maloja is an activewear company out of Germany that started up back in 2004.  I had not heard of them before but was excited to try out the MAXM as it is a super light/compact jacket that I thought would work great for trail running.

Before running in it, I give it a quick try out on a weekend camping trip with the boys.  While the weather was good, it was nice to have something to throw on in the cool mornings.  Normally I wear a large, but this jacket was noted as slim fit, so I went up to an XL and glad I did. 

Before I get too far into the performance, let me just walk through some of the features real quick.

So, as you can see, the jacket is slightly longer in the back, which is great.  It includes some reflective piping which is helpful when road running, and elastic cuffs.  The labeling notes it is designed for wind protection, and repelling water, but note this jacket is not water proof.

Other features include a great design for ventilation, and a high quality zipper/cover.

But what I was most interested in was the compactness of this jacket. As you can see, inside the jacket is a specially designed pocket to pack the jacket into.  Even the XL packs down tightly to the size of a nice Russett potato, weighs much less than one, and easily fits in my accessory back on my Orange Mud VP2 running pack.

So.. how did it perform?  Well, I put it to the test at the Last Call 50 Miler, a Human Potential Running Series race that was in early July.  The cool part about this race was that it started at Midnight with a shot of whiskey!  And yes.. it was cool that night and early morning, so I started with the MAXM from the beginning.  It was fantastic at cutting the wind, and I was surprised at how well it kept me comfortable, considering how light weight it was.  The jacket moved well, ventilated well, and did exactly what it was supposed to.  And the best part? Once the sun was out and the day warmed up, I packed it away easily into my VP2 with no hassles.

Where the MAXM got the ultimate test was on a 3 day 3 night backpacking trip call the 4 Pass Loop in the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area in Colorado.  A fantastic trip, and the pic above was taken on our last day and last of 4 12,500 ft+ passes.  All smiles as the weather at that point was great.

However, two days before that, on a day we hit two passes, we ran into some serious weather on the second pass of the day.  The pic above was taken by a friend who was ahead of our group...  by the time I hit the pass, it was hailing, raining, windy, cold, and the trail was turning to snot. 

I hadn't backpacked in about 20 years, so didn't do the best job packing.  My pack was heavy, and I didn't really plan on extreme weather.  I know... August in the Colorado mountains, you should be prepared for it all.  I had a fleece, but nothing really else for heavy weather.  Thankfully, I did bring the Maloja MAXM since it was so light.  I threw it on over my fleece, cinched my hat down and had to power over the pass in that nasty weather.  It was raining so hard that I exceeded the water repellency of the jacket... not that it would have mattered as I was just soaked.  A bit too much weather for this jacket, but I certainly was so glad I did have it. Seriously, it probably kept me alive... not comfortable but alive! 

Fortunately, after that rough day, the rest of the trip wasn't nearly as crazy.  And of course, by the time I got down that pass, the sun came out, and the jacket dried out quickly...  not the rest of me though!

Anyway.. there you have it... a jacket review and a brief peek at my summer as well.  I plan to put together a full post on the 4 Pass Loop as it was one of those bucket list type trips, so stay tuned!

For more info on Maloja, visit their website by clicking HERE, or also check them out and follow them on Facebook HERE.  I really appreciated the opportunity to try out one of their jackets, and I highly recommend them.  If the MAXM is any indication of the quality of their products, you can't go wrong.

As always, thanks for tuning in...  hopefully, see more regular posts going forward! Feel free to comment or ask questions below, or on the Barefoot Inclined Facebook page.

Happy Trails!



I live for comments.. so leave one! Thanks!