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Motorcycle Test Kitchen

Klim Maverick mid-layer jacket

A friend with extensive touring experience recommended the Maverick to me as a perfect complement to most any riding jacket with a little room for layering. I was skeptical, as the product photos on Klim’s website left me thinking it would be too bulky and make for uncomfortable binding at my shoulders and elbows, especially given my preference for a more “tailored” fit in my gear. The fact Klim is selling my color choice at a huge discount (navy blue is being discontinued) nudged me past my reservations and I’m glad to report this jacket is actually worth full MSRP at $249.99.

The Maverick, which feels almost weightless, can be worn on its own and simply looks like any number of light-duty puffy jackets that have become so popular in recent years. What makes it special is its compressibility; it can be squished down to fit inside one of its own hand-warmer pockets (turned inside-out) and then zipped shut for storage as a compact, self-contained pouch. This same compressibility makes the Maverick virtually undetectable inside even a fairly close-fitting riding jacket, as it offers no resistance to bending at any joint. Its 20D nylon shell blocks any wind that might otherwise invade the riding jacket’s interior, either through the jacket’s fabric or the openings at the neck, hem, or sleeve cuffs, where the Maverick serves as a sort of soft gasket.

The Maverick delivers substantially increased comfort in chilly weather. It provides what I consider adequate insulation within a lightweight, non-mesh, synthetic riding jacket down to about 50 degrees on a bike with no windscreen. Yet it somehow also avoids being too warm as the mercury rises. I’ve felt no need to remove it all the way up into the low 70s. Such is the time-honored efficacy and versatility of genuine goose down, which the Maverick keeps in place with seamless baffles (no stitch holes to leak wind or warmth, or threads to snag on Velcro).

DWR treatment of the Maverick’s fabric adds a degree of water-resistance, but it’s not truly waterproof. Its sleeve cuffs are very low-profile with an elastic hem, allowing them to play well with riding jacket sleeve cuffs and glove gauntlets, while still preventing drafts. A hidden drawstring at the Maverick’s lower hem can be cinched via adjustments inside each hand-warmer pocket to further isolate the wearer from the surrounding atmosphere. Finally, 3M Scotchlite reflective accents add a bit of visibility when the Maverick is worn by itself.

The only criticism I could generate—and it’s a tiny one—concerns the lay of the collar. While I appreciated its height when I was trying to stay warm, I found it a bit stubbornly upright when unzipped, such that it maintained contact with my throat when I wanted it to relax and lie down. This is a function of the robust construction of the zipper and its little “garage” at the top, all of which contribute to some stiffness. This wasn’t an issue at all when the collar was zipped shut and I wanted it against my neck.

At $249.99, the Maverick may seem pricey for a mid-layer riding garment. However, when you consider its broad performance parameters and the option of wearing it as a stand-alone jacket off the bike, it’s actually a good value. And, if you like navy blue, you may be able to get one at a mere $183.99 while they last. Otherwise, you can choose from four current colorways, in sizes S-3XL.