Like the Kiwi-to-Go box, Sprint Parachute and the Citrus Sprayer, Germany has had its series of fails when it comes to consumable products for export.
But it certainly has its share of wins, too. Braunschweiger, LOWA boots, the Scorpions and the Maloja Betta jersey are all examples of German engineering at its best. Maloja (pronounced muh-low-yah) is a German brand that has been kicking out some kick-ass cycling apparel that is equal parts stylish, innovative, smart and functional.
What I loved
Heavier weight. The Betta is a jersey that feels more like a lightweight fleece jacket. Although too warm for summer riding in Minnesota, I’ve been living in it now that the temperatures have plunged to the low 60’s and the humidity is gone.
Fit. Here’s where I’m candid beyond candid. I wear a size small but the sample Maloja sent was (accidentally) a medium. Normally I drown in mediums but once I put it on I realized it actually wasn’t that big. It was perfectly semi-fitted with no excess fabric flapping in the wind. The sleeves hit right where I like my sleeves to hit—an inch or so past my wrist bone. This makes me wonder if the size small’s sleeves would be too short and the cut would be too fitted. The other thing I like about the medium is that it allows enough room underneath for a lightweight merino wool baselayer once the temps really do plunge. So I actually recommend you go a size up with the BettaM because I suspect the Betta runs on the small size.
Soft, warm and breathable. The Betta is made from Thermopile, a fabric made from soft fleece mircofibers which offers a light insulation. In the breathability and body-temp regulating department, it’s right up there with its competitors from the likes of Pearl Izumi, Sugoi, blah, blah, blah. But where it spanks its competitors is in its yummy softness. Think Mountain Hardwear’s Butterlicious™ line cross-pollinating with Kora’s yak wool line.
Comfortable. I’m sensitive in the throat area (I was probably strangled as a toddler by a babysitter who was sick of listening to me wail and scream) so I tend to never zip jersey zippers all the way. The Maloja Betta’s zipper is a jersey zipper I’m okay with zipping all the way because it doesn’t sit right at my Adam’s Apple (if I had an Adam’s Apple) but above it. This is likely due to my sample being a size Medium, which is yet another reason you should order the next size up.
Durable. On its own the Maloja Betta has the ability to last a cyclist through many years of rides and washing machine cycles. Seams are straight and tight and the sturdy zipper has yet to catch in the fabric. It also has a cute little pine tree zipper pull that locks in place to retain body warmth.
Thoughtful features that aren’t overboard. The Maloja Betta has a longer rear drop-tail design and its longer sleeves and stretchy, fleecy fabric does an excellent job of providing coverage in all cycling positions, from aggressive trail riding to an easy farmer’s market sojourn. Its semi-fit allows for a degree of layering without bulk, providing the cyclist order’s a size up. Three unsecured rear pockets are nicely sized for carrying snacks, small tools or an MP3 player. The zipper pull is glove-friendly when wearing mid-weight insulated riding gloves and a silicon hem keeps the jersey in place. A quick word about the graphics. I’m not hating on the dragonflies and flower sprigs. They’re low-key and added more as aside to the graphic print and are offset in colors that aren’t girly-girl. My sample is a deep chocolate brown. Indeed, Maloja’s colors tend to lean towards the unisex color pallet of dark: green, blue, red, etc.
What could be better
Availability in the U.S. What’s on their German site doesn’t always match what’s on their U.S. site.
Next to braunschweiger, LOWA boots and the Scorpions, Maloja is the best export of Germany!
The Maloja Betta provides warmth, breathability, stretch, function, style—all the key points that a cyclist needs in a jersey for riding in the fall, winter and spring riding seasons.
As mentioned earlier, I think the Betta may run small so consider ordering the next size up.
The Maloja Betta jersey is a Gear Gals Piece of Recommended Gear.