The Lusso Race Base Mesh Vest offers great breathability and a close fit, and feels beautifully soft against the skin. Lusso has managed it for a decent price too.
Virtually every cycle clothing brand has a mesh baselayer in its range, and across the board there isn't that much to separate them. Some use softer fabrics than others, some have a better fit because of the stretch of the fabric, and some wick the sweat away quicker.
Lusso's Race Base Mesh Vest has managed to encapsulate all those attributes while also bringing it in at the lower end of the price spectrum.
The Manchester-based company manufactures its products here in the UK, although it has outreached to Italy for the 'multi-filament yarns' that make up the four-way stretch fabric used in this baselayer's construction.
It feels great against the skin, very soft without the slightest hint of scratchiness, and you basically forget you're wearing it, whether you are out on the bike for hours or a 10-mile time trial.
I found the breathability to be great on the really hot days of the summer with temperatures touching the mid-30s. Yeah, you still get hot and sweaty when you're pushing it, but once you back off the pace a bit or start descending, you soon feel dry and cool.
The only slight issue I've found with it is that by following the recommended 30°C washing instructions, dirt marks around the neck don't all disappear, leaving a slight discolouration. Selecting a hotter 40°C wash does seem to sort it, though.
Price-wise, we are only looking at £22.99 which is impressive, and Lusso certainly hasn't scrimped on quality to achieve it. The baselayer is very well put together and the fabric feels pretty much indestructible.
For similar money you could go for the Chapeau Mesh SL Base Layer at £24.99, though it isn't quite as soft as the Lusso.
The Alé Intimo Active baselayer performs pretty well and I still wear it a lot. It has a slightly closer fit but will cost you £35 going on the rrp.
On the whole, this is a really good baselayer that does everything you need it to, for good money.
Near-textbook execution of what a baselayer needs to deliver, at a good price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Race Base Vest
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "After 12 months testing and working with Italy's leading Fabric supplier Lusso's task was to create something super lightweight, high moisture transfer and important 4 way stretch for the perfect body fit and achieving the most breathable base layer possible in today's market."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
4 Way Stretch
Italian Multi-Filament Yarns
Made in UK
Stitching quality fine, but it stains.
Sizing is spot on.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
As I've said in the main review, when washed at 30°C grime around the neck remains, but if you go up to 40°C it is fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a layer between your body and jersey it can't really be faulted.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Feels great against the skin.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Doesn't always come clean after washing at recommended temperature.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are others at this price point but the Lusso delivers the quality and the performance of the more expensive offerings.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A really good quality and performing baselayer, only slightly let down by the fact that the material can stain quite easily.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!