La Passione's Duo Winter Jacket is a classic windproof softshell that works well in single digit temperatures, and right down to freezing. It fits well, is very windproof, and at £126 represents decent value for money.
The Duo winter jacket is made from a fleece backed, three-layer membrane fabric on the front, back and the arms. The side inserts are made from a slightly different fabric with more elastane for greater stretch, though you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at it.
What this means in practice is a jacket that's impressively windproof and feels lovely to the touch on the inside. La Passione has designed it to work in temperatures between -1° and 9°C.
As with all windproof softshells, you can't have absolutely windproof and perfectly breathable at the same time – there's always a bit of trade-off. The Duo falls nearer windproof than breathable; I found that on a dry day above five degrees, on intensive rides, I was getting sweatier than ideal. When it's breezier and/or colder, the jacket is perfect.
La Passione doesn't mention waterproofing at all, so as you'd expect, the zip is not waterproof and the seams are not taped.
That three-layer fabric does keep some degree of rain out, though – it's fine in lighter showers. You'll want a proper waterproof in any real rain.
I'm 178cm and my chest is 96cm and my waist 86cm. According to La Passione's sizing chart, that makes me a Medium. I'm usually a medium in anything non-Italian, so sizing is about what you'd expect.
I do like a snug performance fit, and that is certainly what you are getting here (add 77kg and an 86cm waist to my stats to get an idea of build). It's not quite super-tight race fit, but there's not much extra room. Unless you're shaped like our model, of course, who was supplied by an agency called... [checks notes]... Airfix. Hmm.
The collar is just right, as is the length in the arms. There are two long, flexible cuffs that work well at keeping the wind out, and make it easy to fit gloves over.
The zip is full-length and non-brand, with a storm flap behind and a zip garages top and bottom. Some customer reviews on the La Passione website mention problems with the zip; it's been just fine for me.
Around the back, there are the usual three pockets, which work fine, but there's no zipped pocket. The gripper hem keeps everything in place, but the back is not dropped enough to protect you from road spray; no problem if you run mudguards, but it will be if you don't.
The Duo is available in the yellow and grey as tested, plus a two-tone orange and a two-tone blue. There's some reflective piping around the back, but it's quite minimal. I certainly wouldn't rely on it to be seen in the dark.
I personally think the 'Worth The Effort' slogan on the chest is a bit naff, but that's entirely subjective.
The retail price for the La Passione Duo winter jacket is £126, and I think that's reasonable for a jacket that's obviously well made, is a joy to wear and keeps the weather out. It is currently on sale for £94.50, which makes it a steal.
One thing worth mentioning is that La Passione fulfills UK orders from its warehouse in Italy, which means Brexit could affect delivery times, and potentially mean extra costs. All the new red tape is explained on La Passione's website.
At full price the Duo is cheaper than the Stolen Goat Mekon Climb & Conquer Winter Jacket at £149, though the Stolen Goat is warmer and much more waterproof. On the other hand, the Duo is considerably more expensive than dhb's Classic Thermal Softshell at £80, though that's not quite as warm or windproof.
On paper dhb's Aeron Deep Winter Softshell at £150 has the same qualities as the La Passione Duo, but reading Steve's review, I think the dhb has the edge when it gets near freezing.
As a properly windproof jacket for lower single digit temperatures, La Passione's Duo Winter Jacket works well. It fits me perfectly and I can't think of anything negative to say about it – the niggles I've mentioned can easily be put down as personal preference. At £126, it's good value. And at the current sale price of £94.50, it's cheap for what you get.
Keeps you warm and protected in single digit temperatures – and is a joy to wear too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: La Passione Duo Winter Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
La Passione says: "Get ready for the new season with the DUO Winter Jacket that boasts a colourful mix, stylish design and protection. This jacket is made with a soft and protective membrane which brings you a great feeling of warmth even when the low temperatures hit. Layering for winter rides is easy thanks to its comfy cut. The front side is equipped with a full length plastic zip with Cam Lock puller, which allows you to open it one handed, with a reflective piping and an inner zip storm flap. The fleece backed collar features an ergonomic cut which improves comfort while keeping you protected from the chilly wind. Available in three different colors combination, the jacket also features three generous pockets so that you can store everything you may need and reflective details to improve visibility during the darkest hours."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
La Passione says:
3-layers membrane fabric
Entirely fleece backed
Close-cut ergonomic collar
Three pockets on the back
Full length plastic zip with Cam Lock puller
Rear reflective Hold the Line logo
Reflective logos and piping
The Jacket weighs 396 gr / 13.8 oz
Conditions: from -1° to +9°C / from 30° to 48°F
The manufacturer doesn't say anything about waterproofing; it's fine in showers, but you'll want a proper waterproof in any real rain.
No complaints, but nothing special either (it's impressively windproof, which is always going to affect breathability somewhat).
I'm a medium in pretty much anything non-Italian. We're testing a medium here and it fits perfectly.
I love wearing it.
I think at an RRP of £126, the jacket is decent value and a smidge cheaper than the comparable DHB jacket. Currently it's on sale for £94.50, which makes it steal.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The washing instructions say machine wash at 30 degrees. I just wash it like I wash all my cycling stuff at 40 degrees on a normal cycle, and it still looks as good as new.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a well-fitting jacket that keeps you comfortable on colder rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The cut and fit – it's just right for me.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
It could be more breathable... but then I did enjoy its windproofing. A zipped pocket would have been nice too, as would a bit more reflective detailing. So only small niggles.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At full price the Duo is cheaper than the Stolen Goat Mekon Climb & Conquer jacket at £149, though the Stolen Goat is warmer and much more waterproof. On the other hand, the Duo is considerably more expensive than dhb's Classic Thermal Softshell at £80, though that's not quite as warm or windproof.
On paper dhb's Aeron Deep Winter Softshell (£150) has the same qualities as the La Passione Duo, but reading Steve's review, I think the dhb has the edge when it gets near freezing.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes. Especially now it's on sale
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
As a properly windproof jacket for lower single digit temperatures, La Passione's Duo winter jacket works well. It fits perfectly and I can't think of anything negative to say about it – the niggles I've mentioned can easily be put down as personal preference. At an RRP of £126, it's good value. At the current (official site) sale price of £94.50, it's cheap for what you get.
About the tester
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Ribble Endurance SL disc
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, mtb, Zwift