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The Lusso Long Sleeve Jersey+ offers a comfortable fit with its extremely unrestrictive fabric, surprising warmth for the weight, and adaptability for a range of temperatures.
This updated version of the jersey has a nice feel to it, straight out of the packet. It's relatively thin, made from a fleece-lined fabric with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. Lusso says it's aimed at temperatures between 5°C and 15°C. It certainly kept me warm at the lower end of that range (and lower) and let me regulate my temperature on warmer days, though we didn't reach the heady heights of 15°C during the testing period.
Starting a longer ride in a blustery 7°C with a thin, long sleeve baselayer underneath and a gilet on top, my arms did initially feel cold, but once I'd got going and warmed up, I was happy to remove the gilet. I even forgot I was wearing the jersey at some points, testament to its comfort and warmth.
It did a good job of helping to regulate my temperature when doing some hill-reps on a shorter ride in 12°C, only needing to drop the zip slightly to open the neck up.
On one 5°C morning ride with a 'feels like' temperature of 1°C, I paired it with a merino baselayer and lightweight gilet and was perfectly comfortable, so you can extend its operating range down towards freezing with other layers. That said, I do tend to run on the warmer side.
The durable water repellent (DWR) coating worked well in light drizzle. The testing period was actually relatively dry, making it difficult to test the jersey's repellency out on the bike to any meaningful degree, so I got out the garden sprayer, turned the dial to mist setting, slipped into the jersey, walked into the garden and got to work.
Under a few light sprays the DWR coating worked its magic, the water beading up and sliding neatly off the jersey, and my T-shirt remained dry underneath.
Under more continuous spray the material does become saturated and water starts to get through. To be fair, this is what I'd expect – it's not a rain jacket, after all – but the DWR coating does add some extra protection.
The jersey comes in seven different sizes. With my 38-39in chest and 30-31in waist, the Lusso sizing guide puts me between small and medium. I tested a medium, and the fit was pretty good. There was very little loose material to flap around, and the length of the torso and sleeves was fine.
Being 5ft 6in and slightly stockier than some, I do accept some bunching of the front of tops when bent over the handlebar. That said, it was very minimal here compared with other tops, which I'd put down to the stretchiness of the fabric. The material stretched round my shoulders and under my arms comfortably.
My one small complaint with the fit is that the arms are a little long on me, but sitting between a small and a medium I would take slightly long sleeves over the potentially restrictive fit of a small.
It felt equally comfortable over a lightweight or heavier baselayer, with a neck warmer down inside the collar, or on its own. It's also slim enough that I could fit a small Castelli gilet over the top.
The jersey has three open pockets and a fourth zipped pocket with a waterproof lining, ideal for valuables; I used this for carrying my phone. As with the DWR coating, I tested the pocket's water resistance with the garden sprayer – not with my phone inside, but by zipping in some kitchen roll. Impressively, the kitchen towel remained dry.
You can carry a fair amount in the pockets – I could fit my wallet and keys in one of the side pockets, a fully loaded large Sticky Pod in the middle one, and a gilet or thin rain jacket in the third. At a stretch they even managed to take my mid-weight gloves when I found I was overdressed. I ride without a saddle pack, and the jersey coped with all the gear admirably.
There are three colour options available; as well as the orange (Escape) on test, there's a white/grey (Hebden Stone), or retro styled green and brown (Dunsop Moss). I reckon the design is very tasteful; I tend to be a fan of brighter cycling garments – if it's anything to go by, my wife looked at the jersey and said, "It's very you... but tasteful."
The reflective strip along the top of the pockets should help a bit in low light conditions.
I think the jersey offers decent value at £90. I own a dhb Aeron Equinox Thermal jersey, which has an rrp of £85 (though it's currently around half that) and have found the Lusso more comfortable and accommodating of other layering garments, such as thicker baselayers and neckware, and it does have a more 'premium' feel to the material. I also found the pockets slightly more accommodating on the Lusso, which is a plus for anyone riding without a saddle bag. For me, the extra cost is justified.
Overall, I see this as a very useful addition to a cycling wardrobe; it's versatile enough to be used through the drier spring and autumn days, and if you combine it with a decent baselayer and gilet it can cope with many winter days. It's not the cheapest option available, but it's far from the most expensive, and I reckon its performance justifies the price.
Very comfortable and stylish jersey offering good warmth for the weight plus a little rain protection
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Long Sleeve Jersey+
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "Built on the strong foundations of our existing long sleeve jersey range, the long sleeve jersey + delivers on all those fundamental features + many more.
A completely new fabric has been used on all sections of the jersey which has exceptional stretch and warmth. The fleecy lining is softer and more plush and also features a DWR coating that is free of fluorocarbons which doesn't negatively impact the environment. This allows you to wear the jersey down to 5°c and below, firmly into jacket territory.
Reflective trim has been used on the tapered pockets, providing easy access and increased visibility at night. The 4th zipped pocket is now waterproof and larger in size, fitting most standard sized phones."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
A BRAND NEW PRODUCT FOR AW21, WE HAVE SOUGHT TO IMPROVE OUR EXISTING LONG SLEEVE JERSEYS IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.
WHAT HAVE WE CHANGED?
Unrestrictive stretchy fit
New soft & fleecy fabric
DWR water resistant coating (PFC free)
Internal zip flap & chin guard
Easy access cargo pockets
Zipped waterproof essentials pocket
Stitching looks very neat. Zip quality is good (strong and easy to use) with a zip garage.
Performed really well in the temperature range it is marketed for. Tested up to 11-12°C, and down to a 5°C that was more 'feels like 1°C' and it was great.
No deterioration during the testing period.
On my 5ft 6in and 69kg frame, the medium is a really good fit; the fabric offers an impressive amount of stretch without feeling restrictive or sagging too much around the pockets when fully loaded.
Decent level of warmth offered while being relatively light.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Cool wash without softeners. Jersey hasn't shrunk or changed shape.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Spot on – kept me warm right down to its lower limit and the pockets were easily roomy enough for my gear. Didn't find myself overheating on the warmer days, though admittedly I didn't get a chance to test at the claimed upper 15°C limit.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the lightweight stretchy material, the warmth it offers, and the clean design.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
dhb's Aeron Equinox Thermal jersey is cheaper, with an rrp of £85, but I've worn both and I'd say the Lusso is more comfortable and accommodating; it's £9 less than Santini's Colore Pure, while Gore's C5 Thermo Jersey is £119.99.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Absolutely
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good: well made, with a good fit, comfortable, light yet warm, and versatile.
About the tester
I usually ride: Felt AR3 road, Voodoo Bizango MTB My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, mtb, eRacing