Lusso's Turbo Vest is a baselayer designed specifically to be worn on its own on the indoor trainer. What sets it apart from a standard baselayer is that it has three pockets across the rear like a jersey, which can be useful – though to access them you have to wear the vest over your bib shorts.
Back in September last year I tested Lusso's Race Base Vest, which I really liked. The Turbo Vest feels and looks pretty much the same, but with the addition of those pockets. I really like the Turbo Vest too.
The four-way stretch material gives you a close yet comfortable fit without restricting your movement when changing position on the bike. It's a mixture of 75% nylon, 20% Lycra and 5% polyester.
The material is very soft against the skin and is impressively breathable thanks to its mesh-like construction. When on the turbo with an open window or a fan on you do feel cool, and the fabric doesn't get overwhelmed in sweat either, unless you are absolutely smashing it. Ease off and allow the airflow to circulate and it soon dries.
The three pockets on the rear are pretty similar to those found on a typical jersey in their size and layout. The thin mesh fabric is actually pretty sturdy – on the turbo I loaded them up with various things like my phone, TV remote control, and snacks. Even with heavier items in there it didn't feel like the pockets were sagging at any point.
The only downside is that if you wear bib shorts you'll need to wear the baselayer over the top so you can access the pockets – not ideal really, as the whole point of a baselayer is to be in direct contact with your skin.
The Turbo Vest is manufactured in Manchester and the overall quality is very good, with neat and tidy stitching throughout. The size guide is spot on too.
One criticism I had of the Race Base Mesh Vest was that it could stain from perspiration when only washed at the recommended 30°C; Lusso has upped the max temperature here to 40°C which has sorted the issue.
Price-wise, the Turbo Vest is on a par with the competition. Take the pockets out of the equation for a moment and it's the same price as the Alé Intimo Velo – okay, a penny less – which has a similar construction.
The bigger thorn in the side of the Turbo Vest is its stablemate, that Lusso Race Base Vest, which is just £22.99, so you are paying an extra £12 for the pockets.
Overall, as a baselayer the Turbo Vest works very well, offering great wicking and breathability, and while the pockets aren't perfectly placed for wearing under bib shorts, they do offer an extra-secure place to stash cards or cash when riding outside.
Impressive wicking and breathability but you'll have to wear it over your bibs to have access to the pockets
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Turbo Vest
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says, "This Lusso Garment is designed to be used indoors whilst riding your turbo trainer. Designed to keep your body cool with extreme breathability, this high stretch wicking material channels heat and moisture away from the body. It features three pockets to store items away such as food/phone/remote control."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Designed for Turbo Trainer use
Rapid Moisture Transfer
3 Rear Pockets Storage
High Wicking, Multi-Filament Yarns
4 way Stretch for Fit
Made in UK
Machine Washable at 40c
Great wicking performance as a baselayer, but the pocket position doesn't really work for me.
Sizing aligns perfectly with Lusso's guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washing it at the recommended temperature worked fine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a baselayer it performs very well, I'm just not sure whether the pockets are a massive plus for me.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Impressive performance against the heat.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Pocket position means you have to wear it over your bib shorts.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
As far as mesh baselayers go it is in a similar price range to those mentioned from Chapeau and Alé, although they don't have pockets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, because of having to wear it over bib straps.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your overall score
My biggest gripe is that I prefer my baselayer beneath my bib straps, which isn't possible with the Turbo Vest if you want to get to the pockets. That aside, it is very well made and does a great job of dealing with heat and moisture.
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!