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Lusso Women’s Perform Winter Jacket



First-rate protection as the temperatures plummet and showers are around, but handle the fabrics with care
Recycled material
Bright colour options
Great protection from the cold
Good breathability for the level of waterproofing
Fabrics seem a little delicate

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Lusso's Women's Perform Winter Jacket is the most recent offering from the Manchester-based clothing company. It's perfectly suited to cold, damp days in the saddle and doesn't need a huge number of supporting layers to keep you toasty warm. Encouragingly, fabrics are recycled and PFC/PFAS-free, while the packaging is recyclable too. Some bright colour options reinforce the jacket's winter credentials – they're sure to increase your visibility on the dullest of days.

For more options, check out our guide to the best winter cycling jackets.

> Buy now: Lusso Women’s Perform Winter Jacket for £160 from Lusso

The Perform Winter Jacket replaces Lusso's Aqua Extreme Jacket, which itself is an evolution of the Aqua Repel Jacket. We've tested most iterations, starting in 2016 with the Aqua Repel, the Aqua Extreme Repel in 2017, and, most recently, the Extreme Repel V2. While the Extreme V2 never appeared in the women's collection, the Perform is offered in both the women's and men's ranges. Given Stu handed out the coveted 10/10 for the Extreme Repel V2, I was keen to see how the Perform, erm, performed...

Fabrics & fit

The softshell jacket is made with what Lusso describes as a 'new and improved fabric', which has a 20,000mm water column rating and is made from 'a recycled (PFC and PFAS free) polyester face'. The interior is a brushed fleece – soft to the touch, without the cold feel that some water-resistant jackets have. It's got plenty of give in all directions.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - inside.jpg

The underarm panels are made of a thinner, even stretchier fabric with a DWR treatment.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - underarm panel.jpg

Colour choices are considerate of all tastes – eye-dazzling orange, bright blue, and black. The orange I've been testing really is striking. It was perfect for foggy conditions when dark gear just blends into the surrounding.

Effective reflective logos and trim have been added at the rear, though it's no match for the generous reflective detailing that appeared on the Aqua Extreme Repel – perhaps a little disappointing if you do a lot of night riding.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - reflective.jpg

For my dimensions, Lusso's size chart suggests a medium jacket (it's not me in the photos, that's Tass, who reckons she'd need a large). The length is spot on for me, both in body and arm. The cut at the front is distinctly bike-specific, so shorter than you might hope for off the bike, but perfect when on it, and the fit around my chest and torso is good – enough room for a baselayer or two.

I found the sleeves a little less optimal, though. They are on the tight side around the forearm, making fitting a jersey under them tough going, and while there's no restriction, it feels like the fabric and seams are being put under stress. Sizing up might be an option, but given the room I have around the torso, it's likely a large would drown my body and possibly lead to flapping in windy conditions.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - cuff.jpg

The drop at the rear is brilliant. The extensive coverage might be seen as an extra layer of protection for the lower back, or a splash board for anyone venturing out without conventional full mudguards in wet conditions.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - drop.jpg

An effective silicone strip on the inside of the jacket helps to anchor the jacket, holding it firmly in place, even with fully loaded pockets.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - inside gripper and tail.jpg

At the other end, the collar is exceptionally high, potentially eliminating the need for a neck warmer if you are in the habit of using one. It has the same fleecy lining as the main body so doesn't irritate.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - collar.jpg

There's also a generous guard for the smooth-running zip, plus a zipper garage at the top. All of this ensures that even if the jacket isn't fully zipped up, the zip itself won't make contact with the neck or chin – good to know if you're not a fan of high collars.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - wind buffer.jpg

Overall construction and finishing looks good. However, I have reservations about the robustness of some of the fabrics. The cuffs are already showing signs of wear after being used with gloves that have Velcro tabs. Admittedly, Velcro will take its toll on many fabrics, but harder-wearing fabric might have been a better choice here given the high proportion of winter gloves with Velcro (that the cuffs will inevitably be in contact with).

2023 Lusso Perform Winter Jacket cuff wear.JPG

The rear has also acquired a nick in it, perhaps from a sharp keyring or similar object, suggesting the outer membrane is somewhat delicate. In short, treat the jacket with care.


The Perform arrived just as temperatures dipped, ideal conditions to test Lusso's claim that it's 'designed to tackle the harsh UK winter weather'.

Most of the time I teamed the jacket with a winter-specific baselayer, and rarely added a second one even though there's room – the jacket alone offers excellent protection against biting winds and cold air. Even in sub-zero temperatures my core stayed comfortably warm. There's no need for a gilet, you really do get away with wearing just two layers, even on the coldest of days.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - hem.jpg

For me the jacket has an upper temperature limit of about 8°C, though that will be an individual preference. I paired it with a short-sleeved baselayer when temperatures neared double figures and found that I wasn't overheating.

The jacket has withstood squally showers very well. A three-hour ride in on-off drizzle was not a problem for it – I arrived home warm and dry (on my upper body) – though persistently heavier rain eventually penetrates the membrane. That's maybe not such bad news if you're happy to sit on an indoor trainer rather than enduring two hours in heavy rain; it's only a few unexpected showers that need to be held off.

> 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain – essential kit and equipment choices to conquer the wettest rides

If you do opt to venture out in persistent rain and combine the Perform jacket with a full-on waterproof, it'll need to be a generous one in order to accommodate the jacket's bulk, particularly around the neck.

The materials do a good job of retaining body warmth. For the protection it offers against the cold, its breathability is very good. The underarm panels are noticeably effective in regulating body temperature, permitting a welcome amount of airflow. Riding at tempo didn't have me overheating, rather feeling somewhat toasty, and thankfully, this didn't instantly turn to a chilly feel if I backed off.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - back.jpg

For me, the jacket performed on a par with Castelli's RoS Light Jacket (though this has been refined since I tested it). The fabrics Lusso uses have a bit more substance to them and feel distinctly cosier, but the overall protection against the elements is parallel. It's a perfect choice for a bitterly cold day when there's a chance of precipitation. Lusso has UK riders covered.


The pockets are much more roomy than those you get with many women's jackets – there's ample space to accommodate a waterproof in the central rear pocket, and a mini-pump on top. The side ones don't compensate in terms of capacity as a consequence either – they are comparable to many brands' central pockets in terms of volume.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - pockets.jpg

An elasticated trim ensures contents are secure, and I've had no issues accessing them – they are well positioned. That includes the zipped valuable pocket, which has a decent opening to get your hand in.

2023 Lusso Women's Perform Winter Jacket - zip pocket.jpg


Considering the level of protection the Perform Winter Jacket offers, without the need for a supporting gilet or mid-layer, the £160 price tag is far from eye-watering.

> Read more reviews of women’s cycling jackets here

By comparison, Specialized's RBX Softshell is £150 and won't hold off any rain, and my experience with Pactimo's Storm + Jacket was underwhelming and that has an rrp of £170. And the most recent version of the Castelli RoS Jacket that I mentioned earlier is £320.


Despite my quibbles with the delicate fabrics and the tighter-than-expected sleeves, I've really warmed to the Perform Winter Jacket. I would definitely recommend it as a reliable option if you're happy to get outside when the temperatures tumble, the northerly winds pick up and showers are forecast.


First-rate protection as the temperatures plummet and showers are around, but handle the fabrics with care test report

Make and model: Lusso Women's Perform 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?

Lusso says this is 'a highly wind/ water resistant thermal jacket designed to tackle the harsh UK winter weather. Made from recycled materials that are PFC and PFAS free.'

In full, it says:

A women's specifc fitting highly wind/ water resistant thermal jacket designed to tackle the harsh UK winter weather. Made from recycled materials that are PFC and PFAS free.

The Perform Winter Jacket is a soft-shell like no other. It features Windtex Pro 3 ply membrane fabric, with a water column rating that puts full on waterproof hard-shells to shame - but it moves, breathes, and feels like a plush jersey. The fabric has a brushed fleece inner, trapping in warm air and working hard to wick sweat away. We have also included breathable DWR stretch panels under the armpits for better articulation in a riding position.

We've included more high visibility panels in this latest version, and we also offer a black option if stealth is your thing. All reflective detailing has been specced to be Charcoal grey in daylight for a subtle aesthetic, but shines brightly in car head lights.

A traditional 3 pocket layout on the rear with the additional waterproof zipped valuables pocket we know you'll come to love. Below these pockets sits our fan-favourite storm flap. This dropped tail design provides additional coverage against rain and road spray and, importantly, can be the difference between you being cozy and freezing your arse off. Literally.

How do we make the best even better? The good news is that we've not tried to re-invent the wheel. Our winter jackets have been a staple of the all-year cyclist for many years now and whether you're upgrading from an old one or this is your first, you're in for an upgrade to your winter season riding.'

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

Lusso lists these details:

-Temperature rating: 0 - 12 degrees

-Recycled fabrics

-PFC & PFAS free

-Windtex pro 3 layer construction

-Thermal and Breathable

-Plush fleece lining

-Dropped tail

-Charcoal reflective detailing

-Highly Windproof

-Waterproof internal zip flap

-4 way stretch

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:

Well made, but the fabrics should be handled with care.

Rate the jacket for performance:

Excellent in the cold, fends off light showers very well.

Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for fit:

All very good, except around the forearms.

Rate the jacket for sizing:

If you want to accommodate more than just a baselayer underneath, consider sizing up.

Rate the jacket for weight:

What you would expect from a winter jacket.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
Rate the jacket for value:

Good value compared with rivals from Specialized, Pactimo and Castelli.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

In with other cycling gear at 30 degrees, no issues.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Perfect for cold, damp conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Length at rear, bright colour. Protection against cold (with just one baselayer).

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Fit around the forearms – just a touch too tight for me.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on

Very reasonably priced. Comparable jackets from Specialized, Castelli and Pactimo are either similarly priced but offer less protection or significantly more costly.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

The performance overshadows my issues with the fit at the forearms, and won't be an issue for everyone anyway. I've only marked it down because of the delicate nature of the fabrics – a small price to pay for using recycled ones, perhaps.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 173cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Road  My best bike is: Carbon road.

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: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!

Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling. 

After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing. 

Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…

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