With a slim, racy cut and comfortable fleece lining, these Lusso Nitelife Thermal Arm Warmers are a decent quality option for a bit of extra warmth in winter.
Ed Mason reviewed a similar pair of Cooltech arm warmers from Lusso back in the summer, and these are very much on the same theme, but with a couple of differences...
They certainly seem to sport the same fit and sizing, which I agree is particularly comfortable and suits riders with a longer arm span.
Where they differ is in the cuff, where reflective dots have been integrated to provide extra visibility when out in gloomy light, and in the gripper at the top of the arm. Here there's no silicone band to hold them up, instead you get a textured cuff at the top of the arm, made of a silicone-like material. I found that although silicone grippers in arm and leg warmers have never been an issue for me, these ensure a sleeker, more comfortable fit around the arm. The downside, though, is a greater chance that the warmers slide down.
As much as they're more comfortable, they're simply not as secure, even with relatively chunky arms. It meant that, when out cycling, I occasionally found a gap appearing between the end of my jersey's short sleeve and the top of the arm warmer. I tested a medium set and I do have particularly long arms, so this could partly explain why – but I remain slightly disappointed that the gripper material isn't as secure as it could be.
Back to the other change – the reflective cuffs. These, I think, are a resounding success, providing reassurance that my indications were easily seen by other road users (a particular bonus when wearing predominantly black clothing). The dots don't affect comfort, because the fleece Roubaix lining underneath runs from the hem to the upper gripper.
The lining keeps you warm and, when teamed with the outer membrane, makes for a soft and flexible fabric that moulds comfortably to the shape of your arm. It's not water resistant at all, but the breathability is excellent, so the fabric does dry relatively quickly in the event of a shower.
Manufacturing quality is good if unspectacular – the seams aren't going to come apart any time soon, and fit and comfort is retained after repeated washes – but I noticed a small amount of threading appearing from the top of the arm warmers, probably because of the slim nature of the gripper material not requiring a sealed seam at the end. This threading doesn't easily pull away, so I'd be happy to trim these with some scissors to minimise the effect.
So all in all, we're looking at some comfortable and competent arm warmers here, even if they're not devoid of flaws. With an rrp of £22.99 they strike me as a touch expensive, but if you can pick them up for sub-£20 they start looking like good value.
Comfortable and competent arm warmers, even if they're not devoid of flaws
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Nitelife Thermal Arm Warmers
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product 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?
Slim arm warmers with a Roubaix fabrics and added visibility cuffs for use in the winter.
Lusso says: "Our Thermal Roubaix Arm Warmers are great for riding in cooler conditions"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* 360° Reflective for safety
* Roubaix Fabric
* 4 way stretch fabric
* SC9 gripper
* Made in the UK
* Machine washable
Good for tempo riding as well as steadier commuting. A good all-rounder.
Nice cut in medium, just a bit short for my (admittedly) longer arms.
Fairly standard – see above for my personal issue with them.
70g isn't bad at all for winter arm warmers.
Lovely fabric – very soft and doesn't rub or chafe at all. The cuffs are also a nice touch for comfort, even if you compromise the grip around the arm slightly.
Slightly expensive, but not bank-breakingly so. Look for offers and these will present far better value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easily – stands up to 40 degree washes well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good – the only complaint for me is how they don't retain their position as well as some others.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort in the fabric, and I do like flat seams and grippers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of grip retention, slightly short for me.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? I would – but only at a slightly cheaper price.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, unless they have long arms like mine.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding