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Verdict: 
A superb take on a mod classic with some great cycling twists and a price tag to make you wince
Weight: 
738g
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The iconic Parka jacket was born in the 1960s and has been through the odd renaissance or two since then. More often thought of as the uniform of the mod, the swaggering Mancunian, or Kenny off South Park, it's rarely thought of as the ideal jacket for cycling. The Lumo Regents Parka has the features, fit and fabric to change that – though at some cost.

Lumo first jumped into our consciousness about a year ago when we featured its Kickstarter campaign on road.cc, and this is the second piece of the company's clothing we've had a chance to get our hands on from its debut 'London Collection' range. Last month I reviewed the Herne Hill Harrington Jacket, and I was very impressed. Now it's the turn of its bigger (and considerably pricier) sibling.

> Buy this online here

As you'd expect, the style of the jacket is that of a classic Parka. All the typical hallmarks are present and correct: hood, dropped hem, minimal features, and a relaxed fit. To all intents and purposes it doesn't look like any cycling jacket out there on the market, but that's the point – it's not meant to. It's what's under the bonnet that counts and this jacket certainly has a few tricks up its well-thought-out sleeves, including the showpiece (and backbone of the Lumo range): the integrated lights system.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - lit up.jpg

Flash man

At night the Regents Parka goes from understated to 'LOOK AT ME' with the flick of a switch. The front placket and rear hem each feature a set of 14 4-lumen LEDs, white on the front and red on the rear. While they're switched off the lights are almost completely invisible; they just look like a section of piping in an almost identical colour to the main jacket. Once activated they become a real attention grabber, in a good way.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - lit up hem.jpg

There are two modes to choose from, toggled with a simple press of a button: high energy pulse and a low energy flash, though no steady mode. They'll definitely get you noticed in traffic, though they aren't an alternative to a set of lights, more an enhancement.

The lights are powered by a small lithium polymer battery that sits neatly in a discreet pocket in the inside front panel of the jacket. This is plugged into a small lead that's sewn into the body of the jacket. The battery is small and light, and barely noticeable when you're carrying it around. It features a single large button that activates the lights as well as toggling between the modes.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - battery pack pocket.jpg

Getting it in and out of its pouch can be a faff, but it's easy enough to press the button through the fabric of the coat once you get used to it. The battery life is between 6 and 14 hours depending on which modes you're using, and it's got a simple USB charger, ideal for plugging in at your desk ready for the ride home. The LEDs are waterproof and washable too, so no need to worry about getting caught in the rain.

Fit for purpose

The cut of the jacket is relaxed – it's designed to be worn over regular clothing but has enough give in it that it works well on the bike too. There's an elasticated panel across the shoulders that gives it some flexibility. The sleeves are cut long enough and with a scallop shape so they cover the top of your wrists when you're holding the handlebar, and they also have an elasticated Lycra inner cuff that keeps the wintry elements at bay.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - back.jpg

The jacket also has a peaked hood which can be handy, but isn't much use if you're wearing a helmet. It's actually a bit more considered than your run of the mill hood as the edges are sculpted to give that extra bit of peripheral vision.

The collar is pretty snug for wintry rides. It does up high around the neck and is lined with a fleecy material so it's soft against the skin.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - fleece lining inside collar.jpg

The front placket snaps shut with a magnetic closure and there are drawstrings if you want to pull it in tighter around your chin.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - collar.jpg

The Parka styling of the jacket dictates that the hem is dropped pretty low when you're off the bike, but this works well on the bike too, keeping your back well covered and any wintry gusts firmly locked out.

Lumo claims that the jacket is designed for colder conditions, its optimum temperature range between -5 and 15°C. This feels about right, though it can get a bit warm into double figures – how warm depends on the speed and topography of your ride, of course.

Material world

The main material used in the jacket is 'Schoeller® c_change', which combines a wool exterior with a weather proof membrane. It makes for a pretty sturdy barrier against the elements. The fabric is quoted as being able to withstand 10,000mm of water in a static column test, which means that to all intents and purposes it's fully waterproof unless subjected to very high pressures, but the jacket itself can't be classed as waterproof because of the untaped seams. In the real world it performs really well in the wet – nothing penetrated the fabric, even in some pretty miserable conditions. It's windproof too, so you're fully wrapped up against the winter.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket.jpg

Breathability is also impressive. Although it's quite a heavy jacket and gives a first impression that it will be pretty warm to ride in, it regulates body temperature surprisingly well. A large open vent across the back is a pretty simple solution to the problem, but this is combined with the Schoeller membrane, which does the clever bits. The c_change technology adapts according to the conditions: during physical activity when things start to heat up, the membrane opens to release heat and body moisture, but when things cool down the membrane closes up to retain heat. To put a more accurate measurement on the jacket's breathability performance, a materials Ret value tells you how breathable it is; 0-6 is considered 'extremely breathable' and the Regents Parka comes in at 2. Pretty impressive.

Pockets and polka dots

The jacket has a couple of zippered hand warmer pockets with rain flaps to add a bit of extra protection against the elements, and inside there's a zipped chest pocket. On the back there's a rear pocket with a magnetic closure that's angled perfectly for reaching into even, if you're steady enough, while you're riding.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - back pocket.jpg

There are small reflective tabs on the cuffs and the rear pocket, but they are pretty small and are eclipsed by the power of the lights when activated. More a back-up plan if your battery were to fail on you mid-ride.

Off the bike the jacket is pretty understated, in a good way. There's nothing about it that would suggest 'cycling' to the untrained eye. It's a Parka that could easily be donned by a Gallagher brother without a second thought. The simple colour and styling, combined with the slight flashes of the Lumo signature polka dots on the placket and pocket flaps, is sophisticated and tastefully done. The jacket is as at home on the high street or in the pub as it is flying along at 20mph on a frantic cycle across town.

Lumo Regents Parka jacket - zip and placket.jpg

The Regents Parka is available in just the one colour, and in both men's and women's cuts. Men's sizing ranges from XS (36in chest) up to XL (46in chest), and the women's are XS (size 6) up to XL (size 16).

> Check out our guide to the best casual commuting wear here

The final hurdle the jacket has to clear is the price, and this is where the Regents Parka takes a tumble. At £400 it's up there with one of the most expensive single items of clothing we've reviewed on road.cc, and certainly raised a few eyebrows around the office. It's a big jump from the £250 Herne Hill Harrington that we reviewed previously. For that extra cash you're getting: more jacket (it's bigger and thicker), and more impressive and advanced material technology, but that's about it. It's certainly a jacket that's going to stand the test of time and the styling is pretty timeless, but nonetheless £400 is a massive outlay and it's hard to find a way to justify it. You do get free delivery and returns, but I think you'd kind of expect that.

The silver lining on this considerably expensive cloud is that the jacket actually qualifies for the government's cycle to work scheme. It comes under the 'reflective clothing or safety equipment' remit of the scheme. Depending on whether your employer is signed up and your tax rate, you could save up to 42 per cent on the rrp, which might just sugar the pill a bit.

Verdict

A superb take on a mod classic with some great cycling twists and a price tag to make you wince

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: Lumo Regents Parka jacket

Size tested: Medium, Blue/Grey

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?

The Regents Parka is a urban cycling jacket modelled on the 1960s Parka jacket.

Lumo says: "A futuristic adaption of the 1960's classic mod Parka, Designed for the eye, built for the bike"

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

- Scalloped fitted hood to enable peripheral vision

- Zipped closure internal and external pockets

- Back pocket with magnet closure for easy access whilst riding ]

- Dropped hem to keep you covered on the bike

- Reflective trims on back pocket and cuffs for additional visibility

- Elasticated shoulder panels for added flex

- Fleece lined collar

- Vented back for maximum breathability

- Sculpted outer cuffs with Lycra® inner cuffs for wind proofing

- Additional sleeve length

- 14x 4 Lumen LED light strips running vertically down the front centre and also horizontally across the rear hem of the jacket

- Two settings: high energy pulse and low energy flash

- USB rechargeable with connector lead

- 6 - 14 hour operation time, with battery life indicator

- LEDS are fully waterproof and washable

- 1100mAh 3.7v lithium polymer battery unit

- Schoeller® c_change™ fabric

- Windproof

- Waterproof - Water column test result of >10,000 mm

- Highly breathable - MVTR value: 10,000 g/m /24h

- RET value: < 2

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made with good quality fabrics and features, built to last.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10

Excellent on and off the bike. Stood up well against the elements and delivered on all it offers. The lights are its showpiece feature and they work excellently.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

Really good during the review period, very little sign of wear and tear.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

It's classed as water resistant rather than waterproof, due to the untaped seams and vents. It stood up well even in persistent rain.

Rate the jacket for breathability, based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
9/10

Appearances can be deceptive, looks like it will be a really warm jacket to ride in but it's surprisingly breathable.

Rate the jacket for fit:
 
9/10

The fit is just right, relaxed enough to wear a few layers underneath, sleeves and hem are long enough to stay covered when you're in the saddle.

Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for weight:
 
7/10

Quite weighty for a jacket to ride in, but it's made for the winter months so it's to be expected.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
6/10

It's a highly specced jacket with a unique feature and uses some great material technology...but the £400 price tag is still hard to justify. It's £150 more than the other jacket in the same range, but that extra value doesn't quite add up.

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

Fairly easy, it's hand wash only as the lights won't stand up to the vigours of a washing machine.

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

Very well, perfect for transferring between being on the bike and off the bike.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

The lights work brilliantly, as does the material technology.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

The price.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe, if it was in a sale, or slightly cheaper.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes, a rich friend.

Use this box to explain your score

The Lumo Regents Parka jacket performs really well, has some great features and looks good on and off the bike. It would be a 9 if it wasn't for the value aspect.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 5'10  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: KHS Flite 100 Singlespeed/Fixed, Genesis Equilibrium 20  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: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed

Oli has been a road.cc staffer since day one. He's the graphic design and photography force behind the site, and has got a keen eye for good quality, well designed cycling kit. You'll find him on his bike everyday whatever the weather, he's got a penchant for a steel frame and has had 'fit mudguards' on his To Do list for nearly 6 years now. Likes: cold toast, gin, rugby. Dislikes: fitting mudguards. 

14 comments

Avatar
barbarus [536 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

It's certainly expensive but then again I spend this much on petrol in 2 months. In my little fantasy world where I get off my arse and find a job within cycling distance I will wear one of these on my commute.

Avatar
rojre [37 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

I cant see this one being popular with the 2 million odd people out there on the minimum wage.

Avatar
fizrar6 [50 posts] 3 years ago
2 likes
rojre wrote:

I cant see this one being popular with the 2 million odd people out there on the minimum wage.

 

Minimum wage has nothing to do with it. I'm sure the majority of cyclists would not pay £400 for a jacket. My Pro-Viz was about £70 and I thought that was expensive.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1426 posts] 3 years ago
2 likes
fizrar6 wrote:

Minimum wage has nothing to do with it. I'm sure the majority of cyclists would not pay £400 for a jacket. My Pro-Viz was about £70 and I thought that was expensive.

 

Many people would find £70 expensive when you can pay £15 for something from Decathlon that will keep you 'dry'. Based on the ratio of 400/70 vs 70/15, your Pro-Viz jacket is as overpriced as you think this one is.

The Pro Viz parka screams 'CYCLIST', this one doesn't. Were I commuting regularly and needing to lounge about town in/out of venues / meetings, I'd probably save up and invest in something that looked great and was built to last as opposed to a bit of sports kit made to a budget.

Of course your idea of 'value', 'style' and 'functionality' is unique to you, as mine is to me.

'The majority' of cyclists probably wouldn't value this as much as they would other things, and that's OK. As commented above, they will probably spend far more on other things of questionable 'value', whilst enjoying a sub-optimal technical/fasion experience for many years. Not to say that stupid money should be spent, but there's a real issue with investing in quality kit that pervades UK cycling. 

The last jacket I purchased was a Marmot technical ski parka, 10 years ago. At the time it cost US$300 - or about NZ$600 pesos (we were living in NZ at the time). That's the equivalent in then-earning power of spending £600 today. It's still a great jacket, It's been thrashed, but it's not quite as long as I now want, plus it does look/feel like 'rainwear'. I've been looking for a replacement for a year now, that is more suited towards casual cycling in inclement weather. At £400 for what should be decades of use, this one looks quite the business. Onto The List it goes. YMMV.

Avatar
rojre [37 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

Yes many of us have spent bucks on the occasianal item, i spent £250 on a Berghouse rain jacket over  11 years ago and did i get £250 use out of it "no way". I think i'd get the 70 quids worth from the Pro-viz though. But "sub-optimal technical/fashion experience" it may have been, but im not too sure about that.

Avatar
fizrar6 [50 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

My Pro-Viz is a Winter jacket for dark nights. The last one I had lasted 3-years so if I buy a new one every 3 years by the time I'm ready to buy the 4th  I'll only have spent £210. I wonder what state KiwiMike's Lumo Regents Parka jacket will be in 2027 and and he'll have spent £400.

Avatar
KiwiMike [1426 posts] 3 years ago
1 like
fizrar6 wrote:

My Pro-Viz is a Winter jacket for dark nights. The last one I had lasted 3-years so if I buy a new one every 3 years by the time I'm ready to buy the 4th  I'll only have spent £210. I wonder what state KiwiMike's Lumo Regents Parka jacket will be in 2027 and and he'll have spent £400.

 

[WARNING: Two bottles of decent Malbec in}

Yeah but you'd look like a cyclist tit for a decade. And had to buy three jackets. POLAR BEARS ARE DYING BECAUSE IF THIS SORT OF PRO+FLIGANCY.

Avatar
Rapha Nadal [1124 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I'd use this coat both on and, more frequently, off the bike so £400 wouldn't seem so steep when I know I'd get a lot of use out of it.  I wouldn't spend that amount on a cycling only jacket though!

Avatar
cyclisto [412 posts] 3 years ago
2 likes

It is nice, but it costs twice the money I paid for my bicycle!

Avatar
jasecd [555 posts] 3 years ago
2 likes

It is nice, but it is too expensive for me. I've got a lovely Vulpine rain jacket which is great off the bike and given the quality, I can't see how this is worth more than twice the amount it cost, reagrdless of the lighting system.

Avatar
Christopher TR1 [248 posts] 3 years ago
1 like

Cycling jacket with a hood? All the aero features of a bin bag? 400 squid? It's a joke, right?

Buy a Gabba for on the bike and a normal parka (or even something decent) for off the bike and treat yourself to a slap up meal with the money saved.

Avatar
arfa [859 posts] 3 years ago
2 likes

I am a very happy owner of a vulpine mens rain jacket. The cut is perfect, I have worn it in the pub (without comments about cycling gear from pass remarkable pals), it's waterproof, breathable and is half the price. I am also fairly sure it will have the longevity you'do expect from a quality jacket.
£400 is far too steep a price in my humble opinion.

Avatar
rojre [37 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I suppose its not such a big deal if you want to spend 400 on a jacket and its within your spending capabilities particulary if you dont want to go to a get together looking like a cyclist. Although there is the option of putting a pair of padded boxers under your trousers and whatever  you like on top! a fleese, a parka (i didnt know they still existed) or a tweed jacket. The lighting systemof that jacket, phewee a Cateye on the handlebars and rear. Pocket them when you park . Effective and about 25 quid for the pair and what happens if or when the built in lights pack in.

Avatar
don simon fbpe [2989 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It's a cracking looking jacket, just not £400 cracking. Not sure I'd stump up the current £200 asking price for it either. £150 would possibly get the cheque book out though.