The Lusso Aqua Repel Jacket combines a high level of water resistance with good design touches and an excellent fit due to the stretchiness of the material. It competes well with the Castelli Gabba 2 for around 35 quid less.
Given that Lusso products are handmade in Manchester, the company ought to be good at making rainwear. The Aqua Repel jacket is made from Windtex Storm Shield fabric, which Lusso claims is “lightweight thermal, windproof, water repellent and waterproof”. A guaranteed water column of 10,000mm suggests this jacket should cope with the worst that the notorious Mancunian climate can throw at it.
So, how does it perform? In showers, the answer is extremely well, with rain beading and running off the fabric impressively. In more persistent heavy rain the untaped seams do start to seep moisture, particularly on the shoulders, but it's not excessive – and certainly wasn't enough to have me running for cover, partly because the overall comfort of the jacket compensates for a touch of dampness.
That comfort comes courtesy of the fabric's four-way stretch, which translates into an excellent snug fit that makes it not only extremely pleasant to wear but means no flapping on the bike. The jacket also has impressive breathability, and even on fast commutes there was no "boil-in-the-bag" effect.
The claimed windproofing really seems to work, with no cold draughts getting through. The fabric is quite thick, and on cool autumn (and potentially spring) mornings it provided sufficient warmth with just a thin baselayer or short-sleeve jersey underneath. On the few occasions this winter when the temperature has dropped towards freezing, I've used a thermal layer instead and that has kept the chill off.
Also helping to keep the weather out is a deep windflap behind the zip, a tall but comfortable collar and a long tail with a wide, reflective lower hem. Three deep rear pockets and an extra zipped one big enough for a smartphone complete a high quality package.
Overall, the Aqua Repel performs very well and has become my go-to jacket for cold, damp conditions.
A well made, high performance jacket at an excellent price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Aqua Repel Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Blue
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?
Lusso calls this a rain jacket. It looks and feels a lot like Castelli's Gabba 2 and the quality of the jacket certainly bears comparison. The Windtex Storm Shield fabric is very stretchy and does a good job of repelling water and keeping wind out.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windtex Storm Shield Fabric which is a lightweight thermal, windproof, water repellent and waterproof.
Designed with 4-way stretch that fits and adapts perfectly to the body.
Breathability: >10,000gr/m2 x 24hr
Water Column: 10,000mm guaranteed
* Full Front Zip
* Storm Flap
* Long Tail
* 4 Rear Pockets (1 Zipped)
* High Neck
* Reflective Strips on front and rear
* SC9 Hem Gripper
* Made in Manchester, UK.
It performs really well in all but the foulest of weather.
The stretchy fabric means it doesn't restrict movement at all.
I would say it outperforms its price tag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well in typical British autumn/winter riding conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit, the comfort and the water resistance.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Genesis Day One Singlespeed My best bike is: Souped-up Cannondale CAADX
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Andy Ward works his socks off for the NHS as a GP and teaching at Leicester Medical School. After a brief foray into road racing he decided it hurt less to fall off on mud and is now most likely to be found on his cyclocross bike. He recently surprised himself by completing the Three Peaks without breaking his bike or any limbs