The Lusso Zigzag Multifunctional Neck Warmer is, as the name suggests, a multi-functional tube designed to be used in a variety of ways, not just protect against chills. Though hardly a new concept, it fits well and dries faster than more traditional types following a sharp shower.
OK, so let's talk tech. Well, it's our old friends polyester/Lycra (85 and 15% respectively). The fabric essentially feels like a very thin trade jersey and is peppered with tiny holes, presumably to retain warmth on the one hand, while trafficking wearer-generated stuff out.
There's not much in it, but the fabric's slightly thinner than the equivalent Buff, though loses little in terms of warmth during break-of-dawn blasts or starry, midnight meanders. Between 3 and 7 degrees, I've tended to wear it bandit fashion, drawn up above my nose.
Traditionally, the combination of a decent tempo and breathing results in a soggy mouth and cheeks; that's before a sharp spring shower's thrown into the mix, and anything heavier can feel like you're being water-boarded.
Here, there's some clamminess for around 10 minutes or so, and under concerted efforts my glasses have steamed up briefly. It doesn't keep pace with those made from merino wool, though the fibres seem to dry faster than a standard Buff following sharp showers and more persistent, moderate rain.
The white on black zig-zag pattern quickly grew on me, and is a serious social chameleon, complementing my entire cycling wardrobe, and doesn't look out of place worn with jeans and a T-shirt and other casual civvies. Good news if you're fond of other outdoor activities, such as walking/hiking. It could also come in handy for summer motorcycling.
Though not retro-reflective, the white comes alive under car and street lighting for a little extra presence.
Given my generous shock of hair, I'm not particularly fond of hats or similar headwear beneath my helmet, at least not until Arctic winds start coursing through the vents and the mercury's struggling to hit zero degrees. Those with a thinner covering will be pleased to note that it makes a decent head-scarf too.
Chest infections are my Achilles heel. I'll recover from flu-type colds in a matter of days, but the phlegmy chain-smoker's rattle lingers for weeks. Bunched up around the neck, the remainder slid between baselayer and jersey to provide a much-appreciated chill-cheating overlap, without feeling remotely intrusive. At the other extreme, this technique also protects the nape area from strong, early season sun.
Like most of this genre, it's easily removed and folded into a jersey pocket without any drama.
Worn religiously, every ride, for 36 hours between late March and mid-April, it turned a bit whiffy, as all synthetics do. It machine washes beautifully at 30 degrees and dries in around 20 minutes, less if line drying on a breezy day. Subsequent testing suggests a quick bucket rinse after five hours of riding is sufficient to keep it socially acceptable, which is handy for touring and endurance riding.
Overall, I'd say merino models have the edge, but with a subsequent price hike; at the other extreme, those with some basic sewing skills could whip one up on a sewing machine in around 20 minutes from a scrap jersey. That aside, the Zigzag Multifunctional Neck Warmer does exactly what it says in the blurb and for a fair price.
Useful multi-function tube that's comfortable to wear and reasonably priced
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Zigzag Multifunctional Neck Warmer
Size tested: One size
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?
"Multifuntional Neck Warmer –
. Thermal Insulation and Moisture management
* Protection against wind, heat, cold and dust
* Breathable – 85% Polyester 15% Lycra
* Made in the UK
* Machine washable
. ONE SIZE
I say: "No quibble, does exactly what it says in the blurb."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
85% polyester 15% Lycra
Nicely made, flat seam for comfort.
Seems rugged enough in the everyday sense, and a doddle to wash too.
One size fits all, so quite generous, but this adds to the versatility.
Well, most of us won't notice it in a negative sense.
A fair price, given that of the competition, although thrifty riders with a bit of sewing skill could probably knock up something similar from a scrap jersey.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy – pop in with the regular, household wash load at 30 degrees, or in a warm bucket with some soap-flakes. Dries in around 15 minutes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, it's a simple tube type garment that can be worn in a variety of ways to protect against chill, dust, or, indeed, strong sunlight. It's easily whipped on/off, feels tactile against the skin and, by synthetic standards, wicks moisture pretty convincingly too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Nice, timeless design that works with the entire wardrobe and lends itself to other outdoor activities. More tactile than many synthetics too.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the design brief and asking price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Simple but effective multi-functional garment. On the one hand it's not going to set anyone's pulse racing, but it's easily on par with some long-established and 'iconic' brands.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)