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Lusso's Depart Jersey is a very light, highly breathable and comfortable summer top. You get an aero fit with a low neckline for great on-the-bike fit. The body was a little long for me, but this will be perfect for taller riders.
Designed as a jersey for warm weather racing, the Depart jersey was perfectly capable of dealing with body heat in the last of the warm summer sunshine. Out on the bike, I was happy to wear this in a mix of different weather conditions. The high breathability means it works really well under a thicker layer on cold and wet days. But in the warm weather that it was designed for, this works really nicely, feeling fast and cool without the commonly associated price tag.
Let's start with the fabric as I feel it's the main strength of this jersey. Lusso says that it is made from a 'super lightweight Italian Aero Fabric', but it's actually made up of three main materials.
The shoulders and sleeves are a very thin Lycra that offers a close but comfortable fit thanks to the high levels of stretch. The main part of the body is made using a close mesh, while the side panels and pockets are made from a different, less stretchy mesh. It is all put together using a panel design. That leaves quite a bit of stitching, but it's all soft and strong.
The breathability of the material is noticeable while riding. It feels like the air is going straight through to the skin. On a warm ride, this is bliss, especially if you're tackling the hills. I also decided to give this a go on some cooler rides when I'd be wearing a jacket. The jersey works well here, preventing undue overheating which can be pretty easy in a rain jacket.
The cut is quite good. Lusso has designed this to be a 'race fit'. The shoulders, neck and arms are comfortable, with that stretch in the material giving a close fit, but I do feel the front part of the jersey is a little too long. I found quite a bit of bunching when riding in the drops although I am relatively short in the upper body (it's not me in the photos). Personally, I'd size down and pick the small as I feel the amount of stretch in the fabric would mean comfort isn't compromised.
I really like the way that the neck is cut. We're seeing this become a more common design and it's one I prefer. There's no material around the neck to irritate you and it's also a little more aero. The zipper is smooth and doesn't irritate at all.
The hem of the jersey is finished with a gripper which kept everything in place when I had pretty full pockets. There are also grippers on the cuffs. These are spread over a nice wide area, comfortably holding the sleeves where they should be. That'll please those of you who like your tan lines to be crisp!
At the back are your three standard pockets and a zip pocket for a phone or keys. It fits my iPhone 6s in its case but it won't fit anything bigger than that. The pockets are slightly stretchy and hold a mini-pump, jacket and other bits securely.
Washing the jersey is simple. It can go in a mixed load at 40 or 30 with no issues. I'd hang dry this as the arm grippers will peel in the tumble dryer. It dries very quickly thanks to the thin material, so that's not an issue.
If you're looking for a performance jersey without a crazy price tag then this is a very good option at £64.99. In fact, it's difficult to find a similar jersey under £100. Rapha's Pro Team Climber's jersey is double the price at £130, and Castelli's Climber's is £85.
If you want a low weight or highly breathable jersey, this is a very good option.
Breathable, comfortable and a great price – a very good climbers' jersey
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Depart Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says: "The Depart Jersey is a Climbers Jersey made from super lightweight Italian Aero Fabric. Race fit design with great breathability for those Alpine Climbs."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Low Neck & Aero
Moisture Transfer Fabric
Full Front Access Zip
4 Rear Pockets ( 1 Zipped )
Reflective Elements Front & Rear
Designed and Made in Manchester
The stitching is nicely done and the fabrics are well chosen. It may be simple, but this is well made.
Breathes very well so it meets its main aim. The airflow is very good and I like the 'aero' collar which is also more comfortable for me than a traditional design.
It hasn't been through any crashes, but it has washed well and remained soft.
For me, this medium was a little too long in the body. Everything else was fine though.
If you want a proper race fit, then try a size down.
113g is only 9g heavier than a jersey costing twice as much.
The fabric is soft enough to wear directly against the skin and stays that way through many washes. Neither the zipper nor the stitching cause irritation. The material has plenty of stretch so it didn't feel tight, just close.
It is noticeably cheaper than Castelli's and Rapha's offerings, although you can get the Castelli Climber's jersey marked down to £65.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash with other stuff at 30 or 40 and then hang dry. Easy.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. I was comfortable when climbing in hot conditions as the airflow is very good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability is very good. It coped with hot days and also cooler weather when I wore it under a rain jacket.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cut on this medium is a little long and would have me buying a small. It's not a huge issue, but I feel that if you're going to call something 'race fit', then it should fit well when you're in the drops.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's similar in weight to Castelli and Rapha's Climber's jerseys. It breathes very well and, in the case or the Rapha jersey, is half the price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, it breathes really well.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It offers great breathability and fit at a very good price point. The front could be just a little shorter to really make it a proper race cut.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!