The Skylon from Lusso is exactly what a gilet should be: simple, warm and packable. It keeps out the worst of the weather and thanks to plenty of reflective detailing it's a great option for those out after dark.
- Pros: Water-resistant panels keep the drizzle out, well made
- Cons: Interesting rear pocket design
The Skylon has worked well in loads of weather conditions lately and has become a staple of my kit, either packed up small in a jersey pocket or stuffed in the bottom of my rucksack.
The front and side panels are made from the Skylon material, hence where the gilet gets its name from. It's a lightweight, showerproof and wind-resistant nylon fabric that works really well.
One bright, crisp morning ride, headed off into a nagging north-easterly headwind, and the chill was definitely noticeable through the majority of my kit, especially my arms covered only by a thin long-sleeve jersey.
My core, though, which was covered by the gilet, didn't feel any of it. I wasn't boiling hot, just a comfortable temperature without the windchill.
As the outside temperature warmed up, I did too, but thanks to the mesh back section which runs from the shoulders all the way to the hem, even incorporating the pockets, hot air escapes easily.
The showerproofing properties of the fabric are impressive too, especially against the likes of light drizzle and fog. The moisture just tends to bead off. When the rain gets heavy enough to soak through, you will obviously get wet, but you do at least stay warm.
Fit-wise the Skylon is cut close enough for a performance rider to not have loads of material flapping around, but you don't need to be a racing whippet to wear it. Lusso always has a knack of delivering what I consider realistic sizing for the typical UK cyclist.
To keep the draughts out the gilet has a really tall neck and thankfully comes with a zip garage to stop any irritation at the throat.
The rear is dropped nicely too, so it'll still give you plenty of coverage when hunkered down into the drops.
The hem is slightly elasticated, which holds it in place, and the cool thing is that it is reflective all the way round but subtle enough not to be noticed in the daylight. The Lusso logos front and rear are also reflective.
At the rear, the gilet has four pockets laid out like your traditional three but with the centre pocket divided down the middle. I like to use the middle pocket for my heavier items like a phone or multi-tool as I don't like the weight slipping around the side, but obviously I couldn't do this as the pockets are quite narrow, though they're ideal for a mini pump or energy gel.
The Skylon has crept up a fiver to 40 pounds over the previous edition but it still offers good value for money, especially considering Lusso stands by its policy of making pretty much everything in the UK.
On the whole, the Skylon is a simple gilet that works very well in a lot of conditions.
A great mix of packability, windproofing and water resistance in a well-priced package
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Skylon Gillet
Size tested: Medium
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?
Lusso says, "The Skylon Gillet is a really versatile piece of kit. It's shower proof, breathable and windproof. It folds away when not in use."
It's a simple piece of clothing, which is what I find so pleasing about it.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
* Showerproof Skylon Fabric
* Rear Pocket
* Fold away
* Made in UK
* Machine Washable
If you stick to the sizing guide you won't go wrong.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
You can machine wash it but it is so thin and lightweight I often just hand washed it with good results.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A great wind blocker and keeps light showers at bay.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
I'd prefer a wider middle pocket.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Lusso has a very competitive price against many others of similar design.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Well made and with great performance, the gilet's pocket layout is the only thing that I wasn't a huge fan of.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.