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Warm, comfortable and water repellent enough to withstand all but the worst of days, the Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme Jacket does a lot of very sensible things very well indeed. Throw in a flattering fit and enough reflectivity and colour to make it highly visible without tipping over into garishness, and it's a real winner.
Stu tested the Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel V2 jacket last year and gave it full marks. The Aqua Pro Extreme costs a little more, but I'm similarly impressed.
The Aqua Pro Extreme's Windtex Storm Shield membrane is categorised as 'water repellent' – which is typically considered to be a step down from fully waterproof, but a step up from merely water resistant. The material boasts a 10,000mm waterproof rating, which is enough for moderate rain and it certainly lives up to this. The seams aren't taped, as they are on a number of jackets, and so given long enough in heavy enough rain this is presumably where water would make its way in – but nothing got through in testing, and I'd say it'll serve you well the vast majority of the time.
If fact it's waterproof enough that without flaps over the pockets, water could conceivably begin to pool in the two outer pockets where the drainage isn't quite as good, but I think this is highly unlikely. (There's also a separate, reasonably sized zip pocket for your phone.)
With its quilted, windproof front, the Aqua Pro Extreme is a warm jacket. I'm sure of that. I set off on a clear November day, with the temperature reading just 1°C, wearing this, a thin baselayer, a short sleeve jersey and a pair of bib shorts. I assumed this was nowhere near enough clothing (I wanted to give the jacket a challenge) but it turned out to be merely not quite enough clothing.
I was out for almost six hours – including sitting down outdoors for a coffee because the café was full – and only for the first 20 minutes did I think I'd made a grave error. After that point, I'd say I felt cool but not cold and I'd be surprised if the air temperature got much above 5°C all day.
The flipside of this is that more boisterous riding can result in a bit of heat build-up, but nothing too significant. It breathes far more like a jersey than a waterproof jacket.
Size-wise, I always seem to be on the threshold between medium and large and that was the case with Lusso. I tested a medium and I suspect this was the better option. (It's not me in the pics.)
The cut seemed nicely flattering, yet didn't feel restrictive in any particular area. The high neck was close but unobtrusive and the sleeves were plenty long enough for me – although despite my height, I don't generally suffer in this regard.
I was especially happy with the rear where a flap offers good low protection south of your normal waistline.
That flap's ringed with reflective material too with additional reflective panels on the pockets and just below the neck. Throw in the lurid orange of the arms and pockets and this jacket's visible without screaming 'high-vis'.
The look may be an issue for some, though. My partner, for example, said she felt it looked a bit like a motorcycle jacket. At present, your only alternative to the orange arms jacket that I tested is an all-black version. (Minor design positive: I have a particular soft spot for the dimpled, quilted front. I'd have marked it up for that, if I could – but I didn't.)
It's £15 more than the jacket Stu tested, but while £165 isn't cheap, it's a sight less than the slightly lighter Sportful Fiandre Pro at £210.
You can pay less, though: the Northwave Ghost H2O is another stretchy, water-repellent jacket for £140, and the Kalf Club Men's Softshell, while labelled a jersey, is actually a similar sort of product for £120.
All in all, the Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme is an extremely comfortable jacket: warm, soft and wholly devoid of irritants.
Warm, comfortable, practically designed, and rain resistant enough for most rides, it's hard to fault
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme Jacket
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?
The Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme Jacket is designed to be used on the coldest of days, keeping your core warm and temperature regulated.
The front of the Jacket has a quilted, windproof, breathable and water repellent membrane for protection from the elements, a high neck with full length zip cover and 360° 3mm reflective cover.
The rear of the Jacket has repel fabric which is breathable, repels water and has a 4-way stretch to enable a body form fit. The garment has 4 rear pockets one of which is zipped for your essentials, phone, keys, wallet.
Windtex Storm Shield Fabric which is a lightweight thermal, windproof and water repellent.
Designed with 4-way stretch that fits and adapts perfectly to the body.
The garment has been Designed, Manufactured and Dispatched from Manchester using Italian Fabrics keeping the carbon footprint to a minimum.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
4 Rear Pockets ( 1 Zipped )
Designed & Made in Manchester UK
Warm, windproof, water repellent, comfortable, practical and visible.
The Windtex Storm Shield membrane is categorised as water repellent, which is typically considered to be a step down from fully waterproof, but a step up from merely water resistant. The material boasts a 10,000mm waterproof rating, which is enough for moderate rain and it certainly lives up to this.
I always seem to be between a medium and large and that was the case with Lusso. I got a medium and wouldn't have wanted larger.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I was somewhat horrified to discover I'd accidentally stuck it through the washer at bedding temperature, only for it to safely emerge in the same condition it went in (only cleaner, obviously).
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It doesn't actually promise full waterproofing, so it measured up really well to all claims.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The fit and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It sits between the Northwave Ghost H2O at £140, and the Sportful Fiandre Pro at £220.
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
Allied with different baselayers, you could wear this jacket for a good proportion of the year and it would only really let you down in the heaviest rain.
About the tester
I usually ride: Scott S40 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding