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The Lusso Aqua Repel V2 Jacket is surprisingly warm and waterproof for such a lightweight jacket, and the performance is excellent, as is the cut, which is close and racy, with plenty of coverage when you are in the saddle.
V2 stands for Version 2 and this Aqua Repel has had a few updates since we last tested it back in 2016.
The most noticeable change is the fabric, to Storm Shield, which Lusso says is a lightweight thermal, windproof and water-repellent material. It's created using a waterproof membrane with an inner and outer fabric for protection from the elements.
The material has a hydrostatic head rating of 10,000mm, which means it can hold a cylinder of 10,000mm of water before it would leak out through the weave. This is basically its waterproofing rating, so eventually the rain will get through, but the Lusso jacket just seems to work better than a lot of other waterproof jackets I've worn with the same rating. You seem to stay drier for longer in prolonged heavy rain, as proved by riding in the previous two winter storms that were big enough to get named.
One thing that helps in this regard is just how breathable the Windtex fabric seems to be. When testing a waterproof winter jacket in the rain, it's hard to know how much is precipitation and how much is sweat, but riding on dry and relatively mild days I just didn't suffer from heat build-up in the Aqua Repel V2.
The jacket is surprisingly thin, too, considering how warm it keeps you, and the windproofing works well, blocking icy draughts from hitting your core. I was happy riding in this with just a long sleeved baselayer underneath, down to 4 or 5°C.
The cut is really good, too – close and racy but without being restrictive. It suits a slim body but without the need to be whippet-thin like a continental pro, and the sizing is realistic to the British norm too.
You get a dropped tail at the rear for good coverage, plus an added storm flap which really covers your rear end meaning you don't get soaked from riding without mudguards.
The sleeves offer plenty of length, with the slim cuffs tucking easily inside your gloves to stop your wrists getting cold.
A tall neck keeps everything snug at the top, too, complete with zip garage.
If you like to carry plenty of kit, the Aqua Repel stands you in good stead with four pockets: three in a traditional line-up with a fourth zipped valuables pocket. They are roomy and well positioned, so access is easy when in the saddle.
At the top of the pockets you'll find a reflective strip and another running around the hem, plus plenty of other logos around the jacket that will also rebound the light.
Lusso products are made here in the UK and the quality is really spot on. Attention to detail is very high, with the sewing very neat and tidy.
At £134.99, the overall price looks impressive too. I tested the short sleeve version of the Sportful Fiandre Pro Jacket and its ability to cope with the wind and rain was very similar to the Lusso, but it's £210.
Another similar competitor is the Castelli Perfetto ROS Long Sleeve Jersey, a slightly lighter weight Gabba, but even that costs around £200.
Overall, the Lusso Aqua Repel V2 Jacket is an excellent waterproof and windproof jacket that also feels like a long-sleeved jersey. It's brilliantly made and is actually quite the bargain.
Great balance of waterproofing, windproofing and breathability at a really good price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Aqua Repel V2 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?
Lusso says, "The award winning Aqua Repel Jacket has been redesigned for 2018 with a new fabric which has improved breathability and water repellency. The Jacket also has a new thermal lining which has improved moisture transfer capabilities and we have added a 360° reflective for added safety & security."
The Aqua Repel V2 has impressive performance at a great price.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
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.
Breathability: >10,000gr/m2 x 24hr
Water Column: 10,000mm guaranteed
Temperature range 0°c to 16°c
Full Front Zip
4 Rear Pockets (1 Zipped)
Reflective Strips on front and rear.
Available in Black and Italian Blue
Sizing is spot on to Lusso's guide and is quite realistic for British riders.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I followed the washing instructions and everything was fine. No issues with shrinkage or staining.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great at dealing with the elements.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Great fit when on the bike.
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?
A lot of jackets like this, the Castelli and Sportful mentioned in the review, for instance, are priced much higher than the Lusso.
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
The Lusso Aqua Repel V2 is a very accomplished jacket for dealing with all kinds of weather during the winter and early autumn, and the quality is excellent.
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,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!