The Massimo Jacket is intended as a high performance winter jacket, capable of tackling the worst of the cold whilst also handling the odd spot of rain. Hailing from Quebec, the folks over at Louis Garneau undoubtedly have plenty of experience of riding in harsh weather; experience which shines through in the fit and features on the Massimo.
The front panels are constructed from 'WindDry 12K' - a multi-layer fabric designed to combine 'waterproof, breathability, and elastic properties'. Closer inspection reveals a complex micro structure with a perforated outer layer covering a mesh inner. In the waterproof-breathable spectrum, I'd say that this fabric leans slightly towards the later whilst still performing OK in drizzle or light showers. For the vast majority of winter riding, you could get away with not carrying a true hard shell and still stay dry. Wind resistance is also good for a soft shell and I never felt the need for anything more on the chest.
The back and sleeves use a combination of 'SS Trainer' outer layer and 'Heatmaxx' inner layer. Naturally, neither are as wind/waterproof as the front panel fabric, but what they lack in weather resistance, they make up for in shear warmth and comfort. The brushed inner is very similar to the ubiquitous Roubaix material used in lots of winter clothing, and feels great against the skin.
All this talk about fabrics aside, the Massimo's prime asset is its fit. This can best be described as performance oriented, so those looking for something a little roomier might want to look elsewhere (or you could use the Massimo as motivation to lose those last few pounds!). The stretchy back and sleeves really allow the jacket to conform to one's torso virtually eliminating any of the unsightly folds that are usually part and parcel of thick winter clothing. The cut is long in the arms and torso which lends itself perfectly to the stretched out cycling position. Both of these are snug fitting with the forearms being especially so. This, coupled with the brushed and elastic fabric, makes the Massimo feel a lot lighter when worn than its bare weight and warmth would suggest. The tail is elongated to provide additional coverage for your lower back and a sticky silicon gripper keeps it in place.
A great feature of the Massimo which I feel should be part of every winter jacket is the two way zip. Often, cycling in winter entails carrying around a mountain of food, tools and clothes to cover every eventuality. Some of this stuff will have to be carried in the jersey pockets and having the option to unzip from the bottom makes getting at these items less of a hassle. The zip itself is a bit of a monster and looks tough enough to survive some serious abuse. Its sheer size and rubberized tab also make it easy to manipulate with numb fingers and thick winter gloves on. The zip is backed by a generous flap of fabric to prevent any wind getting through, and is neatly integrated into the front panel such that it doesn't detract from the sleek aesthetic.
The Massimo jacket features 3 stretchy rear pockets which in my book immediately puts it above jackets with only a single one. You also get a zipped chest pocket for your phone, mp3 or any valuables, with the option to run your headphones through the inside to protect them from the weather.
The overall 'look' is pretty pleasing on the eye in this tester's opinion, with just a couple of medium sized logos on the side panels. In terms of visibility, the back and arms feature some reflective details but this is pretty minimal, although you do get a small loop that you can attach a rear light to.
At £140, the Massimo is undoubtedly an expensive piece of kit, but all its features are well thought out and executed. Winter isn't a time to be scrimping on warmth and functionality, and the quality of construction suggests that it should be good for a couple of seasons at least.
A great fitting winter jacket for the more performance orientated (read: slimmer) cyclist
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Make and model: Louis Garneau Massimo Long Sleeve Jacket
Size tested: Red - M
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?
Louis Garneau certainly aren't short selling the Massimo! Here's what they have to say:
"The ultimate in cold weather protection and cycling performance, the Massimo 2 jacket consists of a waterproof, breathable, and stretchable fabric. Yet the fit and comfort of this jacket are unprecedented with brushed inside and inserts on the sleeves with a 4-direction stretch fabric that is form-fitting and provides ease of movement."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
-Hidden front zip with sublimated inner flap
-3 angled back pockets
-Welded chest pocket with reversed zip
-Cycling specific collar
-Mini-light rubber tab
-Signature gripper at hem
-Front, back, and sleeves reflectors
-Front and back reflective logos
-Weather: Moderate +
Really robust seams all round. Combined with the multiple panels, this results in a really heavy and solid (in a good way) jacket.
Great fit and a perfect combination of wind/waterproof and breath-ability for vast majority of UK winter days
See above notes on construction. The Massimo looks as if it will easily last a couple of seasons of heavy use.
Due to the fit, it feels a lot lighter when worn than its weight suggests
The slim fit and brushed fabric make this the best jacket I've worn in terms of comfort
Yes its expensive, but you also get a lot for your money
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, even though I'm skint
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.