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The Lusso Skylon Gilet is a fine example of a good gilet. It doesn't make a fuss, it just keeps the wind off your body and helps to maintain core temperature while being small enough to scrunch into a back pocket. Pretty indispensable then.
I'm a relative latecomer to the joy of gilets, but they really are an incredibly useful addition to anyone's wardrobe. The Skylon is a cut above the bargain basement Tenn gilet I tested a while ago. Build quality is considerably higher and a little more thought seems to have gone into the design. For example, there is no loose fabric to snag the zip, unlike the Tenn. The Skylon fabric which gives the gilet its name (and a whiff of 50's nostalgia, go Google it kiddies) has a slightly rubbery feel, a bit like latex workshop gloves. It's not unpleasant, just a little odd.
Lusso claim that it's showerproof, which you might expect given the texture, but a short ride into a rainy headwind left my jersey quite damp by the time I got home. It's not a huge problem; after all you wouldn't expect a gilet to offer much by way of foul weather protection, especially one with a full length mesh back. What you want a gilet for is wind proofing and the Skylon scores full marks on that front. The mesh back stops it from turning into a mobile sweat tent and the whole thing folds up into its own back pocket.
The fit is snug, but not race tight and the back comes down nice and long, although I did find that it kept riding up, but that's probably a flaw in the design of my wide backside rather than the gilet.
I'd be hard pushed to find anything to complain about, but the reflectives (a tiny sewn in tab and a logo on the pocket) could do with being a bit more generous. I do quite a bit of night riding, not everyone does, so that's only a very minor point. White would never be my first choice for any item of kit, but the Skylon washed up well after an outing with no mudguards.
Overall I liked the Skylon and it will be earning its keep over the next few months, when it's too warm for a jacket but not warm enough for just a jersey. As an extra bonus, it's made in the UK.
Sensible price, good quality, works well and make in Blighty, if that's important to you
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Make and model: Lusso Skylon Gillet
Size tested: White, Large
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?
They don't, but anyone who takes their cycling seriously would do well to get a gilet.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Showerproof Skylon fabric
Silicone gripper helms/cuffs
In 3 colours
Made in the UK
Looks and feels well made. Certainly a cut above the Tenn gilet I tested a while ago.
Very good - the only niggle is that its claim to be 'showerproof' is pretty flimsy. After half an hour into a rainy headwind my jersey was distinctly damp.
White is never a good choice for cycling kit - the Skylon washes up well, but sustained attack from road filth and oily hands will have it looking grubby eventually.
Weighs virtually nothing.
Not a bad price for a decent bit of kit, considering it's make in the UK.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good windproofing and small pack size makes it very versatile.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing, but I'd never choose white.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Every serious cyclist should have a gilet in their wardrobe, and it might as well be this one.
Age: 42 Height: 5' 8 Weight: er....85kg
I usually ride: Kona Dew Drop, Dawes Century SE, Carlton Corsa My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Audax and long distance solo rides