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The Lusso Hex Packable Gilet is a very lightweight piece of kit that will keep the chill out on brisk days, while also being so comfortable that you barely notice you are wearing it.
I reckon a gilet is a must-have for any cyclist living in the UK. Whether you're managing changeable conditions on the road or layering up at a café stop, if there is one thing you want to stuff in your pocket before you leave the door it's a gilet. This Lusso offering lives up to its name and makes that easy, while also being windproof and breathable.
At the front the hex ripstop fabric keeps the wind out – noticeably so when worn over a non-windproof jersey – and also does a good job of keeping you dry from drizzle as well as spray from the roads. Round the back it's a roughly 50/50 share of breathable mesh panels and ripstop, plus three mesh cargo pockets to hold your snacks or whatever you like to carry.
The main thing I noticed while testing the gilet was that I often forgot I was wearing it. I tested a size medium and it fits really well. I didn't notice any annoying flappy panels when descending, although if you are a racing snake looking for aero gains you might get away with sizing down.
I also found the gilet easy to take off and put back on, although if you are wearing gloves the YKK zipper tag is quite small and can be tricky to get started while on the move.
It's very light, coming in at 90g on the road.cc Scales of Truth. Comparing it with the Chapeau Club Gilet Stripe at 130g or the Rapha Men's Brevet Gilet with Pockets at 117g, that's a 30 and 23 per cent weight saving respectively – not to be sniffed at if you're a weight weenie.
As well as being light, the hex ripstop material feels durable. I used the gilet off-road, and although my jersey took some abuse I couldn't see any signs of damage on the ripstop panels.
The mesh back is flexible, which helps with the fit, and so light you can almost see through it, which also helps with wicking away sweat and regulating your core temperature. After an hour-long commute or a three-hour training ride, I never noticed the mesh being damp (unless it was raining).
A high neck and dropped tail help keep out the elements, but while the neck was definitely just right for me, the drop tail is very subtle; it's a shame it's not the more water-resistant material as well, as it's the section that will get hit by road spray.
All three cargo pockets are quite generous in their width but not so much in their depth. They are perfect for stuffing in keys or snacks but I didn't feel confident that they'd hold my large phone or moderately sized mini-pump (a Lezyne Road Drive) securely, despite the elasticated hem.
The same style of hem is used around the shoulders, where it clings very gently but also has plenty of give when you need to reach around to a pocket.
One of the features that interested me the most was the elasticated mesh hem at the bottom of the gilet, designed to help reduce weight.
Lusso calls it 'Mesh gripper', and unfortunately this looks to be one of the weaker points of the gilet as it's already starting to lose its shape.
The gilet is only available in this one colour, Diesel Green, which as you can see from the photos is actually a combination of teal and navy blue.
I like that the branding is understated, with a white screenprinted logo on the neck and one on the back pocket. There are no reflective elements, though, which won't please all.
Other than the gripper and one of the screenprinted logos starting to wear, the gilet has held up well. I've cycled with a backpack, taken it off-road and thrown it in and out of lockers at work, and it looks as good as when I put it on for the first time.
That said, there are cheaper options: the Lomo Thermal Cycling Gilet at £23 is almost half the price, though it's a heavier and less packable design.
The Lusso Hex Packable Gilet does what it's claimed to, providing useful extra protection when needed and being easy to carry when not. It fits well, doesn't flap, and is nicely priced.
Lives up to the name – easy to carry, light and comfy to wear
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Lusso Hex packable gilet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Lusso says: "The hex packable gilet combines the optimum blend of wind proofing and breathability, with mesh back panel inserts. The ripstop fabric means you can take this off road too, confident that branches won't snag the gilet on your next gravel or MTB adventure. The mesh gripper reduces the weight further to a total of 90g for a size M. 3 rear cargo pockets make it easier to carry essentials."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Hex ripstop fabric
3 cargo pockets
Elasticated mesh hem
Lusso branded silicon gripper
Made in Manchester, UK
The product is well put together, apart from the 'Mesh gripper' that looks to have sacrificed durability for weight.
Only signs of wear are on the gripper and screenprinted logos.
A relaxed fit for me, I could have squeezed into a small for a more "aero" fit.
Most of the time I didn't even notice I was wearing it.
Compared to other similar products it's good value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed on 30 degrees with no issues.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Cut the wind on chilly days, but could do with larger cargo pockets.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I really like the fit and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cargo pockets don't have the size or stability to be a substitute for jersey pockets.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
At £55 it's a lot cheaper than some, the Rapha Men's Brevet Gilet With Pockets or the Chapeau! Club Gilet Stripe at £89.99. But you can pay less: the Lomo Thermal Cycling Gilet is just £23, though it's heavier and less packable too.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Lusso Hex Packable Gilet is a good all-rounder, very light and almost half the price of some of the top name brands. Larger pockets would be nice, with some more water resistant material around the pockets to keep your bits and bobs dry when the weather turns nasty, though this could affect its ability to pack down as small as it does.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road Bike: Specialized Diverge to Work My best bike is: Specialized Allez Sprint for Racing/Training
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Track and Bike packing