Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel Jacket

Click here to buy from Lusso, RRP is £139.99

Don’t let that Aqua in the title fool you. This isn’t just for wet weather. You could actually call it the Lusso Extreme Winter jacket and just deal with the aqua bit in the technical description. For implying that this is about water repelling, which it does extremely well, is actually selling it a bit short.

The Aqua Extreme is made from our old friend Windtex Storm Shield which regular readers will know that I rate highly. It forms the basis of the Mossa and Mossa.2 and a lighter form of windtex can be found in the very excellent Lusso Corsa Repel jersey. It’s a waterproof softshell membrane with very breathable qualities. And, in this jacket, like the Mossa.2, it’s the heaviest version of all being backed with a polyurethane ‘fleece,’ which gives it it’s winterised wearability. Lusso claim that this has a water column of 10,000mm an hour and breathability of 10,000gr/m2 x 24hr. So, that means this is good for heavy rain and that it shouldn’t boil you in your own sweat either. And those things were true for the Mossa et al so there should be no reason why they shouldn’t be true here either.

What you essentially have is a toasty winter jacket that you can wear out in the nastiest storms and still come back comfortable. There’s always a bit of a quandary in that statement. Personally, I’d not set out in such conditions but if I was caught in them I’d be glad of the protection. And, to that extent, that’s how I see this type of jacket. It’s a winter jacket, good in the cold but adds in that extra protection where the conditions demand it. So, to that extent, it could be named better. On Lusso’s site it appears in both the rain and thermal jacket categories but for me sits happiest in the latter.

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It’s a very bright jacket indeed and, currently, orange is the only available colour. It will be available in black soon if that’s the look you want but, of course, orange is the new black. I’m happy with being seen this time of the year and it’s very visible. The waistband is cut in a shaped manner as you can see. The front sits where it should when you’re on the bike and the rear is tail-esque. More of that later. It’s a fairly thin fabric (and I’ll return to why in a bit) so it does have a tendency to fold ever so slightly. But it’s still sufficiently grippy to keep everything in place.

In terms of being waterproof you can see what I mean in the following photos. It holds the water there and, once you get rid of it, there’s little left bound to the fabric. That’s due to the innate properties of the fabric itself but also the DWR coating. It may wear out eventually but the fabric will remain waterproof.

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Now, the achilles heel of such fabrics is seam placing and, in this respect, Lusso have got this one right. There’s no forward facing seams on the sleeves so water won’t get in that way. The shoulder seam is placed on top of the shoulder rather than forward facing but, in practice, there seems little difference between that placing and the dhb aeron softshell in terms of penetration, i.e. both seem to work equally well. There are a few more panels present here on the front but because of how you’re angled on the bike there’s minimal risk of ingress in that respect.

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The back is equally bright and noticeable. There are 3 main pockets and a fourth zipped pocket for valuables. They’re pretty voluminous overall so there’s plenty of space for carrying around anything that you need. You’ll see that there are two sections underneath the pockets, a continuation of the main shell and a ‘dropped tail.’ The length of that tail is mid bum so if that’s something that’s important to you then great. Again, the fabric of the waist section is a little more prone to movement and requires initial placing but, well, you’ll see why that fabric has been chosen in a moment.

Elsewhere the cuffs are comfy and the neck is lined with fleece. It’s not double lined like the Mossa.2, which is a very similar jacket overall, but still warm and toasty. The zips are first rate and there’s a storm flap behind the zip to help with water ingress in that area.

Fit is, well, normal. I take a large in this at a 39-40 chest. It’s slightly smaller than the equivalent Mossa or Mossa.2 but not a size down. So if you want a more relaxed fit, and this is still a race fit jacket, then size up. If you are between sizes then do so. When it’s on you’ll have something second skin like but with enough space to factor in your relevant base layer.

So, onto the party piece. If you thought this thing was bright in everyday use you wait till you see what it’s like after dark.

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Good isn’t it? That reflective fabric forms quite a lot of the jacket and the overall effect in headlights is excellent. That’s why this particular fabric has been chosen for the waistband so despite it not being quite as initially placeable as a Castelli alpha waistband it more than makes up for it with its light display. This is easily one of the best visible jackets out without sacrificing day time looks.

In practice it’s more than lived up to its promise. It’s useable at sub zero temperatures with an appropriate base layer (something like the Helly Hansen) or at milder temps with something a bit thinner such as Lusso’s Compression top. It’s breathable as well even if you’re pushing on a bit. And, of course, it really is waterproof. There’s always going to be some ingress in really heavy rain because it’s going to get through the seams in the end and may come down your neck a bit. And there will always be a bit of dampness inside but that’s the thing that warms you up after all. I still prefer jackets like this in the rain to your usual run of the mill rain shells. The only issue is that you need to choose to wear this for the entire ride rather than being able to stow it away. But that’s what this jacket is about.

The price? £139.99 but a few places have it for as little as £125. And I think that’s an excellent price for a winter jacket that can cover most days. Easily visible in the day, visible from space at night, warm, waterproof and comfortable. What more can you ask for at Christmas? Another top jacket made in the UK by Lusso. Tidy.

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13 thoughts on “Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel Jacket

  1. Nice review but now i am between this Lusso, Castelli alpha jacket, Parentini Mossa.2 and dhb Aeron Full Protection Softshell. I realize the price difference but which one is overall the best or lets say the warmest for cold day riding?

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    1. The Mossa.2 is the warmest. Probably equal with the Alpha. But there’s a big price difference there. The Aeron and Lusso are similar, the Lusso being perhaps slightly warmer. The Aeron is also windtex though a different variant. There are some Lusso on ebay apparently for the same price as the Aeron!

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      1. Thanks. In the review you say that the Aqua extreme’s Windtex version is the heaviest version of all so I expected this one would be the warmest! Anyway If I go for the Mossa.2 or the Alpha do you think they worth the extra money from Lusso or dhb?

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      2. Hi Jimmy, sorry, it followed on from the mossa.2 and I should made it clear that it’s the heaviest version applied to this and the Mossa.2. So they are, to that extent, the same. Though the Mossa.2 is, overall, slightly heavier as well. The Alpha is a great jacket and with the code Wiggle2 is £162 on Wiggle now. It’s probably the best of all of them but it depends if you feel spending that is worth it as, most of the time, you probably won’t need a jacket as warm as this anyway. If you can stomach it the absolute best, without a shadow of a doubt, is the Assos Bonka, but even with a code that’s silly money (£237 at Wiggle). Bear in mind you could get an aeron softshell, add some socks, use Wiggle 1 to take £15 off again (assuming you’re a Wiggle 12% customer) and that’s an excellent jacket. WIth the right base layer it will do you very well indeed.

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  2. Excellent review (as always), nice to see something that isn’t just a rehash of the promotional description.

    I’m liking this jacket a lot from what I read, although being from the Antipodes makes sizing guesswork at times. I’ve worked out my Castelli sizing so I can order that with confidence – indeed, I just picked up an Alpha jersey for less than £90 and a Gabba 2 even less in run-out sales. However I’d like an alternative for daily rotation, plus for when the rain is really giving iit heaps and the several months when my morning commute is done in sub-zero temperatures. And I like the visibility of this, as well as its price compared to something like the Stolen Goat Orkaan.

    How would you say the Lusso’s sizing compares to Castelli and also dhb which I also know my sizing in?

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      1. 41″ chest, 34″ waist (can drop to 32). According to Castelli’s size chart that makes me an L, but my Gabba is a 3XL and fits nicely (sleeves a tad too long at that size but what can you do). 2XL Castelli jerseys fit but they’re pretty aero, if you get my drift. For dhb I take an XL jersey.

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      2. I found the Large slightly tight on me at 39.5″ chest and 35″ waist so I reckon you should be ok with an XL. Lusso are very good at measuring and responding if you drop them an email and you can also ask them to make a slightly bespoke one!

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  3. I’m stuck between this Luso, the Castelli Alpha, the Parentini Mossa.2 and the Endura Pro SL Shell Jacket. I want something for commuting in British winters in the wet (usually at tempo) to go alongside/instead of a Convertible Perfetto to make up (hopefully) all 4 seasons in two quality pieces of kit. I don’t want to buy twice. Any advice as I’m going round and round reviews. Ideally I’d pick one of these up outside the season in a sale…

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    1. Sale is clearly the best now, so I’d say hang on. It’s far too warm now for any of them. The Mossa.2 prob goes the coldest, but it’s really hard to get hold of and the pound is weak. The Castelli Alpha jacket is excellent, it’s very warm and drops £ a lot in the summer. Still around £140 though generally. The Lusso is superb, and there’s a new black colourway now. It will get you through 99% of days. It’s UK made, good warranty. (I’ve no experience of the Endura I am afraid). There’s a black stealth version now too and that one has a slightly better waistband in my view. Personally I’d go Lusso.

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  4. Thanks for that advice; it’s very useful. As you say the pound makes a significant difference at the moment on the Mossa.2. The Alpha seems like it would be too much like the Convertible Perfetto though I’ve seen it in sales around £125-£150 even now which makes it tempting (Red/Black in XL is £135 at Westbrook Cycles). I’m East Midlands based and it was 4 degrees this morning for the commute in (albeit 8 mile) which was fine for me in the Perfetto and long sleeve Helly Hansen baselayer. The Endura seems to have lots of great reviews and it is Hi-Vis Green – why is everything so darkly coloured for winter riding! It would be nice to buy British if I could. And to have something functional for the less tempo weekend riding. The Lusso does seem to be at the top of the list.

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