LOOK [LM]MENT jacket - review - Road Cycling UK

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LOOK [LM]MENT jacket – review

Convertible weatherproof jacket well suited to training and racing in poor weather

The LOOK [LM]MENT jacket is aimed squarely at riding in poor conditions and landed with me just as a period of heavy rain and low temperatures set in, so was put to the test immediately. It came out the other side having provided a good level of wind and water resistance best suited to riding at a brisk tempo.

The jacket is part of a wider [LM]MENT range, along with a jersey, bib tights, and arm and leg warmers, launched back in the autumn and claimed to ‘master the elements’ – or at least not help the rider not feel frozen and uncomfortable for hours in the saddle on cold, wet days.

The LM[MENT] jacket is similar to the Castelli Gabba, in that while it’s not waterproof, it aims to offer a combination of water resistance and breathability, while maintaining a close, race-focussed fit.

The LOOK [LM]MENT has detachable sleeve to turn it from a jacket into a gilet

That water resistance and breathability comes thanks to the ‘Vent Flex’ fabric, which has a micro-perforated membrane said to be the secret in offering both water resistance and a high level of breathability.  The [LM]MENT jacket also has another trick up its sleeve – in that they can be unzipped to turn the jacket into a gilet, and add some versatility on days when the temperature warms up. I had concerns about whether these zips would be an obvious weak spot in the jacket, but in use, they were never an issue. The zips are effective and, coupled with a decent overlap of fabric underneath, kept things in place and didn’t create any cold or undue wet spots.

On one three hour ride, in nearly non-stop rain ranging from drizzle to torrential, I was kept comfortable with a merino base layer underneath and was impressed with the way the jacket kept a fair amount of water out – again, it’s not waterproof, but designed to keep the rider comfortable, rather than completely dry, in soggy conditions. Water initially beads off the fabric before there’s some saturation in prolonged rain.

Breathability is excellent – that’s the key with a piece like this over a traditional jacket – and minimise the chance of over-heating or soggy condensation gathering on the inside. The [LM]MENT jacket is very much a shell in that there’s no Roubaix lining for insulation, but combined with either a short or long sleeve base layer, depending on the conditions, it remains warm (for me) down to around five degrees, though it’s best suited to riding (whether that be training or racing) at a brisk pace, when the fabric combines with your natural body temperature to keep things comfortable.

The fit is close and cut for a relatively aggressive riding position on the bike – consider going up a size. Off the bike it feels a little tight over the shoulders, though that’s not an issue in the saddle – this is a jacket for riding in, not sitting in cafes. However, I also found when riding that the zip is prone to bunching up a little over the stomach, so I ended up folding the zipper base up and under to keep it flatter and make it a little more comfortable while also reducing the size of the air pocket. The cuffs sit close, with a silicone gripper that doesn’t rub uncomfortably against the skin but which helps stop drafts creeping in, and the arms are long enough to match up well with gloves. I found the neck line a little too snug, and the zip sat on my throat unless I had it pulled down a touch, but this will likely vary from rider to rider.

The rear pockets are covered by a velcro flap but it’s prone to opening on the move

The race fit continues if you convert the jacket into a gilet, when it works as a handy weatherproof layer to protect your core. The long drop tail is handy and helps stop the chamois of your tights or shorts getting a soaking on wet rides.

Out back there are also three pockets, with one long flap over the top and held in place by a velcro tab to help keep water out. It’s a little basic, as the flap can open up at times. I’d also like to see drainage holes in the pockets as when the flap is open, a little water can accumulate in the bottom. Not a huge amount, but something which could be avoided.

Silicone grippers help stop any drafts creeping in

Nods to visibility come in the way of a reflective dash on the back, while the logos are also reflective as well – although they have started to peel off a little in use.

Conclusion

The LOOK [LM]MENT is an effective weatherproof jacket with a race fit. If bad weather is your thing, then is provides a good level of wind and rain protection best suited to high-tempo riding, thanks also to the impressive levels of breathability.

Pros

  • Windproof and water resistant fabric well suited to brisk riding in poor or changeable conditions
  • Race-focussed fit, but…

Cons

  •  …try before you buy or consider moving up a size
  • Pockets would be improved by drainage holes

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