Review: Review: Lumo, Herne Hill Harrington jacket
Lumo are a new face on the cycling scene, based out of London and with a genuinely unique selling point to their clothing, they’ve created a jacket that combines bike-specific features whilst toning down the bike-specific aesthetics.
My first casual cycling jacket I owned passed my aesthetics test with flying colours, however the very second that the rear flap dropped down it was forever branded by my wife as too bikes – which is code for you can’t wear it again off the bike.
Lumo’s Herne Hill Harrington jacket has got the seal of approval from Mrs Cox for off-bike aesthetics and also gets it for on-bike practicality.
I’ve been wearing the Harrington over the winter and now into spring, from inner city riding through to 10 miles out in the countryside (I got off at the wrong stop on the train), and it’s performed excellently the whole time.
Don’t expect much in the way of thermal properties, it’s not that type of jacket, but it does do a great job at keeping the wind off of you, aided no doubt by the wind-flap over the front zip, and comfort is high from the fleece-backed neck.
What you can expect however, and what sets it apart so well, can be found on the front and rear of the jacket. Cunningly disguised as standard piping are a series of LEDs, operated by an internal battery and switch.
When switched on the lights kick out enough light to be very visible front and back, with the novelty factor being strong they garner the attention of both cars and pedestrians.
They are no going to be sufficient to guide you home on a unlit country road – I have tried – but they will certainly help to keep you visible when in town, especially at dusk. Should you find yourself without bikelights in town then they produce enough to supplement streetlights and allow you to plod back.
The lights either kick it out in a slow pulse or a rapid pulse, sadly there’s no solid option, but both pulses are good for visibility. Battery life is between 6 and 14 hours, dependant upon program, and is easily recharged via USB.
The lights are waterproof, but the battery isn’t – in a down pour there could well be issues here, but in showers the material is thick enough to keep you dry.
The material also features Schoeller® 3XDRY® technology, a treatment that gives the outside of the jacket hydrophobic properties, repelling water and stains, while the inside is hydrophilic, absorbing body moisture and dispersing it to let it evaporate and regulate body temperature. The treatment also means that it dries quicker than normal after washing, or, more likely, after getting caught in a sudden downpour.
The water resistant qualities stand up pretty well in light to medium showers – you can see water droplets beading on the surface of the material – but anything more than that and it’s not going to offer much protection. It’s ideal for short hops across town in showery conditions, but if your commute is longer and the rain is more sustained then you’ll want to grab something else from the wardrobe.
The Harrington performs pretty well in the breathability department: the fabric technology does its thing and the large open vent across the back of the jacket helps to circulate air and regulate your body temperature.
Fit is good, high necks, thick cuffs and pockets that slightly higher than usual and stay away from riding legs are all great signs and really add to the experience. The Harrington also features a dropped rear to keep the wind away and a rear pocket for comfortable storage on the bike.
It’s not cheap, not even close, but the addition of the lights serves a couple of purposes. Obviously they have the being seen in the dark bonus, but they also enable the jacket to be classified as safety equipment when it comes to the cycle to work scheme, this could potential drop the price by 40%…..
It’s a clever, styles, and comfortable jacket in use, and whilst it’s certainly pricey the lighting certainly goes a long way in justifying its price tag!