Lumo, a new British company on the cycling clothing scene, has two types of jackets out of both men and women. These are no normal jackets though, these are extra snazzy.
The company went live on Kickstarter a little while ago and has just had its official launch party, selling online through their website as well as in select stores. Their aim is to produce high quality clothing and accessories for urban cycling endeavours with a safety twist: built in lights. There are two jackets, the Herne Hill with all the stylings of other traditional Harrington jackets made for cycling, and the Regents Parker which is thicker with a more soft-shell style fabric. They also have a pretty neat looking backpack, the Bermondsey.
We tested out the women’s Herne Hill Harrington jacket, a jacket also available in a mens version.
The Herne Hill comes in a zippered pouch with the jacket, battery pack, cabling and instructions all inside. It is not a big deal but a really nice touch. The jacket is a really rich navy colour with little hints of red fabric inside the flaps for the pockets and zip. The cotton fabric is a good weight, heavy enough to keep out the wind but not so thick as to be stifling when you get going. It is also treated with a water repellent coating so should keep light showers off. The cuffs have lycra bits in them to stop the wind going up them and the collar is fleece lined.
The unique thing about this jacket is that it has an LED light strip front and back. The one at the front is in a strip where the flap over the zip meets the body of the jacket. The rear one is on the dropped hem at the back. The strips are covered by navy blue ribbon type fabric so you can’t really tell what they are until they are lit up. They has some stiffness to them but these areas and adds to the shape of the jacket. The battery pack goes in a little pocket inside the jacket and plugs in to the built in wiring.
This jacket is beautiful and has been getting a lot of love from myself and those who see it. I have had it for a couple of weeks now and have found myself wearing it in non-bike situations where I need a smart jacket. I think I fall between sizes on this one. The medium that I tried out was a little large, but great for layering underneath and easily accommodates a warm layer, increasing its utility through the winter. It fits well across the shoulders and is everything you would expect from a high-end, bespoke garment.
There is enough stretch in the fabric that it does not feel restrictive, even on a low road bike. To add to on bike mobility it has gussets on the shoulders. The gussets double as vents and also have a large vent along the back linking them up. The jacket is quite a bit longer at the back than the front, meaning it doesn’t ride up when you are bent over and provides good coverage. It also means that the LED’s are visible even when wearing a backpack. The sleeves are long enough to cover your wrists when cycling as well.
I found that it was pretty windproof and did shed light rain. Lumo provide a temperature range for comfort, 5-20°C, and I have so far found the upper end to be pretty accurate. I have not had the opportunity to try it in cooler temps, but that is really all dependent on the under layers anyway. It has been plenty warm enough in the last few weeks with temps dropping into single digits in the evening.
Light me up
The lights have two settings, strobe and flash. They are quite bright, certainly enough to be seen by cars in ambient city lighting. The battery pack recharges using a standard micro-usb lead and has a charge indicator light in the button. The pack lasts for 6-14 hours depending on light mode. It could also be good for visibility off the bike. Obviously this is not the intended use, but I can see this jacket playing double duty for walking or jogging in the dark winter nights.
Basically these lights allow you to have the benefits you get with a reflective jacket without the hi-viz stylings, or lack thereof, of these garments. By adding the lights, Lumo have made a jacket that is stylish and off-bike worthy, but still has on-bike visibility features that many of us like.
The jacket is fully hand washable as long as you unplug and remove the pack. Obviously if you were to iron the jacket you need to be extra careful to avoid the wires.
I really liked this jacket for its fit and shape. It is beautifully made and has a lot of well thought out urban cycling features. In terms of the lights I would say that it is pretty cool and works well to increase visibility, but I would use it in addition to lights on my bike. I can see that it would be good on its own at dawn and dusk, times when you don’t really need lights but some extra visibility helps. It is fun though, and I appreciate whimsy while riding, it brings child like joy to the commute!
The main only minor alteration I would suggest would be to add anchors for the flaps on the front pockets. Over time I can see these getting a little creased and not sitting right. They also blow open in the wind. The jacket is certainly premium in terms of cost, but you really do get a lot of high end features for the price. It fits better than many other jackets I have tried, even non-cycling ones.
The lighting seems durable, and other than a small bump where the battery pack goes, it doesn’t really impact the look or fit of the jacket. Therefore if you are after a really well fitting, high end, jacket that easily covers commuting, casual riding, time at the pub and nice days out with the folks this is a great option.
The Herne Hill Harrington costs £250 and can be brought from Lumo for men and women.