LUMO’s flashy Herne Hill Harrington jacket proves that safety and style aren’t mutually exclusive. The design philosophy behind the jacket is: “would we feel good walking into a bar to meet our friends wearing this?” I certainly did. In fact, I felt good wearing it everywhere. This is a seriously good bit of kit.
Words: James Raison Images: Lana Adams
Like so many safety-oriented brands, LUMO was the result of an accident. Co-founder Doug found himself lying face-down in Battersea Park, London after colliding with a small Hyundai, the driver of which blamed his dark clothing and lack of visibility for the accident. Doug and his now wife and LUMO co-founder Lucy became frustrated at the lack of visible, and fashionable clothes available to prevent future repeats, so they threw everything into a December 2014 Kickstarter campaign. By January 2015 LUMO was the most funded cycle clothing project on Kickstarter globally, with £75,000 in pre-orders. The result of that campaign was the Herne Hill Harrington.
The number of features on this jacket put a Swiss army knife to shame.
The jacket shell is a water repellent, breathable 3Xdry fabric with some spiffy red and white polka dot trim and zippered pockets. Beneath the surface there is some seriously intelligent design. The star of the show are two strips of 4-lumen LED lights, one parallel with the front zipper and the other in the bottom rear hem. They are powered by a small matchbox-sized, rechargeable via 1100MAH 3.7V lithium polymer battery housed inside the front of the jacket. Hold down the button (that is also a battery level indicator) on the battery and the jacket lights up, with two flash modes lasting between 6-14 hours.
The lights are just the beginning. There’s two zippered pockets on the front, one inside, and a magnetised pocket on the back for stashing things you want to grab quickly. The sleeves are longer on the top of the arms, shorter on the inside of the wrist and feature a second internal lycra inner for fighting off the wind. The rear hem is lower to cover your butt while riding the bike, the back is vented, the collar is fleece lined, the shoulders elasticated for freedom of movement, and there’s subtle reflective trim on the cuffs and back pocket. The fabric is impressively water resistant too, something that I found out first hand. The coffee beaded right off it too after I momentarily forgot how to operate a mug. Phew… that’s a lot of features… so what’s it actually like to wear?
Brilliant. I’ve barely taken it off. I’m actually wearing it while writing this review. Basically, I wear it all day. Commute to work in it, wear it over my work clothes during the day, commute home, keep it on during my evening activities, and then fall asleep in it while failing to stay awake for the Tour de France. It’s breathable enough that you won’t overheat while riding, and warm enough to wear in the chilly Adelaide winters from 5-15 degrees. I’m secretly worried my other neglected jackets are plotting to kill this one…
On the bike, it delivers what it promises: comfort, warmth and visibility. It’s quite a head-turner too. Bemused looks followed me as I flashed my way through the city like some mix of London hipster and Tron fanboy. The front LEDs were slightly obscured when bent forward but they still cast enough light to illuminate the bars and top tube. For that reason, the jacket is best used in tandem with bike lights, rather than a replacement for them. The LEDs are plenty bright enough, but their positioning isn’t perfect for front visibility.
Style, comfort, function, water resistance, and warmth make this jacket worth the $350 asking price alone. Add in the safety benefits from the LED system, and this is a phenomenally good piece of gear for the urban, style-savvy cyclist. LUMO should be applauded for making such a refined product. This is the first generation jacket from a Kickstarter project so one could expect some imperfections. But there aren’t any. It’s fantastic.
LUMO jackets are available on the Cycle Closet website.
What do you think of the Herne Hill Harrington Jacket? Would you wear it around your city? Leave us a comment below.