“LS2? I didn’t know they did bike kit.” That’s been the most common refrain throughout my time with this thoroughly effective and smart-looking bike jacket.
The company is best known for its helmets, but has recently diversified with a small range of textile clothing, including this heritage-styled LS2 Vesta jacket.
And its performance during my review suggests a good amount of thought has gone into it, as the Vesta and the matching Nimble jeans have both been reliable and effective performers.
The outer material is heavy-duty polyester, backed by a waterproof and breathable membrane and lined by a combination of mesh and a tartan cotton material around the back.
There’s soft armour at the elbows and shoulders, though no back protector as standard.
Photography: Simon Lee
The jacket’s looks are very casual, and the blue version has attracted plenty of comments for its styling − black and grey options are also available for a more conventional look.
It has the appearance of a jacket that can be worn casually as well as for riding, but I’ve found the waterproof membrane makes a creaking sound when flexed. This is not an issue when worn on a bike, but it’d be a bit odd in some social situations.
Creaky it may be, but the membrane is effective. Water will saturate the outer material and make it heavy, but the internal liner then arrests the water’s progress.
There are limitations to the jacket’s practicality in wet weather, though. The popper closures on the cuffs make it tricky to get a good seal when worn over a glove, which leaves space for rain to get through.
I found myself out in several hours of awful rain when I wore this kit for the launch of Suzuki’s new Katana, and water got in through the cuffs and soaked the sleeves of the fleece jacket I was wearing underneath.
Based on that experience I couldn’t recommend this jacket for full-on touring, but as something that can cope with showers when required it’s absolutely fine.
And in other weather conditions it is excellent. Despite lacking a thermal liner, the Vesta still kept me warm through a chilly ride with only a t-shirt underneath.
On warm days, the ventilation is effective at bringing in cooling airflow. The main flow comes from a subtle vent at the right breast. It looks like a conventional pocket, and can be used as one, but open the twin zips and the cover can be tucked inside the outer shell to reveal a mesh vent panel that allows a very helpful amount of cooling air to flow inside.
Despite LS2’s lack of track record in clothing, I’ve been very pleased with the performance of the Vesta jacket. It’s good on warm and cold days, is comfortable, robust and meets the CE safety standard too.
The price is very reasonable considering the quality and easily matches up to the standard set by more established names in motorcycle clothing.
Fit & Comfort
The popper closure at the cuff makes it tricky to get a good seal under or over gloves, but otherwise comfort is good and the fit is accurate to the labelled size.
It’s not a jacket I’d choose for a lengthy trip in heavy rain because the outer material soaks up water and gets heavy, and the lack of room at cuffs makes it harder to accommodate gloves inside for better rain protection. But the waterproof membrane is effective and I’d be happy with this as a casual-looking jacket that’s effective if it rains while I’m out and about.
The zipped vent at the chest is an excellent and subtle addition to the jacket and greatly boosts the efficiency in hot weather.
A few stray strands of thread here and there are the only issues, and the construction has stood up well to 1000 miles of riding in a wide range of conditions. The jacket is approved to the newest CE standard as well, so protection standards are covered.
It’s well-specced for a casual-styled jacket like this – a standard back protector would be a significant improvement, however.