Lisa reviews ... ASSOS habuJacketLaalalai & habuTightsLaalalai s7
What's the latest from ASSOS? The Swiss specialists for ultra-functional bike clothing are currently working continuously on expanding the women's collection. Successfully, as we can see. The habuJacketLaalalai winter jacket & the habuTightsLaalalai s7 have joined the women's habu collection this season. Did ASSOS equip the women's versions of the established early winter garments with everything you would expect? Lisa wanted to find out for herself.
At first glance
Of course they did. And the storm Herwart fittingly provided Lisa with perfectly hard test conditions. Wind and cold were no problem at all. Both the habuJacketLaalalai and the habuTightsLaalalai s7 protect against wind and guarantee high breathability even under stress, so that the result is a dry baselayer. It's obvious that the fabric of the tights isn't very thick, but the jacket is fantastically thin as well and offers high mobility with optimum thermal performance. The S7 pad is also in a class of its own. Clever features complete the perfect early winter outfit. Reflective details are present, but used sparingly. The price is high, but it's worth it for frequent cyclists. And you can simply omit the jersey underneath, which saves costs in terms of the overall outfit.
The ASSOS strategy against cold and wind
ASSOS has dedicated their garments of the outermost layer to four sectors—the seasons. To achieve this, they use different materials. In this case we’re talking about habu (early winter), which entails the following:
The stratagonLight used in the front of the jacket is ASSOS' windbreaker material—it offers reliable wind protection at low volume. The RXQ textile is used on the back of the habuJacketLaalalai. It’s a lighter version of the RX fabric and mainly used in areas where very high breathability is of central importance. The most special feature are the internal 3D air channels. The principle behind them is simple: Air is held in the ducts and acts as insulation. This is no different than house insulation or an insulated jug. In the case of a textile, this means that even with a small volume, a fabric can be produced which functions as a perfect insulator while still offering high breathability.
Just as important as this season concept is the famous ASSOS Layering System (ALS). It's a technical textile system in which all garments are tailored to each other, which is comparable to a puzzle. They can be perfectly combined: All layers, from the undershirt to the winter jacket or shell, are coordinated and complement each other perfectly in terms of material properties and cut—no matter what conditions prevail, ASSOS makes it possible to always train and be perfectly dressed for it.
Lisa's impressions …
"ASSOS is currently focusing more on the girls—which makes me very happy, of course. The men's collection with its variety is adopted for the ladies. But that doesn't mean that everything is simply copied into differing cuts. Instead, specific female requirements are taken into account.
I tested these clothes under extreme conditions in typical early winter—not yet very cold, but still with low temperatures and, above all, wind. Lots of it! Thanks to ASSOS, the main problem wasn't the cooling off, but the struggle not to be literally blown off the street."
… of the habuJacketLaalalai
"One thing is truly amazing: ASSOS manages to keep you perfectly warm even with very thin materials. This is no coincidence of course, but rather the result of an ideal combination of materials with the right properties in terms of wind and water protection, warmth and breathability. This keeps the outfit light and less susceptible to wind while offering unrestricted mobility. This is an important aspect on the bike, especially if the speeds become higher or a strong wind requires a lot of concentration anyways.
In order to fully utilize the ASSOS potential, you can orientate yourself on the ALS concept. A long-sleeved undershirt is recommended for use under the jacket. I chose the LS.skinFoil_earlyWinter_s7, which is sufficient for up to 9 or 10 °C. The winter undershirt is also good to have underneath.
This combination provided me with a wonderful body climate. The stratagonLight material is very wind resistant, the zipper backed with fabric ensures that no cold can penetrate. A reduction of the seams on the front also contributes to this. The cuffs are intentionally cut very tightly so as not to let the airstream in. The inside of the jacket is covered with a very soft, pleasant fabric, which feels very good on the skin and still wicks away moisture quickly.
The back pockets are somewhat bulbously sewn, so that you can easily store a vest or provisions. They are easily accessible and stitched in a high quality. This promises high robustness and a long service life. The jacket is cut in ASSOS‘ racingFit, which is very tight. This is important: It's the only way to ensure optimum insulation.
ASSOS is a master of details. They proved this again with the habuJacketLaalalai. The collar is a new construction made of a double fabric mix: RXQ and stratagonLight together offer perfect insulation with high wind protection. The collar is cut in such a way that it fits tightly and makes every tubular cloth superfluous. The optimal fit provides high thermal and wind protection by not letting any heat out and no wind in. Despite the tight cut, the material doesn't rub against the neck or interfere in any way—quite the contrary: the refined collar is very comfortable to wear.
What you can say about the simple ASSOS design and especially the color black is: It's never out of style! That's especially true for us ladies ... since it makes us look slimmer :-)
… of the habuTightsLaalalai s7
The same goes for the pants. The RX medium fabric used is a high-performance thermal textile. It's characterized by high warmth and optimal breathability. We've already discussed the other important aspects such as upholstery and straps elsewhere. The high-end pad S7, made especially for the ladies, as well as the carrier construction with magnetic closure are unique. Find out more here.
Reflective strips on the calf provide some security. They work well, as they light up bright enough when illuminated. They can also be found on the back of the jacket. However, they are truly reduced to the bare essentials. But that's okay. Still, it must be said that other manufacturers have better concepts in this area—SUGOI with their Zap technology, for example. However, one has to admit that the right winter road bike training is only recommended with daylight anyway. Despite LED technology and reflective elements on the clothing, there's still a high risk at road bike speeds. In short, ASSOS bike clothes are simply not made for night riding. But they don't have to be.
And of course the price is high. But since a jersey isn’t needed as one of the layers here, the tested habu outfit is still fine from a price-performance point of view. Also, it's bike clothing tailored to frequent riders which really works reliably in autumn & early winter and allows you to train without 'reaching your body's climatic limits'".