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Verdict: 
Decent quality, good water resistance in a protective jersey, but lacks breathability in mild weather
Weight: 
261g
dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey
7 10

dhb's Aeron Rain Defence jersey is the Wiggle own brand's attempt to deal with Autumn's damp weather, with mixed results. It keeps out the rain, but its breathability could be better.

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - riding.jpg

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - riding.jpg

Lets deal with its ability to deal with rainfall first. On this front it's very good. Hydrophobic, as long as it's washed with technical wash or, at the very least, a delicate soap, it'll keep the elements out in an impressive manner. It must be said that's partly down to the thickness of the jersey, in that it takes a lot of water to penetrate through the fabric. In a fairly heavy early autumn downpour it stood up to the challenge even when the beading had become a sheen on the surface of the jersey.

>>Read more: 10 spring/autumn/winter survival jerseys

As a result, you feel protected when the heavens open, and thanks to its mid-weight nature feels like a layer of armour over your skin. Additionally, it's supplemented with a decent-length storm guard, zipper wind guard and high collar to keep out water and draughts, both of which perform well; the neckline is especially comfortable, and doesn't chafe even when zipped right up to the top – even if it was slightly restrictive on my thicker neck.

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - zip pocket.jpg

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - zip pocket.jpg

Naturally, this has a downside, in that breathability is limited. While the Aeron Rain Defence jersey features small mesh panels under the rear shoulder flaps, they're a bit like trying to get water out of a sink using a pipette. They don't allow moisture and heat to escape in anything like the required amount to be able to call the jacket 'cool' in mild conditions.

That's a shame, because dhb themselves claim the jacket to be breathable as one of its headline perks, a claim it, in my view, just doesn't live up to. On one particularly fresh morning (just into double digits), this became less of an issue as the protection afforded by the mid-weight, almost softshell-like fabric worked as a welcome insulator, but nevertheless in general early-autumn weather, it really can't cope.

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - vent.jpg

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - vent.jpg

So then, it's really a jersey for when the weather starts teetering towards ten degrees; a temperature much more likely to be seen mid-autumn and onwards in the UK. However, there are question marks about whether it's truly suitable for deep winter riding too. The cut is relatively slim, meaning it'll probably be your innermost layer, base layer notwithstanding. That means fans of layering will probably be stuck with it, regardless of its breathability level – equally important in the very cold to stop your clothes getting soggy with sweat, and subsequently making you irretrievably cold anyway.

As the cut it slim, it fits snugly around your arms, shoulders and waist. The 'Aeron' name hints towards this; it won't flap around you, and as a result does keep you at least slightly efficient when cutting through the air. That's a positive for people who like to get a move on, even in the winter.

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - sleeve.jpg

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - sleeve.jpg

Other useful features on the jersey include three decently-sized pockets, lined with high-visibility trim, and a zipped fourth pocket that is described as 'water resistant'. Why this isn't fully waterproof on a jersey like this escapes me, but it's hardy enough to trust your phone and money to, as long as you keep those in their own covers as well.

It's a decent-looking jersey, too. The all-black version is sleek and stylish with branding decals on the outside of the forearm. If that's not your bag, you can also choose a version with red arms and shoulders for a splash of colour.

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - collar.jpg

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - collar.jpg

At £95, this isn't a cheap garment, and for that kind of money I'd hope for a good all-rounder in terms of performance. It falls short of that mark, because of the lack of breathability when the weather isn't distinctly cold (and dry).

Wiggle claims that in the Aeron Rain Defence the 'performance of a jacket meets the fit and feel of a jersey'. In some areas (primarily the water resistance, build quality and cut) it achieves this. However, it's short on breathability despite claims to the contrary, which is a shame for a garment that thus has limited appeal outside of winter.

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - pockets.jpg

dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey - pockets.jpg

To be fair, few of its rivals in the category of 'jerseys that are like the Castelli Gabba' are highly breathable either. The idea is that by protecting you from cold air when you're riding tempo, they keep you comfortable, even though you may get a bit damp. The Aeron Rain Defence jersey does a decent job of that, and it's the cheapest in its class.

Verdict

Decent quality, good water resistance in a protective jersey, but lacks breathability in mild weather

road.cc test report

Make and model: dhb dhb Aeron Rain Defence Short Sleeve Jersey

Size tested: Medium, Black

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

dhb say:

"The performance of a jacket meets the fit and feel of a jersey. When the intensity is high and the heavens open the Aeron Rain Defence jersey will keep you protected and performing at your maximum.

Five years since we launched our award-winning Aeron Pro Bib shorts, 2016 brings an all-encompassing evolution of the Aeron Collection, now expanded to an extensive range to keep you comfortable whatever the conditions. High performance fabrics, supreme fit and a keen attention to detail: your new wardrobe staple.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

dhb say:

"If it's definitely looking like rain but you know you'll be riding no matter what then the Aeron Rain Defence jersey is just for you.

"Waterproof Fabric Using a mid-weight waterproof fabric dhb have created a jersey that keeps out the elements for use on your high tempo rides or in very changeable weather. The mid weight fabric isn't so heavy as to make you overheat and feel uncomfortable even at higher intensities.

"dhb's designers have specified a fabric with excellent breathability allowing you to push the pace without feeling damp and uncomfortable. Seams are not taped as this ultimately increases breathability still further while only diminishing wet weather performance marginally. Should things really warm up then the full length zip gives you the option to expel warm damp air and circulate fresh cooling air. Hidden rear vents also allow warm air to escape adding more comfort to your ride.

The combination of rain protection and breathability makes it the ideal jersey for hard and high intensity training sessions and races in the rain where you don't want to be wasting energy putting a jacket on and off.

Wet weather design details

With an extended storm guard rear panel you get extra protection from wheel spray; a considerable advantage when compared to a standard jersey, aiding your comfort for wet hours in the saddle. We also know you'll likely be carrying ride spares and nutrition so dhb have given you three rear pockets, protected by their own storm guard to keep as much moisture out as possible. For valuables you also get a secure zipped rear pocket that is water resistant.

A final detail designed for the low light conditions often associated with wild, rainy days is a reflective insert and binding to be found on the rear storm guard.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Built to withstand winter, it'll do just that.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10

Rain resistance is excellent, but breathability less-so, limiting its overall appeal.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

It'll stand the test of winter, just be sure to wash it kindly to maintain performance.

Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10

I like a slim cut, but if you don't you could always size up. However, I don't think this'll do the breathability level any favours.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

Slightly small, in line with a slim cut, but it remains comfortable.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10

261g is very heavy for a jersey, but on a par with jacket, which you could argue this garment is designed to be a cross between.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
7/10

Decent here, if you like a slim cut.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

£95 for a jersey that, for me at least, will only work in wintry conditions, is expensive. However, it's quite versatile, boosting value a touch.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Fine - I stuck with delicate and technical washing to maintain its waterproofness.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Reasonably, but breathability disappoints.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Water resistance and the cut

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Breathability is overrated,

Did you enjoy using the product? In parts - breathability and ventilation is key for me as I run hot.

Would you consider buying the product? Not for me, but if you want good insulation then it's worth considering.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly.

Use this box to explain your score

A good thick jersey, but isn't as breathable as it really should be.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 26  Height: 188cm  Weight: 83kg

I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

10 comments

Avatar
cdamian [165 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

That is a shame. I am still looking for a water repellent jersey for when it isn't cold.

Both this and the Gabba 2 seem to be to warm for rainy but warm days.

For really short showers a normal fast drying jersey is OK, but for more than that the rain tends to fill my shorts.

I am basically looking for something that goes with the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Bib Shorts.

Avatar
cdean [23 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
cdamian wrote:

That is a shame. I am still looking for a water repellent jersey for when it isn't cold. Both this and the Gabba 2 seem to be to warm for rainy but warm days. For really short showers a normal fast drying jersey is OK, but for more than that the rain tends to fill my shorts. I am basically looking for something that goes with the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Bib Shorts.

 

What about the jersey that matches your bibs? The no-rain light jersey is on sale at Wiggle at the moment (but only in XL).

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sportful-fiandre-light-no-rain-short-sleeve-top/

There is also a long sleeve version, but again limited sizes:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sportful-fiandre-light-no-rain-long-sleeve-top/

Avatar
CarlosFerreiro [121 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I have the Fiandre Light No-Rain and actually have the same problem with that - it's great and will really come into its own as we move into winter, but for the summer it's not breathable enough for me to avoid getting damp on the inside. That's made slightly worse with it being in a "gillet" form, and not having it's own pockets, so where I might have gone with just a base layer under it I have to go for a light jersey.
I was kind of hoping the DHB would be lighter and a lot more breathable, even if not fully waterproof, to fill the gap a bit.

Avatar
Jez Ash [231 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

The Stolen Goat Orkaan is the only weatherproof jersey I've tried which is *really* breathable - massively more so than the Gabba and - from the above - much more than this.

http://road.cc/content/review/144507-stolen-goat-orkaan-race-tech-jersey

​It's still a heavier weight than an out-and-out summer jersey, but if it was going to be raining on a day in the mid-teens, it would be my pick.  It's race tight, mind.

Avatar
cdamian [165 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
cdean wrote:
cdamian wrote:

That is a shame. I am still looking for a water repellent jersey for when it isn't cold. Both this and the Gabba 2 seem to be to warm for rainy but warm days. For really short showers a normal fast drying jersey is OK, but for more than that the rain tends to fill my shorts. I am basically looking for something that goes with the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Bib Shorts.

 

What about the jersey that matches your bibs? The no-rain light jersey is on sale at Wiggle at the moment (but only in XL).

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sportful-fiandre-light-no-rain-short-sleeve-top/

There is also a long sleeve version, but again limited sizes:

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sportful-fiandre-light-no-rain-long-sleeve-top/

I do have both of these, but they serve different uses.

The short sleeved top, isn't a jersey but more like a breathable gilet. Good to wear over a jersey when it gets colder.

The long sleeve one is probably my favourite part of kit, it is really a jersey and pretty breathable. I use it without based layer when the temperature is lower than 15C. I should just buy another one and cut off the arms.  1

Avatar
Dr. Ko [206 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

 

I'm quite happy with my Sportful Flandre jacket as a multi season jacket. While the rainproof jerseys work best in a proper rain.

Avatar
cdamian [165 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I think I am going to give the Castelli Perfetto Light Short Sleeve Jersey a try. Looks like a lighter Gabba.
Wiggle currently has the dhb, Gabba and Perfetto for more or less the same price.

Avatar
bendertherobot [1472 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
cdamian wrote:

I think I am going to give the Castelli Perfetto Light Short Sleeve Jersey a try. Looks like a lighter Gabba. Wiggle currently has the dhb, Gabba and Perfetto for more or less the same price.

The Perfetto is just that, a lighter gabba. But it's coming up to Autumn now so decide what's best. I think it's far from ideal that the dhb was tested now, it may start cool but there are very few cool days. And it's waterproof (seams aside) not water resistant a la the Gabba. There are also people on Wiggle's reviews that have worn the dhb at temps of 30 and expressed to be fine. Be careful on sizing with the Perfetto. Order 2.

Avatar
tonyleatham [52 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I have one of these Rain Defence jerseys and I would agree that it's not something you're going to want to wear when the temperature is much above 17-18 degrees. That said I don't think it's as bad as this review makes out. I find that a) wearing it with a high wicking base layer and b) undoing the zip a couple of inches makes a massive difference.

With the zip undone, you get a good airflow through the vents in the back and I think it's actually quite a versatile item of clothing. I did once wear it when the temperature was in the low twenties (the Met Office got the forecast completely wrong as usual) and I wasn't unduly uncomfortable. 

I have the whole set of rain defence kit and for me they make a lot of sense and are very versatile.

Avatar
Exup [46 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I have a Gabba 1 and it does not breathe well for me. I have found the Gore Oxygen Windstopper jerseys better. The short sleeve version has a non Windstopper back and the long sleeve is WS mostly all over. They do shed light rain, so are comparable.

Interestingly, the recent road.cc review of the short sleeve was not too complimetary, which seems to be at odds with my experience and also other customers in other website reviews (eg Wiggl........).

If this Jersey did breathe well I would have perhaps considered it, in a more visible colour.

Thanks, I may try the other recommendations of the Castelli and Sportful light ranges.