As the winter months approach, it's time for the extra baselayers, fleece-lined arm warmers and long-sleeved jerseys to come out. It's always tricky knowing how much to layer up on colder rides so you don't overheat on the climbs, but are still warm enough on the descents. The dhb Women's Aeron Rain Defence Long Sleeve Jersey deals with this issue by being warm and waterproof, while still light and breathable.
dhb says this is a jersey, designed to perform like a jacket. I found it to be more of a feminine fitting, lightweight jacket in look, feel and performance than a long-sleeved jersey. Having said that, the fit means you wouldn't wear it in the middle of winter over a lot of layers, and I often found myself putting it straight on over a long- or short-sleeved baselayer.
Although it isn't necessarily true to the 'jersey' part of the name, the Aeron Rain Defence Jersey certainly lives up to the 'rain defence' aspect. The fabric is not only light and waterproof, but also breathable, keeping you both cool and dry while climbing. I was happy to find the inside of the jacket never seemed to get soaked in sweat as so often happens with less breathable waterproofs.
A large mesh vent sits across the shoulder blades covered by a waterproof flap which assisted with breathability while still keeping the rain out. The full length front zip is also covered by a 'wind guard' which serves its purpose well and adds to the stylish look of the jersey.
Although the seams aren't taped, this doesn't appear to significantly affect the waterproofing of the jersey even in relatively heavy rain, and definitely helps with breathability.
The jersey features two large rear pockets, both covered with 'storm guard' flaps, further keeping the rain out. Dhb says that the third – zipped – pocket is water resistant. In all but torrential rain I found it to be very waterproof as well as large enough to keep most modern smartphones protected from the elements.
The jersey is a flattering fit without being overly clingy, and has a strong gripper around the hemline which held it securely in place while riding; the particularly low cut of the rear hem also gives that little extra protection on wet days. I found the collar particularly comfortable as it was neither too high nor too tight around the neck.
Sizing seemed a little odd: I wear a size 8 in other clothes and most dhb products, but wore a 12 in this jersey. There was some room in places so I could probably squeeze into a 10, but I would certainly buy a size or two up.
Over a few washes, I didn't find any problems as the jersey held its shape and lovely bright colour.
As for value, at £100 this isn't exactly a cheap option but you do get plenty for your money, and I would certainly consider buying it.
More jacket than jersey – good looking, waterproof and breathable, justifying its price
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Womens Aeron Rain Defence Long Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: 12
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?
The dhb Women's Aeron Rain Defence Long Sleeve Jersey is part of dhb's Performance range. dhb says it is designed to perform like a jacket but with the fit and feel of a jersey.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from waterproof, breathable, mid weight fabric. Features a wind guard over the full length zipper, rear venting and two large pockets plus a third water resistant zip pocket on the rear.
Despite the size coming up small, this was a feminine and flattering fit all-round.
Comes up pretty small – I wear an 8 in other dhb kit and clothing, but tested a 12 in this top which was a (mostly) good fit.
Yes, £100 is a lot for a 'jersey', but you get a lot for your money so I don't think it's bad value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well and held its shape. Didn't find any problems over a number of washes. Also dried super-fast having been washed, even compared to my other kit, which was an added bonus.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I found the jersey comfortable and it kept out the wind and rain while being more breathable than many similar products. Overall it performed really well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It looks good, feels good and does what dhb says it will.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No particular dislikes, though the sizing was frustrating.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I was really impressed with this top, once I got over the sizing issue; pricey yes, but hard to fault.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Team Carbon My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, commuting, club rides, track
Ashia is a Maths student at the University of Bath and has been riding and racing bikes for the past 6 years after a track taster session at her local velodrome had her hooked. Most weekends, she can be found out racing, be it track, road, criteriums, time trials, triathlons, or cyclocross. Whilst she is fiercely competitive and loves to race, she is still on the look out for anyone hiring a "full time cafe rider" when she graduates.