A soft shell jacket for 70 quid? You’re suspicious… but you needn’t be. This new model in the dhb lineup is a high-quality option for keeping you warm in the winter, and it comes at an amazing price.
The Windslam is made from a 100% polyester fabric that’s pretty much windproof so the warmth from your body stays inside to provide the central heating. You get loads of stretch, especially widthwise, and the brushed fleece interior adds comfort and insulation. Drizzle and light showers bead up and roll off although you'll need to pack a waterproof too if there's any chance of persistent rain.
The cut is fairly slim but we found it roomy enough to get a base layer and jersey on underneath without any tightness. Plus, the fact that the fabric is stretchy means that even if the Windslam is close fitting it doesn’t feel restrictive. We’ve not had any issues with excess fabric flapping around in the breeze and have found the arms plenty long enough when stretching forward to the bars.
Our only criticism of the cut is that the very tall collar was a little loose on your skinny reviewer, even when used alongside a high-necked jersey. This is something we’ve found with DHB waterproofs in the past too. Slender types can always wear a Buff to stop draughts getting in but we’d rather they just lopped an inch or so off the collar width… although, we guess, then people who need a wider collar would just moan.
DHB say they go with the big neck because riders will wear all sorts of underlayers, not just slimline base layers, so they want to keep it free and unrestrictive. Tell you what, make up your own mind: the neck on our Large size measures 25.5cm across (so the circumference is 51cm/20in).
The full-length front zip – like all the others on this jacket, it’s a good-quality offering from YKK – comes with a baffle behind to stop the breeze getting through, while Velcro-adjusted cuffs and a drawstring around the waist allow you to fine-tune the airflow according to the conditions and the terrain. That makes a big difference to keeping the humidity down inside – little features like this provide better climate control than even the most advanced technical fabric.
The Windslam has a few other neat features too. The two zipped side pockets, for example, point backwards, so whatever you put in them hangs over your hips rather than getting in the way at the front. The rear pocket is zipped as well and it’s large enough for your keys, spare tube and whatnot, and you get a generous amount of reflective trim, both front and rear, to help you standout at night.
Unlike some cycling tops which use windproof panels on the front and standard panels around the back and on the tops of the arms – DHB’s Windslam Roubaix Jersey (£54.99), for example – the Windslam jacket is windproof throughout so it’s very warm. Although the fabric offers good breathability, we’ve found it too hot for autumn day rides and have so far used it only once the sun has gone down and the temperature has dropped. This might limit its versatility at warmer times of the year but we’ll be getting loads of use out of it during the winter.
Available in sizes S-XXL and in black only.
Warm, windproof jacket for winter that's an absolute bargain, but check the collar width works for you
road.cc test report
Make and model: DHB Windslam soft shell jacket
Size tested: Black,large
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 softshell features the dhb Windslam breathable membrane. The barrier keeps the wind out, the warmth in, and keeps you breathing easy."
Fair enough. It is windproof and very warm, for cold autumn days and winter use only.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? The neck fit isn't quite right for me
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 39 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.