The dhb Minima S Jacket is, as its name suggests, a minimalist waterproof jacket designed to survive the nastiest downpours whilst still being packable enough to fit into a jersey pocket.
The DHB Minima S is constructed from a 2.5 layer, Teflon coated material (non-branded) which they claim is waterproof to 8000mm. Due to Teflon's hydrophobic properties, water tends to bead up on the surface, where wind and gravity can remove it. A jacket is only as waterproof as its weakest point though, and to this end, all the seams are taped and the full front zip is of the waterproof variety, as well as being backed by more material. The neck is cut high and lined with fleece for comfort, and features a 'zip garage' to prevent any unwanted irritation when the zip is all the way up.
In a concession to packability, the cuffs and lower hem use simple elastic closures rather than straps or draw cords, and the Minima doesn't feature any pockets either.
Reflective detailing is minimal, with only two thin strips of piping on the upper back and some flashes on the lower back. If being seen is a priority, then DHB offer the Minima in full neon yellow which is burn-yer-eyes-out bright.
The fit is appropriately bike specific with long arms specifically shaped to provide full coverage when leaning towards the bars. The rear hem is slightly dropped though riders with more aggressive positions will still find their backside's exposed. The flip side is that the Minima doesn't look ridiculous when standing up, making it more suited to commuting type journeys.
Inside, the fit is designed so that you can get it over a mid-weight jacket without any flapping fabric. The neck fits quite snugly to keep out the water, but it doesn't feel uncomfortable thanks to the fleece lining. The aforementioned elasticated cuffs and hem also do a good job of keeping out the moisture without causing any discomfort by being too tight. Overall, the fit doesn't hold any surprises and should suit to the majority of riders.
The combination of good fit, taped seams and waterproof material make the Minima ideal for heavy rain when maximum protection is needed. Riders using a rucksack will be pleased to hear that water doesn't seep in through the back either.
The downside to all this protection is that the Minima really isn't all that breathable as its water vapour transport capabilities can easily be overwhelmed.
It's better than a simple plastic jacket, but still lags behind some of the more expensive and technical hard shells out there.
In changeable weather conditions, I found I was less inclined to leave the jacket on the whole time as I would do with a more breathable option; removing the jacket and putting it back on as weather dictated.
Luckily then, the zip is large enough to be easily handled with gloves on and the whole jacket packs down small enough for a rear jersey pocket. The Minima also includes a stuff sack which is useful for stowing the jacket away at work for example, and adds to the value of the whole package.
Ideally suited to prolonged rides in heavy rain, though relative lack of breathability limits use.
road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Minima S Waterproof Jacket
Size tested: Medium, Hi-Vis
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 tout the Minima S as offering "excellent rain protection in a tiny package"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
2.5 layer full rain protection
Articulated arm seam
Minimal construction (suitable for jersey back pocket)
Supplied with compact mesh stuff sack
Rear high visibility reflective details (not much)
Elasticated low profile cuffs
Water Proof 8000mm
The taping job on the seams is well done and everything seems to be holding up well.
Excellent as a pure waterproof, but this comes at the expense of some breathability. The rear hem could also have been dropped further to increase coverage when in a more aggressive cycling position, though this would have compromised the Minima's versatility to some extent.
The Minima shows no signs of wear despite months or regular use on my daily commute.
The jacket is lightweight and packs down enough to fit into a rear jersey pocket.
The elasticated cuffs and hem are overly tight while the fleece lined neck is a nice touch. What lets it down slightly is the the moisture build up which does occur during prolonged efforts.
Despite my comments on the Minima's lack of breathability, it's still a damn sight more comfortable than a cheap plastic rain cape. The £50 asking price is good value given the technical shell material employed and the attention which has obviously gone into the fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 21 Height: 190cm Weight: 69kg
I usually ride: Canondale EVO Red My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Semi pro
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.