The howies Dyfi Active Shell is a lightweight windproof shell with a good fit, nice details and smart looks, and all for a very reasonable price.
The Dyfi Active Shell is made from a recycled polyester ripstop fabric that manages to offer decent breathability - you can maintain a high workout level without fear of boiling in the bag. The simplicity of the jacket means there's no ventilation ports, but I found the full-length zip to provide more than enough ventilation when it did get a bit warm.
Howies have kept the design simple, with just the key details to make it a pleasant jacket to spend some time in. There fleece-lined collar is a nice touch, and the adjustable waist cord gives a good range of adjustability. The chest pocket is the only storage you get, and also doubles up as some place to roll the jacket away into when you're not wearing it.
It isn't waterproof, but a hydrophobic coating does ensure it's able to cope well with light rain showers, i've been caught in the odd downpour and it's managed to just about cope. That combination of wind and water resistance makes it ideal for changeable autumnal conditions, with the breathability sufficient for the current temperature ranges.
The fit isn't road-specific. Too relaxed for performance road cyclists, it can be a bit baggy on slim riders, and the tail doesn't drop that far. Away from the pressure of heart rate threshold training and aerodynamic concerns, the Dyfi is a comfortable jacket ideal for urban cycling and commuting. I've put it through its paces on my 55km commute into the road.cc office [show-off - Ed], where the fit and bright orange colour proved a good combination. A handful of reflective details helps you stand out too.
Stylish jacket that's ideal for commuting, urban cycling and leisure riding.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Howies Dyfi Active Shell jacket
Size tested: Medium, Orange
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?
With recycled polyester ripstop body and breathable, four-way stretch arm panels. Reflective accents on cuff and tail. Adjustable waistband. Zipped chest pocket with headphone aperture. Elasticated cuffs. Fleece lined collar. Packs away into chest pocket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Windproof and Breathable
- Lightweight; Medium 215g
- Hydrophobic coating shrugs off spray
- 4-way stretch panels
- Reflective cuff and hem
- Elasticated cuffs
- Drawcord hem
- Chest pocket with a clip for keys and headphone port
- Headphone loop on the inside collar
- Tricot lined collar for comfort and keeping breezes out
- Body: Recycled
Top-notch construction and it's holding up fine after some heavy commuting.
It isn't the most advanced fabric and the fit is a little on the baggy side for performance cyclists, but for urban cycling and commuting it works well, with a nice set of details and stylish finish. Nice colour options too.
All good so far.
The relaxed fit means it's very comfortable and the fabric is even fine against bare arms.
At £39 it's pretty good value for money for a jacket that copes well in the wind and rain.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, good breathability and wind resistance.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good value for money, looks great and lovely choice of colours.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fit is a little on the baggy side, which limits it personally to commuting duties (and occasional mountain biking and cyclo-cross).
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: 31 Height: 180 Weight: 67
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.