dhb's Aeron LAB Equinox Jersey is a lightweight long sleeve design that is excellent both on its own and when worn with other layers. It breathes well, fits brilliantly, looks smart and gives decent warmth without bulk. It's a great jersey for UK conditions, the only issue being the price.
- Pros: Aero fit, breathability, smart looks
- Cons: Price, cuffs could be stretchier
One thing I love about winter rides is layering up to tackle the elements. But come the end of winter and I'm usually struggling to decide what to wear. That's why I really like versatile pieces of kit that have their strength in their ability to be popped into many different outfits. dhb's Aeron LAB Equinox Jersey is a great example of a jersey that is usable in many more conditions than it's advertised for.
The jersey is much like a standard short-sleeve jersey. There's no brushed fabric to provide insulation, and pulling it on gives you an instant feeling of easy movement and a close fit.
To get that light and unrestrictive feel, the jersey is made up from two fabrics. Polartec's Powershield Pro is a windproof and water-resistant fabric that covers the chest, shoulders and the arms, where the wind hits. This is a breathable fabric that provides decent insulation given the thinness of the material, with the windproofing doing the most to keep you warm.
On the back, sides, underside of the arms and tapering around the waist, dhb has opted for Flash fabric from Schoeller. It is lighter and much more flexible than the Powershield Pro and gives the jersey its close fit.
This fabric also forms the pockets, of which you get the standard three, with an additional zippered pocket that's great for a smartphone. The LAB branding on the central pocket is also reflective, a neat touch.
Over the course of a few months, we've moved from deep winter through to the first warmth of spring (and back again slightly...) and I've constantly been reaching for this jersey. I found that it performed best when I needed to wear a rain jacket in mild conditions. Here, the breathability really helps as a normal, heavier winter jersey can easily cause me to sweat when riding at an easy pace. Wearing the Equinox jersey kept me feeling comfortable until the effort really ramped up.
dhb gives the jersey quite a close operating temperature range of between 10 and 16°C. That's for when you're wearing the jersey on its own, or with a thin baselayer. In reality, I was using it well down towards freezing with various other layers.
All that use meant a lot of time spent under other kit and many washes. Everything has remained as it should and the water resistance that was there at the start is still working well. That said, I have religiously kept this away from the tumble dryer.
Fit is designed to be close and that's exactly what it is, with the stretch in the back and side panels keeping everything comfortable. The one issue I did have was at the wrist. Here, a little more stretch in the cuff would be very helpful: trying to hold a long sleeve baselayer to stop it from riding up the arm when putting this jersey on is almost impossible. A small issue, I know, but worth mentioning given the number of times I chose a long-sleeve baselayer.
The hem of the jersey is finished with a silicone gripper that does a good job of keeping the jersey in place. At the other end, the neck isn't too high and fits nicely without being too tight.
Size-wise it comes up slightly small. Normally I'd take a small jersey but the medium I have here is pretty aero, so you might want to size up. There's good length in the body and sleeves, but I'd still suggest buying a size up.
Value is a tough one. With the use that I got out of this jersey, £140 could be justified – and it's the same as the PEdAL ED Kobe Thermo Jersey. The Castelli Perfetto is £30 more, but it is a very versatile jersey that offers better protection against the rain. If you can do without the windproofing, Monton's Pro Winso LS jersey can still be layered and at RRP is £115 – and currently discounted to £73.
Great performance, close fit and very versatile
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Lab Equinox Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "The protection and performance you need, without the bulk of traditional long sleeve jerseys. The Aeron LAB Equinox uses advance fabrics, making it perfect for high-intensity rides on the in-between days of spring or autumn and the ideal winter mid-layer."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Designed for tempo riding in transitional seasons
Recommended Temperature Range: 10-16 Celsius
Close performance fit
Polartec Powershield Pro
Advanced Schoeller fabric
The number of panels means there are a lot of seams internally. I can't say that they bothered me – there was no irritation – but it's not the tidiest-looking internally.
Really good at what it's designed for. The breathability and windproofing mean you can do so much with it.
Sizes up small, like Castelli. Bear this in mind as it's a close, aero fit too.
The Castelli Perfetto is just a bit more, though it's always being discounted.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. Just keep away from the tumble dryer.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. It fits really nicely and blocks the chilly wind while also being breathable under a rain jacket.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fabric that dhb has used on the back and side panels makes the fit really comfy and still aero.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Though it's cheaper than the Perfetto at RRP, it's still a bit pricey.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Very few jerseys offer this combination of windproof front and Lycra back, so it's hard to make a direct comparison. The Castelli Perfetto is a little more expensive at RRP.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, too expensive for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, if they have deeper pockets than me.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's very good on performance, breathability and versatility, but the price is pretty high. It costs almost the same as Castelli's Perfetto, which offers more weatherproofing.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.