The dhb Classic FLT Softshell Roubaix Jacket is an effectively warm and windproof outer for dry, cold rides, and its strong build promises many seasons of use. It's cheaper than most, but the shiny feel of the outer fabric may put some people off.
Pros: Comfortable, effective, well made, decent price
Cons: Slightly boxy, design won't appeal to all
The Classic FLT is a solid performer in every way and does what you want it to. The fairly bulky Roubaix fleece proves warm on windy, sub-10°C rides over just a single long-sleeve baselayer, and good breathability helps with staying dry-ish and comfy. The all-important windproofing covers the front panels only, to help with that moisture management, and is very effective.
The full-length zip – though backed with a double layer of fabric – is a slight weak spot in the windproofing at speed, though to be fair, once it's cold enough to become noticeable you'll probably be wanting another layer in general anyway. It's not waterproof, and isn't claimed to be, so you'll certainly need a shell if the heavens open.
The overlocked seams are well stitched and perfectly comfortable, though they leave quite a deep pinch on the outside that doesn't look great. And while the mid-length cuffs slip neatly into gloves for a good seal, they don't react well to Velcro; this jacket developed several scruffy pulls in the cuff material (polyester with a touch of elastane, like the rest of it) from errant glove closures.
The drop in the tail is well judged, and the silicone-backed elastic has no problem stopping the chunky fabric riding up.
Above it sit the usual three pockets, plus a big-phone-friendly zipped opening on the side of the right-hand pocket. Both fabric and stitching feel more than up to being stuffed silly with winter layers and warmers.
The fleece-lined neck is similarly well judged, and a good if not massive height. Overall it's a decent loose (but not flappy) fit with room for several layers beneath, though it's perhaps a touch too roomy across the chest.
It's quite a dark jacket, which you might like, but those bright blocks help with visibility – especially as they use dhb's Flashlight reflective coating (hence the FLT in the name). Well, some do... the lower row on the front isn't treated, and neither are the blocks on the pocket (though there is a reflective one inside the pocket, for any car drivers in there).
At £90, the Classic FLT Softshell doesn't enjoy the same kind of gap to its competitors as many dhb items do. That said, it's easy to find softshells at more than twice the price, such as the Sportful Fiandre Cabrio or Assos Mille GT Ultraz, though there's still a decent choice at more reasonable levels: Galibier's £72 Mistral jacket, for instance, is also warm and windproof, plus it's water resistant.
> Buyer's Guide: 23 of the best winter cycling jackets
Many that sit around the £120 mark offer more wet weather protection – the Kalf Club softshell, Sweet Protection Crossfire or dhb's own Aeron Rain Defence Polartec jacket, for example – and it's arguably not much of a stretch to there if you're looking to invest £90 already.
> Buyer's Guide: 11 of the best wet weather cycling jerseys
Go up to £150 and you're looking at the likes of Endura's superb Pro SL Thermal Windproof II, which brings excellent fit, luxurious comfort and serious protection to the party for much greater versatility.
Overall, it's a warm and usefully windproof winter layer that should do sterling service for many seasons to come, and seems as unlikely to let you down as it is to blow you away.
Warm, windproof jacket that's a really solid performer
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Make and model: dhb Classic FLT Softshell Roubaix Jacket - Brick
Tell us what the jacket 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 says: "Keep riding through cold weather conditions with the dhb Classic FLT Softshell Windslam Roubaix Jacket. Now with added Flashlight Technology (FLT), subtle but effective reflective details where you need them most for increased visibility."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
The company lists these things:
- Windproof softshell for colder autumn and winter rides
- FLT (Flashlight Technology - high visibility reflective details
- Wind resistant membrane on front panel and sleeves
- Fleece lined inside and on the collar for added warmth
- Lightweight breathable polyester fleece back and underarm panels
- Full length, lock down YKK zip with internal zip guard
- 3 vertical rear pockets with additional zipped secure pocket
- Reflective dhb logos
- Additional reflective details on the upper arm and rear pocket seams
- Internal elasticated silicone gripper on hem
- Insert: 87% Polyester, 13% Elastane(Spandex)
- Main: 89% Polyester, 11% Elastane(Spandex)
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Solid fabrics and stitching throughout.
Rate the jacket for performance:
Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
Rate the jacket for fit:
Gives a decent flap-free fit with room for a couple of layers beneath, but could be a bit slimmer and more tailored.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Rate the jacket for weight:
Not particularly light, but probably won't slow you down as much as getting chilled will.
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Rate the jacket for value:
Cheaper than many, if not quite the steal that much dhb kit is, and some of its more expensive rivals offer a degree of waterproofing. It does promise solid service for many, many miles.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with cool washes.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performs well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Windproof panelling, solid build, bold styling, dependability.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The feel/sound of the fabric, design makes you look like a jockey...
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Heavily discounted, yes.
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's decent value and provides a solid and effective performance. If I could give it 7.5 I would; a better fit and slightly lower price would bump it up to 8.
Age: 47 Height: 183cm Weight: 78kg
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking
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