The EQ2.5 Jacket from dhb is designed to keep you warm and dry when cycling in cold and wet weather - and it does just that, very well indeed.
It's made up of a Teflon-coated waterproof breathable fabric on the outside with a mesh liner on the inside.With cycling kit, it's always a balancing act between waterproofing and breathability. With this mix of materials, the EQ2.5 jacket seems to get the balance just right for steady rides in cold and wet conditions. It keeps out the rain and wind, while letting body moisture escape via the breathable fabric and the vertical vent flaps across the back, so you don't get too clammy inside. There are also zipped vents under the armpits for additional - and adjustable - ventilation.
This jacket is designed to be a close fit, and our test model (size medium) was comfortably body hugging with just a base layer and medium thickness long-sleeve racing jersey underneath. It didn't flap in the wind when riding, except on fast descents. It's short in the body compared to some other jackets, but the back is longer than the front and covers the upper bit of your rear-end, with the curved hem held neatly in place with a mix of elastic hem and silicon gripper.
I found the arms the perfect length for steady riding on the top of the bars or the brake hoods, but they might be a tad short for those with longer limbs when stretched out on the drops. I could have gone for a size larger, obviously, although then the cut of the jacket won't be so close-fitting overall. On the other hand, that may be a preferred style for some riders anyway.
The cuffs are adjustable with Velcro, with flexible plastic tabs that are easy to grip with gloves on. The collar is soft-lined with an additional raised section at the back for extra warmth. Some riders may find it a bit loose-fitting, but it means there's room for the collar of the jersey underneath. An elasticated neck would have been better, to provide a bit more flexibility and keep the draughts out whatever you're wearing underneath.
Other features include internal pockets in the lower front part of the jacket - handy for money or maybe a phone - but anything heavier inside those pockets makes the jacket hang down at the front. For some, that'll mean the stuff in the pockets will bump on the top of the leg on each up-stroke when pedalling.
There's also a large pocket on the rear with a horizontal zip. You could easily get gloves, hat, food and tools in here, although I found that anything heavy hangs uncomfortably low and rubs against the coccyx. Another seam across the base of the pocket (to hold stuff at the same level as in the rear pocket of a traditional cycling jersey) would solve this, but it might not be a problem for everyone - especially if you carry your heavier stuff in a saddle-pack anyway. Inside the big rear pocket is a smaller hanging pocket made of mesh, in which you could carry a credit card, key or maybe a small phone.
Once you've sorted the pockets out, this is a really great jacket for cold and wet conditions. One word of caution though: as soon as the temperature gets warmer (say above about 5°C), and especially if you start pushing the pace, it starts to feel too warm and clammy on the inside - even with just that base layer and long-sleeve jersey underneath. This clamminess can be alleviated to a certain extent by undoing the pit-vents, but after that, if the jacket gets too warm you're in trouble, as it's too large to take off and stuff in a back pocket like a single layer jacket or gilet. So the EQ2.5 is definitely for the times when it's going to be cold and wet for your whole ride, not something to take with you just in case - unless you've got a saddlebag, of course.
With a retail price of a penny under £70, currently reduced to £62.99 on the Wiggle website (dhb is Wiggle's inhouse brand), this is very good value compared to similar waterproof and breathable cycling jackets from other brands. You can easily pay twice as much for something with comparable looks and performance.
It's available in grey (with green zips), red (black zips) or black (red zips), all with some reflective piping. For a jacket designed for winter conditions, some riders may be disappointed to find it's not available in brighter colours.
Waterproof and breathable cycling jacket that's ideal for cold and wet conditions. Very neat and excellent value - just don't put too much in the pockets.
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Make and model: dhb EQ2.5 Waterproof Cycling Jacket
Size tested: Medium
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?
Wiggle website says the EQ2.5 jacket is 'aimed at the road rider out in cold wet conditions. Full length, YKK waterproof entry zip (with internal zip flap) is in contrast colour to compliment the cuff closures and rear zip detail.' Other aspects include: 'The mesh lining boosts warmth and helps to prevent the damp sensation felt with non-lined waterproof jackets. ... Interior lining features 2 pockets to accommodate Smartphone and wallet, one is zipped one is secured with a tab.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Wiggle website includes the following bullet points:
• 2.5 layer, waterproof jacket with mesh lining
• Waterproof main front zip
* Contrast detailing
* 2 Internal chest pockets
* Rear waterproof zip pocket
* Adjustable cuffs
* Articulated sleeves
* Drop tail with silicone gripper
* Reflective Detailing
* Mid-slim fit
* 300T 100% Polyester Pongee
* Ripstop + PU transfer membrane + Prints
* Teflon treatment
Performance is very good for riding in cold and wet conditions. However, as soon as the weather gets above about 5°C, or the wind drops, or you start pushing the pace, this jacket is simply too warm. Hard-riders may prefer a gilet or single-layer waterproof that can be taken off and stuffed in a back pocket when not required.
Weighing in at 440g, this is no featherweight garment. There are other waterproof tops that weigh half this or less, but they give less protection when the chips are down.
Very good value compared to similar waterproof and breathable cycling jackets from other brands.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Close fit. Mesh liner.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Non-adjustable neck. Unnecessarily large rear pocket.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but only if it was available in a brighter colour.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Only with the caveat above
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
This is a very good jacket. The neck and pocket niggles highlighted in this review won't apply to all riders, so the EQ2.5 is still well worth considering if you're looking for a sturdy top layer to get you through the winter.
Age: 50 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,