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The dhb Aeron Lab Featherlight Short Sleeve Jersey is claimed to be the world's lightest water- and wind-resistant jersey. At just 97g for this size medium it's lighter than most that don't make those claims. I've found the Featherlight comfortable to wear, though a little short at the front and more see-through than I'd like.
The Aeron Lab range from dhb is all about pushing the boundaries of performance to make you as quick as possible on the bike. With this in mind, the Featherlight jersey has a tight, second-skin fit to ensure no flapping or wasted watts. Despite this, it still feels extremely comfortable and unrestrictive; I've had no problems wearing it for long rides and have been particularly impressed with the lack of bunching under the arms that I usually experience with aero jerseys.
One area I was less fond of with the Featherlight was the short front. A lot of aero jerseys are cut short at the front to prevent excess material when in an aero position on the bike, but for me the dhb jersey takes it to a whole new level.
If anything, a medium jersey should be verging on the larger side for me (I'm a S/M on the size guide) but the Featherlight sat a fair bit above my belly button, meaning that there was a gap between it and anything but the highest sitting bib shorts.
In the jersey's defence, I do have quite a long torso (it's not me in the pictures) and it was all right while cycling, but I can't help thinking of race line finish photos with arms aloft and belly buttons out.
For maximum aero gains the jersey also features particularly long sleeves that on me came to about an inch above the elbow; these are firmly held in place thanks to tacky gripper sections along the cuff of the low weight fabric. Usually when I get back from a ride I'm pretty proud of my tan lines, but at near elbow level they could start to look a bit odd – something to bear in mind as the jersey is rated for use between 8 and 25°C.
Out on the road, the jersey is surprisingly breathable and comfortable during hot (for the UK) rides, given its wind-stopping credentials; 25 degrees might be pushing it a little, but I've ridden in up to 20 degrees with no issues.
In typical UK conditions I've had far more opportunity to test the lower end of the temperature scale. I was indeed comfortable down to around 8°C thanks to the tightly woven yarn, a set of arm warmers and a baselayer which, unlike when worn with the non-Featherweight version of this jersey, is hidden by the higher collar.
Unlike some water-resistant jerseys, dhb's approach uses DWR (durable water repellent) technology at various stages of the production process, which is what allows it to be so light. There's plenty of talk about the durability of such coatings, but after nearly three months and regular washing I'm still impressed with the water-beading ability of the fabric. Heavy downpours will overcome its abilities, and sooner than a Castelli Gabba or Perfetto, but it is enough for a shower or two.
Talking of baselayers, I chose to wear one at all times with this jersey. The fabric may be functionally great, but it is quite see-through. To try to maintain a little dignity, a baselayer at least covers the nipples, but if you don't usually wear one it does kind of defeat the purpose of a super-lightweight jersey.
Other than the slight see-through issue, the quality of the jersey is excellent. High-quality materials are used throughout, and the soft-lined fast-wicking collar is a particularly nice touch. The YKK zips feel durable, with a zip garage to avoid neck irritation.
On the rear of the jersey you get four pockets: three larger and one side-entry zipped pocket for valuables on the right, which, I was pleasantly surprised, was large enough for my phone; many aren't, and it's also lined with a waterproof material for further protection.
The larger three lie nice and flat when empty and are quite deep, if not particularly wide. They are quite stretchy, which helps with packing on long rides as well as holding the contents tight when there's not so much in them. The slightly restricted width did mean some careful rolling was required to fit in a medium weight gilet, but it did go in.
In terms of value, £120 is a lot, but it is less than the £140 that a Pactimo Storm+ would set you back. A favourite mixed weather jersey of mine is the Castelli Perfetto Light 2 and this also costs more, with an RRP of £135, though it's a few years old now and can be found for a fair bit less.
Overall, it's a bit of a mixed bag with the Aeron Lab Featherweight. Its construction, performance and materials are first class, but its see-throughness could be offputting and some will like it a little longer at the front, although shorter riders might not find this a problem.
There's also the question of how well it suits the UK weather; very often I found that a heavier-weight water-resistant jersey such as a Gabba or even the Perfetto Light 2 were better suited to the sub-12 degree and wet spring conditions.
The dhb Featherweight could come into its own in summer showers, but some might consider it a lot to spend on a niche product that's only really in its element a few times a year. Personally, I don't mind getting wet so much in the summer when it's warmer – your mileage might vary.
Lightweight and race-cut jersey for warm, showery conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Lab Featherlight Short Sleeve Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "The world's lightest water and wind resistant jersey, the dhb Aeron Lab Featherlight Jersey redefines performance cycling jerseys. Combining protection with breathability, this jersey sets a new performance standard for the top end cyclist.
"Aeron Lab is all about pushing the boundaries of performance sportswear. Committed to creating new levels of performance, dhb have created something truly special with the new Aeron Lab Featherlight Jersey- the lightest, water-resistant, woven jersey out there.
"The top end, European woven fabric, has yarns that are coated during manufacture with a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment. Once complete, the fabric is treated with DWR again, making it super resistant to water. The treatments applied to the fabrics mean that there isn't the need for a membrane that you'd find in most other water-resistant jerseys, making the entire jersey extremely breathable and light. A size medium weighs in at just 95g. The tight, woven yarns of this fabric have the added benefit of offering protection from the wind, making this the ultimate jersey for all-day riding in the big alpine environments, where weight, versatility and performance are critical.
"This jersey has a second-skin fit, perfect for racing, or those seeking to avoid any unnecessary bulk. To ensure it's as comfortable as possible, dhb have not taped the seams to allow the stretch of the fabric to work with you when you're riding.
"The dhb Aeron Lab Featherlight Jersey is finished with a full-length zip, and reflective logos on the front, sleeves and back that look normal in daylight, but shine brightly when hit by light. Finally, this jersey has lightweight silicon grippers on the sleeves and back to ensure it stays put."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
dhb lists these features:
Water and wind resistant
Lightweight (97g for medium)
Reflective Aeron Lab logos
Waterproof zipped pocket
77% Polyamide (Nylon), 23% Elastane (Spandex)
Well made, no frayed ends and high risk areas are taped.
Really lightweight; wind protection and water resistance was good although sustained rain will come through eventually.
High quality zips should last; after nearly three months the logos are starting to peel at the edges.
I'd love to score it higher here as it fits exceptionally well around the shoulders and under the arms. Unfortunately, it's just too short in the body for me, even for an aero cut jersey, though I am quite long bodied.
Sizing seems accurate as long as you're expecting the race fit, which is made quite clear on Wiggle's website.
It really is light.
Really comfortable. Neck lining is excellent and no bunching under the arms as I've experienced previously with aero jerseys.
It's not cheap but it does stack up well against its competition at RRP.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Looks and feels the same after loads of machine washes; DWR treatment is standing up well.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's comfortable, aero and the pockets are good. It works as a jersey should. It's certainly showerproof and offers protection from the wind, so top marks here as well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Aero fit, comfortable, showerproof.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
See-through material, cut very short at the front.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's not only cheaper than many of its competitors but lighter too. For example, the Santini Beta Light Short Sleeve Wind Jersey is 10 quid more, the Perfetto Light 2 is £15 more and the Pactimo Storm+ Hybrid is £20 more. However, some of these are now a few years old and can be found for much less: the Perfetto can be found for under 70 quid in selected sizes, which is an absolute steal.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a well-made, high-performance jersey. If you can see past the see-throughness, as it were, and if the exceptionally short cut at the front suits your bodyshape, it's a good piece of kit that performs very well, but for many those issues will limit its appeal, especially for the money.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized venge pro 2019 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 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, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,