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dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0



Impressive performer, though the pocket design won't please everyone
Good wicking
Extremely comfortable
Excellent protection from wind and moderate rain
Side-entry pockets can be awkward to access

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The dhb Aeron Men's Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 is a revision of the jacket that impressed Steve back in 2021. Performance is excellent in all conditions, and it does a superb job of keeping the elements out without cooking the rider. However, one revision I'm not endeared to is the side-entry pockets, which might look sleek but can be a pain to extract stuff from.

For more options, check out our guide to the best cycling jackets.

Let's start with those revisions. This version sees a switch to a PFC-free durable water repelling coating, so no fluorocarbons to leach into the water system and food chains.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - collar.jpg

It also now has what dhb describes as a windproof and waterproof membrane, though waterproof is one of those slightly contentious terms, and dhb doesn't give a hydrostatic head rating.

The seam lines have also been revised, and the drop tail now features a reflective strip for improved visibility, while inside we have a very soft thin-pile fleece layer. The collar also features a Roubaix liner to lock cold, wet stuff outside.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - reflective.jpg

Construction is primarily a polyester/polyamide mix, which is durable and easy to care for. Our 'Paradise Pink' grew on me, and is conspicuous on murky rides, coupled with the sensibly positioned reflective detailing. There are no fewer than seven other colours to choose from, if pink isn't you.

The full-length YKK zipper means it's easy to whip on and off, while allowing some cooling air inside should things get a little toasty. We all have slightly different thermostats, but dhb reckons it performs best between -2 and +10°C, which in the UK loosely means from the end of October through to April.

Round the back there are two side-entry pockets which are generous enough for things like keys, change, wallet and phone. This might be sufficient for some of you, but I typically carry a zoom compact camera as well, and would have preferred the original configuration. The new layout also precludes a water bottle and mounting point for an LED light.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - zip pocket.jpg


I'm broad around the shoulders, long-armed and short in the torso, which can present some challenges, although most brands' mediums seem a good default these days. The dhb felt just the right side of snug, with sufficient room for a long sleeve, winter-weight baselayer.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - back.jpg

The sleeves and cuff lines supplied just the right coverage and overlap with gloves, sealing gusty winds and rains out.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - hem.jpg

The drop tail is subtle compared with some but still covered my lower back nicely, while the front is sensibly shallow, and the collar a good height.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - collar lining.jpg


Our test period was typically around the 4-8°C mark, which allowed me to use sleeveless baselayers beneath. The flat seams and soft liner translated into a comfortable inner climate for as long as I wanted to ride – five hours plus.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - lining and gripper.jpg

Harsh winds with bite were characteristic of the testing period, too, and while I could feel them swirling around me and rustling the outer shell, I remained blissfully unaffected inside. I was slightly concerned it might get a little too toasty towards double figures when riding at a steady 20mph on the fixed, but any misting quickly evaporated without me needing to drop the zipper.

Storm Ciaran was another opportunity to assess its qualities in cooler, decidedly wetter conditions. Around 3°C but quite chill courtesy of a stiff breeze, I was still perfectly comfortable for three hours and with only a sleeveless layer beneath. Try as it might, the wind couldn't sneak between gloves and cuff, and the tail stayed put no matter how much I shuffled about or alternated between hoods and drops. This was effortless too, thanks to the fabric's four-way stretch.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - cuff.jpg

As far as the waterproofing goes, it isn't as protective as a 2.5 or 3-layer laminate technical jacket in my experience, though it's on a par with other softshells I've used. The DWR coating will hold back persistent, showery rain for 90 minutes, and it was nice not to be encumbered by a waterproof shell on rides when it was sunny one moment, overcast and showery the next.

2023 dhb Aeron Men’s Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 - shoulders.jpg

On those occasions when the sun appeared, raising the temperature, the front zipper was easy to lower and raise, even in stodgy winter gloves – not so the rear pockets, which despite their elastic tags were difficult to access at standstill, let alone while riding along. I needed to pull the jacket tight with one hand, then drag the zipper down to get at anything.


Given the colour, I was a little concerned the jacket might show every oily fingerprint, but thankfully this wasn't so – another benefit of the water-repelling layer, perhaps. And what little road grime clung on was readily dismissed with a 30-degree machine wash.


While £140 is a sizeable investment (and both Wiggle and Chain Reaction have it listed as £160), there are much more expensive options with similar specifications.

Castelli's Perfetto RoS 2 is £260, for example, though Liam did think it was excellent – as is the Santini Adapt Multi - Jacket according to Mike, but again it's nearly £100 more at £230.

Gorewear's C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo jacket, which Stu tested back in 2020, has gone up to £199.99, but he was impressed with its Infinium fabric, if not its side-entry pockets.


The dhb Aeron is a capable all-rounder that caters for most conditions. However, the two side-entry pockets might look sleek but in my experience they're less practical than a traditional 'terraced' design.


Impressive performer, though the pocket design won't please everyone test report

Make and model: dhb Aeron Men's Deep Winter Softshell 2.0

Size tested: Medium

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: "Introducing our Aeron Men's Deep Winter Softshell 2.0 – the warmest winter jacket we've ever created. Crafted in a thermal, fleece-backed fabric and featuring a windproof and waterproof membrane, it will keep you riding in comfort on the coldest days.

Ultra-warm, protective, and supremely comfortable, this is the go-to outer layer in the coldest conditions. Its technical fleece-backed fabric provides incredible insulation without risk of overheating.

We've used the same high-loft softshell as on the front of our Aeron Men's All Winter Softshell – only this time we've used it all over. By trapping a layer of warm air close to the body, this technical fleece lining maximises warmth and comfort.

A windproof and waterproof membrane will give you protection against foul weather, while the double-cuff construction, extended reflective tail and high neck serve as further barriers against wind, rain and road spray."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?

dhb lists:

High-loft softshell with windproof and waterproof membrane

C0 durable water repellent (DWR) treatment

High neck with Roubaix collar lining

Extended reflective tail

Two side-entry rear pockets with zips

Double-cuff construction

YKK Vislon® zip

Reflective details

Temperature range -2-10°C

Main: 72% polyamide, 28% elastane; Inserts: 85% polyamide, 15% elastane; Cuffs: 48% polyester, 37% polyamide, 15% elastane; Inner Pocket: 100% polyester

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:

High standard throughout.

Rate the jacket for performance:

Impressive within the temperature range cited; blocked the cold and rain very effectively while still being very breathable.

Rate the jacket for durability:

No reason to think it won't lead a long and productive life.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:

Resists persistent showery rain for 90 minutes, heavier stuff for an hour or so.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:

Baselayer choice plays a part, but I've been suitably impressed with how efficiently the softshell displaces rider-generated heat, even in milder conditions and under sustained exertion.

Rate the jacket for fit:

Perfect for my 1.81m 70kg frame.

Rate the jacket for sizing:

Very accurate.

Rate the jacket for weight:

Felt lighter than 407g.

Rate the jacket for comfort:

Generally excellent. However, I found the side-entry pockets frustrating and awkward to access.

Rate the jacket for value:

Very good compared with others.

How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Very straightforward. Machine wash at 30 degrees with minimal detergent and leave to dry naturally.

Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, it's an impressive softshell jacket that performs equally well at both ends of the temperature spectrum. Wind and water resistance are equally impressive and the fabric has plenty of give for seamless switches of position, while the drop tail is long enough to keep wet, wintry spray at bay. I was also pleasantly surprised by how well the fabric has washed and, moreover, resisted filthy wintry cocktails thrown up along the lanes.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Fit, cut, weather resistance, and breathability.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Pocket design wasn't to my taste at all.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on

It's much cheaper than jackets from the likes of Castelli and Santini, though Lusso's Perform Winter Jacket, which is reckoned to have a similar operating temperature, is just £20 more, while its loftier stablemate the Paragon Deep Winter Jacket is £185.

Gorewear's C5 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo jacket, which Stu tested back in 2020, has gone up to £199.99, but he was impressed with its Infinium fabric, if not its side-entry pockets.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? With re-designed pockets, definitely.

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? For the most part yes, but pockets could be a deal-breaker.

Use this box to explain your overall score

Great performing jacket for most situations, though I found the side-entry pockets awkward.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 1m 81cm  Weight: 70kg

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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