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The Aeron Packable Gilet from dhb is a lightweight solution if you want a bit of protection on a cool or breezy day, and this very bright yellow option will get you noticed. The performance is good, but the fit I found to be just a bit off.
To be honest a gilet is a pretty simple piece of clothing, especially in a form like this – dhb isn't offering anything really out of the ordinary when it comes to features.
The fabric is 91% polyester with the rest being elastane, so I must admit I was expecting a little bit more in the way of stretch. The Aeron range is classed as 'Performance' fit by dhb, so it's close fitting – but not as close as the Professional fit.
I've used a lot of dhb's kit, and I've always found myself to be a medium, but this gilet comes up a little snug; without the stretch in the fabric, I would definitely need to go up a size to be truly comfortable.
This isn't a dig at the sizing per se, as if I go by the size guide, I'm edging more towards the large than the medium anyway.
The fit on the whole is pretty good, with a tailored shape to stop material flapping in the wind and plenty of length thanks to the dropped tail.
I do have an issue with the arm holes, though. I found them quite small, and they seem to sit higher on the body than normal. It probably wouldn't be that noticeable, but I think it's exacerbated by the elastication, which draws them in still tighter.
That aside, the material does a good job of keeping the wind out and, while we haven't had anything too cold during the test period, on a couple of nippy early-morning rides I could feel the blocking effect on a headwind.
For breathability, dhb has used a mesh section down the rear of the gilet, which certainly does help when you are riding hard.
Twin zips also help you open things up for a bit more airflow, and when it comes to packing it away, you'll have no issues getting it into a jersey pocket as this thing is very small indeed.
The quality is to dhb's usual high standards, and the fabric is tough. It comes in two colours – black and this yellow. I was a little worried about it coming up clean after a muddy ride, but actually had no issues, even on a cool wash.
At £50 the Aeron is around £10 more expensive than the Lusso Skylon (£39.99), even though the Lusso offers some water resistance and four pockets.
Bontrager's Circuit Wind Vest (we tested the women's version here) is the same price as the dhb, but that's also water resistant and includes a zipped valuables pocket.
The dhb Aeron Packable Gilet performs well, and it's well made too. Price wise I'd say it's kind of in the right area (assuming you don't want any extra features), with the only real issue for me being the confining arm holes.
Decent windproof gilet, but check the sizing and fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Packable Gilet
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says, "Wind-resistant and easily stowed in your jersey pocket, the lightweight dhb Aeron Packable Gilet will add great versatility to your cycling wardrobe. Highly breathable, it has a mesh back and two-zip for extra ventilation.
"The dhb Aeron Packable Gilet is a lightweight performance gilet that has been constructed in a very wind-resistant fabric, rated 8cfm. Perfect for those dry, cool days in the saddle when you fancy a little extra protection – without reaching for a full jacket.
"A two-way VISLON® zip offers extra ventilation when the road – or temperature – rises. And when the sun does come out, this gilet packs down super small to fit comfortably inside your jersey pocket.
"The collar has a soft and high-wicking tricot lining, while reflective inserts in the shoulders and rear hem – along with reflective logos – ensure great visibility when the light fades. The rear hem is finished with a silicone gripper to prevent this gilet from riding up."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Materials: 91% Polyester, 9% Elastane
Mesh: 93% Polyester, 7% Elastane
Lightweight performance gilet
Packs easily inside a jersey pocket
Two-way VISLON® zip
High collar with tricot lining
The arm holes just don't seem to sit in the right place, plus they feel narrow.
True to dhb's guide, but comes up small against other Aeron stuff I've worn.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed up fine even after wet rides.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Works really well as a windbreak, and the mesh panel aids breathability.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The windproofing works well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Arm holes are tight.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's a similar price to those two I mentioned in the review, but they both get water resistance and at least one pocket.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes and no
Would you consider buying the product? No, because of the arm issue
Would you recommend the product to a friend? With caveats
Use this box to explain your overall score
The dhb Aeron performs well, but I found the arm holes too tight for a comfortable fit. Also, there are others out there with water resistance and even pockets for similar money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!