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The dhb Aeron Rain Defence Gilet is effective against wind and showers, breathes pretty well and offers a slim, secure fit. It's cut quite high at the front for comfort on the drops, so it's not the most casual off the bike, but it's pretty expensive.
It's more shower defence, really – this is water resistant rather than waterproof, but the upside is it's still pretty breathable. And as both the cut and the fit are aimed at hard efforts, that's a good thing.
I did find it gets just a bit warm and sweaty on mild, humid days, but the easy-to-use zip works to tune your cooling pretty well, and it never got close to boiling over – even climbing on a stuffy 15°C ride, for instance.
The fit is very good: slim with zero flapping, and secure around the arms and a well-dropped tail. There's useful stretch to the material, too, which only helps with all these things. Due to complex logistical considerations I tested a small instead of my usual medium, but it worked well and never felt constrictive or uncomfortable.
If I were buying I'd still go for medium, which I've no doubt would remain flap-free, if only for the extra length in the body. This small stopped very high on my stomach (just above my belly button), but even though it looked odd while I was standing, it sat just fine on the bike.
It's a shape that suits aggressive positions very well, and if you're skinny – or right on the cusp between sizes – you can easily size down should you prefer. The stretch is accommodating in both the body and the elasticated arm holes.
I quite like how this small tends to shrink away behind me when unzipped completely, as it's less flappy like that than most gilets I've worn.
It's nicely detailed too. The seams are overlocked with confidence-inspiring (if not stunning) stitching, the arm hole elastic is overlocked and the soft-lined collar is a good height.
There's a zipped valuables pocket on one side – though its sail-like shape means phones don't go in – and a little stuff sack attached inside the other.
The flatlocked hem elastic gets a full-width silicone gripper, too.
The little reflective tab on one shoulder and the raised, rubbery Aeron logo on a ribbon loop are nice touches. If you don't like this orange, there's a navy blue version instead (but no black).
At £100 it is rather expensive. Value is always tricky to judge with dhb as Wiggle's list prices mean less than most, with dhb kit discounted almost constantly. At the time of writing this is £80.
At either price, it's not cheap. The Lusso Aqua Challenge Gilet is £64.99, for instance, though it lacks the packable, breathable performance of the Aeron – it's relatively bulky and warm. The Proviz Classic Men's Cycling Gilet, meanwhile, is thin, waterproof and impressively breathable for £59.99. It lacks the racy looks and close cut, mind you.
The Rivelo Lanterne Gilet is closer at £75, and while its 'glow in the dark' feature disappoints, it's otherwise very good at keeping wind and drizzle off. And bear in mind that's the Rivelo, like the others above, at full price.
The dhb Aeron Rain Defence Gilet is well made, effective and comfortable, and will happily bead away showers and spray as you cane yourself through bad weather. It's a racy cut that works well – if it were just a bit cheaper it'd be a real winner.
Really well shaped, comfortable and effective, but on the expensive side
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Rain Defence Gilet
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for
dhb says: "Highly technical and super packable, the dhb Aeron Rain Defence Gilet will stop showers putting a dampener on your ride. Constructed in a lightweight, water-resistant fabric, it's your extra shot of protection when the weather takes a turn for the wor[se]'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Lightweight performance gilet
* Water-resistant fabric
* Packaway pocket with zip opening
* High collar
* Wide silicone gripper
* Reflective details
* Back: 80% Polyamide(Nylon), 20% Elastane(Spandex)
* Main: 100% Polyester
Slim and secure, with an accommodating stretch.
As it's dhb, you'd struggle to buy it at RRP – at the time of writing it's discounted to £80. It's still fairly expensive compared with others from the likes of Lusso, Proviz and Rivelo.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Colour option that isn't black; packable but effective.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Stops high at the front – comfortable on the bike, but looks a bit odd when you're off it.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's on the expensive side. The Lusso Aqua Challenge Gilet is £64.99, for instance, though it lacks the packable, breathable performance of the Aeron – it's relatively bulky and warm. The Proviz Classic Men's Cycling Gilet, meanwhile, is thin, waterproof and impressively breathable for £59.99. It lacks the racy looks and close cut, mind you.
The Rivelo Lanterne Gilet is closer at £75, and while its 'glow in the dark' feature disappoints, it's otherwise very good at keeping wind and drizzle off. And bear in mind this, like the others above, is at full price. That said, it's not hard to spend more – the recently reviewed Assos UMA GT Spring/Fall Airblock Vest, for instance, is £130.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This does everything you want of it and stays flap-free and comfortable. It's pretty expensive for what it is, though.
About the tester
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, mtb,