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dhb Classic Windproof Marl Gilet



A classic looking gilet that ticks all the boxes, especially windproofing

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 Classic Windproof Marl Gilet is a simple garment that works very well, offering warmth, plenty of storage and a small pack size – everything you want really from this spring/autumn wardrobe staple.

The Classic range is described by dhb as 'timeless design meets technical fabrics'. A look through the collection shows that dhb has taken the few garments that are likely to make up the backbone of your kit and used the latest materials to create them while keeping special features minimal.

dhb Classic Windproof Gilet - tab.jpg

There isn't a lot to the Marl gilet to be honest, it's a straightforward polyester construction with the front panels receiving a 25% mix of polyurethane to block the breeze. It may be simple but it works – very effectively.

dhb Classic Windproof Gilet - riding.jpg

On a couple of rides with a cutting north-easterly wind, the windproofing of the dhb really stood out as my chest and stomach were noticeably warmer than my arms or legs. The polyurethane panels cover the front of your torso and extend over the tops of the shoulders. Add in a high neck and no draughts are going to be getting in either through or around the fabric.

dhb Classic Windproof Gilet - chest.jpg

For comfort and windproofing, the zip has a baffle behind it which covers the entire length before it flips over the top to become a zip garage, stopping it digging into your neck.

Polyurethane is far from breathable, so the rest of the garment is made from a fine mesh polyester which lets your body heat escape. If you really push the effort the dhb can get a little overwhelmed, but only slightly, and once the pace drops it does vent quickly.

dhb Classic Windproof Gilet - back.jpg

The fit isn't quite as racy as the Aeron range; it's still close, but with loads of stretch in all directions it never feels unrestrictive. The tail is dropped by quite a long way to keep your lower back covered when you are in the saddle, although with the fabric being mesh it won't stop any road spray getting through.

I do like to see pockets on a gilet and the dhb has three deep ones to replace those on your jersey that you've covered up. They aren't zipped but are easily secure enough to hold a mini pump, tubes, phone and so on. It's worth bearing in mind that the material between you and whatever is in your pocket is that mesh, so moisture will transfer to the likes of your phone.

dhb Classic Windproof Gilet - pockets.jpg

I know for some the colour will be an issue, being only available in grey (the standard Classic comes in brighter ones but doesn't have the polyurethane panels) especially for a garment that is likely to be worn at a time of year when things can be a bit drab. I do like the styling, though, I must admit.

> Check out our guide to the best cycling gilets

When it comes to value, dhb products tend to do pretty well and nothing changes here. Forty quid is a very busy price point for gilets, but the Classic Marl stands out for its overall solid construction, fit and performance.

It really does look and feel very well made with no loose threads or unfinished edges, and the fabric shows no sign of wear from being worn under a rucksack for many miles.


A classic looking gilet that ticks all the boxes, especially windproofing

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Make and model: dhb Classic Windproof Marl Gilet

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?

dhb says, "An indispensable part of your kit game the Classic windproof gilet offers that extra bit of body protection in cooler temperatures or on sweeping descents. Ultra light weight makes it super easy to stow in a pocket ready when you need it."

It's a great addition to your autumn wardrobe considering how well it blocks out the chilly breeze, plus it offers great value for money.

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

Top Features of the dhb Classic Windproof Marl Gilet

Ideal for cool spring and autumn rides

Ultra light and packable

Windproof and breathable

Mesh rear panel for temperature regulation

Three spacious rear pockets

Strategically placed reflective trims and logos

Elasticated hem with dropped tail

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Very nicely made.

Rate the product for performance:

Impressive windproofing for such a lightweight and thin piece of clothing.

Rate the product for durability:

There is plenty of stretch in the material and it feels pretty robust in use.

Rate the product for fit:

The dhb has a well-thought-out cut with a dropped tail, high neck and a close almost race fit.

Rate the product for sizing:

The dhb range sizes up more realistically to UK body shapes than, say, the likes of Castelli or other Italian brands. The gilet is generous without being baggy.

Rate the product for weight:

Weighs next to nothing.

Rate the product for comfort:

The material is soft and wherever the gilet comes into contact with your skin there is no chance of irritation.

Rate the product for value:

£40 is a very impressive price for a gilet of this quality.

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

You can give it a 30-degree wash and hang it up to dry basically but nothing else; to be honest, it was all it needed.

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

Very good indeed when it comes to windproofing.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

No other colour options for kit that'll mostly be worn on dreary grey days.

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 score

The Marl scores well on pretty much all the points a gilet should: lightweight, windproof, great fit, packable and a decent price, so it's a solid four stars from me.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

I've been riding for: 10-20 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

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment


fenix | 7 years ago

Yaaay ! Tarmac coloured kit ! Fab.

The _Kaner replied to fenix | 7 years ago
fenix wrote:

Yaaay ! Tarmac coloured kit ! Fab.

Wear a Sam Browne belt over it then...and hi viz arm bands and a fibre flare hanging off the back...

Freddy56 | 7 years ago

That looks very stylish and the right money

Yorkshire wallet replied to Freddy56 | 7 years ago
Freddy56 wrote:

That looks very stylish and the right money

Will probably get you stopped by the police though, not hi-viz enough.  3

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