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review

dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell

8
£150.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Lovely plush warmth, a great build and a smart cut – excellent for freezing rides
Warm and cosy
Good stretch to it
High neck
Zip can creep down if not done all the way up
Weight: 
489g

At road.cc 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 Deep Winter Softshell is an excellent, very warm jacket if – like me – you'd rather run a packable waterproof and enjoy the breathability and unrestricted movement of a softshell the rest of the time. The dhb is stretchy, very well sealed against the cold, and lovely and warm, even below zero. This 'hide a massive battleship with it' grey isn't to my taste, but there are brighter options if you'd rather be seen.

dhb recommends this jacket for riding between +10 and -2°C, and I'd say that's spot on – though at the warmer end you'll only want a single thin layer beneath. A prolonged cold snap with ice and snow arrived in perfect time for this test (thanks, weather... really, you shouldn't have), and the Deep Winter Softshell handled it brilliantly.

The fleece inner feels soft and very plush, and provides excellent insulation. It's just as stretchy as the windproof, water-resistant outer fabric, too, so the whole jacket copes easily with several layers without ever feeling constrictive.

2021 dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell - fleece lining.jpg

The collar and cuffs are well judged. The thin, soft-lined cuffs are tight enough to really seal out draughts and slip easily under winter gloves, while the tall collar is lined all the way up (seams are flatlocked for comfort) and very protective. I found it an excellent fit for my neck, though it's perhaps one area where the fabric could use more stretch – it leaves no room for a high-necked baselayer or even a thin Buff.

2021 dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell - collar.jpg

That wouldn't be an issue if the big plastic teeth of the zip didn't run so easily through the metal zipper, but its low-friction movement means it's unwilling to stay zipped to the bottom of your throat – you move, your shoulders pull the chest tight and the zip creeps down. I found myself constantly adjusting away a draught on my chest, and then avoiding neck tubes (at least underneath) for the duration. Pulled to the top of the collar, however, the zip is secure.

There's a windflap behind the zip, and I never felt any draughts, even at -3°C. The jacket's water resistance is also good, fending off snow flurries and slushy rain without issue.

2021 dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell - zip.jpg

The fit and cut feel great, with good length in the arms and body, and a very effective silicone-dotted band holding the deep tail and comfortable belly panel in place.

2021 dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell - back.jpg

The central pocket has a stretch-panel fillet at the bottom to allow greater expansion than the two that flank it, and I found them all secure and usefully large. There's a zipped, fleece-lined valuables pocket on top of the right-hand one, too, and I can just squeeze in my admittedly stupidly large phone (it's 16.5x7.5cm, which pretty much qualifies it as a tray).

2021 dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell - zip pocket.jpg

The Aeron has (very) reflective logos and details on the front, back and sides for visibility under headlights, but this grey – stylish as it is – does nothing to get you noticed on dull days against wet roads and muted natural backgrounds. In fact, it's almost the same colour as the road... Brighter options are available, albeit in limited sizes, and the details – such as the super-neat stitching and raised-rubber logo loops – mean they should all feel as premium as this one.

2021 dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell - pockets.jpg

At £150 it's certainly an investment, though it's not up there with the premium brands at £200+. It's also a little cheaper than either the Gore C5 Gore-Tex Infinium (£169.99) and the Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme (£164.99), though both of those are similarly excellent winter jackets.

You can go cheaper, although with something like the Craft Hale SubZ Jacket (£130) you then have to deal with the rather odd fit and wide, loose collar.

> Winter cycling clothing – 49 of the warmest garments you can buy

The dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell is excellent for properly cold winter riding. It's comfortable, stretchy, breathable and very protective – yes, you still need a waterproof for the worst rain, but it fends off showers without one, and keeps you cosy all the way down past zero.

Verdict

Lovely plush warmth, a great build and a smart cut – excellent for freezing rides

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road.cc test report

Make and model: dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell

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: "The dhb Aeron Deep Winter Softshell Jacket uses an ultra-warm, fleece-backed softshell fabric to keep you riding in comfort even on the coldest winter day."

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

dhb lists:

Super warm softshell for cold winter conditions

Part of dhb's 'Deep Winter' wardrobe solution for winter

Softshell fabric includes a high-performance membrane for wind-proofing and water resistance

All fabrics have stretch for comfort and freedom of movement when riding

Three rear pockets plus additional YKK zipped secure pocket for valuables

Full-length front YKK zip with zip guard

Laser-cut cuffs for a soft and comfortable fit

dhb Flashlight technology (FLT) reflective trims and logos on the front, on back pockets and on sleeves for increased safety in low light conditions

Silicone gripper on the inside waist

Recommended for temperatures ranging between -2 to 10 degrees Celsius

Information

45% Polyester, 38% Polyamide(Nylon), 17% Elastane(Spandex)

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Impressively neat.

Rate the jacket for performance:
 
9/10

Lovely and warm.

Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10

No concerns.

Rate the jacket for waterproofing based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
7/10

It's only supposed to be water resistant, but that works well.

Rate the jacket for breathability based on the manufacturer's rating:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for sizing:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for weight:
 
7/10

On par for its warmth.

Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
7/10

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

I couldn't find any washing instructions, but 30° caused no issues.

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

Very well indeed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Warmth, excellent cuffs.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

This stylish grey... they don't camouflage battleships with it for nothing.

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

At £150 it's certainly an investment, though it's not up there with the premium brands at £200+. It's also a little cheaper than either the Gore C5 Gore-Tex Infinium (£169.99) and Lusso Aqua Pro Extreme (£164.99), though both of those are similarly excellent winter jackets.

You can go cheaper, although with something like the Craft Hale SubZ Jacket (£130) you then have to deal with the rather odd fit and wide, loose collar.

Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes

Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes

Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

There's really nothing to seriously knock this jacket for. I'd prefer a little more friction in the zip and a brighter colour, but the second one's an option and the first is a very minor issue. It's very warm and comfortable and the price is competitive – I wouldn't go so far as to say it's exceptional, which would garner it a 9, but it is very, very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 48  Height: 183cm  Weight: 78kg

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,

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