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review

dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket

8
£80.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Warm, breathable and windproof with a great cut – it's a very useful layer
Great cut
Comfortable
Windproof
Warm
Slightly synthetic shine
Zipped pocket too small
Weight: 
402g

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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Jackets like the dhb Classic Thermal Softshell are incredibly useful – they're warm yet very breathable and unrestrictive, and work well as either a mid or outer layer. This is all of those things, plus it's well made, well cut and well priced. Perhaps most vitally, though, it's also windproof.

This is typical of what I've come to expect from dhb – it fits brilliantly, looks good and works much better than its price might suggest, thanks to considered design and strong attention to detail.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - back.jpg

Of the two complaints I have, one is minor: the zipped pocket is just too small for large modern phones at 18x10cm internally, mostly because it's just 12cm at the zip.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - zip pocket.jpg

The other complaint is both minor and shallow... it's that the polyurethane fabric has a slightly shiny, synthetic sheen that up close looks a bit cheap.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - shoulders.jpg

It works very well, though. I really like the fit as it has a really good length in both the arms and the body, without being anywhere near excessive. The broad cuffs slip securely under winter gloves, the tail (aided by a fully-encircling silicone gripper) protects your back and the front is just right for both warmth and comfort in a crouch.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - cuff.jpg

The sizing, meanwhile, is accurate, with the Classic coming up unflappably slim yet with decent room for layers beneath.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - hem.jpg

The fleecy white inner Roubaix is lovely and soft too, as is the (wisely black instead) lining of the collar. There's a zip garage to protect your chin from the chunky metal YKK, and the overlocked seams (flatlocked at the neck) caused me no problems either, even with a waterproof on top.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - chest.jpg

On the back the usual three pockets do the business just fine, though the thick fabric does add a little bulk and heat if you're sandwiching this jacket in other layers. On the upside, the pockets are tough, and well up to being routinely stuffed with waterproofs, warmers and all the rest.

2021 dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket - pockets.jpg

Okay, the fabric seems to pick up armpit smells a little sooner than some, but it's as easy as anything to wash and fundamentally just a basic, effective garment that – thanks to being windproof – proves useful on a great many UK autumn and spring days. And because it's very breathable, it's a great winter midlayer too.

Value

While £80 is not the crazy bargain some dhb things represent, it's still good, and its value is enhanced by its versatility. Lusso's 50 Shades Thermal Jacket is £69.99 and very warm, for instance, but it's not windproof, which greatly reduces its usefulness as an outer (or indeed, as you might call it, as 'a jacket').

> Buyer’s Guide: 29 of the best winter cycling jackets

Gore's C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket is also very good – if not quite breathable enough as a midlayer on mild yet wet rides – but it's £129.99.

The dhb Classic matches the similarly 'budget' Van Rysel Cold Weather Extreme Racer Jacket in many ways, and essentially matches its £79.99 price too.

Conclusion

Overall, the dhb does its job very well. The cut, sizing and construction are great, performance is good and it looks pretty good. It's not the most sophisticated thing ever – the thick, slightly synthetic-looking fabric sees to that – but it feels rugged, is very versatile and should prove a really worthwhile investment.

Verdict

Warm, breathable and windproof with a great cut – it's a very useful layer

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road.cc test report

Make and model: dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket

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: "Windproof and insulating, the dhb Classic Thermal Softshell Jacket delivers high-quality protection in cold weather. The Roubaix fabric is fleece lined yet remains breathable and high-wicking to keep you pushing on when the temperature drops."

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

dhb lists:

Windproof outer membrane

Super soft Roubaix fleece lining

Stretch panels on sleeves and underarms

Full-length lockdown YKK Group zip

Three vertical pockets on back

Fourth pocket with YKK Group zip

Reflectives on sleeves and pockets

Information

Main: 100% Polyurethane

Stretch Panels: 83% Polyester, 17% Elastane(Spandex)

Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for durability:
 
8/10
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
Rate the jacket for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the jacket for value:
 
6/10

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

Can handle two or three rides before getting smelly. Easy to wash.

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

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket

Great fit, snug interior, windproof.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket

Zipped pocket too small for modern phones, slight synthetic shine.

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

It's at the lower end for its versatility and performance. Lusso's 50 Shades Thermal Jacket is £69.99 and very warm, for instance, but it's not windproof, which greatly reduces its usefulness. Gore's C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Jacket is also very good – if not quite breathable enough as a midlayer on mild yet wet rides – but it's £129.99.

The dhb Classic matches the similarly 'budget' Van Rysel Cold Weather Extreme Racer Jacket in many ways, and essentially matches its £79.99 price too.

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

Everything about this jacket – the fit, sizing, build, comfort and performance – is 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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