Words: Katherine Moore (@katherinebikes)
Claimed to be dhb’s most technologically advanced product to date, the Aeron Storm waterproof jacket certainly lives up to expectations as a staple of the winter road cyclist’s wardrobe. With new 37.5™ patented technology to keep you at optimum comfort in the saddle, dhb really do achieve their mission, “to keep you outside doing what you love, all year round".
Read about dhb's winter clothing collection here
The intended user for this winter jacket is the performance road cyclist, it’s been cleverly designed and developed with attention to her needs on those tough winter road rides; both the technological features of the jacket and the details of the fit and styling complement its specific use.
The jacket comes in at £125. However, combining waterproofing and breathability always attracts a high price tag, and dhb are proud to call this one of the most affordable options of its kind on the market. So how well does it perform?
First look at the dhb Aeron Women's Storm Waterproof Jacket
On first inspection, the Aeron Storm Jacket is composed of a thin, smooth fabric, with a satin-like finish externally and a plastic-like internal facing; surely not enough to keep you warm on a chilly winter morning? The ‘winter bloom’ colour, a deep purple, is attractive and feminine, without being in your face, with detailing in a matching hue or black.
A few great features are immediately apparent; stretchy black sleeve cuffs to keep out wind and bridge any gap between the sleeves and gloves, a soft fleecy collar lining and zip housing for comfort, long zip pullers for ease of use with winter gloves and a longer back panel to keep you well covered on mucky winter roads.
Breathable Waterproof Technology on the dhb Aeron Women's Storm Waterproof Jacket
The 37.5™ technology has been adopted by several leading outdoor clothing manufacturers including Rab, UnderArmour, Pearl Izumi and Mavic. It puts a focus on the microclimate produced in technical clothing during activity. Active particles in the material maintain the optimum humidity (37.5 percent) and temperature (37.5 degrees celsius). These particles are permanent, so you won’t have to worry about re-waterproofing or treating the garment. The 2.5 layer fabric is designed to keep you at optimal core temperature, dry and comfortable in even the harshest winter weather.
This new innovation is complemented by a number of other features to make a truly waterproof piece of kit. All of the seams are fully taped along with the Aquaguard zips, not only down the chest but also for the 15cm zipped vents running diagonally across the ribs to the waist. The ‘dropped tail’ feature will keep the worst of the wet off of your lower back and seat, especially if you don’t use mudguards. Equally important is the excellent breathability factor of the jacket, allowing you to work hard and perform well in all conditions without getting sweaty and cold.
Style and Fit of the dhb Aeron Women's Storm Waterproof Jacket
The styling of the jacket is simple yet functional, with subtle reflective dhb branding on the upper chest and on the back of the neck. There is minimal reflective detail on this jacket, and for that reason it is less suitable for commuting, unless paired with hi-vis and reflective items.
The fit is really beautiful; careful attention has been paid here in the design for a women’s specific sizing, with a close fit for efficient road cycling and a flattering feminine cut. Features such as the elasticated front hem, a rear elastic hem cord, stretchy storm sleeve cuffs and the slight fabric stretch make it more adjustable for the perfect fit.
Sizes range from a UK 8 to 16, and is best worn as an outer shell on a ride over a suitable base layer and/or jersey according to conditions [dhb do have a matching 37.5 technology base layer], rather than packed in a pocket. When riding even longer distances, the Aeron Storm Jacket remains supremely comfortable, with no restriction of movement nor flapping areas. Although the front of the jacket seems very short when you first try it on, when in the cycling position it’s the perfect length.
There are a selection of pockets on the lower back of the jacket. The single zipped pocket is sizeable enough for a large smartphone, keys or a wallet, ideal for secure storage. Centrally, two large pockets are featured for storing nutrition, spares and tools or extra layers, and are accessed via an unsecured top flap. Although this 4.5cm storm flap does a great job of keeping the rain out of your pocket, it can make getting things out a bit tricky, especially when using thicker waterproof winter gloves. Some other clothing manufacturers omit this feature, allowing the water to enter the pockets and add in a mesh bottom or drainage holes; so for this jacket you may find it harder to get to your provisions but at least they’ll be dry.
The Verdict on the dhb Aeron Women's Storm Waterproof Jacket
dhb, Wiggle’s in-house clothing range, is certainly not a new brand on the market and is very popular amongst riders of all disciplines, winning the Total Women’s Cycling Clothing Brand of the Year award in 2015, as voted for by TWC’s readers. It’s easy to see why, as they continue to develop new and improved technologies to compete with kit from other well-regarded brands with a more favourable price tag.
The Aeron Women’s Storm Waterproof Jacket is a highly technical, superbly fitting and comfortable item, allowing you to get out there and ride even when the weather isn’t looking so encouraging. Although the storm flap over the back pockets can be a little fiddly, this keeps your stowed items dry, like the rest of you, keeping you in the saddle for longer this winter.
Available from Wiggle at £125 in UK sizes 8- 16 - see it here.