I’ve always been under the impression if you are looking for a good cycling jacket you should spend £100 or more. If you spend less than that you have to compromise on some of the water getting in, not a great fit and expect to sweat more due to less breathability.
Back when I did a roundup of waterproof cycling jackets one jacket that defied that logic was the DHB Amberley. It consistently got high reviews in cycling magazines with Cycling Plus giving it 9/10. Yet, its price point was much closer to the £50 mark rather than £100. I wanted to test out this jacket properly for myself so I emailed Wiggle and asked if they would send me one to review for London Cyclist.
Amy from Wiggle said yes and I’ve been trying out the jacket for the past couple of months.
One thing I always wonder when hearing cycling jacket reviews is: Yes, great, you tested out the jacket for one ride and then wrote the review. How do you know how it fares over time? So with the DHB Amberley cycling jacket I really wanted to put it through its paces and I had the perfect challenge for it. At the time I was putting together the 25 routes for the London Cycle Routes eBook. Therefore I was covering a lot of miles, on different terrains in many weather conditions. I also wanted to stick it through the washing machine to see how it would cope. Here is what I found..
- The jacket costs £54.99 (when I wrote this article)
- It has a water-repellent coating
- There is a men’s and women’s edition
- There is a zipped back pocket
- You can get it either in the Hi Vis or Black version
- It has reflective strips so you can be seen in the dark
- It is part of the Wiggle in-house DHB range which is well regarded
- I went for the black medium version which is what size I tend to buy when I get a jumper
My previous cycling jacket was an Altura. After about 6 months, anywhere I arrived wearing it, my appearance could have been likened to that of a tramp. The DHB Amberley cycling jacket is like arriving in a James Bond suit in comparison to the Altura. It looks really good, I might go as far as sexy. But I should probably hold back as I don’t want to get into a debate as to whether it is possible to look sexy in a cycling jacket! Feel free to debate that in the comments. One thing I will say is it is probably the only bit of cycling gear that has got compliments from the ladies!
Rain, snow, hail and falling-in-the-mud-like-a-fool resistance
After a typical heavy morning of rain I was out exploring a mountain bike route for the eBook. I took a fall and ended up covered in mud. However my t-shirt underneath felt completely dry. Upon arriving home whilst the DHB Amberley jacket was covered in mud, everything underneath was completely dry and clean.
The same kind of protection is provided in the rain. I’ve cycled around for hours in heavy rain and the DHB Amberley didn’t let a drop in. I’ve been incredibly impressed with this level of weather protection which obviously shows the jacket has been designed with quality in mind.
Comfort and body temperature
In the past I would have worn a t-shirt and then another layer on top and finally the cycling jacket. This would keep my body temperature about right. With the DHB I was able to do away with the second layer. Which is great for reducing weight, comfort and carrying less clothes.
The jacket does a very good job of keeping you warm. As you cycle and your body temperature rises you also have the option of opening the zipped vents to allow more air to flow through the jacket.
The Amberley jacket itself feels highly comfortable and in no way gets in the way of the cycling. I particularly like the material around the collar that feels very warm and comfortable.
One thing I was not too pleased with is the back pocket. Whilst it keeps things dry it is a little small and hard to get to. Especially say if you wanted to put your map in there and reach in quickly without stopping. However, this is a minor complaint.
The “shove it in the washing machine” test
After the muddy fall in Rickmansworth I gave the jacket a quick wash down and then shoved it in the washing machine for good measure. I felt nervous because I didn’t want the jacket to fail this test. Luckily it didn’t get damaged in the wash and the water resistance is still extremely good. After a few more washes I suspect I’ll have to top up the water resistance using one of those water repellent sprays.
Overall I am very happy with the DHB Amberley cycling jacket and it has made me much happier about cycling in all weather conditions. I can highly recommend it and at that price point you won’t find better. Can you get a good cycling jacket for £50? You most certainly can!
- Looks sexy
- Keeps the weather out
- Keeps you warm
- Won’t look like a tramp when you arrive somewhere
- Doesn’t compact into a particularly small size
- Back pocket could be slightly larger and easier to get into
The DHB Amberley cycling jacket in both men’s and women’s edition can be purchased from Wiggle.
- Guide to waterproof cycling jackets
- Bike lock guide
- Cycling book recommendations by my marvellous Twitterers
- DeFeet Dura Glove review
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.