DHB Amberley cycling jacket – can you get a good cycling jacket for £50?

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..

DHB Amblerley modelled by someone from Wiggle no doubt!Quick overview of the DHB Amberley Cycling Jacket

  • 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

Looks

DHB amberley around the collar

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

Looking at the way it keeps water out near the hands

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

DHB Amberley cycling jacket in the rain

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

DHB Amberley Cycling jacket showing the inside and the air vents

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 review

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!

Positives:

  • Looks sexy
  • Cheap
  • Keeps the weather out
  • Keeps you warm
  • Won’t look like a tramp when you arrive somewhere

Negatives:

  • 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.

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11 Responses to DHB Amberley cycling jacket – can you get a good cycling jacket for £50?

  1. Adam Edwards 14/04/2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Does it have pockets for wallet, season ticket etc?

    How long is it? I’ve been trying to get a new jacket and find many e.g. Altura are designed for men with short backs so the bottom of the jacket is above my waist line (makes me look like a sort of mad max bullfighter in a bolero jacket!)?

    Thanks

    Adam

    • Andreas 14/04/2010 at 3:30 pm #

      Hey Adam, It only has one pocket at the back. Wallet and season ticket should fit in there! It has the classic design at the back where it covers the lower back (similar to all cycling jackets). When I’m wearing it standing it nearly complete covers my bum!

  2. Fr3d 14/04/2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I’ve owned the fluorescent yellow one of these since December, and am very happy with it.
    Two features that really set this jacket apart from others I’ve owned in the past are the soft lining around the neck/zip area, and the the (un)zippable under-arm vents to help keep you cool on the warmer but rainy days.

    • Andreas 14/04/2010 at 6:35 pm #

      Thanks for adding to the review. Agreed on the good features :)

  3. Reuben 15/04/2010 at 12:03 am #

    http://www.dashingtweeds.co.uk/dt/shop/capes/

    Now that’s a cycling jacket, Hi-viz weaving… One day..

  4. James 19/04/2010 at 8:12 am #

    Sounds great but I’d really like to try one on rather than ordering online. Neither of the shops I’ve tried so far seem to stock them – can anyone recommend a stockist, preferably in north/east london?

    • Ciara 04/07/2010 at 5:47 pm #

      James: DHB is Wiggle’s in-house brand, so you won’t find a stockist. Wiggle,(Wiggle.co.uk), are a well-established on-line sports equipment/clothing store. I use them a lot and find them very accommodating re returns, etc, (including a no-quibble offer of a replacement or refund for an item that got lost in the post). Check theire site, but I’m fairly sure that if you order and don’t like it for whatever reason, they will happily refund your money.

  5. Alan 06/05/2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi, I have some experience of the Amberleys. I think they are a reasonable jacket for the money but have a few flaws. I and my girlfriend bought two jackets and took them on a cycle trip around the north of Scotland. Generally, the jackets were fine and kept the rain off to a reasonable level. Pretty good for 50 pounds.

    Unfortunately both had problems around the rear pocket: after a little use, the material above the zips on both jackets started ripping. This was with *light use*, nothing heavy. My jacket was already my second one – I had exactly the same problem with the first one I got. Wiggle were great, though, and took them back and refunded us without any problems. I’d hope they have ironed out this problem, which seemed to be a design and materials choice issue. I now have an Endura Flyte, which is pretty good – not the most packable jacket, but a good one – surprisingly breathable too.

  6. JdeP 28/09/2010 at 10:03 am #

    The hi-vis version has been discontinued. What’s the point of buying a black one, if you’re going to have to wear another hi-vis garment over the top of it for city cycling?

  7. Andrew 09/11/2010 at 9:07 am #

    I’ve gone through several low end jackets over the year, and I’d say that for a slightly different fit, Endura make a really good range of products at a similar price point.

  8. Andy Moore 09/09/2013 at 9:46 am #

    Looks like the Amberley might be out of stock now; do you know what today’s equivalent is?

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