I was offered a chance to review two products sent from Wiggle. The first thing I chose was a waterproof jacket. In the past few years, technology has improved, but for various reasons I haven’t bought one for a long time. I needed a proper waterproof cycling jacket just for commuting into town on rainy days.
The DHB Flashlight Compact-XT Waterproof Jacket claims to be lightweight, waterproof, breathable and adjustable.
It comes in a choice of two colour – blue or fluorescent yellow. I chose the fluorescent yellow for better visibility on the commute into work.
Sizing – I chose medium expecting it to be a little short. I’m very tall (6″31) and thin, so it’s always hard to get a good fit, but the sleeves came down nearly to gloves and it wasn’t too baggy. This was my main need – I didn’t want it to be too flappy.
The jacket is definitely waterproof, it kept me dry in quite persistent rain and shows no signs of leaking at the seams. It feels quite solidly made.
DHB state the Waterproof Jacket has a waterproof rating of 10,000 mm to keep you protected, with additional rain defence from Teflon™
It is not bad for breathability. I rode commuting into town and didn’t work up a sweat. If your training really hard, then I’m sure it will get a bit more sweaty. But, I think overall it is fairly decent for breathability. There are flaps on the back to allow some air to escape without allowing water in. The zip is fairly easy to undo, if you need to let a bit more air in the front.
Quality of build
- The zip seems fairly solid and so far has no problems.
- I like the adjustability of the cuffs. It is easy and quick to change with velcro and quite useful for getting on and over winter ski gloves.
- The fluorescent jacket certainly stands out on the roads.
- It comes with a few pockets – not that I tend to use pockets on a waterproof jacket.
- Despite my awkward build, it is a good fit.
It is marketed as a small and compact jacket, but, it is quite hard to fit into a jersey pocket. You can squeeze it in, but quite a bit sticks out and it will stretch the jersey pocket. This is a bit of a downside for carrying as waterproof back-up on long rides.
For example, it is quite a bit bigger than the Altura Night Vision Flite jacket (which is really good, except zip broke)
What is jacket good for?
The jacket is very good for using on rainy commuting days. It will get you to work relatively dry – definitely waterproof and as long as you’re not doing intervals on the way to work, reasonably breathable.
For training rides, I would only take on very rainy days, when I know it’s going to be raining for 80% of the ride. For the off-chance of rain, I wouldn’t want to carry in back-pocket, I would want something smaller.
Still if you need a waterproof jacket which errs on the side of waterproof-ness, this may be a good choice for the larger saddle bag. It will give the security of good protection against long-cold rainy days.
It is a very good product – well made and quite good value. There are only small areas for improvement – perhaps longer-tail, perhaps some option for greater ventilation around arm pits. The only real drawback for me, is the size for getting in the back of a jersey pocket. However, I wouldn’t buy for that particular use. It makes a very good commuting jacket for rainy and grey days, when you need to stand out and keep dry.
- DHB flashlight Compact XT waterproof jacket at Wiggle – £61.59