dhb Aeron Rain Defence Polartec
The Aeron Rain Defence jacket from dhb is a lighter weight softshell jacket designed to work well across a variety of weather conditions, whether it’s cold, wet or changeable.
It uses Polartec’s three-layer Power Shield Pro fabric that’s soft to the touch and fits more like a jersey, yet retains jacket-like features.
The Aeron Rain Defence has a racer’s cut that’s fitted in a way that hugs the body and remains forgiving thanks to the four-way stretch fabric. Mortals might need to size-up here, though.
You instantly feel sealed in from the elements thanks to the overall fit and this is complemented with wide sealing cuffs, a tall, soft feeling collar and elasticated waist hem. The latter has a thinner silicone strip on the front, while the drop tail has a wider silicone dotted band, and together they do a superb job of keeping the jacket in place.
Up front, dhb has used a quality YKK front zip that’s simple enough to use, although a longer tag would make it easier to navigate on the fly with gloved hands. However, I did appreciate the zip garage on the tall neck and never suffered any irritation.
In prolonged heavy rainfall I did experience some seepage through the zip, but an inner flap helps to slow the process of getting damp and hold drafts at bay.
For most of the testing I used this jacket with just a long-sleeved baselayer underneath. It provided ample warmth, even in the high single Celsius digits, thanks to good windproofing. It also worked well into the mid-teens thanks to the superb breathability of the Power Shield Pro fabric.
When it comes to damp weather, the Aeron Rain Defence has solid credentials. In a shower, water simply beads and rolls off. In heavier consistent rain you do eventually get wet, but this takes a couple of hours. The fitted cut allows you to put a dedicated waterproof over the top if needed.
On the rear, there’s a zip pocket alongside a flap pocket configuration that consists of two larger pockets and a smaller narrow pump pocket. The top flap makes it fiddlier to get in and out of on the move, but ultimately it helps to keep your luggage dry.
Finding a jack-of-all-trades jacket is always difficult because there has to be compromise somewhere, but I think the Aeron Rain Defence is a good option. It’s been well thought out and all the small things that help to make a comfortable ride have been considered.
This lightweight jacket will keep you warm in most winter and spring conditions with just a baselayer and keep you dry on the inside thanks to its breathability. It also does a good job in damp conditions, but it’s not an out and out waterproof, and won’t perform as well as a dedicated wet weather jacket in heavy rainfall.
On all but the wettest or coldest days it was a good option and I grabbed it more often than I expected.