The DHB Flashlight Windproof Gilet is a decent windproof option in a relaxed cut, and it packs small enough to stash easily in a jersey pocket.
DHB have designed this gilet for commuting and leisure riding, hence the cut. If you're after something slim and aero, this ain't it. But if you're after something with a bit more room, something you can fit over a couple of layers and still have a bit of breathing space, it's worth a look. I'd have preferred it cut a bit slimmer, personally, but I'm a skinny fella. The arm holes and waist didn't gape open, though, and that's important if a gilet is going to do a good job.
The Flashlight gilet is made entirely from polyester. The front, shoulder and side panels, along with the base of the back, are almost windproof – just the tiniest amount of air can get through the lightweight fabric. Cutting the windchill makes a massive difference to your warmth out on the bike so this gilet packs a big punch for its weight.
The collar sits high to keep cold air off your neck, and the microfleece-lined collar is really comfortable. The YKK zip sits quietly wherever you position it and a fold of fabric at the top avoids any scratchiness under your chinny chin chin.
A dropped tail provides good lower back/butt coverage, and the Teflon water-repellant finish on the fabric helps keep road spray from soaking in. It's actually very effective at making water bead up and roll off, although you'll need to re-apply the finish after frequent washing.
The central back panel is a mesh, allowing plenty of moisture to escape. It's a tried and tested formula employed by loads of other brands and it works equally well here. If you're using this gilet for commuting you might well be wearing a bag on your back, in which case that mesh is all the more valuable in preventing sweatiness.
The non-mesh fabric used elsewhere is quite breathable too although one of the beauties of a gilet is that you just take it off and stow it away if you start to cook.
You don't get any pockets here, but I don't see that as a problem. You'll almost certainly be wearing a jersey underneath and possibly be carrying a bag anyway. I'd rather go without pockets to keep the bulk down.
There's lots of 3M Scotchlite reflective print on the front of the shoulders and the side panels, reaching around to the sides of the back, but there's not much right at the rear. Fair enough, you might be wearing a backpack that would cover it up anyway, and you'll have rear lights too, but more reflective print down the bottom would make sense, particularly on an item from the Flashlight range.
Decent windproof gilet in a relaxed cut, and it packs small enough to stash easily in a jersey pocket; nice price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Flashlight Windproof Gilet
Size tested: Charcoal - Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Here's DHB's write-up:
"With an ultra hi-visibility finish and lightweight, breathable construction, the dhb Flashlight Windproof Gilet is perfect to keep you safe and seen on the roads in all lighting conditions. Ideal for commuting and leisure bike rides.
High Performing Reflectivity
The dhb Flashlight Gilet has been designed to keep you seen in any lighting condition and doesn't compromise on reflective components. The main body is finished in a brightly coloured fluoro yellow for optimum impact. Critically positioned reflective trims have been strategically added for total, 360 degree visibility, with 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective prints and further reflective trim panels of the highest quality and durability featured throughout.
Windproof And Highly Breathable
Designed to be comfortable and functional, the dhb Flashlight Gilet keeps you protected against windy weather conditions. A drop tail back gives you extended coverage against road spray and the elements - an essential when in the road cycling position. The back features a large rear mesh panel to offer optimum ventilation, keeping air flow through the garment to cool you down when you start to warm up. A soft, fleece lined high-rise collar gives extended neck coverage and prevents abrasion to the area.
Ideal For Commuting All Year Round
Its lightweight construction makes the Flashlight Gilet the perfect addition to your core cycling and commuting wardrobe. With a relaxed commuter fit, there is room for you to layer up when the weather turns cold and plenty of space to give you unrestricted freedom of movement. It has been designed with a minimal construction to reduce unnecessary bulk. A full length YKK zip with a chin guard gives you additional ventilation when needed and offers ease of entry/exit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
DHB list these features:
* Top Features of the dhb Flashlight Windproof Gilet
* High quality 3M™ Scotchlite™ reflective prints and dhb logo provide the highest level reflectivity and durability
* Ultra light and breathable windproof gilet
* Brightly coloured with critically positioned reflective trims provide 360 degree visibility in all conditions
* Teflon™ water repellant finish on the outside face
* Minimal construction (no pockets) to minimise bulk
* Large rear mesh panel to increase ventilation and moisture transfer
* Fleece lined collar for comfortable, abrasion free neck coverage
* Full length YKK zip with chin guard
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It keeps the wind out well and it's water repellant. The sparse amount of reflective print right at the back is an opportunity missed on a gilet designed with commuting specifically in mind.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The good fabric and the light weight.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of reflective print right at the back. If you're going to be wearing a backpack with lots of reflective elements, it's not an issue. The loose fit isn't for me, but that's a personal preference. Other people will see that as a positive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they wanted a relaxed fit, perhaps.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
It's well made from good materials. I just feel that a gilet designed specifically for commuting has to have more reflective trim at the back. You can't argue with the price though.
About the tester
Age: 43 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.