I was on the hunt for a stretch, windproof, high-vis gilet when I spotted the DHB Women’s Flashlight vest – DHB is Wiggle’s own brand.
The vest and the matching long-sleeved jersey are available in fluo yellow as well as this fluo pink, which is rather darker than the usual fluo pink, so although very bright in daylight, in lower light conditions it’s not as visible as the usual brighter pink.
The finish is like a soft shell, with a rubbery windcheck barrier on the front – reasonably waterproof too and very snug. The inside is a very nice quality fleece and I was very taken with the bits of turquoise trim, which make the garment a bit more stylish.
The reflective trims are so small as to be fairly useless, as with most garments with painted-on trim, but every little helps, I suppose, while the black side panels make for a more slimming look. I was very taken with the high-vis back of the garment, as so many cycling tops have a black back, which is useless for conspicuity. There is a welcome zip garage at the neckline, and the inside hem is lined with silicone strip to prevent it riding up – this works fairly well.
One odd part of the design is the rear pocket, which is entered at the side. I find this awkward and don’t use it much – I prefer the straightforward small-of-the-back style of pocket and this side-enter style is useless for a small water bottle, etc. However, the breast pocket is roomy enough for my Coolpix and the zip pulls on this and the main zip are big enough to handle with my Duragloves on.
From the get-go, I found I wore the gilet a LOT. It’s extremely windproof on those nasty downhill sections, and waterproof enough to deal with a light shower. On days that I don’t go out wearing it, I take it with me in the rackbag and often find myself popping it on as an extra layer.
Because the cut is fairly roomy and there’s a good amount of stretch, I’ve also, to my surprise, found myself wearing it over, rather than under my Endura Pakajac, which I pop on when it rains or as a windstopper. The combination of the two is surprisingly comfortable as well as being screechingly high-vis – obligatory on French country roads.
So impressed was I with the vest that I later bought the Flashlight long sleeved jersey. This is the same good quality as the vest but I’ve not found it as useful. There’s no windcheck barrier on the sleeves and the seams let the wind through, so it’s no warmer than any of my other Roubaix winter jerseys, which really need a shell over them the majority of the time. Nor, since the sleeves are black, does it lend any more high-vis capability than the gilet alone. It’s also a bit too bulky to throw in the rackbag ‘just in case’. It might be a good buy if you didn’t already have a long-sleeved Roubaix jersey, but in my cycling wardrobe it’s proved somewhat surplus to requirements – it never seems to be the right temperature to wear it. I find I mostly wear it like a cardi if I stop off somewhere, when I pop it on to stop getting chilled. It’s very stylish, though, and has all the same features as the gilet with regard to trim, pockets, zip garage, etc. If Wiggle could put a windcheck barrier on the sleeves, it would be a fantastic garment.
These are the first DHB garments I’ve bought and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality, given the low price point. The vest cost 33 euros, reduced from 52.80, and the jacket cost 45.78 euros reduced from 65.40. Shipping was a flat 3.50 from Wiggle – a huge saving for anyone who lives overseas.
DHB Flashlight vest: *****
DHB Flashlight jacket: ****