Issue #028 News Review

Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof jacket in review – A rain jacket full of practical features

When you mention Dirtlej, most mountain bikers will think of indestructible rain coveralls that make you look a bit like a soldier. With the understated Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof rain jacket, the brand now aim to prove that they’re not just a one-trick pony. We put the jacket to the test for three months.

Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof | Tester Manne | Test duration 3 months | Size XL (XS–XXL) | Price € 185 | Weight 395 g | Manufacturer’s website

The Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof rain jacket is specially tailored to the needs of mountain bikers. It has a hydrostatic head of 20,000 mm, putting it mid-field compared to its competitors. Dirtlej specify the jacket’s breathability at 15,000 g/m², which is below the average of our most recent group test. To compensate for this small shortcoming, Dirtlej have given the rain jacket two large ventilation ports under the armpits. The jacket offers two zippered pockets and a hood. It has a wide cut with an extended back section, which is useful for mountain bikers. The subtle look of the Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof is rounded off by a few reflective elements.

From November to February, the weather was mostly just cold, so we used the rain jacket over a softshell to fend off windchill on our daily commutes. Of course, our tester also wore it in the rain and he encountered no nasty surprises – all the seams remained watertight and the water beaded off nicely even after several washes. However, you should follow the care instructions when washing the jacket: no fabric softener, only use a detergent made specifically for waterproof membranes, wash at a maximum temperature of 30 °C, spin at a maximum of 400 revolutions and never put it in the dryer, letting it dry at room temperature.

Even the backside of things can be beautiful! The Dirtlej branding is displayed prominently on the rolled-up hood of the otherwise discreet jacket.
The hood can easily accommodate a mountain bike helmet and can also be adjusted with a cord.

On the trail, the jacket’s loose fitting cut ensures that you never feel like your movements are restricted. To keep the rain out, you want both the back and sleeves to overlap with the rest of your kit. Fortunately, the jacket sleeves are long enough to keep you covered even in the most aggressive riding position with your elbows pushed out. In addition, the cuffs are cut diagonally and have a tight-fitting stretch insert, which is particularly welcome during the colder months of the year. Velcro straps are used to close the sleeves and keep the rain out. All seams and zips are taped, so the two outer pockets on the sides are also fully waterproof. The hood can easily accommodate a mountain bike helmet and it can also be adjusted to your head or helmet size using a cord. When the hood isn’t in use, it can simply be rolled up and tucked into the collar with a Velcro fastener. That way, the Dirtlej rain jacket also cuts a fine figure off the trails.

Even the most breathable rain jacket with the highest water vapour permeability can’t transport all the water vapour to the outside when it’s pouring rain or it’s humid and you start sweating on a climb. The large ventilation ports under the armpits on the sides of the Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof provide effective relief and they have two zippers, allowing you to open them from the top or bottom. As a result, you can always keep the climate inside the jacket nicely regulated, which, together with the loose cut, ensures a high level of comfort.

Watertight: the zips on the outside pockets and the large air vents are taped throughout and therefore waterproof.
Need cooling? The zippers for the vents are easy to reach while riding, providing generous ventilation.
The tight-fitting stretch inserts on the cuffs are effective in keeping out the cold.

Even after daily commuting with a backpack, the jacket’s outer shows no signs of wear. As we’ve come to expect from Dirtlej, the material (100% polyester) is quite thick and robust, which influences the weight (395 g in size XL) and pack size, making the Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof not the best choice for anyone who is looking for the lightest and most compact emergency rain jacket to carry in their hip-pack.

Dirtlej did everything right when designing their new Weathershield Waterproof rain jacket: the material is durable and the cut is wide enough for you to go wild on the trail without feeling restricted. The large vents are also very useful on long and steep climbs. Moreover, the jacket’s reserved look means you can wear it on or off the bike. The Dirtlej Weathershield Waterproof delivered on its promise in terms of functionality and style.


  • comfortable to wear
  • useful features
  • high-quality workmanship
  • robust


  • none

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Words: Manne Schmitt Photos: Thomas Weiss

About the author

Manne Schmitt

As the proud father of Robin and Max-Philip, Manne has been there from the start and is the wise elder of the editorial team. He won his first cycling race in elementary school at a school sports day. After less successful attempts at football, he found his passion for cycling via endurance racing in 1989! The world of racing still consumes him and no one in the team knows the EWS pros better than Manne. As a former head analyst of a state agency, he knows how to do proper research and finds exclusive news that no one else has. He supports his sons in day-to-day business dealings as the authorised signatory for 41 Publishing – viva la familia!