Leatt was founded as a brand offering innovative protective gear, and has since expanded their line with soft goods and outerwear that continues to iterate and improve every season. I was lucky enough to receive a selection of the 2019 Fall DBX 5.0 All-Mountain Lineup, and not only is it a sharp looking bit of kit, but it’s proven to be well suited for winter riding, thanks to the HydraDri four way stretch material that’s dirt, water and stain resistant.
DBX 5.0 All Mountain Jacket
For 2019 Leatt updated their fit of the jacket; the previous silhouette was a bit more of a multi-sport fit whereas the 2019 iteration is much more trim. Closer to a traditional cycling cut, it results in improved aesthetic, but also reduces that feel and sound of fabric flapping around at speed.
Like the previous iteration of the All Mountain Jacket, (read our review of the 2018 model here) it’s packed with performance enhancing features. The shorts and jacket share quite a bit here, beginning with the 3 layer HydraDri stretch hardshell material. Like the jacket, the shorts are seam-taped for real waterproofing with a 30.000mm/23.000g/m² rating. The material is designed to breathe and is assisted with zipper-adjustable ventilation, with zips in both the front and rear.
- Waterproof/breathable 30.000/23.000 material
- Dirt, water and stain resistant fabric coating
- Water-resistant zippers and hidden reinforced stitching
- Tailored fit for riding with or without body armor
- Magnetic hood system (Patent Pending):
- Keeps the hood at the back or
- Fixes the hood on the helmet (helmet magnet included)
- Three-point, fully adjustable hood with stiffened peak fits over full-face helmets
- Reflective printing on lower back
- Brush Guard fabric protection on elbows.
- Shoulder Brush Guard with anti-slip function for improved backpack grip
- Vents on sides of jacket
- Pass pocket on left arm
- Microfiber goggle wiper
- Silk storm cuffs at wrists
- Seat gripper, prevents jacket rise
It’s a sizable list of thought out features with a ton of attention to detail; small touches like the microfiber goggle/ sunglass wiper are always appreciated.
I do wish the pass pocket was on the shoulder where the weight of the additional fabric would be less noticeable, but for park riding in adverse conditions (it would also work well for commuters using it to store a transit pass) the placement is convenient.
I need to ride park a lot more this year.
DBX 5.0 Shorts
I’m psyched on the updates to the jacket but I’m super stoked on the shorts too. Wet weather can plague us here in the PNW, so having a good options for shorts that are still comfortable in varied conditions is key.
Having a matching jacket to shorts is next level smooth. I have to say, having a dialed in kit <insert Borat voice here> is very nice. </Borat>
Like the jacket, the DBX short is made for all conditions — especially if those conditions include rain. Or just puddles, because a rain forecast to us means gym, building trail or snowboarding. That said, splash from puddles on the rear is what we’re most concerned about, as I hate riding with soggy ass.
Like the jacket, the fit of the shorts is fitted, making for a striking silhouette that not just looks fast but feels fast on the trail. I found the shorts to be true to size, whereas a lot of mediums I’ve been running across lately have been fitting me like a large.
On the Trail
On the trail the gear does what its supposed to do and keep you dry thanks to the taped seams and waterproof fabrics. With waterproof gear though, the real challenge is dealing with moisture from the inside. Technical fabrics and breathable membranes and all that help, but it’s hard to beat the ventilation from a zipper. The DBX jacket addresses that with five of them, making it easy to keep air pushing through and regulate the temperature. I found the fit also plays a role here; the trim fit helps keep the heat down.Like the jacket, it uses zipper vents to aid with temperature control.
The shorts fit well, and the trim cut and curve at the knees keep them out of the way while easily accommodating knee armor. Most importantly to me, it has two usable zippered pockets. It’s a good idea to try before you buy though; there isn’t a lot of stretch to the hardshell material. Combined with the tailored fit it can feel a bit restrictive at times.
Although the vents help with versatility, I’d consider them to be rain shorts with a lot of utility. Come summer months I’ll be wearing something lighter. They pair well with the midweight jersey though, for our cooler spring temperatures. While I have also enjoyed swapping in the DBX 4.0 pants, on longer trail rides (especially on hardtail rides where we’re doing a lot of climbing) the shorts have been the better choice.
The Leatt Race Fit
As I tested last year’s iteration of the DBX jacket, I’ve been going back and forth between them; the looser multi-sport fit of the 2018 jacket helps retain heat a bit better, which is nice for the slower pace of commuting or hiking. It also makes it easier to stack on the layers.
When you’re caught in a downpour, it’s easy to buckle down and zip everything up, and the hood easily covers a helmet if needed. The magnetic hood system is a neat feature, though I haven’t found myself using it much yet, relying instead on the adjustable hood to keep it in position.
Depending on your preferred activities, this could be seen as a positive or a negative. The 2019 All Mountain line features Leatt’s new race fit which pairs best with athletic builds, making me glad I’m hitting the gym again. The Race fit isn’t forgiving if the sizing is off, so take a close look if you’re shopping online.
If you went hard on turkey this holiday season, the trim fit may not be as flattering and you may consider sizing up.
I’m a huge fan of the new line up from Leatt, and if you like a tailored race fit the DBX line up is dialed. The sharp fit sets the brand apart from oversized boxy cuts we find in gear from other brands. The best part is I don’t feel like a walking billboard. While brand logos are present in a number of locations, it’s tasteful and not at all obnoxious; the DBX gear feels more like kit a privateer would rock at the starting line.
Fit in cycling clothing is often all over the map; I often find myself sizing down to a small for jackets and tops depending on the brand. (MTB stuff is often oversized whereas I’m often a large in road gear) There is a small bit of mechanical stretch but if the sizing is off it may feel restrictive. If you like a relaxed fit definitely look closely at the size charts and try on before buying.