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Which Castelli winter top do I REALLY need?

VeloVixen 02.10.19

Castelli is a brand that makes cyclists weak with desire. It manages to combine the allure of Italian style and exoticism with proven technical quality favoured by some of the top teams in cycling.

That said, their range is enormous. And they can be as guilty as any cycling brand of... how you say...? jargon overkill. After all, 'Why use simple words when long scientific ones will sound better'...

That's where we come in. We really do understand the differences between their extraordinary winter range of tops - and this is our jargon-busting translation - in plain English, for normal cyclists!

(Note: all Castelli tops are fitted to be figure hugging, with minimal wind-flapping)

 

Challenge 1: "I need a no-holds-barred jacket to keep me warm on the coldest days - and dry in persistent showers or sleet"

Solution: The Castelli Women's Alpha RoS W Jacket - £269

  • Windproofness: 5/5
  • Waterproofness: 4/5
  • Insulation: 5/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 2/5
  • Temperatures: -5 - +10c

 

The Rolls Royce of cycling jackets. The Alpha Ros is an investment, for sure, but justifies its price tag every day of the week. Recommended for temperatures well below freezing, its double layer format allows you to zip and unzip your way to the perfect temperature.

And it will keep you dry in all but monsoon-like conditions too.

 

Challenge 2: "I want a jacket to cover most weather conditions, but won't be going out if it's really cold"

Solution: Castelli Women's Alpha RoS W Light Jacket - £209

  • Windproofness: 4/5
  • Waterproofness: 4/5
  • Insulation: 4/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 3/5
  • Temperatures: 8 - 15c

 

All the quality of the full-on Alpha RoS with less weight and a lower emphasis on ultra-cold riding. RoS is the ultimate badge of Castelli quality for weather protection. This one will keep you warm and dry on chilly to milder days.

 

Challenge 3: "I want to train and ride hard on the coldest days without overheating or feeling weighed down"

Solution: Castelli Women's Dinamica Jacket - £189

  • Windproofness: 5/5
  • Waterproofness: 3/5
  • Insulation: 5/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 3/5
  • Temperatures: -2 - +10c

 

Perfect for crisp, cold days when you want to ride hard. The Dinamica is totally windproof thanks to its Gore-Tex protection,and will keep you warm with its thick fleecy fabric.

But it's also lightweight and breathable, so there's no danger of overheating.

 

Challenge 4: "I want maximum versatility from one jacket on chilly to milder days"

Solution: Castelli Women's Mortirolo 3 W Jacket - £175

  • Windproofness: 4/5
  • Waterproofness: 3/5
  • Insulation: 3/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 4/5
  • Temperatures: 6 - 15c

 

If you're looking for a single jacket to cover a maximum range of temperatures, the Mortirolo could be for you.

How, you ask? The simple but ingenious combination of Gore-Tex front panel to keep the wind off your chest as you ride, along with a fully breathable brushed fleece back so you don't overheat as the day warms up or the hills get steeper.

 

Challenge 5: "I'd like a really light, breathable top layer to keep off the wind on milder spring and autumn outings"

Solution: Castelli Women's Transition W Jacket - £159

  • Windproofness: 4/5
  • Waterproofness: 3/5
  • Insulation: 3/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 5/5
  • Temperature: 8 - 16c

 

A great solution to those days when you're tempted to go out in just a jersey, but could actually do with an extra layer for descents or pausing to wait for the others.

The Transition is Castelli's lightest jacket at just 285g and will keep off cold winds and a brief shower too.

 

Challenge 6: "I need a jacket that's super lightweight, completely breathable, totally waterproof and totally windproof"

Solution: Castelli Women's Idro W Jacket - £259

  • Windproofness: 5/5
  • Waterproofness: 5/5
  • Insulation: 1/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 5/5
  • Temperature: 6 - 20c

 

The holy grail for cyclists - this, along with its Gore twin sister the ShakeDry, just may be the most raved-about product we've ever stocked.

Its breathability means farewell to 'boiling in the bag', whilst its waterproofing and windproofing is total. And it weighs so little you'll hardly know you're wearing it. An investment, yes, but a game changer when you wear it.

 

Challenge 7: "I want an Idro but I can't afford it (I'll sacrifice the waterproofing!)"

Solution: Castelli Women's Superleggera W Jacket - £95

  • Windproofness: 4/5
  • Waterproofness: 2/5
  • Insulation: 1/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 4/5
  • Temperature: 15 - 18c

 

Even lighter than the Idro and still great at protecting from the wind whilst remaining breathable. Whilst the Superleggera will keep you dry in a sharp shower, waterproofing isn't its main quality. The ideal ultralight windjacket to tuck in your pocket.

If it's complete waterproofing you're after and your budget doesn't stretch to full breathability, then the Castelli Emergency Rain Jacket (£125) is just as packable as the Superleggera - and will definitely keep you dry.

 

Challenge 8: "I'm looking for a thermal jersey for milder riding - that can also keep me dry in a shower"

Solution: Castelli Women's Nelmezzo RoS W Jersey - £169

  • Windproofness: 3/5
  • Waterproofness: 4/5
  • Insulation: 3/5
  • Breathability: 5/5
  • Lightweight: 4/5
  • Temperature: 12 - 20c

 

Nelmezzo means 'in the middle' - and this is a jersey that allows you to hedge your bets. Its double layer fabric is water repellent and keeps out the worst of the wind. Having no actual waterproof membrane, however, makes it ultra-breathable so you won't overheat.

It's a brilliantly adaptable compromise jersey for those spring and autumn days when you're not sure you can trust the weather, but you're not too worried about the cold.

 

Challenge 9: "I'm on the hunt for a windproof, lightweight, thermal jersey for cooler days"

Solution: Castelli Women's Trasparente 4 W Jersey - £189

  • Windproofness: 4/5
  • Waterproofness: 3/5
  • Insulation: 3/5
  • Breathability: 4/5
  • Lightweight: 3/5
  • Temperature: 8 - 16c

 

A remarkable jersey that covers any number of conditions. The Transparente is windproof and waterproof on the front, and warm yet breathable on the back - meaning that you'll stay warm and dry riding on a cold or damp day, but you'll avoid overheating as you or the weather warms up. A real all-rounder for spring and autumn.

 

Challenge 10: "What jacket do Castelli introduce as 'If you had just one jacket'?"

Solution: Castelli Women's Perfetto RoS W Long Sleeve - £189

  • Windproofness: 5/5
  • Waterproofness: 4/5
  • Insulation: 3/5
  • Breathability: 3/5
  • Lightweight: 3/5
  • Temperature: 4 - 14c

 

An evolution of the iconic Gabba, beloved of so many professional and amateur riders over the years, the Perfetto was originally intended for cool weather training and extreme weather racing for the pros.

It soon became clear that it's good for far more than that. Ideal for dry weather comfort, with near perfect rain protection. It's light (no built in insulation) yet warm thanks to its fleecy lining. And the stretch means it's still wonderfully comfortable and snug.

You can even get a short-sleeved 'Light' version.

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