Winter doesn’t mean you have to opt for a flapping-in-the-wind cycling shell. Ride in warmth and descend in wind-slipping silence with the Castelli Espresso Due Jacket.
Castelli Espresso Due Jacket Features:
- Windstopper® X-Fast fabric is windproof and water resistant with four-way stretch for freedom of movement
- Anatomic form-fit cut for cycling position
- MP3 pocket plus cable port
- Front zippered chest vents
- Flip-up Thermoflex collar
- Elastic band on back keeps jacket from riding up
- Wrist Zips for extra ventilation and easy closure around gloves
- YKK® Camlock zipper
- 3 rear pockets
- Rear reflective tabs
- Colors: Black, Red, White (tested)
- MSRP: $299
Castelli Espresso Due Jacket Review
Riding in the Winter often requires a mixed bag of gear. A methodical combination of shoe covers, full-finger gloves, beanies and jackets can sometimes make it feel like you’re a gladiator suiting up for battle. With the well-designed Castelli Espresso Due Jacket, you can simplify that battle and ride without a engery-sapping, wind-flapping jacket.
The key to the Espresso Due is its use of Gore Windstopper X-Fast fabric throughout. This 4-way stretch fabric is best described as a lightweight fleece-backed softshell. Living in Utah, my choices for Winter outerwear typically lean towards breathable on the waterproof/breathable scale. We don’t get wet, sloppy snow and it doesn’t rain that often, so the weather-resistance provided by Windstopper is spot-on for activewear like the Espresso Due.
Castelli’s reputation as one of the first cycling clothing makers has also come with a reputation for not being true-to-size. Sizing-up is typical with Castelli, but not so with the Espresso Due. Much to my surprise, the size Large jacket fits my 5’11” – 175 lb frame absolutely perfect. Overall cut, hem length and sleeve length is perfect.
After unpacking the Espresso Due, I just had to slip it on. In an instant, I’m sold… there’s not much that wasn’t thought through. The cut is perfect and anatomically-correct for coverage while on the bike. The efficient cut keeps things simple and just feels like a good cycling jacket should feel.
I’ve really appreciated the extra niceties that are built into the Espresso Due. A great example of this is the flip-up Thermoflex collar. It flips up to cover the backside of the neck to provide an extra bit of warmth and comfort as it seals up the backside of the collar opening. Think of it as a chimney cap as it keeps the warmth inside the jacket. That works in perfect combination with the dual vents on the backside of the shoulders to prevent overheating.
The dual front zip vents are easily-accessed with gloves on and can be zipped open or closed with a single pull. I’ve found myself being able to open and close the vents in stride with no problems. The wrist cuffs also feature a zippered closure to provide a solid glove/jacket seal, when needed. When not needed, the mesh backing provides a little extra ventilation while allowing your wrists to move without any restrictions. On long descents, the tight cuff stayed put atop my gloves and never left me with a wrist gap for wind to penetrate — nice work on that design.
Windstopper fabric is built with a tightly-woven softshell exterior to shed the elements while the interior has rectangular fleece columns that wick away the moisture and then allow it to dissipate. That moisture dissipation is key to the jacket. It dries quickly and never feels cold and clammy to the touch.
When you’re considering jerseys or base layers to wear under this jacket, I’d recommend you go with a standard long-sleeved base layer with a crew neck or minimal cycling-style collar. If you wear a jersey underneath with a zippered collar, it gets a bit tight and annoying with two zippers on the front of your neck. I have the Castelli Uno Plasma base layer that works perfectly with the Espresso Due.
Good Espresso Due
- The perfect cut for a light base layer underneath
- The rear shoulder vents keep the air flowing with the front zip vents open or closed
- Gore Windstopper is perfect for cycling — it blocks the wind, insulates and still breathes
- Standard 3-panel back pockets are easy-to-reach and use
- Sleeve cuff zippers offer locked-in or relaxed mode
- Back collar extender is so nice… adds extra comfort and warmth
Bad Espresso Due
- Italian styling may be over the top for some
- Items in rear pockets can slip into interior mesh area
- Not as compressible or lightweight as a shell
Bottom Line: Castelli Espresso Due Jacket
If you’re searching for the perfect cold-weather cycling jacket to keep your butt off the rollers this Winter, cast your eyes on the Castelli Espresso Due Jacket. The Windstopper fabric and cycling-specific features will get you to pitch that wind-flapping shell in favor of something warmer, quieter and more comfortable.
Buy Now: Visit CompetitiveCyclist.com
I was wondering, will this jacket keep you warm in the upper 30’s? Can I wear a long sleeve jersey(that has a thin fleece layer in it)with it w/o being bulky?
Oh, yeah… I wore this jacket comfortably down into the low 30’s, no problem. You could wear a little more bulky baselayer for extra warmth, but it is fairly form-fitting, so it may be a little snug with much more than a midweight base layer. I’ll try it with a little thicker base layer and let you know.
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