O brave new world that has such jackets in it!
Trying to stay dry when you're riding in the rain is generally a losing proposition, but the Tempesta Race Jacket is Castelli's attempt at making cycling rain gear that actually works. While the design isn't radically different than most rain jackets out there — the back hem is significantly longer than the front, and there's some extra fabric at the sleeves and back — the new, and highly technical, eVent waterproof and breathable membrane keeps moisture out without causing clammy sweat to build up.
EVent is also used in top-end mountaineering shells and rain jackets, so you know its weather-besting credentials are impeccable, but its low weight and supreme packability are what elevate it above other materials. Even with fully taped seams, the Tempesta weighs in at just 201g and stuffs easily into a jersey pocket, so you'll never have an excuse for leaving it behind. Additional water-defeating details include a waterproof zipper, drawstring wrist closures, and an elastic silicone waistband, all of which help the Tempesta maintain its marvelous impenetrability. Stretchy inserts at the elbows, shoulders, and sides mean you'll have uninhibited mobility even when you're armored up against the weather. Castelli finishes the Tempesta with two classic back pockets and reflective details.
- A race-cut cycling jacket for inclement weather
- EVent membrane is waterproof and breathable
- Stretch inserts maintain slim silhouette
- Waterproof zipper and taped seams extend impermeability
- Reflective details and two rear pockets
- Item #CST008O
- Q & A
Very good jacket. Could be great
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Small
Where: Seattle. Weather: it's been wet. Rides: average 30 miles on paved roads.
What's good: water resistance, breathability and fit.
I'm 5'4" and weigh 127 lbs. and the size small Tempesta fits true-to-size. Sleeve length is a little long but pulls over Pearl Izumi WXB glove cuffs without any problems. Fit in the torso was slim but not tight. No flapping when descending or into the wind. The tail of the jacket kept water running off the jacket and not onto my rear end. This is the only rain jacket I've owned where the back hem and tail stays down and doesn't ride up around my waist.
The collar seemed a little too loose for my skinny neck but it's just enough to let out some clammy, warm air without letting rain into the collar. The mesh lining is really nice as it keeps the coated nylon from coming into direct contact with the skin.
Some will say pockets on a rain jacket are extraneous. I have two other rain jackets without pockets and the Tempesta's pockets were not an insignificant reason why I bought it. I can get a gel or energy bar without taking off my gloves. Nice. And the netting at the bottom of the pockets allowed the water to drain.
Water resistance: Wore the jacket several times, then washed in NikWax Tech Wash, dried in the dryer under low heat for 10 minutes then hung to complete drying. No difference in water resistance on the next day's wet ride. Long term, who knows? I'll use Tech Wash and txDirect to restore the DWR when it's necessary and it'll be fine.
Breathability is a matter of degree: I work up a sweat in just about every wet weather cycling garment I own. I have 4 Gabba LS jackets (yes, I like them THAT much) and I sweat in those, too. I work up a sweat in the Tempesta but much less than my Pearl Izumi Aero WXB. A ride last Saturday wearing the Tempesta with a PI Thermal base layer in steady rain for over 30 rolling miles at 52 degrees F and I was clammy. If you're looking for breathability bliss , this isn't for you. Clammy instead of wet or damp inside the jacket works for me.
What's not so good:
This is an expensive jacket so you sort of hope for a piece that works right out of the bag. This didn't.
The cuff adjustment with the magnets simply doesn't work on my version of this jacket. The magnets are too weak. So, I pried open the black plastic clasp (with the little magnet) on the drawstring, cut the stitching holding the drawstring ends together, pulled the cord out, then rethreaded with a wire fish (I threw away the plastic clasps.). Then I drew the cord ends back through the hem and the little rubber Castelli puck, then tied off the ends. The puck has the perfect amount of friction to pull and hold the adjusted tightness. I tuck the extra cord into the cuff. It works fine now.
Since I'm short, the rain flap bottom of the jacket hem will sometimes catch on the back of the saddle. A little annoying so I may add a small piece of velcro or a snap.
The flap behind the zipper will occasionally catch in the zipper.
Overall, I'm pleased with the jacket's design and performance and I'd recommend it (along with the shortcomings) to others interested in this jacket. BTW: I've bought into the Tempesta "system". I use the jacket with the 3/4 pants and leggings. I used Nanoflex bib shorts and leg warmers last winter (like them, too) and wear them with the Tempesta pieces. Good system. Except for my feet, I can stay reasonably "dry" for 2 to 3 hours. So far, so good. If things change, I'll submit a follow up.
what is the intended way to achieve a snug fit with these cuffs?
Don't know if this answers your question, but here goes: I think Castelli's design intention was to provide adjustability and a way to stow the end of the drawstring so that it would not dangle. Otherwise, you would have to tuck the loose end under the cuff and in doing so you address one issue but expose another: the difficulty of accessing the end of the drawstring while wearing gloves, when it's wet (well, yes, it is after all a rain jacket) or adjusting/venting while riding. The use of magnets was a thoughtful design approach coupled with an unfortunate choice of material components (weak magnets). The disconnect is that it's really very nicely fabricated but doesn't function as intended.
I would have been happy with a simple elastic cuff. The sleeve and cuff on the Tempesta is tailored to fit quite snugly, leaving little to no room for anything much thicker than a single layer glove cuff. If you have a double layer or insulated glove cuff, the fit will be very tight or perhaps too restrictive. My initial "fix" was to retain the use of the drawstring but since there's no magnet, I was left with the task of tucking the loose end under my sleeve. What works for me, bottom line, is a jacket that I can pull on and off with as little thought as necessary and keeps out most of the rain and wind.
Since I wrote the review, I've replaced the drawstring with swimsuit elastic and have eliminated the drawstring all together. It works fine and I still think the Tempesta jacket is the best rain jacket I own (the other three being 2 each Pearl Izumi WxB Barrier and 1 each WxB Aero).