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allen

allen wrote a review of on February 7, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is my first pair of Castelli cycling gloves (I'm just beginning to get into Castelli gear now). Took them out twice for rides that started in the low 20F (11F with windchill) and ended in the high 20s, maybe hitting 30F. Started out a bit cold, but once I got warmed up, the gloves kept me nice and warm for 30-40 mile rides. Would think they could go below 20 and still keep my hands warm.

My hands measure 7"from base of palm to top of middle finger. That makes me either a small or a medium per Castelli sizing. BC only had the medium so that's what I got. It fit well, a little bit long in the fingers, but not excessively so. It was still easy to change gears, brake, etc. I have tried on the Lightness glove and the small fits great, but the small Chiro Due might be a bit too tight. If they had a small Estremo, I would try those.

The gloves are fairly thick relative to other cycling gloves I have (Gore Xenon), but you feel that as extra warmth when you start out. The palm of the glove feels a little 'fleshy', like there was too much material there, but it didn't interfere with handling the bike at all.

Great glove, bought a second pair as soon as BC had another one in. Highly recommended!

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allen

allen wrote a review of on December 15, 2012

4 5

This is my first Castelli article ever. I slimmed down a bit from cycling the last 2 years and wanted something tighter fitting than my Gore Phantom jackets. Enter the Espresso Due.

The jacket is made from Gore's Windstopper membrane, albeit a different one than what Gore uses on its jackets. Castelli's is stretchier, allowing for a tighter fit that hugs, shapes, and moves with the body easily.

I am 5'7", 150lbs, 35" chest. Castelli's chart says I'm a small and that's what I went with. Fit like a glove! But this is the only jacket that I could go by Castelli's size chart. I've tried other Castelli jackets since this one, and I've had to size up and get a medium in those (Zoncolan).

This jacket is super warm. It is Windstopper everywhere, and medium pile fleece everywhere (by comparison, the Gore Xenon SO jacket is also windstopper everywhere, but only has a low pile fleece in strategic locations). The Castelli has lots of venting options though, 2 that are manually regulated by the rider (front chest and arm zips) and 2 that are not (shoulder vents, rear pocket vents.

Castelli rates the jacket 32F-50sF. I think they should subtract 5-10 degrees from either end. It's a fairly warm jacket and you will sweat quite a bit in it. But what's annoying is that if I have a lot of stuff in the rear pockets, I'll get some cold wind in the back, chilling my sweaty back. I've since learned to keep my back pockets lean with this jacket.

It's a great jacket, love the look and love the hand of the fabric. I think it has a lower temperature range than Castelli advertises because the jacket works so well, maybe too well, limiting its versatility (hence the -1 star).

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allen

allen wrote a review of on December 15, 2012

5 5

Great base layer! Use it to go cycling in the winter months. Does a great job wicking away sweat, and keeps me warm even when wet. Open the jacket and it dries fairly quickly, too. Awesome stuff.

I also have an older version of this shirt, recently purchased from BC (i.e., it's not old and shrunken). It seems like this new one is slightly larger so is not as skin tight as the previous version, which I like. But the new one does feel a little heavier and warmer. Either way, it's another great article from Smartwool!

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allen

allen wrote an answer about on November 22, 2012

I own the red/white above and liked it so much I ordered the older all red one you are comparing to. In terms of construction, materials, features (the great collar, the zipped vents on arms and sides), they are exactly the same. I believe the 'Xenon' reflective insignia on the arms are a bit different in design, but other than very minor cosmetic changes, the jacket should function exactly the same and give the same great warmth. I didn't keep the all red jacket as it looked too similar to my other all red jackets. :-)

HTH.

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allen

allen wrote a review of on November 17, 2012

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great slim fit. Hugs the body well the way I like my baselayers to. I'm 5'7" and 150lbs and both their tops and bottom base layers in small fit me like a glove! I use these layers as baselayers while cycling in the fall/winter. Soaks up sweat like no tomorrow!

Versus Icebreaker: I like the fit of Smartwool more than the corresponding Icebreaker body fit item. IB feels a bit looser and not as snug as Smartwool. But IB feels a little bit warmer (260gm vs 250gm) and has those great thumb loops. But in the end, I think the snug (but not tight) fit of Smartwool will be more effective in the long run.

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allen

allen wrote an answer about on November 15, 2009

I am just shy of 5'7 and 160 lbs, and I tried both the small and medium Theta AR's. I purchased the small. Able to put mid-layers in (Hercules, atom, gamma sv) without looking too bulky. The medium was a bit too roomy, especially without layers which is how I'd like to use this all round shell.

Hope that helps.

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