Equipped for winter.
During the halcyon days of fall riding, it's easy to forget the winter weather that's to come. We naively pedal under crisp blue skies and through tunnels of orange, yellow, and red, but winter always arrives, thwarting our autumnal bliss with heavy grey clouds and temperatures that dip far too low for thermal jerseys alone. Around the Competitive office, this is the cue for some of us to take out the trainer and resign ourselves to a few months in the basement, but if you're looking to gain a competitive edge for your spring season, you'll want to be braver than we are and stay outside, and the Castelli Men's Espresso 4 Jacket will help you do it.
Cut in a silhouette that's kind for a season of rich holiday meals and hearty food, the Espresso 4 was crafted for miles that won't always feel pleasant. Castelli focused on equipping you to handle frigid temps and mixed precipitation, constructing the Espresso 4 with Gore's venerable Windstopper X-Fast fabric to provide wind and water resistance for hours at a time. Four-way stretch panels integrated throughout the body of the jacket keep it moving with you as you shift positions in the saddle, and zippered ventilation openings allow you to add airflow on interval days.
As we expect from Castelli, a host of other innovative touches on the Espresso 4 serve to enhance comfort on the bike, especially during a season filled with long, low-intensity base mile efforts. Castelli's CrossWrap wrist closures keep the arm cuffs lying flat under gloves, while a double-layered collar seals out especially aggressive gusts. The zippered vents not only help you stay cool, but serve as extra space to stash ride fuel or cash for the coffee shop, and they work with the three rear and zippered chest pocket to provide you with ample storage space. Finally, reflective piping along the jacket's waist enhances your visibility to motorists during winter's limited daylight hours.
- Build endurance through the winter in this cycling jacket
- Fit is more relaxed than Castelli race kit for comfort
- Softshell construction blocks wind and rain for warmth
- Breathable fabric and vents prevent clamminess
- Wealth of pockets allow for ample storage
- Recommended for temperatures approaching freezing
- Item #CST00D7
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Medium
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 145lbs
Living in MN, I wanted something to get me deeper in the cold. I've had the Gabba LS (now called Perfetto) for a couple years, but getting enough layers on underneath gets uncomfortable due to the Gabba's aero fit. The Espresso is heavier with its own insulation and less tight fit making layering much more comfortable.
Thus far I've taken it out in 25°F with a couple baselayers and had no complaints about the cold. I'm not a big guy and some of my mates say I'm "made of air". I'm always the first one to bring out the long sleeves and the last trade for short sleeves.
The outer fabric does exactly what is says. Block wind and repels light water (think sprinkles, light snow, road spray). Caught in the rain, this is not quite the right tool.
Fit is great, warmth is great, feels great.
Could not get the right fit
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: Runs small
- Size Bought: XL & Lg
- Height: 5'11"
- Weight: 170lbs
I am sure this is a great jacket for most. I love Castelli tops. With this jacket specifically I really wanted to like it but I could just not get the correct fit between the XL and LG. Most Castelli tops I am an XL however on this jacket the fit was almost perfect with the XL except the neck opening was enormously wide. I mean huge, it looked so odd and disproportionate to the rest of the jacket. It would easily have let cold air in if not being worn with a neck gaiter. I figured since there was just a tiny amount of extra room in the body(always a good idea to have some room for layers under) that I would try the Lg. No go there because although more of a true race fit(fine for me but not ideal for a winter jacket) the cut under the armpits for me was too high and was uncomfortable....Yes even in the "on bike" position it just did not work, even with the stretch inserts around the arm/shoulder holes that give this jacket some good stretch.
Again, I am sure this is a great jacket and the design seems brilliant like most of Castelli cold weather tops, however the huge neck opening on the XL made it so that the jacket simply did not work for me. I guess I will stick with my last year model XL Castelli Senza jacket for now which has a much more fitted/comfortable collar area but less features(No vent zips w storage, No stretch inserts around the arm shoulders etc).
Impeccable Quality, Perfect Fit
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: XL
- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 180lbs
I'm currently wearing my new Castelli Espresso 4 jacket while I type this review, it is super comfortable. Right out of the package, it impresses. Castelli quality is the best there is, in my opinion. Regarding size, I am 6' and 180 lbs or so, and the XL is like it was custom made for me. Arm length is ample, and then a bit more, so when arms extended there is no shortage at all at the wrists. The "flat wrist" feature is simple but ingenious, soft material fitting snugly at the wrists for a comfortable closure. Overall, the jacket feels comfortably snug all over, the fabric is super stretchy and the articulated shoulders allow for even more movement when bent over the bars.
The first thing you notice when you pick this jacket up is the thickness of the fleece. This will be warm. I believe it when they claim that it will perform down to 35 degrees. The scooped pocket/vents and napoleon pocket/vent should be effective at cooling down your core if you start to overheat. I have worn a Gore Element Thermo Jersey the last four winters, and it pales in comparison to the Espresso. It is some serious winter kit.
I tried the Espresso on over a Castelli Flanders baselayer and a HH Cold Ice mid layer, and the jacket still felt good, but a just a bit stuffy, that is the limit of what you can get on under it. It feels best with a single baselayer, still snug, but you don't feel packed into it. It's good to know that I can get two layers on underneath comfortably if I have to. Gets cold on the lake in Chicago!
I originally ordered the Castelli Elemento Air(7x) or whatever it's called, and I was immediately dissatisfied with it when I put it on. Although both jackets are XLs, the Elemento is "race cut", and really unforgiving regarding comfort/fit in my opinion. I could barely squeeze into it. I would have to order an XXL in the Elemento. Also, when you hold the Elemento up you can see light through all the perforations in the material. It made me think it would be less warm than the Espresso, but I did not try either on in weather so I can't really speak for that.
I will edit my review after wearing the Espresso 4 on the lakefront path in the coming weeks, temps in the high 30s low 40s. I'm confident this jacket will perform.
UPDATE: I wore the jacket today on the Chicago Lakefront Bike Path. The temperature was 43 degrees, real feel of 39 (allegedly), but a cold, constant 10 mph wind kept things feeling even cooler than 39.
I wore the Castelli Espresso over a Castelli Flanders base layer, and nothing else thinking I would try out a minimalist approach first, but after 15 minutes I added a Gore Element Windstopper vest over everything, and although I can't say I felt warm, I didn't feel cold, which is unusual for me. I did not feel clammy at all either. After 30 more minutes I stopped for a short break, and was impressed that my base layer was just a bit damp, (it is usually soaked through), my Castelli Espresso 4 was bone dry. I changed out the Flanders and put on a Craft baselayer, and a HH winter midlayer, the Espresso, then the Gore Element Vest.
With this combination I felt really comfortable, and I could have easily ridden a solid hour with no discomfort. When I got back home, I found, again, that my all my layers were dry, with just a slight dampness on the baselayer, and the Espresso was still dry enough to hang right up in the closet.
This is easily the warmest, most breathable cycling item I own. The whole time I was riding, I didn't even know it was there. Really outstanding.
Great and worth the money
- Size Bought: xl
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 190lbs
I spent awhile searching for a high quality cold-weither jacket and this is it. It is fairly form-fitting but not quite aero. It is warmer than advertised for me (works down to mI'd 20s with an underlayer) I was hesitant to spend so much at first but it is my favorite winter jacket by far and well worth the money.
Worth it--even if it's not on sale
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Size Bought: Large
- Height: 5'11"
- Weight: 165lbs
I rarely write reviews unless the product is at one end of the spectrum or other. I just returned from my first ride with this jacket, and about 30 minutes in, I knew I had to give it a review-this jacket exceeds my expectations!
Conditions today were 39F ambient, Weather Channel posted the index at 31-34F during my ride time. I wore a SS Craft active extreme base layer. Completely comfortable-this was probably right in the sweet spot for what the piece was made for--I can easily see this working well into the low 30's ambient temp with a long sleeve base layer.
Two features that add to the quality:
1. The vents on most jackets are merely just zippered openings. On the Espresso 4, they will actually fit a snack/money etc. as described. The bonus part is that when open, the pocket part is directed backwards, thus making for extremely effective venting by "scooping" air into the jacket---Nice!
2. The three rear pockets on this piece are slightly deeper than on most other Castelli jerseys/jackets, a touch more room and security for your stuff.
I got this on sale, and therefore feel I got a fantastic value. Even if I had paid full price I'd be happy.
Benchmark jacket for 55° down to 30°
Castelli is based in the foothills of the Italian Alps (Dolomites). They know Winter cycling and jackets are their specialty.
Application: The Espresso 4 is designed to protect riders in cold, dry weather. It is *officially* rated by Castelli to protect from 54° down to 32° F.
1. Gore's amazing Windstopper textile is the best in the business. It is soft, warm, insulating, windproof, and water-resistant yet... breathable (so no "sweat in a bag" effect). All in all, brilliant.
2. Innovative: two front zippered vents can be opened partially or fully to provide temp range versatility; and vent sweat during especially high-output riding like climbing.
3. Special construction at the arm/shoulder joint allows this thick jacket to provide proper fit in the 'on the bike' position.
4. The Espresso 4 is a really good looking jacket (even better than previous version).
This Rosso Corsa jacket is Castelli at the top of their game.
Sizing: With Castelli, size up +1 from your normal street size. Always. Castelli (Italian) sizing -does- run smaller than US sizing.
Believe or not, it's hard to find a cycling jacket that fits this niche. This Espresso jacket looks great but, the Castelli items I've owned in the past are poor quality -- the decals are cheap and rub off, zippers break easily, and seams tear easily. Has Castelli improved their quality or is this jacket just another expensive item that looks great on the mannequin but ends up in the back of the closet?
This item is made of high quality materials. Wonderfully tailored. Seems durable. Works well. quality isn't impeccable -- I found some off stitching on the inside of mine. This is going in the FRONT of my closet! It's a stretch to say it would be worth MSRP, but at a discount, I think it makes the grade.
I have several Castelli items and to be honest with you, I have faced the same problems especially with really awful stitching and things coming undone after a couple of uses. The logo is printed and it does rub off, depending on the use but then, people might question paying $$$ for bike gear made in different factories in the Far East. To avoid this you must purchase things either made by Santini or Giordana that seem to still make their wear in Italian factories but then you must pay a premium and to be honest with you, of the one jersey and one very expensive Giordana Fall/Winter jacket I have, they also presented their problems with faulty stitching as well as the questionable durability of their fabrics.
So why do I still purchase Castelli stuff after all the things I faced? I do it because of the looks and also due to the price point of the products when they are offered here on sale. There is no other way I could logically and reasonably justify purchasing this stuff at the MSRP.
I wouldn't categorize their products as such my experience as they are top of the line