James L.wrote a review of Castelli Espresso 4 Jacket - Men's on March 10, 2017
Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
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.