Excellent performance, fit and function for the winter. The Espresso jacket combines the windproof, breathable barrier of a GoreTex Winstopper membrane with a stretch fit, anatomic cut that's ideal for the competitive road rider.
The Espresso jacket is perfectly weighted. Neither suffocating you with warmth nor restricting body movement. It sits comfortably against your body and the stretch Windstopper fabric moves easily. More importantly the jacket is extremely comfy and with some selective base layer choice it's easy to adapt the jacket to a broad range of weather conditions. For example we wore it from mild 12 ºC conditions to ice cold and windy -1ºC days and the jacket felt equally comfortable.
The DWR coating of the face fabric beads and shed's water very well. Although not waterproof the fabric will keep you dry through light showers. Dampness only working it's way though the seams in heavy downpours. Even if you get wet underneath it's rarely a problem as the Windstopper membrane blocks out the windchill and the lightly brushed inner fleece keeps you warm.
Windstopper fabrics are fast becoming the material of choice for the cold wet conditions. More breathable than waterproof shells internal temperature is also easier to regulate. They're a versatile choice through winter and you don't get much better than Castelli's Espresso jacket. With its high grade Gore-Tex Winstopper fabric and impressive list of features the Espresso is a quality, high performance choice.
The cut is specific for the bike - long at the back, short at the front. The arms are anatomically cut and don't hang or restrict movement when stretched out on the bars. The stretch of the Windstoppper fabric moves naturally with your body and doesn't restrict movement.
The scooped, cut out at the rear of the neck ensures the collar closes comfortably in and around the neck to block out drafts. The reinforced zip baffle features a classy bit of webbing with subtle features like the scorpion logo'ed the silicone hem and wrist grippers
If things get hot, meshed lined vent zips lie to the side of the chest. They're easy to open and close whilst in the saddle. The only minor criticism we'd have is that they're a bit hard to work around the straps of a backpack. You can hardly blame Castelli for this design oversight but it's worth taking into account if you carry a pack on a regular basis.
There's a useful MP3 pocket big enough for your iShuffle or Nano. The pocket can be accessed either through the front flap or via the zipped pocket on the inside. The neck also features a guide for the headphone lead.
The main zip is baffled and features a good zip garage at the top to prevent the zipper from rubbing against the neck. The baffle is also reinforced with a line of webbing to improve wear and neatly finished off with reflective Castelli tape.
The cuffs also get zips. This make putting on and taking the jacket off over gloves easier. It also means you can open the zips for a bit of extra ventilation.
Two rear pockets feature natty zip pull. These can be removed if you don't like the look. Despite the usual looks the pullers worked really well and help in locating the pockets. There's also a flap covered zip pocket between the two side pockets. As with the cuff the waist is treated with silicone grippers to keep the back in place. Sticky silicone scorpions also line the outside of the hem to help keep a shell in place.