Castelli Mannaggia jacket review£250.00

Ultra-anatomic fit

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Expert tailoring and strategically placed accordion-stretch Windstopper Plisse panels give the Castelli Mannaggia jacket a remarkably tight, anatomic fit that's ideally suited for road riding. 

Stand upright and bring your arms down to your sides and it's downright uncomfortable, with a too-tight feel across the chest and shoulders. But bend over and place your hands on the bars and it morphs into a second skin with virtually zero excess fabric to flap about in the breeze.

The well-designed pattern also does an excellent job of keeping you warm in combination with the high-tech fabrics. A full Gore Windstopper shell keeps both wind and road spray at bay while the heavyweight brushed interior traps plenty of air while also lending a cosy feel – even with just a lightweight long-sleeved base layer, freezing temps are no problem. 

Add in the split high-cut collar, tight-fitting cuffs and hem, and full-length front zipper flap and winter training becomes much more tolerable. Stowage is suitably addressed, too, with three standard-sized rear pockets plus a clever flap over the central spot to guard contents against road spray. Outer pockets also boast angled openings for easier access.

That full Windstopper shell isn't great for breathability during highly aerobic efforts, however. The Mannaggia has two easily operated chest vents but the jacket's snug fit and nearly airtight edges don't give incoming air anywhere to go so they're only modestly effective. 

Opening up the front zip is the obvious solution in those situations but additional forearm vents would go a long way towards expanding the comfort range past about 8°C (46°F) where the Mannaggia is just too warm, even with a short-sleeved base layer.

Styling is love-it-or-hate-it with MotoGP-inspired colour blocks and bright silver accents – go for the all-black option if you want to keep a lower profile. Also, reflective accents are limited to the central rear pocket, chest vents, and other small bits so night-time visibility is rather limited.

Roadies seeking a very warm and distinctly Euro look will likely be well served by the Castelli Mannaggia but even then, the cost of entry is very, very high.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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