The Capo Padrone thermal jacket's slick black-and-white styling and textured fabrics drew an unusual number of compliments from fellow riders for its grown-up and understated aesthetics. Looks aren't everything, though, as it also offers an impressive level of warmth and a great fit perfect for long days in the saddle.
Freezing temperatures were no problem for the Padrone jacket with just a light base layer underneath and swapping in a winter-weight base brought that comfort range down to an impressive -4°C (25°F) or so. Add in the windproof panels around the front of the torso, sleeves, shoulders and center of your back, along with tight fits around the cuffs and collar, and we rarely found ourselves feeling cold even on blustery days that kept most riders indoors.
In fact, we only managed to chink the Padrone's armor on descents topping 60km/h (37mph), when the oncoming air was simply too much for the non-protected sections to withstand. We noticed some cold air infiltrating around the armpits in particular, along with a bit forcing its way past the full-length front zipper baffle, too.
Fit is outstanding, with perfect tailoring throughout the torso and sleeves lending a suitably form-hugging shape that isn't at all restrictive yet still leaves just enough room underneath for a long-sleeved jersey if needed. In a brilliant move, Capo substitute lighter weight but extra-stretchy fleece-backed panels around the front and sides of the lower torso that totally eliminate the bunching that can plague other winter garments but without overly compromising warmth.
Other neat details include a bit of gripper elastic around the slightly dropped rear hem, a trio of standard-sized rear pockets with angled outer bays plus an additional waterproof compartment, and a bit of reflective detailing to enhance nighttime visibility.
Our sole complaint was the white fabric of our test sample – it was great for visibility but proved very difficult to keep clean. Grimy road spray and mud splatter were especially troublesome, and while it wasn't impossible to remove, it certainly took more effort than a simple pretreat and subsequent run in the washing machine.
True, the Capo Padrone thermal jacket is expensive at US$250 but past experience with Capo jackets suggests this will last for a long time and cycling outer garments this protective rarely fit this well.