So many pieces of cold-weather cycling kit fall into one of two aesthetic categories. One is the ubiquitous black on black with black detailing, and the other combines a medley of bright colors with swooping and swirly graphics. The Castelli Espresso 3 Jacket breaks this binary by using solid colors, contrasting highlights that complement the body‘s shape, and tasteful branding to make a winter jacket that‘s so attractive you‘ll want to wear it off the bike, too. And it‘s also water-resistant, windproof, and thermally insulated for temperatures ranging as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit all of which will appeal to cyclists who aren‘t just in it to look good.
Castelli uses Windstopper X-Fast material from the venerable manufacturer Gore-Tex, which is the go-to destination for manufacturers who want to beat the wind. Wind-resistance is expressed in terms of CFM, which determines permeability by measuring the volume of air that can pass through a given material in one minute. Since all fabrics branded with the Windstopper stop sign logo either meet or exceed the windproof rating of 1.0 CFM, they are all literally windproof. In the Espresso 3, this windproof layer is sandwiched between a protective outer layer, which has been given a DWR treatment for water resistance, and a fleecy, insulating lining.
The jacket‘s sleeves are forward-oriented with an abbreviated fit across the chest. This makes the Espresso 3 feel a little tight across the chest while you‘re standing, but it fits your body perfectly while stretched out on the bike. It sits close to your front instead of hanging down, eliminating the pregnant hippo look that so many of us despise in kit designed for cold or inclement weather. The floating shoulders also accommodate a cycling position and allow for unrestricted reach.
The Espresso 3 may set a record for the number of zippers in a single cycling jacket. It has the requisite full-length front zipper, two zippered chest vents for when the going gets hot, and zippered wrists so you can pull the jacket on easily over gloves but then zip them down for a tight seal. The flip-up thermal collar provides variable coverage for your neck, depending on conditions, and an elastic gripper band keeps the extended rear hem down where you want it.
A phone pocket with a media cable port lets you route your headphones like you route your bike‘s cables: internally. This keeps the wire out of the way so you won‘t unceremoniously rip your earbuds out while reaching for a bottle. The Espresso 3 also includes three rear pockets for storage and reflective elements to help keep you visible in the low-light conditions that you‘ll likely encounter while using it.
The Castelli Espresso 3 Jacket is available in six sizes ranging from Small to XXX-Large in the colors Anthracite/black/yellow fluo, Black/red, and Drive Blue/red.