High praise for a superlative jersey. When we put this through our wear testing before going to production last year, some test riders described this jacket as “the best product Castelli has ever made.” It is as light as a jersey, is warm almost like a jacket, is remarkably breathable, and has a cut that makes you forget you have it on.
- Weather Conditions (per Castelli)
- Min – 10 °C (50.0 °F)
- Max – 18 °C (64.4 °F)
- Windstopper X-Lite stretch fabric on front is windproof and splash resistant
- Warmer fabric on back for high breathability
- Full YKK zip
- Elastic gripper on waist to limit ride up
- Reflective piping on front and 2 Rear reflective tabs
- Measured size large
- Weight – 324 g (11.4 oz)
- Center back – 69.8 cm (27.5 in)
- Pit to pit – 54 cm (21.3 in)
- Sleeve length – 88.1 cm (34.7 in)
- Retail – $150
Castelli is a very well-known and high-end brand out of Italy. They have been the Castelli brand since 1974 but have roots all the way back to 1876. Castelli has been outfitting professional cycling teams since back in 1910. Today, they are dedicated to creating the most innovative clothing for the cyclist seeking maximum performance.
I myself have seen the brand for years but had never had any personal experience with the clothing. This review was the first and hopefully not the last Castelli clothing I will wear.
This winter I tested the Castelli Transparente Jersey with the Sorpasso Bib Knickers. I used them while commuting and road bike riding. The rides ranged primarily of distances from 15 to 30 miles. Since I tested these troughs the winter months, my rides were mainly in temperatures ranging from 30 to 60 degrees.
The Castelli Transparente Wind Jersey is made of a mixture of different fabrics strategically located for optimum performance. The main front material is Gore’s Windstopper X-Lite Stretch Fabric. This fabric is thin, lightweight, 100% windproof, and water resistant. The other fabrics used are a light stretchy insulating fleece type material which is very breathable. This fabric covers the lower arms, underarms, and the back of the jersey. At the front of the jersey, there is a full YKK zipper for easy on and off and venting options. At the bottom of the jersey near the zipper, there is a pull tab for easier usage. At the bottom hem of the back, there is a one inch elastic band. This band holds the jersey tight to your body while allowing stretch. There are not any grippers on this elastic, but I did not have any issues of it staying down.
The Transparente Jersey has four total pockets. One zippered chest pocket and three back pockets. The chest pocket is of decent size and mesh on the inside. Missing from this pocket is an audio cord out which I would find very useful. I don’t normally ride with music, but I would like the option on those days I need it. The rear pockets are typical drop in style pockets. The middle one is the tallest while the two outside pockets have slanted openings.
A couple of extras on this jersey that I normally do not see are the thumb loops and extended collar. This jersey has thumb loops in the wrists to allow the user to essentially lock their sleeves down. For more warmth Catelli has made the collar extended around the neck. This coverers more of the neck and adds quite a bit of extra warmth. The jersey is well-made and looks very sharp. Castelli has a lot of branding on the jersey which is almost too much for my tastes, but that is just my personal preference. Some of this branding is reflective and there are some added reflective tabs as well.
Looking at the Castelli website and checking on the materials used in making this jersey. I did not see any information on the use of green or sustainable materials. Nor did I find any business statements addressing these issues. For these reasons, I gave this a rating of zero for sustainability.
Arm Length (25%)
Comfort Next to Skin (20%)
Ease of Movement (15%)
Torso Sizing (25%)
I am normally a size medium in most brands but in the Castelli line, I needed a large. Even in a size large the jersey fit snug like it should. The jersey is made to be on the bike and therefore, is sized appropriately. It may feel a bit on the short side in the front because when you are in the riding position, your front torso shortens. In this position, your back gets longer, and they therefore have made the jersey longer in the back with an elastic gripper on the bottom hem to keep it in place.
The arms are nice and long but not so long as there are bunched up material. At the wrists there are thumb loops that give you full arm protection. I wore the jersey both using the thumb loops and not, and it was comfortable for both ways. The Transparente Jersey is comfortable against the skin. The inside has a fleece like interior for comfort and warmth. This also makes it soft against the skin. The one thing I was not a fan of was the seams. Since there are lots of different panels in the construction, having all the seam ridges is a drawback. I wish they could have flat locked all the seams. The jersey has a good amount of mobility to it. The fabrics chosen are stretchable and the pattern of the jersey is carefully thought out. It has been very comfortable on its own or worn over a thin baselayer.
Moisture Transport (15%)
Wind Resistance (25%)
The Transparente Jersey has performed well too. The front chest panel blocks wind and keeps the core warm while the arms and back do breathe really well. I have been comfortable on rides up to 55 degrees with this jersey on by itself and down to 30 degrees when paired with a baselayer. On a couple of the bigger climbs around here I started to sweat, and the jersey kept me dry. Some of the moisture was wicked away, and the rest dried up once at the top of the climb. T jersey breathes so well it does not take long to dry. The fleece interior keeps you warm. On some of my morning rides, I would be cold for the first mile or two until my body warmed up and then was comfortable the rest of the way. I think Castelli’s temperature ratings are a little on the high side. I would recommend the jersey on its own from 7.2 °C (45 °F) to 15.6 °C (60 °F). You can definitely extend the cold limit by wearing it with a baselayer.
The jersey does have some reflective logos and badges on it but not as many as some jerseys I have tried. For that reason, I gave the jersey an average rating for reflectivity. One good thing about the reflective tabs, they are more durable than transfers and will not wash off over time. The other thing I see missing from the jersey is a bit more wind coverage on the front of the arms. It is a little interesting when your core is so warm and arms are quite cold. A little strip of the wind blocker down the front of the arms could help, especially when colder. I really liked having the front chest pocket. This was a great place to put my iPhone while riding. I wish it had an audio port on the inside if you wanted to run some tunes. The three back pockets were all of good size, I never lost anything out of them. The center one is great for carrying an extra bottle if needed. It is on the tighter side so you may need both hands to get the bottle in and out. Since the side pockets are slanted, they are not as great for carrying bottles in my experience.
Overall, I have been very pleased with my first experience with Castelli. Pair this jersey with the Sorpasso Bib Knickers like I did for testing, and you have a kit for cooler weather. Here in Bend we do not get much rain but do have a chilly wind that is often blowing. This kit is perfect for those cold drier situations. It keeps you warm but breathes well. Even though I had to size up the jersey, it me really well. The cut and design were made for in the cycling position, to the point where it is more comfortable when on the bike. There are three ample back pockets and one chest pocket for all your carrying needs. I cannot imagine needing more capacity than this. Castelli absolutely makes some high-end clothing, and this jersey fit that mold. I would definitely recommend it for cool weather riding. I do not think you will regret this purchase. The Transparente Full Zip Wind Jersey retails for $150. I think it is fair for the quality and performance you get. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Wind blocking front
- Regulates temperature well
- Great fit – runs 1 size small compared to US brands
- Good pockets
- Comfortable against the skin
- Okay reflectivity
- Wish the seams were flat locked
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