Castelli Squadra Stretch Windbreaker Jacket
The prestigious Italian company Castelli has such interesting and practical garments in its catalogue like this Squadra Stretch jacket. A garment that is designed to be used practically all year round, as its mission is to protect us from windy days or when the wind blows us, for example, in a strong descent.
We tested it out
This jacket is not a winter garment. Despite being long sleeved, we have used it in various temperature ranges and between the months of October and December, where you can ride in very changeable conditions. From hot days exceeding 20ºC to the coldest days below 10ºC. In both cases this jacket has the sole function of insulating us from the wind. Either when on a day of road biking this hit us hard or when in mountain biking and especially road biking, we made a descent and our jersey or outer layer of clothing was somewhat damp with sweat. In these circumstances this Castelli has always offered us a more than remarkable comfort. It kept us warm, avoiding air contact with our bodies.
The cold penetrates in
On colder days, this jacket is not enough to keep us warm. The fabrics are not thermal and do not have the ability to retain heat close to the body. Clearly, this is not its function and it is not even designed for it. What’s more, it is designed to be carried with you wherever you go thanks to its compactness.When folded, it is only as big as a fist, making it extremely easy to carry in a jersey pocket, a jacket pocket, a backpack, or a bag with a luggage rack. This makes us use the jacket only when it is necessary and when we can really get the most out of it, which is when we want to be protected from the wind and the cooling that this can cause us when we have wet skin.
Perspiration, better than expected
This type of windproof garment always has its Achilles tendon in the breathability of its fabric. What prevents the wind from entering, in a way, also hinders the outflow of air and perspiration from our body. In this case, Castelli tries to solve it with wide and generous mesh panels. This means that the garment is perforated on the sides, underarms, ribs and hips. These are body regions with very little exposure to wind while cycling and therefore, where less wind protection can be allowed and a more breathable fabric can be used to help improve the feeling of being weighed down that some windbreaker jackets can produce.
This model is therefore an excellent example of a compromise between wind protection and breathability, so much so that this Castelli allows you to wear it without too many problems throughout the route, even during climbs, without having the suffocating sensation that you can experience with other competitive garments.
Finally, we would like to highlight the fitted pattern of the jacket. In fact, it is no coincidence that the word Stretch is used in its name. And this Castelli has a good capacity of fit and adaptation to the body thanks to the elastic fabrics used. This, in addition to providing comfort and freedom of movement, with its close-fitting pattern, prevents the garment from flapping in the wind and, in addition to providing aerodynamics, makes the garment less comfortable. When chosen in the right size, the jacket fits like a glove, as it is also ultra-lightweight, weighing just 100g in size L.
Excellent wind protection
Balance between wind protection and breathability
The zipper could be a little more air-tight against the wind and cold.
Ultralight jacket with windproof properties and elastic panels for a better adaptation to our anatomy. It has side panels for better breathability and a generous reflective back panel.
XS to XXXL
Orange, yellow, black or white
More info here