The Castelli Meccanico Puffy Jacket is a quilted jacket with strong style and plenty of technical properties woven into a casual jacket. It is a pre- and post-cycling jacket, but the reality is you will want to buy this as your all day, everyday coat.
The branding is subtle enough that you do not look like the world of cycling has thrown up all over you, but is strong enough to let others in the scene know you are a cyclist. Saying that, if you are an athlete who wants a fitted jacket, it is definitely worth considering cycle-wear. No one wants a jacket to engulf them.
The colour Sundried has chosen to feature is the turbulence red. In our opinion, by far the strongest colour. Pops of red from the lining when the jacket is fully zipped up and strong colour when unzipped all the way.
As you would expect from Castelli, this is a well-made jacket and like most quilted jackets on the market it is very lightweight.
The jacket has a fixed hood with drawstrings to adjust for your comfort.
External branding shows the logo on the left arm and on the right shoulder the Castelli wording. On the shoulder the branding is fairly subtle.
So what's the Puffy Jacket like to wear?
The jacket is slim fitted in shape. There is no waist adjuster but as it is fitted it will probably not be necessary. The jacket is warm, but in sub-zero temperatures you would definitely need to layer up. This style jacket is perfect in the UK for our typically chilly winter and spring days. Personally I love a jacket like this to even chuck on over a t-shirt on a colder summer evening.
Nice deep pockets to allow you to bury your hands for some protection against the elements. Especially if you forget your gloves.
The branding is fairly subtle on the shoulder but adds a nice asymmetry to the design of the front.
The logo is subtle enough not to be classed as a 'logo jacket' but is enough to get the recognition in the cycling community.
Branded zippers and deep pockets to give your hands some extra winter protection.
This is definitely a jacket you can wear daily. Smart enough to wear to work and warm enough to keep you cosy. Stylish enough to wear on a night out and light enough to carry if you do get too hot! One for the wardrobe!
Castelli say... A jacket warm enough for a Belgian winter.
- Quilted synthetic down jacket with fleece lining inserts for extra warmth
- Adjustable hood
- Water resistant finish
- Zippered front pockets
- High collar to stop drafts
- Weight 674g
- Comfort range anything below 10 degrees C for hanging about in.
When a glove is not just a glove
To think that all gloves were born equal is just a mistake. The Prima Glove from Castelli is a lightweight glove that won't let you down. No, it is not designed for the deep winter. But these certainly are the ideal commuting glove for the seasons surrounding when the weather dips below zero. Temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius you will be comfortable up to an hour wearing these. 5 degrees to 10 degrees for me they really are an all day glove. What I like about these gloves is the long cuff. It is nice to have a glove that you can wear over or under your jersey without exposing your wrists and because of their flexibility (stretchy wool fibre) they are so easy to slip on and off, even when your hands are wet.
For deep winter riding you definitely need a thicker glove but for late spring and throughout autumn these really are the business. They are very durable and you'll get at least the year of commuting from them. And as the material lets your hands breath you may even want to slip them on in a late summer evening.
100% Coolmax yarn
That gives the gloves their stretch and make them a perfect glove for a quick slip-on
Conductive Touch Technology© fingertips
This enables you to use your iPhone while wearing the gloves. A very nice feature. Especially when it is a bit colder and you do not want to remove your gloves. And of course it means it is easier to operate your Garmin bike computer.
Silicone grip on palm
Will save you slipping off the handlebars, even when your hands do start to get a bit numb
When else you can wear these gloves?
For me, dog walking and running. Most yarn gloves are not as long so you get the wrist exposure. Not ideal, but these take care of that.
The verdict is that for a little over £20 they are a must have for your cycling collection.
When you buy a special item to add to your collection it is a nice bonus when it arrives in its own custom box. I see this leaning towards a nice stocking filler for a grown up cyclist!
The Castelli Flanders Base Layer features perforated 100% polyester mesh underarms for additional cooling. On my first test ride it was 9 degrees Celsius which isn't overly cold, but cold enough to layer up, and I found that the mesh does allow your arms to breathe.
As with most base layers, not many people will actually see it when you're wearing it, which is a shame as this is some seriously stylish underwear. The detail on the back has the same attention as you would expect from a jersey.
This top has a very long body which is just what you want from a base layer. There's nothing worse than a cold midriff when your top rides up as you're cycling! The fit is snug and follows the contours of a typical cyclist's frame.
As this top is so lightweight it is very quick to dry; I put it on a radiator and it was dry in a few minutes. The lightweight design also means that you will forget you are wearing it so it isn't big and bulky under the rest of your cycling wear. It dos not feel like a thermal item of clothing if that is what you are used to and if you are riding in deep winter, you'll want to wear two of these. As Castelli recommend, doubling base layers is very effective.
Flanders is a town in Belgium that acts as the perfect location for cyclists of all levels and abilities. Visit in spring for the Tour of Flanders, famous for the cobbled climbs. Riding that takes in history, beautiful scenery, and plenty of climbs and amazing roads. If you visit in the spring or winter be sure to take your new matching Castelli base layer.
Overall this is an excellent top. Take care removing it when you are hot and sweaty as it clings to your skin. It is pretty thin and I can imagine if you pull it off in a hurry it could tear.
The Castelli Gabba 2 is a soft shell, wind-stopper jacket and is an upgrade from the Gabba 1 that is a piece of kit you need to add to your cycling wardrobe.
The Gabba is designed for foul weather and every last detail of the design has protection in mind. After a 2-hour ride in -2 degrees Celsius, my core was still a bearable temperature, although my hands and feet felt like they were going to fall off!
This really is a nice fitting piece of kit and although a tighter fit than the Gabba 1, it is not restrictive at all. The neck has a really nice lining that wicks away sweat. The cut and stitching have the consideration of comfort and protection from the wind.
On the chest, the vented openers are much easier to open one-handed than on the Gabba 1 and provide a quick way to allow in some much-needed air ventilation without having to open the front zip and suffer from an aerodynamic disadvantage of a flapping jacket.
The Gabba 2 is so smooth that the cold seems to bounce straight off it. Aero development means the wind will pass on by, so not only will it keep you warm, it will make you dynamically faster. Designed for an outdoor active lifestyle, the Gabba 2 offers maximum breathability; the fabric allows for moisture vapour to easily escape. If you have ever ridden in a fully waterproof jacket, you may have found that you ended up dripping wet anyway from the sweat. The Gabba 2 protects you from this and keep you drier.
Castelli Rosso Corsa
The Gabba 2 jacket has the Rosso Corsa stripe on the chest which is the international motor racing colour of cars entered by teams from Italy. Castelli uses this badge for their products dedicated to speed and performance. Castelli Rosso Corsa products can help with blood flow, muscle support, and temperature regulation, as well as smoothing the air flow around the body in real world situations. This means that the Gabba 2 is highly fine-tuned to be aerodynamic and allow you to achieve your best performance ever.
Castelli Gabba 2 vs Gabba 1
I have been riding wearing the Gabba 1 since 2013 and it has been used at least twice a week. The jacket has been the core and default choice for most weather conditions. Used all year round, the jacket really has lasted and earned the price I paid for it. The Castelli Gabba 2 has improved upon the Gabba 1 in many ways, from the covered zip on the chest to air flow in the back of the jacket, easier zips to open, improved waistband, and a better cut. The fabric has developed and offers more warmth and wind protection.