Castelli has long produced higher-end clothing for cyclists that fits the bill for cyclocross and gravel conditions. For today’s gift guide entry, we take a look at two new jackets from Castelli that are likely to come in handy when conditions get wet and cold.
The Irdo 2 is a lightweight rain jacket and the Meccanico 2 is a puffy cold weather jacket.
Castelli Irdo 2 Rain Jacket
The Castelli Irdo 2 jacket is a rain jacket made from Gore Active SHAKEDRY fabric. That new Gore technology is a two-layer laminated fabric with a waterproof breathable membrane on the outside and a light polyester fabric inner face.
With its minimal construction, the jacket weighs only 100 grams. We used to equate that with packs of cigarettes, but with fewer cigarette smokers we have to say 100 grams is about the same as a bar of soap. It packs down to about that size too.
The waterproof breathable membrane has a hydrophobic property, so water beads on the surface. There is no surface fabric to absorb the water, so the jacket never saturated.
That kind of technology comes at a price, and in this case, it’s a steep $300.
The breathability of Irdo 2 is very good, on par with my favorite competing EVent fabric jacket. Maintenance is low since there is no DWR to maintain. The fabric surface feels fragile, but we have not proven that. The jacket’s design is minimal the fabric itself is thin to gain the light weight and packability.
I carried this jacket more often than any other. It packs smaller than some vests, so I chose it as a windbreaker with the added bonus of protection from rain.
I rode with it during a cyclocross practice in pouring rain and it kept me relatively dry, not clammy despite the huge sweaty efforts I was trying to exert. Water beaded up on the surface and after the muddy ride I just hosed off the mud, wiped it with a clean cloth and let it dry to be ready for more.
After several uses, I washed the jacket in the washer with mild detergent in a mesh bag using cold water and the gentle cycle. The jacket dried on a hanger in an hour good as new.
Weight: 100g (actual, medium)
Material: Gore-Tex Shakedry
More Info: castelli-cycling.com
Castelli Meccanico 2 Puffy Jacket
When you arrive at a cold race or have finished racing but want to hang out, what do you wear? Well, you can have the Castelli Meccanico 2 puffy jacket with PrimaLoft insulation.
Castelli calls this looser-fitting cold weather jacket the Meccanico considering that is who stands in the cold conditions of the cyclocross pit waiting for their riders wet, muddy bike to come in.
The nylon jacket has a DWR finish on the outer surface to resist surface spray, and the 100 grams (claimed) of PrimaLoft Silver synthetic down insulation are warm. Overall, the jacket weighs 675 grams. The price for the warmth and waterproof finish is $250.
The cut of the jacket allows for a layer underneath. The attached hood is separate from the high collar so that zipping the neck closed doesn’t affect the fit of the hood. There are elastic drawstrings at the bottom hem and the hood, and there are two mesh hand warmer pockets that also serve as vents. There are inner pockets that can fit water bottles to keep them from freezing.
That’s a lot of features to make you comfortable while working as the mechanic or ringing the cowbells for your friends. Its all-black color scheme makes for a cool look for a warm jacket that shows your cycling connection with the Castelli branding.
Weight: 674g (claimed, size large)
Materials: nylon, PrimaLoft Silver synthetic down, DWR outer finish
More Info: castelli-cycling.com
For more gift ideas, see our 2018 Gift Guide.