14 November 2007

Like a nice suit...

We've been told at various times that everyone should buy at least one really nice suit in their lifetime. Or an embarrassingly expensive pair of jeans that look just right. Well, that's how we feel about Castelli soft shell jackets. Unfortunately for those of us who have already done so, they keep getting better. While there's almost always an obnoxious Italian colorway, there's also almost always a more conservative version- one that you will be able to wear for years to come. Castelli soft shells are wonderful pieces. Available in a variety of weights, they are windproof can be combined (or not) with base layers to work on 55 degree spring mornings or 25 degree winter night rides. The details are usually perfect, and this seems to be just the case with the Espresso. Stretchy Gore Windstopper fabric keeps the wind (and most of the rain) out, and a handful of well-placed pockets and vents are welcome additions. The massive (removable) teathered zipper pulls on the back pockets seemed silly until we remembered how just hard it can be to operate normal zips with winter gloves on. Plus, they're reflective.

Of course, the current weakness of the dollar makes Castelli stuff even more expensive than in the past. And Rapha are giving them a run for their money in the object-of-lust department. Not that you'll regret it. Granted, it's not the most visible jacket out there, but the less-obnoxious color means that it'll probably see use both on and off the bike. Maybe even paired with those jeans...

bikeradar.com

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