Castelli Poggio Jacket – Long term test
I’ve been using my Castelli Poggio jacket since winter 2014, time for a long term test review.
The jacket is very comfortable and really is not a winter jacket, more a spring/autumn jacket. However it can be used as a mid layer for winter, a jacket in spring, a stow away wind jacket in the summer, back to a jacket in Autumn. A great investment if you live in a four season climate.
This is a classic Castelli, Italian design, shows performance in a discrete look. You look fast, but not pretentiously. There is an element of retro with the Castelli logo on the chest level in the 2 tone colours of the chest to the torso. Looks good on or off the bike. Just what I wanted. As I am no pro-peloton rider.
If you are like me and like to wear T shirts sometimes rather than a jersey underneath, then may have to fold up your T Shirt as the front of the Poggio is short, stops on waist and T shirts typically are bum height, don’t want to show a T shirt tongue sticking out.
The Poggio looks good with either bibs or cycling shorts, or even normal trousers. Although I would go with skinny trousers than say normal straight leg trousers or jeans. I often wear this jacket with my Vulpine summer trousers, looks good on or off the bike.
This jacket comes in a number of colours, white/black, black/flouro, yellow/black, blue/black or black/red. So a good choice depending on your taste.
I am medium build, so I have a large sized jacket, mostly to hide my middle aged belly as many blokes our age gets. It is slim fitting, and I was glad to wear this as it made me look slimmer than I actually was. So the look is slick. The foldable high lapel is a god send at times when the air is cold or particularly windy when out on a ride, I find it covers my neck very well almost to my ears. But when it warms up you can fold down these lapels to allow air to flow around your neck.
The front is waist level and back is longer about half way down my bottom. This means the 3 rear pockets are a good standard size, holds my gear well, even my phone. Although there are no waterproof zipped pocket for the phone. But then my phone is a waterproof Sony Xperia, so not a worry for me. There are other soft-shell jackets out on the market that would feature such a pocket, but then usually are at a higher price bracket compared to this Castelli.
The arms fit well, hugs my skin firmly. Even with my thick winter baselayer I felt warm and snug. The wrist cuff is slightly flared out as the arm is long like most cycle wear and so it hugs your wrist well.
The Windstopper X-lite stretch never feels tight, it just feels snug. The panel cuts reinforces that feeling all over your upper body. Motivates me to reduce my waist line too, to make sure I am heading towards that six pack one day!
The full zip is very useful and the zipper garage at the top ensures the zipper doesn’t touch your neck keeping it comfortable.
The Windstopper® material is brilliant, really holds off the wind in some of the cold winter days/nights. But it does not hold off the cold. So I decided to wear a good baselayer underneath, something like the merino baselayer from Helly Hanson, Supernatural, etc. Sometimes I add a jersey or T shirt to add an extra layer in. Assuming the rain won’t come, then it was enough to go out in the winter outdoors, from -2°C to 10°C. If the wind chill was much worst then I would wear my rain jacket too to add as an extra wind-proof and insulation layer. But throughout last winter (2014-2015) the Poggio performed very well, not once did I feel cold, when using it as a mid layer. When I braved it out with the Poggio performing on top, I was fine as long as the winter day was not in the minus Celsius.
The Castelli Poggio jacket is really an all weather jacket when used sensibly. Meaning that if it is hot, you take it off and stow it (small and light enough to pack away into a back pack or pannier or even jersey pocket, at a push!). If cold then wear it as a mid layer with good quality baselayers or jersey. The jacket provides a snug fit, so maybe go a size up so you can use it for all season. Otherwise if used as intended for Spring/Autumn, then get it to your build and wear a jersey or baselayer only underneath. Together with a cape it can take you through some rough weather. Together with a hard shell jacket it can take you through the very worst. Looking good whilst roughing it or the road or trail, then looking good at the pub or cafe with friends. Incredible build quality at a reasonable price. There are better wind proof jackets, there are lighter jackets, there are better insulating jackets, but this is a very good compromise for all seasons of riding.