04 October 2011

Wind tunnel testing? A tried-and-true review of Castelli's new Pazzo Jacket

We at BicyclingHub.com don't just take the manufacturers' word for it; staffed by a cadre of riders passionate about cycling, individuals here are committed to riding in and testing the products we sell.  Our own Kevin Langton reports back on Castelli's new Pazzo Cycling Jacket (available in 3 color choices:  red/white, white/black, and black).

Castelli Pazzo Cycling Jacket Red/White
The Pazzo jacket is the upgrade of the Leggerezza jacket that I bought last Winter. I love that jacket and strongly recommend it in this, its new form, the Pazzo. It has all the same great features, high quality fabrics and performance – with a new look and styling for the 2011 version. Having very much enjoyed our Summer here in Oregon (we have been very fortunate compared to some other areas in the country), I will be sad to see the Summer end. Of course, I shall not complain - instead I am looking forward to my Fall and Winter riding and doing so in good quality riding gear such as the Pazzo. There’s nothing better than having something that works for you and that you can get plenty of use out of – makes one feel good about one’s shopping choices. It is also nice to feel better out there on the bike, in the Winter, than you think you are going to when you look out the window on a cold, drizzly morning – good riding gear will do that for you.

Castelli Pazzo Cycling Jacket Black
It’s typical to get quite a mixed bag of weather throughout our rides here at this time of year, and this Pazzo jacket provides versatility and the ability to keep pace with whatever the weather may be doing. The new SG0.6 Windproof fabric has a little more stretch, and provides plenty of protection from windchill on the front of the jacket and on the sleeves, with a little rain resistance as well. The back of the jacket uses Castelli’s Warmer fleecy backed fabric – I like this fabric a lot – it feels great, breathes, wicks away sweat, is warm and stretchy so the garment fits really nicely and doesn’t feel bulky at all. Perfect paired with a baselayer in the morning, I feel the chill at first when I leave the house for work, but once I start pedaling it is not long before I am plenty warm, without being overdressed and sweaty.

I love the versatility that this jacket allows -the sleeves zip off and make this into a vest, which has been perfect for the warmer afternoon/evening riding right now. The sleeve removal is not something you would do on the move, but it is easy to stop and do it on those Winter endurance-paced rides, or at a re-group point on your faster rides. When it does get colder I can get a warmer jersey on underneath. Add a rain cape over the top, as and when necessary, and you are pretty much set for most eventualities. It's the perfect layering piece as well as a stand alone for when it's not quite arctic out there! This for me gives great value because a number of pieces combined will always get used throughout Fall, Winter and Spring - whereas if I had one garment that really was for just the nastiest of weather, here in Portland I would not need it for probably 11 months of the year so I'd be paying the money to leave it hanging in the closet. Layering is good - whether biking, hiking or making lasagna - we all know that, right?!
Castelli Pazzo Cycling Jacket White/Black

The new look for this year is really nice and has some continuity, design-wise, with some of Castelli’s other pieces this year. It has a retro-modern classic look and really does look even better on and in real life than in the picture. I like the new raglan sleeve diagonal zipper update on the Pazzo too. My personal favorite Pazzo jacket is the red color option.

FYI - at 6'4" and 185lbs I found the size XXL best for me.

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