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In need of a reliable and robust waterproof jacket that could be packed down and carried in the back pocket of my jersey, I purchased Castelli’s Tempesta Lite Jacket.

Initial thoughts

This is a premium product and comes with a premium price, £350 to be exact and I’ll admit, it’s a lot of money for a jacket.  However, it could be considered to be a rather stylish and practical investment (albeit a rather costly one).  The light grey colour is elegant and bright enough for you to be seen when cycling especially given it has reflective seams and being constructed of GORE-TEX, the jacket will keep you dry in the rain but also keep you warm on the long ascents off the top of a climb.   

Key features

  • Made from GORE-TEX® fabric which is fully waterproof and breathable.
  • Expandable, the lower back constructed from GORE-TEX® Topo stretch fabric, allowing the jacket to expand.
  • Reflective tape on back of both sleeves for high visibility in low-light conditions.
  • YKK® Vislon® waterproof zipper slides easily for ventilation adjustments.
  • Internal wrist gaiter seals wrist.
  • Temperature: 4°C – 18°C / 39°F – 64°F

Fit and feel

Due to the design, it does feel a little larger than my other jackets (but it is light at 166 grams).  On one hand the bigger size allows for extra layers, but on the other it could be considered a little generous on the spacing and thus making it a little baggy when riding, but these are fine margins and purely subjective. 

One feature I particularly like is the cuffs.  There are internal cuffs that are elastic and grip around your wrists and the sleeve then covers your gloves, meaning there is no gap between your wrist and glove.

With tapered seams in the inside and the collar, which can be raised and also folded down as required, you are certainly well covered from the elements.

The jacket has good functionality.  The back is designed so that you can get access to your jersey pockets, effectively there is a gap you can reach through to access your pockets and the lower part of the back is panel is designed from stretchy GORE-TEX Topo material.

Overall, it is comfortable and lightweight with the only consideration I would have given is perhaps offsetting the zipper to one side of the chin as I did find that a little uncomfortable.

Did it work?

When caught in the rain, the jacket performed as expected, the water beaded and ran off and the heavy-duty zipper made it easy to zip up when you have gloves on.  The florescent seam down the arms means you are easily visible, and I never felt that I was ever overheating, this was in part because it was easy to unzip the jacket when I was getting warm.  When the jacket is fully zipped, I didn’t feel the wind. 

One observation was that given this is Castelli’s “lightest and most packable fully waterproof Castelli GORE-TEX® jacket” it didn’t pack down as much as I thought it was and when cycling, it did feel quite bulky when folded in my back pocket.  

Concluding thoughts

I think it is high quality garment, that clearly is well designed and functions as intended.  There are only two drawbacks as I see it.  The first is the size when packed down isn’t as small as I had hoped and this is in part down to the lower back section made from GORE-TEX Topo.  This material has been used to ensure the functionality of being able to access your jersey pockets, but it comes at a cost.  Talking of cost, the second drawback is the price – at £350, it’s certainly not a cheap garment making this something of a luxury purchase as there are less expensive alternatives available.