Castelli Elemento 7x(Air) Jacket $399.95
Fending off winter's worst.
In the realm of cycling, there isn't another season where deliberate apparel choices are more important than in the winter months. Balancing the seemingly contrasting demands of warmth and breathability is especially challenging when the temperatures dip below freezing, but the Castelli Elemento 7x(Air) jacket accomplishes this task admirably. By blending air permeable 7x(Air) fabric with panels of the windproof WindShear material, Castelli has achieved an optimum balance of protection and ventilation. And with the stretch fabric panels, the Elemento achieves a degree of comfort that's rarely seen in jackets with such a slim fit. Your winter training rides just got considerably more comfortable.
Arguably, the most intriguing storyline with the Elemento jacket is its blend of fabrics. After all, without thoughtful venting and remarkable stretch, achieving this degree of comfort with the race fit simply wouldn't be possible. The 7x(Air) portion of the name belies the 7x(Air) fabric, which of course, is a Castelli exclusive. It's so named because it's seven times more air permeable than the WindStopper fabric that's found in Castelli's other cold-weather jackets, yet just as warm. Accordingly, it's employed in about 50% of the jacket, in areas that require the greatest degree of heat evacuation, like the underarms. The rest of the jacket, specifically the chest and back panels, are built from Castelli's WindShear material. Both materials are built to stretch, enabling a slim, flap-free fit.
As previously mentioned, the Elemento's slim fit is noteworthy, not only for its aerodynamic properties, but for its insulation and comfort as well. Obviously, minimizing any unneeded material in the pursuit of a quiet ride pays dividends when turning every last watt of your energy into forward momentum. But, by reducing bulk, the amount of dead space in between your core and the jacket is minimized, which allows your body to efficiently retain heat. And since the cut is backed by one of the most impressive pedigrees in cycling, you can forget about any bunching, binding, and really anything other than pure comfort in the saddle.
The fit and materials alone more than justify the Elemento's status as a recent favorite, but the details only help in this regard. There are three pockets at the small of the back, and the fit ensures that the contents of your pockets stay put. There's a small zippered pocket out back for your keys and wallet, as well as a zippered chest pocket. The Thermoflex collar fits flush against your neck, and it's fleece lined for added warmth. Additionally, it folds out for greater protection against harsh winter winds. The cuffs on the sleeves are elastic, and they have zippers which both enable an easy fit over gloves, and allow for extra airflow if you start to overheat. And as you'd expect, there's reflective details throughout to help improve your visibility to motorists in low-light conditions. In other words, it's everything that you've ever wanted in a cold weather riding jacket, period.
The Castelli Elemento 7x(Air) Jacket is available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the colors Black, Green Fluo/black, and Stone/white.
|Chest||35.5 - 37in
(90.2 - 94.0cm)
|37 - 38.5in
(94.0 - 97.8cm)
|39 - 41in
(99.1 - 104.1cm)
|41 - 43in
(104.1 - 109.2cm)
|43 - 45in
(109.2 - 114.3cm)
|45 - 47in
(114.3 - 119.4cm)
|Waist||29.5 - 31.5in
(74.9 - 80.0cm)
|31 - 33in
(78.7 - 83.8cm)
|33 - 35.5in
(83.8 - 90.2cm)
|35.5 - 37.5in
(90.2 - 95.3cm)
|38.5 - 40.5in
(97.8 - 102.9cm)
|41 - 43in
(104.1 - 109.2cm)
|Hips||36.5 - 38.5in
(92.7 - 97.8cm)
|38 - 40in
(96.5 - 101.6cm)
|40 - 42in
(101.6 - 106.7cm)
|42 - 44in
(106.7 - 111.8cm)
|44 - 46in
(111.8 - 116.8cm)
|46 - 48in
(116.8 - 121.9cm)
- How to Measure:
- For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
- Measure under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest.
- Measure around your natural waistline, keeping the tape a bit loose.
- Measure around the fullest part of your body at the top of your legs.
- Using pants that fit well, measure the crotch seam to the bottom of the leg.
Reviews & Community
Does not fit like Castelli Espresso DUE
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Just received the jacket today.
1. Color - I was expecting bright, as in my "Highlight Yellow" Giro Pneumo or my "Fluorescent Yellow" Sidi Drako. But this one is TRULY, REALLY loud. But I don't mind, after all, it is a winter jacket and my expected use for it is when the weather is cold, clammy, dreary, days not as bright, typical winter stuff . . . so bright is good.
2. Design - will never get a chance to know if all the hype about 7x Air Windshear panel execution really works, but it looks great, well thought out, and well constructed garment. The 3 open rear, 1 zippered rear, and 1 zippered front pockets are great. All winter jackets should have this many pockets.
3. Fit - however, this is where this jacket fails. My vantage point of comparison are 2 (1-red, 1-white) Espresso Due that I had purchased late last year and early this year from Backcountry. I am 5' 4" 140lbs 37" chest. My MD Espresso Due's fit like they were tailor-made for me. Absolutely perfect fit in all aspects (shoulders, chest, armpits, sleeves, waist, front/rear length). But this Elemento in MD is way too tight. I did some basic measurements to compare with my Espresso. Armpit-to-armpit is 18" (Elemento) and 20.5"(Espresso). Sleeve length is 2" shorter on Elemento. Shoulder width is identical. Front/rear length is identical. I thought about exchanging for a LG size to rectify the chest size and sleeve length issue, however considering it is identical in length with the Espresso, I am afraid a LG would make the front/rear length too long. I have no choice but to return it.
Too bad - I would have enjoyed blinding my riding buddies with this jacket had it fit like the Espresso Due.
How does this jacket compare to the Espresso...
How does this jacket compare to the Espresso Due? Warmer, drier, better? Similar?
Protection from the cold.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Most softshell jackets do a great job of keeping the core warm, but breathability usually suffers. Castelli nailed it with Elemento; it keeps my core warm in cold, dry conditions, and it also breathes better than any other softshell I've tried. This continues to be my go-to for late fall and winter riding.
Pretty impressive performance
This Jacket is significantly drier than anything else I have worn. I ride extensively though out the entire winter in southern Ontario usually at a petty hard intensity.
Usually I commute and train 5 or more days a week. I have worn it on at least seven rides over 2 � hours long at below freezing temps. On one ride it was 14 F (-10 C) I needed to add a vest. You feel dryer which means you feel warmer. Even after a 2 hour hard effort when I use to be wet and starting to get cold, I still feel comfortable. I have worn the Assos fuguJack Jacket for last 3 winters; I tend to get too much moisture built up when training hard compared to my Castelli Elemento jacket.
I thought this would be good alternate Jacket for above freezing temps but, I found with had efforts I find it works down to around 25 F (-4 C). Great comfortable fit very stretchy.
Lots of breathability, and warmth, for hard efforts, feels much drier than anything else.