Arm yourself against the cold.
It's OK to admit that cold-weather, the looming monster of fall and winter, isn't necessarily fun for cyclists. The people at Castelli readily admit this, and the Cromo Light Women's Jacket is the direct result of this dislike. The Cromo Light's combination of wind-resistance, thermal insulation, and the ability to unzip the former without compromising the microclimate of the latter are the cycling equivalent of torches and pitchforks, the perfect tools for exorcising the monstrous temperatures of cold-weather riding.
The brushed, fleecy lining of Castelli's Warmer fabric constitutes the majority of the jacket's construction, with panels of Voile Whisper situated on the front and across the shoulders for wind protection. Warmer operates along the lines of any classic cold-weather fabric, striking the ideal balance of moisture wicking and thermal insulation. The Voile Whisper panels help with the insulation part by keeping the wind at bay in order to protect your body's microclimate in temperatures ranging from 64 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The front-panel separation of the thermal and wind-resistant layers is similar to Castelli's superlative Alpha Jacket, which lets you unzip one without unzipping the other. This means that you have complete control over your microclimate, regardless of what the weather and road are doing. You can unzip the wind layer for improved breathability and ventilation as the temperature or the road climb, or you can unzip both layers to quickly dump excess body heat.
The sleeves are forward-oriented and the chest features an abbreviated fit compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers. This makes the Cromo Light feel a little tight across the chest while you're standing, but your body fills it out perfectly while stretched out on the bike. It sits close to your chest and stomach instead of hanging down, and the Warmer and Voile fabrics provide enough stretch across the back, shoulders, and arms to maintain a race-worthy fit without constricting movement or sacrificing coverage.
Fit, fabric, and function aside, this jacket includes one additional element that other manufacturers can't offer: Castelli's distinguished aesthetics. For generations, the Italian manufacturer has defined the styles of cycling clothing. The lines of the Cromo Light recall those of a sleek A-line jacket circa 1955 — that is, if an A-line jacket were built without unnecessary frill to meet the demands of the ambitious athlete, discarding pageantry for practicality. It's brought in at the waist and subtly flairs across the hips to accommodate a woman's body. The bi-chromatic design is interrupted with two tasteful scorpion logos, at the left shoulder and rear pockets, and a stylized script stretching between shoulder blades.
The Cromo Light features two zippered pockets in the front, three rear pockets, and one zippered pocket in the rear that's sized especially for keys. Anyone who loses sleep over the thought of unknowingly jettisoning their house key at mile 25 while wearing winter gloves and fumbling in a jersey pocket for a granola bar will appreciate this last, thoughtful inclusion. The rear zipper also incorporates reflective tape to help keep you visible in low-light conditions.
- A versatile jacket for chilly fall and winter rides
- Streamlined cut leaves room for layers
- Wind- and water-resistant front with breathable thermal back
- Double-layer front panels precisely control your microclimate
- High collar provides additional protection from the wind
- Ample pocket space to securely stow essentials
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Castelli Sizing Chart
- How to Measure:
- For best results, take measurements over your underwear.
- Measure under your arms, around the fullest part of your chest.
- Natural Waist:
- 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
fit as chart outlined
- Size Bought: med
Great fabric, odd inner zipper
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Large
The jacket is cut very nicely, and the grey/silver fabric is great for visibility. The jacket tries to separate the outer windproof layer from the inner fleece layer by giving the fleece layer its own zipper. This basically amounts to a mini shirt of fleece with its own zipper as it is very short, and when zipped changes the fit of the jacket. They missed the mark on this jacket. If it had been <40$ I could have put up with or cut out the fleece, otherwise it is cumbersome.
Good for the climate
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I live near Seattle. Within a few minutes: rain, sunshine, hail, wind, sunshine, rain....
oops, forgot misty foggy. Looking nice is a plus but being comfortable and having 'flexible' items is essential. This jacket works.
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
It just didn't look like the pic to me. I was hoping it really was a cool silvery maybe even shiny fabric, something funky, but it was like this just horrible pale gray polyester, nothing cool looking at all as the picture might suggest. And the fit was just awful. The removable layer looked like a joke, the jacket was bumpy, chunky and wrinkly, just one those things you put on and right away want to take it off like YUCK. But I haven't had much success with Castelli period so this is just how it was for me. I'm 5'4 107 lb and tried the XS.