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