Equipped for winter.

During the halcyon days of fall riding, it's easy to forget the winter weather that's to come. We naively pedal under crisp blue skies and through tunnels of orange, yellow, and red, but winter always arrives, thwarting our autumnal bliss with heavy grey clouds and temperatures that dip far too low for thermal jerseys alone. Around the Competitive office, this is the cue for some of us to take out the trainer and resign ourselves to a few months in the basement, but if you're looking to gain a competitive edge for your spring season, you'll want to be braver than we are and stay outside, and the Castelli Men's Espresso 4 Jacket will help you do it.

Cut in a silhouette that's kind for a season of rich holiday meals and hearty food, the Espresso 4 was crafted for miles that won't always feel pleasant. Castelli focused on equipping you to handle frigid temps and mixed precipitation, constructing the Espresso 4 with Gore's venerable Windstopper X-Fast fabric to provide wind and water resistance for hours at a time. Four-way stretch panels integrated throughout the body of the jacket keep it moving with you as you shift positions in the saddle, and zippered ventilation openings allow you to add airflow on interval days.

As we expect from Castelli, a host of other innovative touches on the Espresso 4 serve to enhance comfort on the bike, especially during a season filled with long, low-intensity base mile efforts. Castelli's CrossWrap wrist closures keep the arm cuffs lying flat under gloves, while a double-layered collar seals out especially aggressive gusts. The zippered vents not only help you stay cool, but serve as extra space to stash ride fuel or cash for the coffee shop, and they work with the three rear and zippered chest pocket to provide you with ample storage space. Finally, reflective piping along the jacket's waist enhances your visibility to motorists during winter's limited daylight hours.

  • Build endurance through the winter in this cycling jacket
  • Fit is more relaxed than Castelli race kit for comfort
  • Softshell construction blocks wind and rain for warmth
  • Breathable fabric and vents prevent clamminess
  • Wealth of pockets allow for ample storage
  • Recommended for temperatures approaching freezing
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Excellent jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size

Great jacket! Used it few times when it was around 36-45F and dry with a thin long sleeve undershirt and it was perfect. Now finally cooler weather in Colorado Springs, some sleet/rain and 34F and slightly thicker Giro's Chrono long sleeve undershirt and it was a perfect match to the weather. Jacket is water/sleet repellent, picture taken after 45mins of rain/sleet. I am 5'9" and 130lbs and have size Small, it fits me perfect and I can still put an additional thin long sleeve jersey when it gets even colder. All my other Castelli clothing is Small as well.

Jacket has great details, neck fit is perfect (I can wear a Buff) , sleeves are long enough.

Excellent jacket

Go to jacket

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: large

I have two of these in a red and a blue. I love the brightness of the red and it is very warm. I will ride down to 15*F and with a craft base layer on underneath, I will be more than warm enough at 15*, and i get cold easy.
I am 5'7" and 143 pounds and the large fits me perfect with a base underneath. I would size up one with Castelli as all my jackets with them i have in a large. I have been in light rain and the fabric does a decent job of repelling water. I am going to try the new Alpha ROS jacket for wet days to see how they compare. I think the jacket would be too warm above 35* F and seems to be the answer for anything 15* to 35 *

Hey Steve! Thanks for the rad review, we're always pumped to hear when our riders are stoked on their gear!

Benchmark jacket for deep Winter

  • Fit: Runs small

Castelli is based in the foothills of the Italian Alps (Dolomites). They know Winter cycling and jackets are their specialty.

Application: The Espresso 4 is designed to protect riders in cold *dry* weather. It is officially rated by Castelli to protect from 54° down to 32° F. But temp sensitivity is individual -and affected very much by your ride intensity and your baselayer system.

PROS:
1. Gore's amazing Windstopper textile is the best in the business. It is soft, warm, insulating, windproof, and water-resistant yet... breathable (so no "sweat in a bag" effect). All in all, it is brilliant.
2. Innovative: two front zippered vents can be opened partially or fully to provide temp range versatility; and vent sweat during especially high-output riding like climbing.
3. Special construction at the arm/shoulder joint allows this thick jacket to provide proper fit in the 'on the bike' position.
4. The Espresso 4 is a really good looking jacket (even better than previous version).

This Rosso Corsa jacket is Castelli at the top of their game.

Sizing: With Castelli, size up +1 from your normal street size. Always. Castelli (Italian) sizing -does- run smaller than US sizing.

I am a size XL in the perfetto long sleeve jersey. That size fits really well. What size should I get for the espresso 4 jacket? I am 6'2 180 lbs

At your height, I'd day the XXL. It will still be snug, and leave a room for base layer underneath if necessary.

At your height, I'd say the XXL. It will still be snug, and leave a room for base layer underneath if necessary.

Weird neck fit

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: Large

The large was a perfect race fit in the body and arms but as a couple of other people have commented, the neck fit was weird - way too big around the neck which I felt would have let the wind in so I returned it.

Excellence

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is my first experience with Castelli products, but banked on their reputation when purchasing this jacket. My first road outing was sub freezing temps and I was reluctant to venture out for a 40 mile ride and freeze; loading up on base layers and windbreaker jacket. I over dressed. the next outing was a 24 degree fat bike ride; much slower and woods to block any kind of wind. I wore a basic thermal base, jersey, and the Expresso and felt totally comfortable. I did feel a little damp at the an extended break, but warmed back up. Third ride was back to the road; temps starting at 32 increasing to mid-40s by rides end. Base layer, jersey and jacket again (no breaker), and I was amazingly comfortable. The jersey could have been lost, and the Expresso truly blocks the wind. Monster confidence boost once I let the jacket do what it was engineered to do; keep me warm.

Comfortable, snug, cool looking, and monster wind blocker. A must buy for winter rides

Why are you charging tax? I am in WA

Dont have an answer for you, but they also charge tax for FL. No other cycling website does. I asked them but never could get a true reason. I could understand if they had a presence in FL. but they do not.

Great jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: small

This is simply an excellent piece of kit. I've worn an underarmour 3.0 beneath this and have ridden into the the low 20's with this jacket. The fit is great and allows more layering than an Alpha jersey. If you want to ride into the frosty, consider this jacket. It rocks.

Great Jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Small

I am very happy with this jacket. When worn with a long sleeve base layer it keeps me comfortable when it is below freezing. It has nice fleece lining on the inside of the jacket. I like that it fits close to the body so there is not a bunch of fabric flapping in the wind. I found that it fits true to size. Definitely a great product.

The best...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The best I’ve ever worn or have been able to afford (thanks to the backcountry.com sale on this item) anyway.
This jacket blocks all piercing wind and cold. I have high end, high-tech down coats that are not as warm as this jacket. It fits TIGHT... I normally wear a large and after consulting the size chart, ordered a XXXL it is still tight but snuggly and warmly as designed. Get it... you won’t regret it!

Superb

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: Xxl

This jacket is great!! It is all I need over a b2 bontrager hooded baselayer!! Keeps wind off me and warm (but not overly warm) on a 36 degree ride in Hershey Pa winter. Plus I got it on sale at a rock bottom price in an xl that wasn’t the right fit and my sales dude (Eric Worley = customer satisfaction oriented) exchanged it for xxl no questions asked and gave me the sale price due to the sale being over. Castelli gear runs small but friggin incredible and can’t say enough about customer service dude Eric Worley. He is so knowledgeable and helpful that I am a competitive cyclist shopper for life!!!

Question: how are the pockets holding up for you? I got rid of an Espresso 3 because the pockets were tearing at the stitching. Joe

Ditto on the jacket.Warm but breaths and looks good on.It does run
a bit small so if you're a large go one size higher.As always
Competitive has simply the best service.Watchout Amazon.

@joe. Pockets seem ok. I don’t use them and have limited use of this jacket. I have other models and layers I use as the weather dictates. But this baby is my cold ride go to

Outstanding Jacket

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Medium

Living in MN, I wanted something to get me deeper in the cold. I've had the Gabba LS (now called Perfetto) for a couple years, but getting enough layers on underneath gets uncomfortable due to the Gabba's aero fit. The Espresso is heavier with its own insulation and less tight fit making layering much more comfortable.
Thus far I've taken it out in 25°F with a couple baselayers and had no complaints about the cold. I'm not a big guy and some of my mates say I'm "made of air". I'm always the first one to bring out the long sleeves and the last trade for short sleeves.
The outer fabric does exactly what is says. Block wind and repels light water (think sprinkles, light snow, road spray). Caught in the rain, this is not quite the right tool.
Fit is great, warmth is great, feels great.

Could not get the right fit

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small
  • Size Bought: XL & Lg

I am sure this is a great jacket for most. I love Castelli tops. With this jacket specifically I really wanted to like it but I could just not get the correct fit between the XL and LG. Most Castelli tops I am an XL however on this jacket the fit was almost perfect with the XL except the neck opening was enormously wide. I mean huge, it looked so odd and disproportionate to the rest of the jacket. It would easily have let cold air in if not being worn with a neck gaiter. I figured since there was just a tiny amount of extra room in the body(always a good idea to have some room for layers under) that I would try the Lg. No go there because although more of a true race fit(fine for me but not ideal for a winter jacket) the cut under the armpits for me was too high and was uncomfortable....Yes even in the "on bike" position it just did not work, even with the stretch inserts around the arm/shoulder holes that give this jacket some good stretch.

Again, I am sure this is a great jacket and the design seems brilliant like most of Castelli cold weather tops, however the huge neck opening on the XL made it so that the jacket simply did not work for me. I guess I will stick with my last year model XL Castelli Senza jacket for now which has a much more fitted/comfortable collar area but less features(No vent zips w storage, No stretch inserts around the arm shoulders etc).

Do you think this jacket has multi use capabilities? IE: Skiing as well? Maybe as the mid layer between the base and outer shell?

This is not a good jacket for multi use. Cycling only. This is a cycling specific cut and part of their Rosso Corsa line which means it is even a bit more form fitting than some of their non Rosso Corsa products. The cycling specific fit means this is a bit uncomfortable while standing(tight across chest) but disappears while bent over in riding position. This is normal for a lot of cycling tops but is why it prevents it from being multi functional in other sports.

Impeccable Quality, Perfect Fit

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: XL

I'm currently wearing my new Castelli Espresso 4 jacket while I type this review, it is super comfortable. Right out of the package, it impresses. Castelli quality is the best there is, in my opinion. Regarding size, I am 6' and 180 lbs or so, and the XL is like it was custom made for me. Arm length is ample, and then a bit more, so when arms extended there is no shortage at all at the wrists. The "flat wrist" feature is simple but ingenious, soft material fitting snugly at the wrists for a comfortable closure. Overall, the jacket feels comfortably snug all over, the fabric is super stretchy and the articulated shoulders allow for even more movement when bent over the bars.
The first thing you notice when you pick this jacket up is the thickness of the fleece. This will be warm. I believe it when they claim that it will perform down to 35 degrees. The scooped pocket/vents and napoleon pocket/vent should be effective at cooling down your core if you start to overheat. I have worn a Gore Element Thermo Jersey the last four winters, and it pales in comparison to the Espresso. It is some serious winter kit.
I tried the Espresso on over a Castelli Flanders baselayer and a HH Cold Ice mid layer, and the jacket still felt good, but a just a bit stuffy, that is the limit of what you can get on under it. It feels best with a single baselayer, still snug, but you don't feel packed into it. It's good to know that I can get two layers on underneath comfortably if I have to. Gets cold on the lake in Chicago!
I originally ordered the Castelli Elemento Air(7x) or whatever it's called, and I was immediately dissatisfied with it when I put it on. Although both jackets are XLs, the Elemento is "race cut", and really unforgiving regarding comfort/fit in my opinion. I could barely squeeze into it. I would have to order an XXL in the Elemento. Also, when you hold the Elemento up you can see light through all the perforations in the material. It made me think it would be less warm than the Espresso, but I did not try either on in weather so I can't really speak for that.
I will edit my review after wearing the Espresso 4 on the lakefront path in the coming weeks, temps in the high 30s low 40s. I'm confident this jacket will perform.

UPDATE: I wore the jacket today on the Chicago Lakefront Bike Path. The temperature was 43 degrees, real feel of 39 (allegedly), but a cold, constant 10 mph wind kept things feeling even cooler than 39.

I wore the Castelli Espresso over a Castelli Flanders base layer, and nothing else thinking I would try out a minimalist approach first, but after 15 minutes I added a Gore Element Windstopper vest over everything, and although I can't say I felt warm, I didn't feel cold, which is unusual for me. I did not feel clammy at all either. After 30 more minutes I stopped for a short break, and was impressed that my base layer was just a bit damp, (it is usually soaked through), my Castelli Espresso 4 was bone dry. I changed out the Flanders and put on a Craft baselayer, and a HH winter midlayer, the Espresso, then the Gore Element Vest.

With this combination I felt really comfortable, and I could have easily ridden a solid hour with no discomfort. When I got back home, I found, again, that my all my layers were dry, with just a slight dampness on the baselayer, and the Espresso was still dry enough to hang right up in the closet.

This is easily the warmest, most breathable cycling item I own. The whole time I was riding, I didn't even know it was there. Really outstanding.

Believe or not, it's hard to find a cycling jacket that fits this niche. This Espresso jacket looks great but, the Castelli items I've owned in the past are poor quality -- the decals are cheap and rub off, zippers break easily, and seams tear easily. Has Castelli improved their quality or is this jacket just another expensive item that looks great on the mannequin but ends up in the back of the closet?

This item is made of high quality materials. Wonderfully tailored. Seems durable. Works well. quality isn't impeccable -- I found some off stitching on the inside of mine. This is going in the FRONT of my closet! It's a stretch to say it would be worth MSRP, but at a discount, I think it makes the grade.

I have several Castelli items and to be honest with you, I have faced the same problems especially with really awful stitching and things coming undone after a couple of uses. The logo is printed and it does rub off, depending on the use but then, people might question paying $$$ for bike gear made in different factories in the Far East. To avoid this you must purchase things either made by Santini or Giordana that seem to still make their wear in Italian factories but then you must pay a premium and to be honest with you, of the one jersey and one very expensive Giordana Fall/Winter jacket I have, they also presented their problems with faulty stitching as well as the questionable durability of their fabrics.



So why do I still purchase Castelli stuff after all the things I faced? I do it because of the looks and also due to the price point of the products when they are offered here on sale. There is no other way I could logically and reasonably justify purchasing this stuff at the MSRP.

I wouldn't categorize their products as such my experience as they are top of the line

Great and worth the money

  • Size Bought: xl

I spent awhile searching for a high quality cold-weither jacket and this is it. It is fairly form-fitting but not quite aero. It is warmer than advertised for me (works down to mI'd 20s with an underlayer) I was hesitant to spend so much at first but it is my favorite winter jacket by far and well worth the money.

Worth it--even if it's not on sale

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
  • Size Bought: Large

I rarely write reviews unless the product is at one end of the spectrum or other. I just returned from my first ride with this jacket, and about 30 minutes in, I knew I had to give it a review-this jacket exceeds my expectations!
Conditions today were 39F ambient, Weather Channel posted the index at 31-34F during my ride time. I wore a SS Craft active extreme base layer. Completely comfortable-this was probably right in the sweet spot for what the piece was made for--I can easily see this working well into the low 30's ambient temp with a long sleeve base layer.

Two features that add to the quality:
1. The vents on most jackets are merely just zippered openings. On the Espresso 4, they will actually fit a snack/money etc. as described. The bonus part is that when open, the pocket part is directed backwards, thus making for extremely effective venting by "scooping" air into the jacket---Nice!
2. The three rear pockets on this piece are slightly deeper than on most other Castelli jerseys/jackets, a touch more room and security for your stuff.

I got this on sale, and therefore feel I got a fantastic value. Even if I had paid full price I'd be happy.

What size did you buy?