The weather isn't always predictable. We have, against our better judgment, left the house under threatening skies without a proper rain jacket and had a lot of time to think about our decision as we waited for a ride at the gas station shivering and wet. If you fancy riding in these conditions, you can either bring a jacket and risk toting it around taking up precious space and maybe not even using it, or you can start the ride off with the Gabba 3 Jersey and be covered if the skies open up.
Pro riders demand this luxury. Even during a race with a team car in the caravan, domestiques dropping back to get clothing for the team leaders and variable weather conditions make grabbing jackets a burden. Castelli's Gabba 3 is an update to the wildly successful Gabba jersey that is often imitated but never duplicated precisely because it eliminates the need for those trips.
Castelli crafts the Gabba 3 using soft, 4-way stretch Windstopper X-Lite fabric, a lightweight, breathable membrane engineered to keep early morning chills at bay while maintaining excellent breathability and allowing your sweat to evaporate. Windstopper X-Lite has 1.4 billion pores per square-inch and has the nearly impossible tasks of keeping wind chill out, heat in, and breathing. The Gabba 3 does all three. The jersey also receives a water-repellent finish so the inevitable surprise rain showers don't leave you saturated. Nano Flex inserts along the underarms add ventilation and breathability, keeping you comfortable during the last ronde of a rain soaked, early spring circuit race.
Fit is crucial to function with this jersey and Castelli hasn't faltered here with the Gabba 3. The chest features an abbreviated fit compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers. This will likely make the Gabba 3 feel tight across the chest and appear that the length is from the next size down, but once in the saddle, the fit is perfect for the miles ahead. It's a race jersey, through-and-through.
A taller collar provides extra protection from the elements and keeps our necks warmer, generating happiness while we're generating watts. A storm-flap construction with a reflective logo on the rear protects against wheel spray, and the silicone gripper at the waist prevents the hem from riding up. Full-length YKK Vislon zipper is easy to open and close to regulate temperature and the wind flap keeps the jersey aero and eliminates the risk of the zipper selling your core out to the gusty chill. Three rear pockets allow plenty of room for storage and the pockets have laser-cut holes at the bottom for drainage.
Castelli recommends the Gabba 3 in temperatures ranging from 50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Your comfort will ultimately depend on the pace and how you choose to layer, but many of us also treat it as winter jacket. If your engine runs warm, you may find the high end of Castelli's range unbearably warm in the Gabba, but—when paired with sufficient arm warmers—you'll wear it comfortably into the low 40s.