Into the storm.
The annual dance of minimizing gaps between your winter cycling cap and cozy buff usually ends in either uncomfortable overlaps at the back of your helmet or chilly, drizzly gusts of wind pummeling exposed skin once you're out on the road. Solve that problem and stay comfortably warm and dry with Castelli's Tempesta Hood, a modern balaclava that blends cycling cap style with full-coverage warmth to keep you riding all winter long.
Castelli constructs the Tempesta hood with an eVent membrane across the hat portion and down the back of the neck. This fabric is completely waterproof and doesn't release much heat, so it functions best on days when it's chilly and wet. Across the ears and front, Castelli uses its stretchy, water-resistant Nano Flex fabric that boasts the breathability to avoid clammy, frozen fabric. Fully sealed seaming throughout makes this hood completely waterproof, and its sleek design fits neatly under your helmet.
- A balaclava built to withstand inclement weather
- Windproof and waterproof membrane blocks the elements
- Fully taped seams for a waterproof construction
- Brushed lining traps heat
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I'll add a wooly undercap for the coldest rides, but this cap is legit. I like how versatile the mouth area is, you don't have to have it over your face if you don't want that. The visor will help with a visor free helmet. The whole thing seems very waterproof, so useful for keeping heat in and water out.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I bike commute to work, close to every day... rain, shine or snow. Central Ohio weather provides big temperature swings from morning to afternoon. This hood has made life so much better. I used to use an Outdoor Research hood in cold weather, but under a helmet, the bulk was less comfortable. This is just as warm but is much thinner and more comfortable. The great thing about it is you can wear it from 20F to 55F and be comfortable. The fabric is waterproof, so I use it in the rain, but it also breathes, so you don't overheat. My only complaint is that the visor is a too big. I have purchased a few of these and cut the visor off of all but one. You can cut it off right beyond the seam and it gives you a finished look without fraying. Of all the riding gear I have purchased (and it is a lot), this is one of the best products I have. The Tempesta jacket is fantastic as well.
Could Be Great
- Fit: Runs small
I had to return this item. Although it could be great, the neck on this hood just isn't long enough. It barely covered my chin.
A good bad weather 'hood'
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
(picture... how not to wear this.)
If you look at CompetitiveCyclist's picture, you can see that this covers the head and neck up to the chin. The neck covering is not stretchy and will not cover your nose properly. Thus, this is a hood and *NOT* a balaklava. I cannot complain, as the picture is quite clear, but consider this a caveat. I have attached a picture showing me using the hood improperly, with the face pulled up to cover the nose (which causes the brim to want to stick up and opens gaps that expose your ears.) If you wear the hood with only the chin covered (as suggested by the product image) these problems do not occur.
I've used this extensively in light drizzle and temperatures into the 40s. I like it a lot, and it works well with a wool collar into the high 20s.
** recommended, with caveats **
Essential for riding in the rain
Ok. This unique (and expensive) piece of cycling kit takes some explanation...
In sum, if you have to ride in the rain (commuter), or otherwise race/train in the rain... this is a fantastic item.
Castelli officially rates this hood for use between 60°-30°F.
Yes, cycling helmet covers keep your helmet and the top of your head dry, but what about your ears?
And what about the rain that runs off the helmet cover and down into your jacket collar from the front, sides, and back? Especially if you are caught out in a good rain.
The Tempesta rain hood from Castelli is the first piece of cycling kit ever invented (to my knowledge) that solves this problem.
How? The bottom of this waterproof hood is designed to fit OVER and all the way around your jacket collar to direct the rain out and over your jacket. This is brilliant. Extremely effective.
1. eVent waterproof textile is one of the very few textiles that actually is water-proof and that breathes well. US company, btw.
2. The eVent material is surprisingly strong yet thin and fits easily under your helmet.
3. The soft, black, water-resistant material used around the neck and ears (nano flex) provides you with: under your chin, over your chin, or over your mouth options. Your choice, depending upon how cold it is.
Cons: Expensive, yes. But if you're caught out in the rain during a long ride, what price do you put on protection like this?
Fit: My head is 59 cm (23") wide: a size medium helmet (sometimes large) in Giro. This fit perfect! Even slightly roomy around my melon.
If you ride in cold rainy conditions, this hood will uniquely protect your head, face, neck, and ears from cold, miserable rain. No one else makes anything quite like it.