The Castelli Cycling Trasparente 3 women's winter jersey is a premium piece at a premium price but it’s worth it. The fit, performance and style are all top drawer from a jersey with the credentials of a jacket.
The jersey is constructed with a Gore Windstopper X-Lite fabric on the front panel, over the shoulder and down the sleeves and a soft, non-windproof material with inner fleece on the rear and under the arms. The choice of the Gore, neoprene feel style, fabric gives the jersey some jacket-like qualities, keeping out draughts superbly whilst retaining the slim lines and close fit of a jersey.
Whilst the front does a great job of keeping the wind off, the rear is super breathable and even more stretchy meaning the jersey is fitted and conforms to the body well when in a stretched riding position. In addition the front zipper is covered by a full length storm flap to further keep out the breeze and there is a DWR coating on the windproof parts to protect against showers and road spray.
With regards to other features, there are 3 external rear pockets, a lovely tall, soft collar with internal zipper protection, reflective strips and some of the best finishing hem and cuffs I’ve seen on any jersey. I would like to see a zippered pocket on the rear for a key or other valuables but is a small moan in the grand scheme of things. The lower hem is made from a strip of smooth fabric which seals the gap between shorts and jersey, lying flat and securely on the hips, think no-VPL underwear and you get the idea! The same material is found at the cuffs where it is shaped over the back of the hand, again making a good seal against the breeze.
The fit is slimming, in true Castelli style the size measurements are smaller for each given size than you might expect. I’m a size 8-10 in regular clothes and wore the women’s medium for a 35” chest and 28” waist. The jersey I tested was a little roomier than I might expect but the size small would have been too tight for my liking.
I loved the style and the colourway on this burgundy number, its subtle and chic, perfect or road rides and winter gravel hacks, it's a marked improvement over the more 'garish euro styling', check this previous review on road.cc. When cycling the jersey stays in place perfectly, the wide lower hem prevents andy folding or the migration of fabric upwards and you rarely have to tug it back into place when stopped as I find with other cheaper jersey’s. Designed for optimum temperatures of 9-18°C, Castelli have hit the nail on the head with this piece. Work with a base layer it’s great both under a simple waterproof in the very cold or wet and worn with a short sleeve jersey in the shoulder seasons.
The only sticking point is the £150 price tag, it is steep but given the range of weather the jersey is suitable for I think you’ll find yourself pulling on the Trasparente more times than you might anticipate. There are other options out there, our testers at road.cc recommend you also take a look at the dhb Aeron Full Protection Softshell, at just £100 and the Lusso Ladies Aqua Repel v2 at £135, both with water-repellent and windproof fabrics. The last word is this though, this is a quality jersey with a snug, unrestrictive fit and premium performance.
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