Castelli Alpha Ros 2 Lightweight Jacket
The Alpha Ros 2 Light arrives from Castelli’s wide range of jackets, nestling near the middle in terms of its targeted temperature spectrum (7° to 15°C) and the protection it offers against wind and rain. .
It combines Gore-Tex and proprietary materials for a high-quality, comfortable fit and excels in a range of conditions. This makes it an attractive option as an all-purpose jacket. However, at £250 these impressive qualities don’t come cheap.
Castelli Alpha Ros 2 Lightweight Jacket Specifications
Key features of the Castelli Jacket include three rear pockets with the clever addition of laser cut drainage holes, a zippered front compartment and an internal vest.
The big material novelty is the inclusion of Gore-Tex’s Infinium Windstopper 150 material on the front and sleeves for wind and rain protection, with Castelli’s Nano Flex Xtra Dry the fabric of choice on the back in the purpose of increasing breathability.
Five color schemes are available, with this Fiery Red our choice for visibility.
How we tested
A good winter cycling jacket is a valuable addition to any cyclist’s wardrobe.
Compared to a typical waterproof cycling jacket, winter jackets prioritize breathability and insulation over full rain protection.
This makes it a good choice for wet or cold riding conditions where wearing a fully waterproof jacket would be uncomfortable or unnecessary.
Most will feature some sort of windproof membrane and be treated with a durable water repellent coating to keep out downpours. Pay attention to fleece or fiber insulation if you are cold and want the most comfortable jacket possible.
Our testers tried out 12 of the best winter cycling jackets on the market, racking up plenty of grimy fall and winter miles in the Mendip Hills.
Performance of the Castelli Alpha Ros 2 lightweight jacket
There have been different versions of the Alpha for a few winters now and I still struggle to find a serious flaw in it.
My big bow comes from the Gore-Tex Infinium fabric, which ticks both the windproof and water-repellent boxes, the latter aided by taped seams and a water-resistant phone pocket (there are also three back pockets open).
The inner vest ensures you can undo the outer layer when the temperature or intensity increases, further increasing versatility.
On the contrary, that “lightweight” in the title is a misnomer as I have successfully used this jacket below its recommended limit of 7-15°C, while it has proven to be breathable in temperatures of mid-teens.
In terms of fit, and unlike some of Castelli’s particularly tight race jerseys and kits, the Alpha didn’t shake my ego too much in terms of fit (still scaling if you’re between sizes). I could put on a base layer and a jersey underneath without holding my breath for all of my winter rides.
I would say there are more efficient and sleeker cuffs – see the Santini Vega Absolute – but the back hem keeps the cold winds from picking up.
As well as being a waterproof jacket for road riding, the Alpha has been a regular clothing companion on my multi-day gravel adventures.
Although I was disappointed in my own handling skills and stamina, the jacket was always a reliable, versatile and stylish presence, mastering whatever English weather, brambles and hedges I might have fallen into. throw in his way.
Yes, at £250 it’s an expensive item, but I can vouch for its durability. You won’t need the added expense of a packable rain jacket either, and you can layer underneath when the mercury drops to lower individual numbers.
Castelli Alpha Ros 2 Lightweight Jacket Bottom Line
The Alpha Ros 2 Light offers both a high level of comfort and quality of materials. Where it really excels is in its prowess against wind and water.
This quality isn’t cheap at £250, but I’m struggling to think of a better all-around spring/autumn/winter jacket.