For how lazy we get during the winter, you would think that Old Man Winter was a real person giving out free massages. No matter how nice your comfy chair by the fire feels, your bike misses you, and your legs need their base miles. Don't get out of shape, get the Castelli Free Jacket. The Free Jacket provides stylish comfort for freezing temperatures, but breathes and fits like your favorite jersey. With it, you have your ticket out of the winter doldrums, and your access to the open road.The Castelli Free Jacket is made from W.L. Gore's Windstopper X-Fast 2 fabric -- the same material used for Roger Hammond's favorite jersey, the Gabba WS. Developed in partnership with Castelli, this fabric combines the fit of a jersey with the wind and rain protection of a jacket. The end result is a breathable winter jacket that's effective at temperatures as low as 32 degrees, and designed to fit the body positions of cycling. The Free Jacket is fully windproof and water-resistant, and features a high collar for added protection from exposure. And to enhance the jacket's breathability, Castelli made the side panels from ventilating Thermoflex.To stow your portables and hand warmers, the back features three open pockets. Castelli also added reflective accents throughout the jacket to enhance your visibility in low-light conditions.The Castelli Men's Free Jacket is available in six sizes from Small through XXX-Large and in the colors Black, Black/yellow, and Cyan.
Strengths: Great build, typical Castelli quality. Nice windblocker.
Weaknesses: Bit too costly at retail, get it on sale of you can.
Like most things Castelli, this jacket is comfortable and functional (be it a bit too costly at retail). I'm 6', 170' and often wear an XL jersey so I ordered a XL jacket. In that size, it runs a bit larger than typical Castelli fit, the chest is snug (not tight) but the arms are a bit more lose. In other words it is extremely comfortable. It has a light thermal layer so wearing a tight Castelli undershirt an over jersey and arm warmers...this jacket can take me comfortably into the mid 30F territory. If I shed the arm warmers, I'm guessing it would be solid in the mid/upper 40's but not much lower than that. The arms are the coldest part on the jacket, they warmers help. The mid section is superb, I never got that "cold gut" you get when you're not properly insulated. The wind blocking portion is superb but it maintains its breath-ability and keeps you from getting that "boil in bag" feeling so many windproof jackets give you.
I am extremely pleased with this jacket given the price I got it for on clearance (60%+ off).