The Castelli Trasparente Due Wind Jersey is a winner for autumn and spring riding – it has performed superbly over the past few weeks.
The Trasparente is actually one of those tops that splits the difference between a jersey and a jacket. I'll get that in early so you don't write it off as a too expensive jersey. That would be a mistake.
It's made from three different fabrics, the most notable of which is Windstopper X-Lite Plus. This is the same windproof (obviously) and highly water resistant soft shell material that Castelli use for their Gabba Rain Jersey and Aero Rain Lite jersey.
This four-way stretch fabric makes up the whole of the front, the neck, the shoulders and down the top of the arms to the elbows. It also makes an appearance on the central pocket at the back – you know, where you get that line of road spray from your rear wheel if you don't use mudguards. The other two fabrics aren't windproof: one is a roubaix-type material and the other is a little thinner.
What's so good about the Trasparente? For a start, the Windstopper fabric does its job by stopping cold air while also being impressively breathable so you don't get sweaty in there. It's a bit like wearing a jersey with a windproof gilet over the top, but in a single garment. I'd rather the windproofing extended the whole length of the arms rather than stopping at the elbow, but that's a personal preference.
Another thing I really like about the Trasparente is that it's a good, slim cut – and I likes a good, slim cut, me. The stretchy materials mean that it can fit closely without feeling tight, and no cold air comes wafting in as soon as you hit 25mph. The neck is high and close fitting too so you can keep the outside world from getting in there.
The camlock front zip is from YKK and the large puller is easy to grab with gloved hands. Around the back an elastic waist gripper holds the hem in place and you get three pockets, the middle of which will take a waterproof shell easily enough. There's another zipped pocket on the chest that'll hold a mobile phone or a fiver for a mid-ride stop.
Reflective piping on the shoulders and tabs on the back will help you get seen, and the Transparente is available in colours other than black too.
Castelli give the Trasparente a temperature range of 10-18°C. I'm a cold-blooded reptile and even I wouldn't wear it at 18. I'd say 10-16°C, or something like that. That's with just a base layer underneath. You could obviously wear another layer under there and get some more use out of it in lower temperatures.
Very good autumn/spring-weight jersey with stretchy windproofing and a fitted cut
road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Trasparente Due Wind Jersey
Size tested: Large, black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Castelli say, "The Trasparente has become our favorite autumn and spring piece, and we find ourselves wearing it on winter days with the temperature below the stated comfort range. It's lightweight and fits like a jersey, yet keeps the wind off the front, with its Windstopper. X-Lite Plus fabric giving it a an extremely wide temperature range. The second-generation Trasparente now features splash protection on the back, improved fit, and better wind protection on the arms.
Windstopper® X-Lite PLUS stretch fabric on front is windproof and splash resistant
Warmer fabric on back for high breathability
Full-length YKK® Camlock zipper
Embossed tone-on-tone logo on shoulders
Elastic gripper on waist to limit ride-up
3 rear pockets
Reflective piping on front and Rear reflective tabs keep you visible in low-light conditions"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric is a soft shell fabric that's lightweight and breathable. It's also water resistant - certainly splashproof.
It can go through the washing machine and tumble dryer without any trouble.
It's not cheap, but bear in mind that this is a halfway house between a jersey and a jacket, and it has a performance similar to that of a jersey and a gilet. Plus, that Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric is excellent.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Does a great job in a variety of autumn/spring conditions. You'll get a lot of use out of this.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The stretchy Windstopper fabric and the slim cut.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I'd have preferred the Windstopper to extend the whole length of the arms.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely
About the tester
Age: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.