The Castelli Donna Velo W jacket is a very lightweight bit of kit. Weighing in at 89g and packing up to the size of a fist, it is portable and practical. It protects against the elements, to an extent, and offers a good additional layer of warmth on cooler days.
Made from lightweight Forcefield micro ripstop fabric, the weight is one of the first things you notice about this jacket. The fabric is claimed to be water repellent, and this theory was well tested. Water rolled off when there was a light shower and it stood up well when I held it under the tap for a better test. It only got wet through after about 30 seconds of constant hard water hitting it. Considering it isn't waterproof, it holds up to a decent shower. And the lightweight fabric dries in no time too.
The shape is a race fit, which we expect from Castelli, so there is no annoying flapping around in the wind. It has a dropped tail to prevent any soggy rear ends as well, which is always a bonus. The Castelli logo is reflective, though it's quite minimal, and that is something it's lacking.
It is a very breathable fabric, which is brilliant. It can be used throughout autumn as something that will sit in your pocket, ready to come out if it gets a bit chilly or a shower starts. There's a mesh vent in the neck, which cleverly doubles as a stuff pocket for the jacket. You just stuff it into itself, making it easy to pack away quickly.
The fact that it's windproof is another tick in the box. It isn't getting any warmer out there, so you might actually use it a little bit more over autumn and spring than summer, which would help justify the price. It does genuinely add a lovely extra layer of warmth. I am not quite in the merino yet (Scotland), so paired it with a jersey and it made a big difference.
The price is on the high side for a windproof jacket, though shop around and you can get it up to £20 cheaper than rrp, but it is very well made, a great fit and something you can always carry with you 'just in case'. Probably better suited to the more frequent cyclist than the occasional bike user, to get your money's worth.
The only downside is the lack of storage, because it has none. But unless you go out without a jersey on, you will have other pockets so this isn't really an issue overall.
There is also a gilet version, if you don't want the full jacket.
A packable, portable, windproof, fairly water-resistant jacket that packs a punch
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Make and model: Castelli Velo W Jacket
Size tested: Women's medium, Turquoise
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 says it is a lightweight, water repellent jacket that is also windproof.
I found this true during my testing of the jacket.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ForceField micro ripstop fabric is fully wind-resistant and offers DWR rain protection
Reflective Castelli wordmark logo
Reflective back tabs
Cut long for lower body splash protection
The material is extremely light and durable.
It delivered on all of its promises.
The jacket has been washed a good few times and comes up like new every time.
It is incredibly light.
It is a very close fit and it is worth bearing this in mind. If you want it looser, size up.
There are cheaper jackets out there, but shop around and you can get this at a reasonable price.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The jacket performed brilliantly.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of storage.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
The jacket really does live up to all of its claims and apart from a lack of storage, there is nothing bad to say about it.
Age: 35 Height: 158cms Weight: 61kg
I usually ride: Scott Contessa My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,