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We tested Castelli's first iteration of the Sanremo Thermosuit a couple of years ago and found it to be a quality bit of kit. Castelli has brought out its second edition of the all-in-one winter bodysuit, and with a little extra protection from the elements it continues to impress in the cold and the wet.
The idea behind the Thermosuit is really two-fold. For racers, fast riders and general drag-coefficient connoisseurs, it provides an aerodynamic take on the 'flappy jersey and baggy tights' combo of old. On top of that, stitching a jersey to a pair of tights means Castelli can bin the bib straps and use the figure-hugging jersey as support for the tights and pad.
This leads to a pretty comfy garment to ride in, albeit one that is slightly odd to get into for the first handful of times you wear it. The nearest thing I can compare it to is putting on a wetsuit – albeit with much less swearing.
For this second iteration, Castelli has taken the fabric and general construction of its Gabba 2 long-sleeve jersey (Iwein tested the short-sleeve version last year) and combined it with its Sorpasso tights to make a serious bit of winter kit. The original Thermosuit combined the Sorpasso tights with the Trasparente top. I'm not entirely sure how much difference this makes, as both jerseys are made from the same material, with the Gabba having a bit more coverage from the elements at the back.
The Gabba material isn't quite as neopreney (is that a word?) as some of the thicker stuff I've seen used in the past, but it's been reasonably effective in the short bursts of rain I've been caught in.
The pad is Castelli's Progetto X2 Air variant (as it was in the previous model). I didn't have any issues with it; it's plenty comfortable and stays in place.
As with a standard jersey, you get three rear pockets and they sit pretty tightly against your back – great for stashing smaller items such as keys and phones, but less good for bulkier things like pumps and tubes. There's no zipped pocket but I don't see that as a major issue as the other three are all pretty secure. I never had any concerns about losing my phone during a particularly aggressive bunnyhop or on really rough roads/bridleways.
Castelli says this Thermosuit is aimed at temperature ranges between 5 and 15°C, which I wouldn't say I completely agree with. I think you'd get pretty hot pretty quickly riding in 15°C in this. At the colder end of the scale I generally always wore a baselayer underneath, and if it got properly cold I put another jacket or gilet over the top of it too.
The zips seem robust on both the jersey and ankle grippers, and they had overlapping fabric where needed to prevent any irritation against the skin, which is a plus. Similarly, the ankle and wrist grippers achieved the right balance between secure and comfortable, keeping any nasty breezes out.
I can only really find two drawbacks to the Thermosuit. The first wasn't a problem for me, but if your upper and lower proportions are significantly different you might struggle to find a size that works. Secondly, I found that while the low section at the front of the tights was great for comfort breaks, at times I would have liked it a bit higher just to give a nice warm overlap of material around my midsection where the tights and jacket meet.
Finally, a quick word on value. It can be quick because we summed it up for the last version of this garment, and not much has really changed. The price is exactly the same as the original, which is great – yes, £250 is no doubt a large chunk of money to part with (less if you shop around), but for that chunk you get the combination of Castelli's Gabba 2 jersey and Sorpasso tights. Buying the two separately would cost you considerably more. You could argue that having the two separate lets you chop and change a bit more, but I'm not sure I'd pay the difference just for that benefit.
Overall I've enjoyed my time riding in the Sanremo Thermosuit, whether it's been on fast winter outings or lazier Sunday rides. Castelli hasn't changed much with this version, and you can kind of see why. It works well, so why would you? I like the blue and black colours too, even if the visibility on dingy roads has taken a bit of a hit over the old fluoro/black combo.
A comfortable, aerodynamic take on combining winter tights and a jersey into a single bit of kit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Sanremo 2 Thermosuit
Size tested: Medium, Blue Night/Drive Blue
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?
"THREE OF OUR BEST PRODUCTS COMBINED INTO ONE
Here's a totally new way of thinking about riding in cold weather. With the product concept of the Sanremo Speedsuit in mind, the Castelli engineers have unveiled a new way to dress warm and light for winter riding. By joining the jacket and the tight together, we prevent cold air from entering, effectively keeping you warmer with lighter-weight fabrics. There are no bib straps to restrict breathing, the seat pad is the same Progetto X2 Air as the one in your best shorts, and lightweight materials don't feel bulky or restrictive. You essentially have our favorite top, the Gabba Long-Sleeve, with our favorite tight, the Sorpasso''joined Sanremo style. It all adds up to winter comfort.
We've put all our best technologies into this exceptional Thermosuit. An aerodynamic cut, our best seat pad and a mix of lightweight fabrics, including the Windstopper® X-Lite fabric for total windproofness and our warm Thermoflex Core2 fabric. By applying the technical advancement of hollow-core fibers, we've made the tights not only lighter than your normal tights but also warmer''and they keep you drier.
1 WINDPROOF AND SPLASH RESISTANT
Windstopper® X-Lite stretch fabric on the upper portion provides total windproofness and great moisture management.
2 THERMOFLEX CORE2 FABRIC
The Thermoflex Core2 fabric keeps you warm and is highly breathable thanks to hollow-core polyester fibers. The Sanremo Thermosuit is constructed with Thermoflex Core2 fabric on the tights.
3 GIRO3 ANKLE GRIPPERS AND REFLECTIVE ZIP COVER TAPE
The addition of silicone-printed Castelli logos on the outside helps keep the cuff securely in place. Reflective tape covers the zip to increase visibility at night.
4 LIGHTER FABRICS, SAME WARMTH
By joining the jacket and the tight together, we prevent cold air from entering, effectively keeping you warmer with lighter-weight fabrics."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Again from Castelli:
Sorpasso tight lower portion combined with Gabba Long-Sleeve upper portion
Jacket: Windstopper® X-Lite stretch fabric on upper portion is windproof and splash resistant
Articulated collar that fits better whether standing or riding
Long YKK® Vislon zipper with overlapping front opening
3 rear pockets
Rear reflective tabs
Tight: Thermoflex and Thermoflex Core2 fabric
Progetto X2 air seat pad for comfort and improved airflow
GIRO3 ankle grippers position the tight and seal around shoecover
YKK® Camlock ankle zippers with reflective tape for high visibility
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As well as I expected.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The comfort, the fit and it looked pretty good too.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Kinesis Pro6 My best bike is: The first steel bike I made
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking