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The Castelli Prologo HD jersey is a highly breathable option for the warm weather.
Like most cycling jerseys these days, the Prologo is made from polyester but the Stratus fabric is a little unusual in that it's highly textured. It's a closed mesh and only the raised sections on the inner face actually touch your skin, the recessed bits being held off the surface slightly.
The idea is that this improves the fabric's wicking performance when you sweat, the moisture getting drawn away from your skin and spread on the outer layer of the fabric where it can evaporate away.
Castelli have also given the fabric a Prosecco treatment – no, don't be daft, not the sparkling wine, it's a hydrophilic technology that's soaked into the fabric at production. It's intended to pull water off your skin and distribute it over a large area to dry faster.
Castelli reckon the treatment will last about two years based on average use and typical storage. I've taken a long time to get my review done but not two years so I couldn't tell you how accurate this is. I used this jersey towards the end of last summer and at the start of this one and it's still performing well. You also get a mesh insert across the back of the shoulders and down the middle of your back, full of tiny perforations, to help further with breathability.
In use, it's impossible to tell which aspect of the design is doing what, but the Prologo jersey certainly shifts sweat well. Even when you do get it wet as you lay down the law on a steep climb, it doesn't cling like some. Rather than sticking to you, it moves about and that helps it dry quickly.
The 35cm long zip is a bonus in the warm weather performance too. It reaches down to about midway between the sternum and navel on me, allowing lots of ventilation. The zip puller is only small but, this being very much a summer jersey, you're unlikely to use it with full finger gloves so that isn't going to be an issue.
The fabrics are stretchy, especially widthwise, so a close fit doesn't result in any discomfort while the seams are standard rather than flatlock-stitched. You'd have to be a pretty sensitive soul to be particularly bothered by them, though. Elasticated binding holds the hem in, and although there's no gripper inside there, I didn't have any problems with it riding up.
As well as the three usual rear pockets you get an additional zipped one for valuables – keys, phone and whatnot – and a little reflective tab back there to help with evening visibility.
Castelli reckon this jersey is suitable for temperatures of 15-30°C. I'll go with that... not that it has been 30°C around these parts so far this year, and it's not likely to, but that seems a reasonable range.
Highly breathable jersey for keeping you comfortable on hot summer rides.
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Make and model: Castelli Prologo jersey
Size tested: Medium
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?
"The Prologo look has been called iconic. But it's not just about the look. The jersey is built around comfort, with the exceptional moisture control of dual-layer Stratus fabric, a 3/4-length front zip, and a mesh insert on the back. Add in a zippered key pocket and keen attention to every detail and you have an award-winning jersey.
- Stratus fabric with Prosecco treatment
- Laser-cut Castelli wordmark logo
- Mesh insert on back for cooling and fit enhancement
- 35cm hidden zip
- 3 rear pockets with zippered key pocket
- 1 rear reflective tab"
It's a general roadie summer jersey with an emphasis on keep you sweat-free.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Prosecco write-up says:
"Prosecco technology gives your Castelli garment the highest levels of moisture management available in cycling apparel today. Specially engineered to overcome surface tension properties of water, Prosecco's hydrophilic pulling action expands moisture over a larger surface area providing faster evaporation and leaving you dryer."
It's in shifting moisture away from you that this jersey really impresses.
At £70 the Prologo jersey is certainly dearer than most short sleeved cycle jerseys, but it's not crazy-expensive when you consider the high quality.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a good jersey for keeping you cool on warm days.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability and the comfort even when damp.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
On the whole, I'd prefer flatlock stitched seams, although it's not a biggie.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, although there are other Castelli jerseys I prefer.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, a good, solid performance.
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 been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.