Waterproofs are like the police. When you don’t need them, they are in the way but when you do, you really appreciate them being around. That’s the case with the Castelli Squadra Long Water Resistant Jacket. On 99% of rides, it’s more weight and more bulk in the rear pocket, but on those days when the heavens open halfway round, you’re so glad you packed it!
The Castelli Squadra Long Water Resistant Jacket is a high quality, packable waterproof that weighs only 120-130g. More importantly, it folds up very, very tightly so it doesn’t take up too much room in the pocket.
I bought the white one but it is available in black or fluro yellow. It is comprised of waterproofed nylon material with reflective piping around the stitching. It has vents under the arms to let the heat out which are protected by fabric flaps.
One of the main issues with wearing a waterproof like this is that it isn’t breathable. You can spend a lot more on a jacket that is, but there really is no need as far as I’m concerned. The Squadra has vents to let you breathe but they aren’t great for venting heat. It’s a trade-off. Do you compromise water resistance in favour of breathability? Aerodynamics in favour of something looser or put up with the sweat? The Squadra assumes you’re in the latter camp.
As with many Castelli items, they size small so you usually have to go up one or two sizes. I got an extra-large in the Squadra, which was the perfect fit for me. The shoulders are the ideal width, the sleeves long enough to cope with being stretched over the drops and the back low enough to keep the derriere dry in all but torrential rain.
The fit is snug but not tight, so when done up completely, you’re still slightly aero without feeling as though you’re wrestling with a bin liner.
All in all, for a little over £33, you get a good quality waterproof for those British summer days when you’re far from home. Despite making you sweat a bit more, there are few downsides to this jacket and I never leave home on longer rides without it.