If you’re looking for a winter cycling jacket that can handle everything from temperatures down to freezing, biting winds and yet more rain, then you’re in luck because the Castelli Alpha RoS 2 Light jacket is currently on offer at a better-than-half-price deal in the January sales at Wiggle.
I first reviewed this jacket back in winter of 2020/21, and ever since it’s been one of the few jackets that I reach for whenever it’s clean. I find that despite not being quite so well-equipped as its heavier-weight sibling (the Alpha RoS 2), it actually proved a more useful jacket.
Notably the Alpha Ros 2 is also discounted heavily this week, but given I feel that the Light jacket is better suited to the winter riding that most people will do, that’s where I’ll keep my focus for this article.
Castelli claims it is best used in temperatures that range from 7C/45F to 15C/59F. However, with a winter base layer beneath, I find it’s most comfortable from around freezing up to roughly 10C/50F. That’s the perfect sort of winter temperature range for me. Any colder and I’m probably going to avoid the ice risk and stay indoors; any warmer and I’m into long-sleeve jersey territory, albeit swapping to a short-sleeve base layer extends the Alpha RoS 2 Light’s range.
The biggest feature of the Alpha RoS 2 Light jacket, like its heavier sibling, is the double-layered front panels, complete with two zippers. The internal layer is made from the same material Castelli uses for some of its summer jerseys, and is great for wicking away moisture while still offering an additional layer of protection against the elements. The outer layer is made form GoreTex Infinium, a wonder-material quite frankly, that is breathable, waterproof (albeit not completely impervious in a downpour) and incredibly wind resistant. This outer material does an excellent job of staving off the biting cold chill of a January wind, and together they provide an excellent winter jacket.
The only negative listed in my review, and one that I stand by writing this today, is that the flap of material behind the zipper at the neck has a habit of jamming the zipper. It’s easy enough to overcome with two hands, but that’s not always easy when you’re zipping up while riding.
Elsewhere, the arms are long enough to play nicely with pretty much any winter cycling gloves. I have long arms, I’m not a gibbon by any stretch but they’re proportionate with my lanky figure and I often suffer…