This is not a drill: The Castelli jacket I ride in all winter is reduced by up to 70%

I once believed that the Gabba was unbeatable. I was wrong.

Castelli alpha ros 2
(Image credit: Future)

I might buy two. Except, no, I won't need to - I'm still wearing the one I reviewed back in 2021 and it's in excellent condition, hundreds of chilly rides and an (almost!) equal number of washes later.

At the time, the only thing I criticised the Castelli Alpha RoS (Rain or Shine) 2 Light jacket for was its 'baggy sleeves'. Now, I'm two years older, I don't race anymore (I'm someone's mum now?!), I spend more time in the gym/eat more cake, and I can confidently say that the sleeves are just fine. 

Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Light Jacket @ Wiggle

Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Light Jacket @ Wiggle

USA Women's: was $279.99, now $225.99

USA Men's: was $279.99, now $195.99

The most versatile winter jacket I've ever owned, the Alpha RoS (Rain or Shine) 2 Light jacket is said to suit conditions of 7 to 15°C/44 to 59°F, but I've dressed it up with a good base layer and accessories in colder temps. Breathable, water resistant, with a flattering fit thanks to laser cut edges.

UK Women's: was £270.00, now from £81.00

UK Men's: was £280.00, now £139.00

Is it 'risky' to buy from Wiggle?

It's been widely reported that Wiggle/CRC has entered administration, and is seeking a buyer.

We have of course explored the question of the security in buying from Wiggle, you can read the full article 'is it risky buying from Wiggle?' here. In short, we concluded "there is minimal risk in continuing to take advantage of the discounted items", because under the Consumer Credit Act, anything bought over £100 and under £30,000 is covered by purchase protection. 

What sets this jacket apart is its double-whammy construction. On the inside is an 'insulation layer', and on the outside is a windproof and water repellent layer. Chilly? Just setting off? Zip both up to your chin. Climbing or riding hard efforts? Undo the top layer as far as required. It's like wearing a breathable but snuggly internal gilet. 

I favour the 'Light' version of this jacket, which I wear for 6am gym commutes in spring and autumn as well as over longer 3-hour weekend rides in winter. 

When temperatures get lower than the recommended range of 7 to 15°C/44 to 59°F, I usually just pair it with a chunky base layer and accessories.

However, there is also a heavier weight option. And yes, I own that one, too. I tend to pull the Alpha RoS 2 non-Light out during the depths of winter, in December and January, or for more sedate Zone 2 style rides. 

The key difference between the two is that the insulation layer on the warmer jacket features a chunkier, waffle-like fabric which offers more warmth than the more breathable option on the 'Light', with a temperature recommendation of -5 to 10°C/23 to 50°F.

Image

Castelli Alpha ROS 2 Jacket

Women's: was £320, now from £159.99 at Wiggle

Men's: was £320, now from £128 at Wiggle

A heavyweight in the winter jacket arena, this one targets temperatures down to -5°C/50°F, using a thicker fleecy polyester fabric on the inside thermal layer, with taped seams across the windproof and water resistant outer. 

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Why I love the Castelli Alpha RoS 2 Light jacket

Castelli alpha ros 2 construction

(Image credit: Future)

As I've already mentioned, the winning feature of this jacket is the dual layer construction. 

The outer on both garments uses Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper 150 fabric to keep the wind out. This breathable material is water resistant, but not waterproof. 

On the Light model, Nano Flex Xtra Dry is used on the back, to allow for better airflow management. The difference this makes is quite obvious to the eye, and also in the weight when you hold both jackets up side by side. 

The standard, non-light model uses seam sealing, to reduce the chance of any water getting in there, and double layer cuffs also better integrate with winter gloves. 

casrtelli alpha ros 2 and castelli alpha ros 2 light inner side by side

Castelli Alpha Ros 2 (left) and Castelli Alpha Ros 2 Light (right)

(Image credit: Future)

The Light models uses ProSecco Strada fabric on the inner, this is more breathable but not quite as warm. The heavier weight jacket uses a fleecey material with a waffle-esque structure, which is incredibly snuggly to wear. 

Both options offer the standard three pockets - with laser cut drainage holes - and there's a zippered side pocket for valuables. The placement is nice and easy to reach. 

The fit is particularly nice, thanks to raw cut edges at the waist and sleeves. Apparently, I used to think the sleeves were too baggy, but I can't say I find that an issue any more. 

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