A decent and comfortable ‘all-road’ jersey, but check the sizing carefully as it’s a lot more generous than Castelli’s road range
Multi-season and multi-surface
Welcome relaxed feeling and aesthetic
Possibly pricing itself beyond most people’s requirement
Sizing choice needs special attention
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Castelli markets the Unlimited Jersey as ‘all-road’ and states that it has ‘all the performance of a Castelli race jersey, just without the aerodynamics and tight fit,’ which I found to be pretty spot on. It’s comfortable, well made and comes with good features such as the rear bottom hem gripper and generous zip pocket - details you look for in the best cycling jerseys.
The heavier material was welcome on chillier rides, sitting well beneath a gilet. This is a jersey that will suit most riders who like to mix up their riding across tarmac and gravel.
Castelli Unlimited: Construction
The jersey is well made, as you’d expect from Castelli, with good seams and a decent main zip. The material has a bit of weight to it: it’s not bulky to wear but also doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a torso-sized cigarette paper as some racier kit can.
The placket, which mostly covers the front zip, is a good touch and neatens up everything at the front, while the more relaxed fit suits its ‘all-road’ aesthetic and means that the jersey feels at home on road and trails alike.
As mentioned, the seams are strong and this is particularly the case at the top of the pockets. Typically, once I’ve placed a waterproof jacket, snacks, tools and a large Rapha Rainproof Essentials Case in a jersey's pockets, it can stretch them, putting a strain on the seams where they connect to each other and the jersey. However, with the Unlimited I’d be confident in the strength of the sewing to resist splitting apart under load.
Castelli Unlimited: Sizing
With the relaxed fit, however, I do think some of the attention to detail with sizing has been lost somewhere along the line.
At first I received a size medium – this was about right in the body but I could have got both of my arms in one arm hole, they were so baggy. Swapped for a size small, the arms were right and – luckily for me, I suppose – the fit in the body was almost the same. The two jerseys had different countries of origin, too, so perhaps uniformity across production sites has not yet been achieved.
Even so, this isn’t to the detriment of the jersey nor especially a complaint, rather a warning to prospective buyers. I would recommend the jersey, if you’ve got the budget, but check the size charts carefully, possibly disregard what size you think you are in Castelli if you own any race kit from the brand, or best of all go to your local bike shop to try it on and buy it from there – if there’s a stockist near you.
Castelli Unlimited: Sleeves
Once I had the right size, the sleeves were actually very comfortable and sat nicely against my arms – admittedly, almost always over arm warmers. Paired with some of the best cycling arm warmers, the ‘no-sew sleeve hem finishing’ on the Castelli jersey meant that the sleeve stayed in place without bunching up or getting out of place.
Castelli Unlimited: Pockets
At the back, the jersey has three good height open top pockets, into which a rolled up waterproof jacket, phone case and snacks fit with ease – plus the pockets are robustly sewn, as mentioned.
The jersey also has a zipped ‘security’ pocket, which is a good idea but I didn’t actually use it. That’s because if you put keys in the zipped pocket and then a phone case in the outer pocket, you spend the whole ride with keys jabbing you in the lower back. But that’s probably just me. Stick some cash in there and you’ll still have it when you want to buy some cake at a café.
Castelli Unlimited: The ride
Much of how the jersey performed when I was cycling has been covered above. It sits well with arm warmers and under a gilet - which is how I tend to dress for many months of the year. I’ve even worn it as a mid-layer under a long sleeve jersey on a colder morning near to when I first received the jersey for review.
Castelli Unlimited: Value and conclusions
Once I was in the correct size, this jersey became a bit of a go-to – and not just because I needed to wear it for the sake of this review. It’s comfortable and I appreciated the relaxed feel and aesthetic as I took on gravel trails or plodded down tarmac lanes at relaxed speeds.
But with all that said, I am having trouble with seeing where a $139.99 / £115.00 all-road jersey would fit into most people’s kit repertoire. Of course, as mentioned, this is a really well made jersey so the old adage ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ might come in if you go for a really low cost alternative. It's also a little cheaper that Rapha's Brevet Jersey, which has a similar functionality but is made from merino rather than polyester.
However, a quick look online suggests you could pick up an alternative from a lower cost, but still good quality, brand such as dhb's Aeron Ultra jersey – and even other options from Castelli – for less, leaving money for either a second jersey (one road, one gravel) or to spend on something else entirely.
To conclude, and to be fair to Castelli, I should consider whether I would spend my own money on the Castelli Unlimited Jersey: with the necessary budget, the answer is yes I would. So if you’ve got the money, this jersey will see you right across a range of temperatures and surfaces, for short rides and longer, and probably for many years to come.
|Material||Interlock 115g 100% polyester fabric for excellent moisture management|
|Castelli says:||“Medium fit for comfort on the trail or road”|
|Zip||Partially covered YKK® Vislon® zip|
|Pockets||Three rear pockets with extra zipped security pocket|
|Design||Embossed stripe across chest|
|Sleeves||No-sew sleeve hem finishing|
|Bottom hem||Silicone gripper elastic|
|Colours||Available in six colours|
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