Something for the Weekend
Something for the Weekend showcases our pick of the latest tech to arrive at RoadCyclingUK. You can see more here
Two seasons ago Gore-Tex Shakedry fabric hit the market. A revolution in truly breathable and thoroughly reliable waterproofness, Shakedry jackets have proven their worth in the worst of conditions - I write from personal experience. The Castelli Idro Pro takes that Shakedry fabric and incorporates it into a piece which could well be the ultimate wet-weather jacket.
Shakedry is essentially the Gore-Tex we've all come to know and love but stripped back to the bare essential elements. The fabric is two layer, with a micro grid backer paired to a raw Gore-Tex outer that ensures never-ending beading. Without the usual third outer ply of fabric to become waterlogged and eventually 'wet out', the water simply runs off the jacket, allowing the user to shake it dry.
Of course it's extremely breathable as well - with the third layer of fabric removed it's harder to overheat than ever, and we're really talking about a level that's only really appreciated when ridden in.
Most obvious are the stretchy 'Topo' waterproof panels that should allow this jacket to fit the rider better than ever. Where previously the delicate fabric would not render itself to the bends and curves of the human form and could sometimes lead to a constrictive feeling garment, our first impressions suggest the Idro Pro feels far more supple and encouraging of movement.
The panels run the length of the sides, ensuring fit around the body is nice and snug, and can also be found on the shoulders, elbows and wrists in an effort to ensure freedom of movement, and to keep a watertight fit at the wrists.
The fabric has a dimpled effect that we've seen on aero garments previously, although whether this has any similar performance implications on the Idro Pro remains to be seen
Look to the back of the jacket and you will find two generously sized pockets, with a mesh fabric base for effective draining of fluid. Before now we've seen zippered security pockets on Shakedry jackets, but none in the form of jersey pockets such as this. The pockets are trimmed with a reflective piping that will add a little to the low light visibility where the black fabric leaves a little to be desired.
Also found at the rear of the jacket is an extended tail, very similar to that found on Castelli's famous Gabba and Perfetto softshells. The tail should go some way to defeating the spray that comes with wet conditions, keeping your backside dryer and warmer for longer.
The zip on the Idro Pro jacket comes with no fabric backer and instead relies on waterproof sealing from the exterior, with a YKK direct mount waterproof zipper.
The jacket is impressively light at just 158g, and while we value performance over weight in changeable autumn/winter conditions, this translates into a very small pack size, meaning the Idro Pro jacket looks a perfect jersey pocket occupant that will keep you covered from a little windchill all the way through to rain of biblical proportions.
All that tech comes at a cost, with the Idro Pro being Castelli's most expensive jacket at £330. However, it's undoubtedly one of the most feature-laden jackets on the market, too. We'll be reviewing this over the coming months so will find out whether the performance matches that price tag once autumn truly arrives.