I needed a vest or gilet for an upcoming trip to the Ardennes and the weather was announced to be rather gloomy. With a chance of rain, a dash of sun, cold in the morning and rather moisty warm for the rest of the day I gathered I missed a specific garment for these conditions.
I already knew the Castello Fawesome 2 from reviews around the internet and as it was reasonably priced I decided to order. Can’t go wrong with Castelli, right? I had read elsewhere that Castelli sizes are on the Italian side of things and that you need to order a size up. This is however the second time I let myself be fooled by this. I ordered the large instead of the medium - my normal size. Like other Castelli garments the vest has more of a race cut. So if you order your true size it will be snug and will not flap around, but without being restrictive. It will stretch if need be. Maybe the collar might have been a be a bit tight if I had ordered the medium size, but since I haven’t tried a medium yet, I can’t say for sure. So if you like it racey and snug, buy your size. If you're more a comfy club style rider, buy one size up.
As a wind blocker this vest is great. No wind comes true. On the longer climbs I got rather warm and sweaty and had to unzip the vest. Luckily, the back is more breathable, which is A Good Thing. It probably won’t keep your back dry when the rain begins to pour down, but for a bit of drizzle or rapidly changing conditions the vest is just fine. It’s light enough and packs up great in my rear pocket. Did another ride where the vest was tucked in my pocket and didn’t really notice I was carrying it along.
Final verdict. The vest is of high quality, well made and the Gabba fabric is really nice. I find it is great for descends and rapidly changing weather conditions where you need the comfort of an extra layer without having to carry a raincoat or soft-shell. It will do a fine job of keeping your chest warm on a chilly morning. What more can you expect from a gilet?
PS: Should have bought the medium size anyhow so I’m giving this a true-to-size review, but will deduct a star because of the uncertainty of Italian sizing. Would have given it a full 4 and halve if the rating system allowed for it. Yet another reason to fight the system I guess.
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