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Castelli Alpha or Sportful Fiandre norain

richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
edited January 2016 in Road buying advice
I'm looking for a winter jacket for when the temps get into the low single digits and drift below freezing. I also want something that has a reasonable level of rain protection. Currently I use the Castelli alpha jersey or gabba for warmer conditions.
I have been considering the Sportful R&D jacket but not sure its rain resistance is too good which leaves the following;
Sportful No-Rain jacket
Castelli alpha jacket

Most of my kit is either sportful or castelli so I am familiar with the brands and like the quality of both. I am also a fan of the double layer alpha system however the sportful jacket can be had for much less (70 euros) than the alpha jacket.
The 1 thing stalling my decision on the sportful jacket is the design of the single rear pocket...that is nuts for a garment where you could be carrying quite a bit.

Looking for advice from those who have either or both. Which is more versatile from a warmth/temperature management point of view and which has better rain resistance and breathability?
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  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,064
    They re basically the same company - is the fabric different at all?
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 19,086
    If I was in the market for a new jacket at the Alpha level then I would have to consider this:-

    https://roubaixcycling.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/parentini-mossa-slaying-the-gabba/
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • Thanks for the link to the mossa, I'll have a look.
    I think the materials are similar but not sure how they are deployed throughout the jacket to allow breath ability etc, hence the request for feedback.
    Also really wondering how the big single pocket on the sportful is to live with
  • redvisionredvision Posts: 2,812
    The Castelli alpha jacket is absolutely brilliant,the jersey is also equally excellent.
    The only criticism I have is the lack of reflective detail for night rides, but that really is the only complaint (& me nitpicking)

    Check out this thread viewtopic.php?t=12988361&

    I would strongly recommend buying one even at the full RRP, the sale prices at the moment make it a no brainer imo.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    I own the mossa and alpha jersey - much as I think the Mossa is fantastic - it does not operate at a lower temperature than the Alpha. You would need to consider the Mossa 2 (which is not reviewed by censored ). Further infomation with regards to the Mossa can be obtained by contacting Zetta distribution who can advise on your needs etc.
    If I was in your position - I would consider the Alpha jacket or the Mossa 2.
  • Loads out there. Just depends on what you want to pay and what you expect. The truth about clothing is that much of it is excellent. There are margins. One thing is better than another in a set of circumstances. Some things are not what they claim or are represented to be. Others are better than they claim to be.

    Basically, you cannot go wrong with the Alpha Jacket, it's at nutty prices on Wiggle at the moment. I've never worn the Sportful but no reason (the parent company of Castelli) to not think it will be excellent. I'm not sure but I don;t think the sleeves are lined (like the Alpha). So the R&D jacket might be the better bet. Though it does not appear to be quite as waterproof as the Alpha jacket (or no rain clearly). Of the three, given the prices, I'd take the Alpha.

    The Mossa isn't necessarily a competitor to those two but it's better at temps above freezing in terms of regulation. You can be quite warm in the Alpha even at 5 degrees. I hope to test the Mossa.2. I have high hopes for that one in terms of winter jackets.

    But there are left field choices as well. The DHB Aeron soft-shell is only £88 with Wiggle platinum. I'd rate it to be virtually as good as the Alpha jacket in terms of warmth and water resistance. It's a shame there are no offers knocking round. I paid £62 for mine.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • broonabroona Posts: 414
    edited December 2015
    I treat myself to a Sportful Fiandre Extreme Neoshell Jacket a few months ago and it's been phenomenal in all weathers, very breathable, very waterproof and reasonably warm with a good baselayer down to about 3°C so far, sure it could go much colder with an extra or thicker layer as it's 100% windproof, it's also on offer here at the minute, I paid £160 from Wiggle - http://www.bikeinn.com/bike/sportful-fiandre-extreme-neoshell-jacket/1316401/p

    In red too for the same price if you're a large or bigger (I am with a 39" chest), that's the one I went for, really stands out, stunning colour IMHO - http://www.bikeinn.com/bike/sportful-fiandre-extreme-neoshell-jacket/1316400/p

    Another leftfield but well reviewed option is the Galibier Mistral - http://galibier.cc/product/mistral-foul-weather-jacket-3/
  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,362
    A vote for the R&D wind jersey here. A very versatile garment that covers everything bar sustained rain. It's exceptionally breathable and insulating, with clever multiple pockets. When either very wet or cold (or both) I've successfully teamed it up with a Sportful No Rain top (the very thin "super gilet" jacket they do). This increases wind and water resistance, but can also be taken off when the rain passes. Given I got my R&D wind jersey for £75 and the No Rain top for £45 I think I got a great combo for £120 total, especially when you factor in that I now take the No Rain top out with me on all rides, just in case, as it works better for me than a packable hardshell.

    I should also admit to having the full No Rain jacket as well. It's better at really cold temps but the single (albeit large) rear pocket is a drag, but it's still a great jacket. I think I would be going for the Sportful Fiandre Extreme jacket if it were me though!
    Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose 1x11 "monster cross" - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • Loads out there. Just depends on what you want to pay and what you expect. The truth about clothing is that much of it is excellent. There are margins. One thing is better than another in a set of circumstances. Some things are not what they claim or are represented to be. Others are better than they claim to be.

    Basically, you cannot go wrong with the Alpha Jacket, it's at nutty prices on Wiggle at the moment. I've never worn the Sportful but no reason (the parent company of Castelli) to not think it will be excellent. I'm not sure but I don;t think the sleeves are lined (like the Alpha). So the R&D jacket might be the better bet. Though it does not appear to be quite as waterproof as the Alpha jacket (or no rain clearly). Of the three, given the prices, I'd take the Alpha.

    The Mossa isn't necessarily a competitor to those two but it's better at temps above freezing in terms of regulation. You can be quite warm in the Alpha even at 5 degrees. I hope to test the Mossa.2. I have high hopes for that one in terms of winter jackets.

    But there are left field choices as well. The DHB Aeron soft-shell is only £88 with Wiggle platinum. I'd rate it to be virtually as good as the Alpha jacket in terms of warmth and water resistance. It's a shame there are no offers knocking round. I paid £62 for mine.

    Admittedly you wore me down with your raving of the Alpha over the past few months and my Assos 851 is getting so thin that you can see through the back, so I just ordered one. Unhappy with the colours on Wiggle, I ordered a stone blue at Sigma, 11 pounds more (155), but a more bearable shade of blue
  • It's a nicer shade in real life as well.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • Alpha Jacket for £144 at Wiggle, absolute bargain. Use mine on my 5am commutes and the couple of weekends where it's been really cold so far this Winter, and it was brilliant each time. Feels much, much heavier than the Alpha Jersey in your hand, but feels even better when it's on. The lined sleeves are lovely too.
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499

    Admittedly you wore me down with your raving of the Alpha over the past few months and my Assos 851 is getting so thin that you can see through the back, so I just ordered one. Unhappy with the colours on Wiggle, I ordered a stone blue at Sigma, 11 pounds more (155), but a more bearable shade of blue

    Ugo

    Hope you are as impressed as I was with the Alpha - never thought I'd find a jacket as good as the 851 (which I still wear occasionally on my winter commutes) but the Alpha is incredible. You just need to be careful with layering as it can be much warmer than its appearance would have you believe!

    Would like to have tried the Mossa but I can't figure out who actually sells them in London/ UK which is very odd for a jacket which has received quite a few rave reviews.

    Peter
  • PTestTeamPTestTeam Posts: 395

    Admittedly you wore me down with your raving of the Alpha over the past few months and my Assos 851 is getting so thin that you can see through the back, so I just ordered one. Unhappy with the colours on Wiggle, I ordered a stone blue at Sigma, 11 pounds more (155), but a more bearable shade of blue

    Ugo

    Hope you are as impressed as I was with the Alpha - never thought I'd find a jacket as good as the 851 (which I still wear occasionally on my winter commutes) but the Alpha is incredible. You just need to be careful with layering as it can be much warmer than its appearance would have you believe!

    Would like to have tried the Mossa but I can't figure out who actually sells them in London/ UK which is very odd for a jacket which has received quite a few rave reviews.

    Peter

    Parentini are just starting to gain UK dealers. Here is a list of their dealers so far, with more coming onboard soon. Most of the ones listed will post garments out but in the case of the Mossa you really need to try on to get the optimum fit. The nearest stockists to London are Aerocycles in Havehill and Artisan Cycles up in Much Hadham, which is a gorgeous village to visit.

    http://parentinitestteam.com/parentini-dealers/
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    Thanks for the information - couldn't find this on the previous web link - I will try to get a run out to Herts in the next couple of weeks.

    Peter
  • PTestTeamPTestTeam Posts: 395
    Thanks for the information - couldn't find this on the previous web link - I will try to get a run out to Herts in the next couple of weeks.

    Peter

    Glad I could help. If you do visit, have a look at both the Mossa and Mossa.2 – as has been said, the Mossa.2 is probably a direct comparison with the Alpha Jacket.
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017

    Admittedly you wore me down with your raving of the Alpha over the past few months and my Assos 851 is getting so thin that you can see through the back, so I just ordered one. Unhappy with the colours on Wiggle, I ordered a stone blue at Sigma, 11 pounds more (155), but a more bearable shade of blue

    Ugo

    Hope you are as impressed as I was with the Alpha - never thought I'd find a jacket as good as the 851 (which I still wear occasionally on my winter commutes) but the Alpha is incredible. You just need to be careful with layering as it can be much warmer than its appearance would have you believe!

    Would like to have tried the Mossa but I can't figure out who actually sells them in London/ UK which is very odd for a jacket which has received quite a few rave reviews.

    Peter

    I wore my 851 today for a 90 minute, 3 degC hangover busting ride. It is still a damn good jacket and not that far behind the more recent favourites from Castelli et al. incidentally a new batch in black has been made for sale at the Assos factory outlet. So Ugo, if you do not get along with the Alpha, you can still buy a new 851.

  • Admittedly you wore me down with your raving of the Alpha over the past few months and my Assos 851 is getting so thin that you can see through the back, so I just ordered one. Unhappy with the colours on Wiggle, I ordered a stone blue at Sigma, 11 pounds more (155), but a more bearable shade of blue

    Ugo

    Hope you are as impressed as I was with the Alpha - never thought I'd find a jacket as good as the 851 (which I still wear occasionally on my winter commutes) but the Alpha is incredible. You just need to be careful with layering as it can be much warmer than its appearance would have you believe!

    Would like to have tried the Mossa but I can't figure out who actually sells them in London/ UK which is very odd for a jacket which has received quite a few rave reviews.

    Peter

    I wore my 851 today for a 90 minute, 3 degC hangover busting ride. It is still a damn good jacket and not that far behind the more recent favourites from Castelli et al. incidentally a new batch in black has been made for sale at the Assos factory outlet. So Ugo, if you do not get along with the Alpha, you can still buy a new 851.

    I am hoping the Alpha is superior in the wet. The 851 copes well with 20-30 minutes of rain, but more than that becomes problematic.

    The big question mark is whetehr it is as durable. The 851 did me 5 long winters (I use it 4-5 months every year) and only now is showing signs of degradation (thinning, elastic fabric decomposing) the windproof front still looks like new, the back is in a bad way
  • I own the mossa and alpha jersey - much as I think the Mossa is fantastic - it does not operate at a lower temperature than the Alpha. You would need to consider the Mossa 2 (which is not reviewed by censored ). Further infomation with regards to the Mossa can be obtained by contacting Zetta distribution who can advise on your needs etc.
    If I was in your position - I would consider the Alpha jacket or the Mossa 2.

    the Alpha and the Mossa comparison is not really a fair one, the Mossa is performance garment, Race cape. the Mossa.2 is simply superb for someone looking for better cold protection and rain proof too.

    has to be very cold though.
  • I'm supposed to be doing the Mossa.2 in due course. Bear in mind they also make some other pretty heavyweight (in the performance rather than actual weight) jackets as well.

    http://www.parentini.com/pagina.php?IDmenu=105

    And, don't forget, Parentini can customise most things for you.

    Ugo, the Alpha will outperform the 851 in the Rain because it's "shell" all round. That said, as I said in my Mossa review, unless your standing still, the front and front arms take the brunt of rain anyway. At least, they do if you've got mudguards ;)
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    The big question mark is whetehr it is as durable. The 851 did me 5 long winters (I use it 4-5 months every year) and only now is showing signs of degradation (thinning, elastic fabric decomposing) the windproof front still looks like new, the back is in a bad way


    Yes, that's my worry too. My gut feeling is that it won't be as durable as the 851 and will need regular reproofing if it is going to retain its full water resistant performance.
  • luv2rideluv2ride Posts: 2,362
    I have been considering the Sportful R&D jacket but not sure its rain resistance is too good?

    Went out in my R&D Wind Jersey this morning and got caught in a proper shower. TBH I was amazed at the level of water resistance, and it kept me really toasty at 5 degrees. I hadn't thought it was supposed to be "Gabba-like" but looks like I was wrong. Several places now doing them for £87:
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sportful-r-d-long-sleeve-wind-jersey/?lang=en&curr=GBP&dest=1&sku=5360668349&ci_src=18615224&ci_sku=5360668349uk&utm_source=google&utm_term&utm_campaign=UK_PLA_Sale&utm_medium=base&utm_content=saODLFFyq_dt%7Cpcrid%7C75590493182%7Cpkw%7C%7Cpmt%7C%7Cprd%7C5360668349uk
    Scott Solace 10 disc - Kinesis Crosslight Pro6 disc - Scott CR1 SL - Pinnacle Arkose X 650b - Pinnacle Arkose 1x11 "monster cross" - Specialized Singlecross...& an Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray 4 string...
  • andyracandyrac Posts: 760
    Hmm, I'm seriously tempted by that. I already have the Gabba LS, and the Alpha jacket (still not worn it) and have looked at getting another Gabba, in another colour. But I maybe swayed by the R&D Wind jersey.....

    All Road/ Gravel: Trek Crockett 5
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  • Yeah, if you put Alpha jersey into Wiggle's engine it suggests the Alpha jersey and the R&D one. Slightly different, but outside should be similar. Looks great value.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
    Bendertherobot
    Have you tested the alpha jacket? What temp range would you recommend it for? Think I might have a look at the mortirolo as well. Might give me more of a temp range but not sure if it will be ok around 0-5 with a merino base layer.
  • grenwgrenw Posts: 799
    Bendertherobot
    Have you tested the alpha jacket? What temp range would you recommend it for? Think I might have a look at the mortirolo as well. Might give me more of a temp range but not sure if it will be ok around 0-5 with a merino base layer.

    Have been comfortable at -3 in mine with a merino base layer. 5 would be the upper end with that combo. Rode in it yesterday at +9 with a thin SS base underneath. Longer, slower ride though.
  • Bendertherobot
    Have you tested the alpha jacket? What temp range would you recommend it for? Think I might have a look at the mortirolo as well. Might give me more of a temp range but not sure if it will be ok around 0-5 with a merino base layer.

    Yeah, as stated, 0-5. Or below zero. Above it gets a tad warm. I don't own one currently. I don't believe we're going to have winters (dahn sath) that warrant really warm jackets. But we'll see.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
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  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    The big question mark is whetehr it is as durable. The 851 did me 5 long winters (I use it 4-5 months every year) and only now is showing signs of degradation (thinning, elastic fabric decomposing) the windproof front still looks like new, the back is in a bad way


    Yes, that's my worry too. My gut feeling is that it won't be as durable as the 851 and will need regular reproofing if it is going to retain its full water resistant performance.

    Ugo, I've veen thinking about the fact that you want to wear it 4-5 months of the year and i think the jacket would be too warm for this. In my limited experience, It is only good for very cold days around or below freezing.

    I know you have already ordered, but i think you'd be better off with the jersey. it is much more flexible with regard to temperature range (depending on base layer, i can wear it from around 0-14 deg C) and i would say it is a more like for like replacement of the 851. Much better suited to the British type of winter weather in my opinion. It is cheaper too...

    If anyone doubts the cold weather credentials of the jersey, last winter i was on a ride where it started off dry at 5 deg, then when we got into the hills it started raining, then the rain turned to sleet for a while and then to snow. By this time the temperature had dropped to freezing and everybody was wet, freezing cold and miserable apart from me who was dry and not cold apart from my hands and feet as my gloves and shoes were wet. I even donated my packable shell jacket to someone who was on the verge of hypothermia. At the end of the ride my body was basically dry, the jersey had provided great protection. So based on this example, In my opinion, the jersey will do pretty much all that is needed in uk winter conditions.
  • The big question mark is whetehr it is as durable. The 851 did me 5 long winters (I use it 4-5 months every year) and only now is showing signs of degradation (thinning, elastic fabric decomposing) the windproof front still looks like new, the back is in a bad way


    Yes, that's my worry too. My gut feeling is that it won't be as durable as the 851 and will need regular reproofing if it is going to retain its full water resistant performance.

    Ugo, I've veen thinking about the fact that you want to wear it 4-5 months of the year and i think the jacket would be too warm for this. In my limited experience, It is only good for very cold days around or below freezing.

    I know you have already ordered, but i think you'd be better off with the jersey. it is much more flexible with regard to temperature range (depending on base layer, i can wear it from around 0-14 deg C) and i would say it is a more like for like replacement of the 851. Much better suited to the British type of winter weather in my opinion. It is cheaper too...

    If anyone doubts the cold weather credentials of the jersey, last winter i was on a ride where it started off dry at 5 deg, then when we got into the hills it started raining, then the rain turned to sleet for a while and then to snow. By this time the temperature had dropped to freezing and everybody was wet, freezing cold and miserable apart from me who was dry and not cold apart from my hands and feet as my gloves and shoes were wet. I even donated my packable shell jacket to someone who was on the verge of hypothermia. At the end of the ride my body was basically dry, the jersey had provided great protection. So based on this example, In my opinion, the jersey will do pretty much all that is needed in uk winter conditions.

    You should be familiar with Italians always being cold... I wear the 851 when people around wear summer jerseys
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    Ah yes, I forgot about that, lol.
  • richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
    Well waited too long and missed out on the cheaper price for the fiandre norain jacket from Evans so bit the bullet and ordered the alpha jacket.

    Don't think I will be disappointed.

    Thanks for all the advice, folks
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