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Review: Blindingly bright Capo Padrone SL Wind Jacket & Bib Tights reflect cold weather and light

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At first glance, the Capo Padrone SL kit doesn’t seem all that bright. It has a few day-glow yellow pieces of trim, but it’s mostly dark gray and black…until the lights hit it. Even sunlight from indirect angles can illuminate it, but when headlights come straight on? Vegas lights. Roll on down for some bright photos.

Bundled in with the safety of high visibility is warmth to work down into the 40’s (F) with a good base layer. When it drops into the low 40’s and colder, I slipped on a de-chamoised pair of shorts as extra cover for the upper legs through waist and the pieces worked great at blocking freezing cold and wind…

Depending on the angle, the Padrone SL kit can look gray and black…

…to light gray. The pic directly above is just reflecting sunlight. And here’s what happens with a flash:

The reflectivity runs 360º around the kit, with multiple materials used between the back and arm panels to give it a variegated reflective tones, but both are bright. The jersey uses a 19-panel construction and moved with my body well, both on and off the bike.

Three rear pockets are big and deep, swallowing even the largest smartphone. Above, I’m packing my wallet and a bar in one side, a tube/tool/pump/CO2 bundle in the center, and my iPhone 6 in a case on the other side. On a long gravel ride with high speed descents and chopped up corners, everything stayed snug, yet I was able to grab a snack out of the side pockets with ease.

Soft cuffs help keep wind out and help gloves slide over them easily. A two-way zipper lets you vent from the bottom if you want.

The front panel is fleeced for warmth. The materials and membranes block the wind and are water resistant. The side, back and rear arm panels get micro perforations to help vent heat and moisture. That textured material on the front of the upper legs and crotch is soft and comfortable, fleeced for warmth, but doesn’t block the wind nearly as much as the reflective sections. This is where I’d like to see a little extra material or warmth added; just blocking the wind there would help a lot. As is, I added a pair of shorts over them for rides in the 30’s (F).

On my two coldest rides in the kit, I wore this Wool-X base layer, which is thick and toasty, and that’s all that was needed to stay warm for hours. Capo also sent their Dryarn Winter Collar (the yellow thing around my neck), which I didn’t care for when pulled over my mouth and nose because it’s just a bit too thick for easy breathing, but was warm for use only around the neck, and their Euro 200 Merino Wool socks, which were fine when worn with winter shoes and plenty comfortable.

For a lightweight, flexible set of winter cycling clothing, both the jersey and bib tights are very warm…warmer than looks would suggest. At $350 for the jersey and $280 for the tights, they’re not cheap (order both together and save 15%), but you’re getting a seemingly well made kit combines warmth, comfort and amazing visibility. The Anatomic CS EIT chamois worked wonders, even when riding 3+ hours on a hard leather saddle, and it does that without being super thick…which means no weird bunching up. All in all, it’s my new favorite winter kit thanks to the above mentioned features and its great fit.

The last piece they sent was their long-named Lombardia DWR Innesco OutDry LF Gloves. They use a modified lobster design, with a free pointer finger for easy braking and the other three snuggled up for warmth. It worked really well, both for dexterity and warmth, with the OutDry keeping them wind- and water proof. The snot wipe on the thumbs isn’t huge, but it’s soft and works. Retail is $80.


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7 years ago

Is this a similar technology to the Sugoi “Zapp” clothes?

6 years ago

I thought the Padrone SL Roubaix Bib Tights were rated 30-50 F? I know it will change between individuals but is there a fleece lining etc? Having to wear shorts over bibs is not very practical. What’s your #1 rate winter bib or knicker?

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