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So far it’s a solo ride.

The World's Most Expensive Rain Shell: Introducing the Castelli Idro

Anthony Little |

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Mention the name Castelli to most seasoned road cyclists, and the immediate recollection is of the piece that put them on the modern apparel map, the venerable Gabba rain jersey. Hailed by pro teams the world over, it remains a mainstay for riders sponsored by the Scorpion - and not. Since then, Castelli has continued to innovate in the realm of gear for less-than-optimal conditions, and their new Idro waterproof rain shell is no exception.

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We'd be remiss to call the Idro a true jacket. Designed using the newest, lightest GORE-TEX fabric available (Castelli is one of five companies with access to it - and the only cycling brand), the Idro is the world's lightest (123 grams), most packable rain shell available. Did we mention it's completely waterproof? And breathable? No longer will we be soaked to the hypothermic bone descending alpine passes when a summer thunderstorm rips open overhead, painfully enduring descents in an omnipresent clear rain cape that does little more good than a suffocating tarp.

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Unfortunately, Castelli chose to release the Idro to Above Category at a prime time to hunt down anything but rain in coastal California: July. In turn, we made do. We're pleased to report that the Idro is quite waterproof (whilst repelling water balloons with aplomb), breathes nicely (for those 80°F poolside trainer sessions), and fits better than most raincapes we've been subjected to. The rear side zip makes for quick access to jersey pockets, and rapid ventilation in a pinch. The shell also packs down to a rather minuscule size - about the same volume as a standard Clif bar if you're dutiful about folding, and a bit larger for an on-the-road stuff job.

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Doubly unfortunately, Italy has released a rather small quantity of jackets in their initial production run. The next batch isn't due until mid-winter, according to our best sources at Castelli's nerve center in Fèltre. While we're rarely ones to push anything with a modicum of voracity, this seems to be something to jump on quickly.

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Have a pool party of your own this summer - and beyond. Shop Castelli's impregnable Idro.