Style and substance.
Depending on who you ask, a Capo is either a little dealie you clip to your guitar's fretboard to change its pitch or a middle-rank member of a mafia organization. It's also, apparently, a stylish and comfy riding shirt from the fine folks at Pando Moto. I recently got my hands on a Capo and, after tooling around the Metro Detroit region with it during one of the hottest stretches of the summer, I have some opinions about it. Let's dig in, shall we?
The Capo is a lightweight, unisex riding shirt (honestly, it's like a light jacket) that Pando Moto describes as a "Perfect match for both men and women who want to feel comfortable during quick-spins throughout the streets". Cut much like a Western or "cowboy" shirt, it's made from stretchy, durable 12-ounce Cordura denim. It features a Kevlar-reinforced mesh liner and is secured by chain stitches and interlock seams. The Cordura shell carries a Level A (EN 17092) PPE certification and comes with Level 1 CE-approved armor at the elbows and shoulders (with the option for a SAS-TEC EN1621-2 back protector). Other features include a sturdy main zipper with a snap-fastened cover, Velcro-secured adjustable cuffs, an inner zipper pocket, and two chest pockets with snap-fastened flaps.
On paper, the Capo is pretty capable and a perfect hot-weather garment suitable for quick jaunts down the block or across town. In reality, it's a mixed bag—mostly positive with some niggly little quality of life issues that, while they're not dealbreakers, are kind of annoying.
To start, let's talk about the pros. I love how this jacket looks and fits. Despite being a, shall we say, gentleman of gravity, I found the slim-cut Capo super comfy. It's a bit tight, but since it's cut for lithe, athletic Mediterranean Euros and not thickset southern Slavs designed to carry a pig under each arm (me), I'll cut it a bit of slack. I think it looks great on me, too. I typically wear either Western shirts or work/gas station shirts when I go out (or, well, I did in the before times), and putting the Capo on feels like suiting up in one of my favorite shirts for a night on the town. The sleeves are nice and long, and thanks to their fit they don't ride up as you move around. The Capo even has a little Velcro strip on one sleeve so you can slap patches on it, a definite plus for me.
On the bike, the Capo feels like a second skin. The Cordura is stiff enough (I'm a raw denim/stiff jeans/sharp creases nerd) to keep its shape when worn but supple enough not to interfere with your movements or otherwise restrict you in the saddle. The armor plates are well positioned, and they're thin enough that they don't screw up the Capo's lines. Since I didn't have the back protector I can't comment to its fit, but I assume it's the same. It also breathes. It was in the high-90s with one brazillion percent humidity here in Detroit for a few weeks, and the Capo was comfortable at a standstill and even better at speed thanks to its COOLMAX lining. Now that it's cooled off a bit, the jacket is a touch thin for early mornings, but that's what leather is for.
Now for the cons. Honestly, it's a really short list. Mostly I just hate the flap that covers the Capo's central zipper. The snaps are small, shallow, and are sewn inside the flap. While that's good from a design perspective (I guess), I found the snaps extremely difficult to close. I'd prefer larger, exposed snaps on a wider flap to get a bit more leverage. Hell, give me an option for western-style pearl snaps and I'd fork over extra cash for 'em. Also, I found that my wrist-length gloves interfered with the cuffs too much and I ended up with my wrists exposed more than I care for. I'd definitely recommend gauntlets to cover the cuffs and their Velcro closures.
Overall, the Capo is a great warm-weather, light-duty jacket/shirt (Jirt? Shracket?). I'm not super sold on textiles in general—I prefer a nice, heavy piece of armored hide, myself—but the Capo is everything I want in a piece of non-leather riding gear. Mine is going to get a lot of use during the remaining warm weather this season, and I can see putting a lot of miles on it in the coming seasons. If you're looking for a new warm-weather jacket that's comfy, stylish, and competent, I highly recommend the Capo.