Castelli has long partnered with Gore-Tex on their cold and wet-weather kits. With the latest Castelli Perfetto RoS Long Sleeve (a.k.a. jacket), you’re getting Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper throughout for the ultimate in wind and weather protection while remaining supremely stretchy and breathable.
Castelli Perfetto RoS Long Sleeve Features:
- Exclusive GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® 205 on front faces
- WINDSTOPPER® 203 Stretch on rear-facing surfaces for extra stretch and breathability
- Taped shoulder seams for extra rain protection
- YKK® Vislon® zipper for easy sliding, covered for extra wind and rain protection
- Zippered ventilation openings on side of chest
- 2 rear pockets with pump sleeve are easily accessed with gloved hands
- Gabba-style dropped tail with large black reflective panel
- Intended use: 4°-14°C / 39°-57°F
- Weight: 295 grams (large, actual)
- MSRP: $239.99
Perfetto is perfetto for cold-ish rides
Unless I’m testing cold-weather gear, my ride threshold is 40-degrees. At that temperature, you don’t have to ride in “Eskimo mode” and can still feel like you’re riding a bike instead of being bundled up like Randy on “A Christmas Story.” With that in mind, consider the Perfetto RoS Jacket as the perfect companion for rides ranging from 45-55 degrees. Of course, with proper layering, you could go lower or higher, but I’ve found that to be the sweet spot (and it just so happens to match Castelli’s suggested temperature range).
At the heart of the Perfetto RoS is Gore’s venerable Windstopper fabric. Since Castelli and Gore-Tex have long been partners for their inclement weather gear, Castelli is using an exclusive Windstopper 205 fabric on all front-facing areas. The 205 fabric does have a lightweight brushed lining for added warmth and moisture management. And, of course, as with all Windstopper fabrics, you’ll find that it does, in fact, block the wind. This wonder-fabric is the best in the business. And, while it does ratchet up the cost of any garment using it, consider it a long-term investment in the best materials on the market. You’ll be happily riding the Perfetto RoS Long Sleeve for years to come.
On test is the classic black version, but Castelli has recently embraced brighter colors in their lineup, so you can choose red or orange options as well. Black is always in style, but visibility is oftentimes more important — choose the one that suits your tastes.
Fit is classic Castelli, so don’t go sizing down with the Perfetto RoS. I have found it to be true-to-size (large fits great). While we’re on the subject of size and fit, you shouldn’t be surprised with the racy cut. Castelli is an Italian company that makes race-worthy kits and the Perfetto RoS delivers as expected. The sleeves and body are snug, but comfortable. Sleeve length is fantastic and allows you to slip your gloves over or under the cuffs — depending on the glove cuff thickness. I went on top with the Castelli Mortirolo gloves and underneath with a set of lighter-weight Gore Wear Windstopper gloves. If you wear a watch, like the Wahoo ELEMNT Rival, things can get a little snug.
With a drop hem, you’ll appreciate the added coverage and visibility elements. And, at the other end, the collar height and diameter is perfect. The collar is lined with lightweight fleece mesh for added comfort. I’ve never found the collar restrictive or cumbersome, but would recommend layering it up with a jersey that has a lower-profile collar to avoid doubling up the collar material. Speaking of that, I’ve been riding the Perfetto RoS Jacket with a midweight base layer only. Then, on the coldest of days, I put the MAAP Training Thermal LS Jersey underneath. I’d only recommend that setup if you must ride in temperatures from 38-43 degrees because things get snug.
Perfetto ride impressions
Castelli met my expectations for fit and function. And, their use of Windstopper left little wonder how it would perform on the bike. Without question, Castelli has been and still remains the gold standard in winter riding gear. Other brands do a good job overall, but nobody matches the across-the-board goodness that Castelli provides.
In the saddle, the Perfetto RoS feels natural. As expected, it is cut for on-bike performance. In a riding position, you’ll experience a jacket that just disappears. It moves with you and never feels constricting. The front panels feature a two-way stretch, while all back panels have four-way stretch. With that combo, you can expect both structure and comfort. Off the bike, you’ll quickly remember that this is meant to be ridden, not lounged in.
One bonus of the black color is added warmth from the sun. It’s definitely great on the cold end of the spectrum, but does mean added warmth at the higher ends of the temperature range.
With the lightly-brushed front panels, there is a touch more warmth, but don’t expect wonders. A true thermal-backed jacket will always be warmer. Again, even though the Windstopper fabric does block the wind, cold descents can be felt — particularly when just wearing a base layer underneath. There’s no way around that and that’s why Castelli stops short of calling this a winter jacket. The biggest limitation is the inability to add more layers underneath. A sleeveless base layer and thermal jersey are the maximum you can fit underneath the Perfetto RoS. So, while it is limited on layering, unlike thermal jackets, you can compress this one and stuff it into a jersey pocket in a pinch (good luck doing that with a true winter jacket).
The YKK Vislon zipper is easily-manipulated with or without gloves. I would have loved a two-way zipper to aid in access to under layers. When it comes time to remove the Perfetto, you’ll find the only way to do so is to turn the sleeves inside-out. It’s a minor issue and turning sleeves right side-out is part and parcel to being a father of four kids.
I dig that there are jersey pockets here, but since there are just two of them, all your items will gravitate towards the middle. What that means is you’ll have to be pretty flexible to get any items that have settled to the center.
Breathability is one of the best features of the Perfetto RoS. Windstopper simply breathes better than any comparable fabrics on the market. You’ll be hard-pressed to saturate this jacket (I’ve never done it). To further prevent that from happening, there are two core vents that are easily opened/closed as needed. Windstopper blocks wind and helps retain warmth, but it also is very close to being “waterproof.” While not “guaranteed to keep you dry” like Gore-Tex membranes, the combination of DWR and the tight-knit material itself delivers a highly water-resistant jacket that should cover the needs of most riders who don’t intentionally ride in the rain.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs — the size large fits perfectly.
- Windstopper breathes and protects — it’s the benchmark
- Racy overall fit
- Sleeve and hem lengths provide proper coverage
- Collar height/diameter makes things cozy and comfortable
- Can be stuffed in a pinch
- With just two pockets, items gravitate to the center
- A two-way zipper would be bonkers
- Fit limits layering (probably intentionally though)
The Bottom Line: Castelli Perfetto RoS Long Sleeve
While Castelli calls the Perfetto RoS a “long sleeve jersey,” I still call it a jacket. And, I’ll add that it is the “perfect” jacket for the right temperatures (45-55 degrees). With an excellent cut and comfortable fit, the Perfetto RoS Long Sleeve keeps Castelli’s bar nice and high.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com