First things first; it's unlikely you'll ever complain about feeling chilly in the latest jacket from Swiss brand Cervo Rosso. And that's surely the point of the Intermedio, a single-layer windproof that's part of their 2011 winter range.
The areas subject to the biggest pummelling from the wind – the front and back of the arms, and main body – are made from a windproof polyester fabric, while those out of the line of fire – the side panels, underarms and elbows – are made from a breathable, stretchy fleece-lined fabric. So this jacket shields you from wind where you need it and frees up movement in places that can afford to.
We put the jacket through several hundred miles of vigorous testing in a variety of conditions and kit combinations. The best results we had were during blustery, single-figure temperature days with just a winter-weight base layer underneath. We stayed extremely warm without the 'boil in the bag' effect, with the breathable panels clearly having the desired result. It also shrugged off minor rain showers well and the waterproof zippers did their job.
Because it keeps the wind out so well, conditions need to remain cool for things to stay comfortable. Worn on a windy but milder late-autumn day with just a thin base layer, condensation built up rapidly throughout the interior and inside the rear zipped pocket, and we overheated quite badly. Cervo Rosso suggest it's a jacket for 0 to 15°C, but we feel this upper threshold is stretching things. One thing's for sure; in the right context, the Intermedio is a winner.
The Intermedio is available only in black, in sizes up to XL. It has a 'performance cut' and our size large test jacket left little room for manoeuvre on testers who usual take a medium. The absence of any reflective detailing might put some off and the material won't be for everyone, either. The windproof fabric has a furry feel and tends to attract fragments of other material, particularly after washing.