Castelli quietly updated the Perfetto ahead of this year’s European winter season, with the aim of tweaking the Gabba descendent to make it more suitable for the everyday rider.
Born in the crucible of the pro peloton, if you liked the previous race-cut iterations of the long-sleeve Gabba and Perfetto, I’d forgive you for worrying Castelli might have been heavy-handed in its approach in order to appeal to the masses.
However, although not all the changes are hard-and-fast wins, the Perfetto is now more likely to be the ‘perfect’ poor-weather cycling jacket most of us need.
Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 details and specifications
I was very excited when I heard Castelli had released a new Perfetto. I’d be a rich man if I earned commission every time I heard fellow riders criticise the brand for its so-called ‘Italian’ cut.
If you’re not already aware, that essentially meant the Perfetto (along with the vast majority of the Castelli range) came up small versus the market, and was cut to suit the shape of a rider in their professional cycling pomp.
This meant you could size up, but find the garment a perfect fit in one area and far too generous (or restrictive) in another.
The headline change here, then, is Castelli has modified the cut and sizing to tackle this.
It’s only done so for a size medium and above (I tested a large). This reserves the original race-like cut for riders who are smaller in size, while larger riders are better catered for.
The shoulders are said to have been relaxed through a move to a two-part seam design on the rear side. The shoulder-top seams have been done away with.
The cut around the waist has been expanded slightly, according to Castelli, while the relative length of the top has been increased too.
Pockets now number a traditional three again, up from the previous generation’s two larger pockets.
That said, the small hidden internal sleeve – designed to hold, for example, a hand pump in place – has been sacrificed.
The previous-generation Perfetto had fabric upgraded from Gore-Tex Windstopper to Gore-Tex Infinium. That’s been maintained here, with Castelli still of the opinion that it’s the best fabric for this kind of garment with its water-resistant, breathable properties.
At the wrists, the cuffs have been re-tailored and cut more tightly with the goal of halting sneaky snakes of water from worming their way up your forearm.
The torso features zipped vents to aid cooling.
There’s a high-backed, tailored collar, plus a sizeable main zipper pull ring to assist with quick adjustments.
The waist hem doesn’t feature any silicone grippers. Instead, there’s the same style hemming as seen on the tweaked cuffs to keep the Perfetto in place.
A reflective strip features across the rear at the base of the pockets to aid visibility.
The Perfetto RoS 2 is available in grey, black, two shades of blue and the ‘Electric Lime’ colour seen here.
At first glance, it can be difficult to spot these changes, so our gallery below shows off the design tweaks in greater detail.
Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 performance
The Perfetto RoS 2 performs exceptionally well, as you might hope from a jacket that already has an almost folkloric reputation among cyclists.
The Gore-Tex Infinium fabric, seen throughout, is simply brilliant at repelling water while remaining breathable.
While I can attest that Gore-Tex Windstopper fabric (I own a first-generation Alpha RoS jacket featuring the material) was already very good, Infinium takes things up a level, especially in the worst conditions.
Infinium is more water resistant, a little more durable, and (I think) a touch more breathable too.
To be clear, I don’t advocate ditching your Windstopper-clad long-sleeve Gabba or Perfetto if it’s still doing a good job for you.
However, if you’re comparing all-weather jackets today, Infinium is about as close to a guarantee of good performance as you’re going to get.
Ride hard, and the Perfetto RoS 2 is brilliant at keeping your temperature regulated. You can feel the cooler outside air on your skin, while excess heat is exchanged really well.
Certainly, my baselayer was dryer after wearing just the Perfetto, than for the same ride in similar conditions, riding at a similar intensity, wearing a long-sleeve jersey and Shakedry jacket (which itself is about as breathable and waterproof as it gets).
Castelli claims the Perfetto RoS 2 is ideal for use in temperatures ranging from 4 to 14°C (39 to 57°F). To me, that’s almost spot-on.
I run quite warm and sweat a lot, so as soon as I’m looking at double figures on my ride I’ll consider switching to a long-sleeve jersey and cycling gilet – especially if it’s set to stay dry. But the flexibility of use is clear.
The zipped vents on the torso offer a little more airflow and cooling should you need it. This proved handy when I wore the Perfetto RoS 2 for my 34km commute to work with a backpack blocking in a good chunk of body heat.
The big changes are to the cut in the larger sizes. Where the previous-generation Perfetto is a race-cut and tighter fit, this newest version is welcomingly more relaxed.
I report this with a caveat: if I’m heading out for a mixed-weather blast and I don’t plan to stop or be sociable, I prefer the older, slimmer cut.
However, if I’m not tearing around on and above threshold, then in every other situation I can think of the new cut is an improvement for larger riders.
My wide swimmer’s shoulders fit in with greater ease, while there’s a bit more fabric around the mid-section.
In short, I feel less vacuum-packed, which I fundamentally found to be more comfortable on longer rides (and if I stopped for a coffee, or sat on a train, for instance).
The arms are satisfactorily long, and the cuffs stay put well.
If there’s one design tweak I lament, it’s the wrist cuffs. I’ve never enjoyed an enclosed feeling around my wrists, preferring instead a well-fitted non-elasticated design, as seen on the previous model.
That said, when I wasn’t wearing gloves and it rained, the elasticated versions here were slightly better at keeping water from working its way up my sleeve. I suspect that’ll be the most important thing to most riders.
The move to three pockets may be a popular one for riders wanting more organisation of their cargo. On balance, I think it’s better this way too, instead of having two wider pockets.
Importantly, the slightly lengthened body means the openings are easier to reach into on the move, despite being narrower.
That brings a small benefit in terms of rear coverage, too.
The reflective strip on the rearside offers extra visibility at night, which is reassuring. The strip overlays the bottom of the pockets, and has some laser-cut holes for drainage.
For most riders, such conditions will probably lead to the selection of a full waterproof anyway, but if you get caught out, at least your valuables aren’t going to be partially submerged.
On the point of valuables, there’s no zipped security pocket. It may add a small amount of manufacturing complication (and almost negligible weight), but I can’t be alone in missing a place to keep my house keys.
While a small detail, it’s a shame Castelli didn’t think this a relevant addition for recreational and professional riders alike.
When it comes to value, I think the Perfetto is worth its weight.
£245 is a serious wad of cash to part with for a single jacket. However, when you consider its brilliant all-round performance that now comes in a (broadly-speaking) more accommodating cut, it’s hard to fault it.
By comparison, Jack Evans found Rapha’s equivalent of the Perfetto – the £215 Pro Team Long Sleeve Gore-Tex Infinium Jersey – to be flawed, despite appreciating the Infinium fabric’s changeable weather prowess.
Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 bottom line
The Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 is an outstanding mixed-weather jacket.
It incorporates a number of updates that improve its wearability for most riders who aren’t racing whippets.
There will always be personal tastes and preferences regards fit and cut, but it’s impossible to please everyone.
I think Castelli has done a very good job of making necessary adjustments for more ‘average’ riders without ruining the performance DNA of the Perfetto.
It remains one of the very best cycling jackets money can buy (even if you’ll need a good chunk of cash to buy one).
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, GBP £245.00USD $280.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 389g (L) – claimed, Array, g|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Castelli|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Sizes: XS - 3XL
Colours: Grey, Black, Savile Blue, Steel Blue, Electric Lime (tested)
Fabric: Gore-Tex Infinium
|Gender||br_gender, 11, 0, Gender, Men's|