The Castelli Perfetto RoS wants to be both a jacket and a jersey, and is surprisingly good at being both. It's windproof and rain resistant whilst being super breathable, works well either on gravel or the road, and is perfect for chilly but not really cold weather. It won't keep out sustained downpours and it's expensive, though.
The Perfetto RoS replaces Castelli's long-sleeve Gabba, and the RoS part stands for Rain or Shine. The idea is that it performs like a jacket, but feels more like a jersey to wear.
Thus the Perfetto gets a Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper fabric, which is also extremely water resisant. It's not waterproof – it's more for protection against showers on otherwise dry rides – but nevertheless, the Perfetto is extremely impressive. It’s the most waterproof non-waterproof soft shell I’ve ever worn.
The material takes so long to breach and become saturated that it's actually the zip and the seams that leak first, despite their extra protection. The shoulder seams are taped on the outside and the zip is covered by a water resistant flap (apart from at the very bottom). If heavy showers are menacing the horizon, I wear the Perfetto every time.
The Perfetto is impressively breathable, and features two vents in the torso to allow a little airflow. Once on it feels light: the material isn’t hugely thick, and there's no fleecy lining – so, while not the warmest, it does let you work properly hard without overheating.
Castelli reckon this is good for 4-14 °C. At the lower end you're probably going to feel a bit cold in the Perfetto, but anything up to 15 degrees (with a base or base/jersey beneath) is just fine.
It's supremly comfortable. Well though-out panels hug the body, stretch panels under the arm mean your movements are unrestricted, and the collar is very well-judged. It's protective yet comfy when zipped all the way up.
On the back are two pockets, one of which has a sleeve for your pump. The hem is dropped with some reflective detailing (and that bright logo) for visibility, though it could drop lower – or better still, work like the excellent one on Castelli's own Trasparente jersey.
The fit is good. I’m a UK size 8 and wore a small, which came up fitted but not super-tight. I’ve worn other Castelli gear in medium and found a bit more room in the upper chest and more drop at the rear, which I quite like, so sizing up is an option, if not strictly necessary.
At £200, the Perfetto jacket is a substantial outlay of cash, but if you ride a lot and want a versatile softshell that will keep you dry in all but the worst conditions, it’s a price worth paying. By no means is this a waterproof, but then it's far less sweaty and noisy than one too – if you're looking for a jacket for the majority of UK winter rides, then this is the one.
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