When the Castelli Perfetto first released in 2015, it was touted as the successor for the ever-popular Castelli Gabba. The Perfetto was positioned as the lighter version of Gabba while having all the same features such as aerodynamic fit, waterproof yet breathable.
For the curious, the Castelli Gabba first came into the cycling scene in 2010 but it was not until the snow impacted Milan San Remo that it really caught the attention. No fewer than 8 teams wore a blacked-out Castelli Gabba on that day, racing under horrendous conditions. It was from there that it gained a reputation of being an aero, breathable rain jacket.
But why replace the Gabba only after a few years if it’s so popular?
The reason was that Castelli had to pay royalties to a Dutch company that holds the Gabba trademark. Hence, it doesn’t make business sense to do so especially when the Gabba range is just going to get more popular.
Enter the Castelli Perfetto.
- Temperature Range : 4°-16°C / 39°- 61°F
- Sizing : S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL
- Colors : 5 (Yellow, Orange, Blue, Black, Green)
- Weight : 322g (Size L)
- Variants : Vest, Regular Long Sleeve, Convertible Long Sleeve
Who is it For?
The Castelli Perfetto RoS Convertible Jacket is ideal for those riding in the spring, fall, and under rainy conditions (not heavy downpour). You can also wear it if you live in a location with mild winter.
To add to its versatility, Castelli made 3 versions of the Perfetto.
- Vest (sleeveless)
- Regular long sleeve
- Convertible (removable) long sleeve
This can be subjective and it varies depending on the person, riding effort, weather condition, and what you’re wearing inside (eg : summer or winter base layers, jerseys).
For this review, I’ll be covering the Perfetto RoS Convertible.
I chose the convertible version due to its versatility, where I can remove the sleeves when the weather gets warm mid-ride.
- Versatile. Removable sleeves allow for riding in a wide temperature range.
- Breathable fabrics. Latest Gore-Tex Infinium fabrics increase breathability, ventilation and comfort.
- Large pockets. 3 deep rear pockets with plenty of storage room and a smaller zippered side pocket.
- Not fully waterproof. Water-resistant Gore-Tex fabrics will keep you dry in showers, but not during heavy downpours.
Jersey or Jacket?
If you pay enough attention to the name, you’ll notice a few subtle but very important hints from Castelli.
- Different names. The regular long sleeve and convertible long sleeve versions are named differently when the only difference is the removable sleeves in the latter. The former is called Perfetto RoS Long Sleeve and the latter is called Perfetto RoS Convertible Jacket. In fact, it can be both, depending on how you use it. I’ve used it both as a jacket (with a jersey underneath) and a jersey (with a base layer underneath).
- RoS stands for Rain or Shine. It basically means that all Castelli clothing with RoS naming is designed for both dry and wet conditions.
Regardless of the naming, there is one thing that many cyclists agree with; this is a very versatile piece of clothing.
Versatile Across A Wide Temperature Range
The Castelli Perfetto is rated at 4°- 14°C / 39°- 57°F. From my own experience of wearing it late fall to winter and early spring, the sweet spot is around 7°- 12°C / 45°- 54°F.
Here are some examples of how I use this jacket :
- Early morning rides (4°- 8°C / 39°- 46°F). These are usually 90 minutes rides where it’s still cold when the ride finishes. I’ll be mainly doing either a cruising or tempo effort with nothing too strenuous. For this, I wear a short sleeve winter base layer under the Perfetto.
- Long rides (4°- 14°C / 39°- 46°F). These are longer rides that usually take place during the weekend. They usually start early and end around mid-day.
Depending on how warm it gets towards the end, I’ll either wear a winter or summer base layer. If I’m on a summer base layer, it could be slightly chilly at the start but it’s a trade-off I’d make so that I don’t get overheated towards the end.
Anything above 16°C / 61°°F would start to feel very warm for me especially if the sun is out.
One of its main selling points is the convertibility of the jacket. It’s a simple idea but has proven to be useful on many occasions for me, especially during the shoulder seasons. As far as I’m aware, there is not such jacket in the market today except Castelli.
If you take a close look at the sleeves, just above the elbow area, you’ll notice a small flap with zippers underneath it. Remove the zippers and you’ll remove the sleeves. The zippers are also color-coded, so you won’t mix up between the left and right sides.
4 Pockets for Plenty of Storage Room
At first glance, the rear pockets look very normal like what you’d find in most cycling jerseys. That’s where the similarities end.
Here are 3 things about the pockets that stood out.
- Water drainage. One of the improvements made over the previous version is the pocket’s water drainage system. Previously there are 9 clearly visible small holes at the pocket’s bottom to allow water egress. But now, Castelli has hidden these holes, giving a much cleaner rear design.
- Deep pockets. Besides that, the pockets are very deep. So deep that I can fit a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra which measures 6.6″ (167mm) long comfortably without the tip of the phone protruding out. Thanks to the Gore-Tex fabric, the pockets don’t sag when it’s full.
- Hidden 4th pocket. It’s positioned on the left side with waterproof zippers. Because it’s way smaller, there’s not much that you can fit inside except for some keys or small items that you don’t want to get wet.
Made from the latest Gore-Tex Fabrics
As with many other winter clothing, there is a trade-off between breathability and protection. Usually, breathability comes at a cost to the level of protection against the elements and vice versa.
Castelli uses the latest Gore-Tex fabrics called in the Infinium. The Gore-Tex Infinium was launched back in 2018 with a focus on comfort and performance. Unlike the original Gore-Tex, which is 100% waterproof, the Infinium trades off waterproofing capabilities for increased comfort. The Windstopper technology is also built into the fabric, making it 100% windproof.
Hence, the Castelli Perfetto is not 100% waterproof but water-resistant to a high degree.
To further improve the breathability and comfort, Castelli uses two different Infinium fabrics for the front and back panels.
- Gore-Tex Infinium 205. The front is where protection takes precedence over breathability. The 205 is a slightly heavier material that offers more protection.
- Gore-Tex Infinium 203. The rear is where breathability takes precedence over protection. The 203 is a lighter material, making it more breathable at the slight expense of safety.
From my experience, I’ve stayed comfortable (dry inside) most of the time except when I’m riding hard up a climb. If you’re cruising along or riding tempo, you’ll be surprised how comfortable the Castelli Perfetto is.
Sizing and fit
Generally, Castelli’s clothing sizing can be tricky for most cyclists. I’ve heard and also read many situations where one needs to go 1, or even 2 sizes up when it comes to Castelli.
For me, that is certainly true. I’m 5’7″ (170 cm) and weighs 154lbs (70kg) and most of my cycling kits are size S. For Castelli, I’m a size M and they fit just snug.
If you’re unsure about your size, you can try asking someone you know who wears a Castelli and is of similar physique and build.
What Others are Saying?
Best winter jacket … ever!
I did hesitate to spend this much on a winter jacket but it’s the best I’ve bought. The addition of Goretex takes this way beyond previous versions of Perfetto jackets. It’s now my go-to jacket for winter riding.
Got caught in a heavy November downpour – soaked on the outside and bone dry inside even after a hard dash to a coffee stop for shelter.
Not taken the removable sleeves off – maybe in the Spring so can’t comment on the functionality although you really don’t notice the zip mechanism when wearing it. “
David C, purchased from Wiggle
I rarely write reviews, but after my first ride in this jacket, I wanted to comment. I couldn’t justify buying it for myself but received it as a gift.
First, ride in the high 40s and drizzling and I couldn’t believe how well it kept me dry without overheating. I anticipate wearing this all through the fall.
I typically wear a size L in Pearl Izumi and the XXL fits great. Could probably go down to an XL but that would impact how I can layer under it in cold weather (with non-cycling specific base layers.)
How Much Does it Cost?
Depending on where you’re located, the Castelli Perfetto RoS Convertible Jacket retails for :
- US Dollars : $260 (Available at Competitive Cyclist)
- British Pounds : £200 (Available at Wiggle)
- Euros : €200 (Available at Wiggle)
These are the RRP (Recommended Retail Prices) and oftentimes you can get them between 10 to 20% cheaper, depending on the retailers, and if they’re running any promotions during that time.
Also, because of its popularity, some variants such as matte or white finishes tend to cost more.
Castelli Perfetto Jacket Alternatives
Gore Wear C3 Infinium Thermo Jacket
The Gore C3 jacket is a cheaper alternative to the Castelli Perfetto. It usually retails for around 30% cheaper, or probably more depending on if there are discounts given.
It’s a very similar jacket to the Perfetto with the same Infinium materials, 3 rear pockets, and 1 smaller small zippered pocket. The main difference is C3 is Gore Wear’s entry-level jacket, with C5 being mid-tiered and C7 the top-tiered.
The Perfetto is Castelli’s top-tiered jacket.
Castelli Alpha RoS 2 Jacket
If you want a warmer jacket to ride around freezing temperatures, the Alpha RoS 2 is a strong candidate. It’s rated down to -5°- 10 °C / 23°- 50°F, which makes it suitable for mid-winter rides.
It offers much more protection against the elements with the heavier Gore-Tex Infinium 150 fabrics, a double-layer cuff to prevent cold and water ingress.
Best of all, there is a double layer front panel, which you can unzip for you to better regulate breathability and ventilation.