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Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket review

20 Jan 2023

A subtle but sophisticated upgrade to the high-end Perfetto range

Cyclist Rating: 
Aero feeling fit, Weather versatile, Double-ended and robust zipper, Smart windproofing, Technical Gore-Tex material, Lightweight and not bulky
Unimaginative range of colours, Expensive

The Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket is a svelte and bespoke-feeling overlayer that deserves consideration when adding to your winter riding essentials

Building on the success of the iconic short-sleeved Gabba, the Perfetto claims to be a jacket for (almost) all days – except hot summer that is – providing breathability without chill, insulation without the bulk of actual insulation, and some degree of water protection without that clammy greenhouse effect.

RoS, which stands for rain or shine, underlines the aims for the new Perfetto, to be the jacket you pick up without actually looking out the window.

The Perfetto 2 is reasonably light and looks smartly understated in any of the four muted colours (plus luminous yellow) without being wildly eye-catching.

Practicality is at the forefront of this design, with three deep hand-sized pockets that open at an easy height and comfortably house a decent-sized pump and a phone. The material under the rear pockets and the reflective stripe is black on all varieties to match with black bibs which creates a neat horizontal contrast.

It’s perched in the higher reaches, price-wise, of the Italian brand’s apparel offering, in part due to the collaboration with Gore-Tex and its Infinium 203 and 205 Windstopper material. 

Considering its versatility, the price could still provide good value, though it has increased around 30% from the previous iteration of the Perfetto.

Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket: Design and specifications 

Castelli claims the Perfetto is 100% windproof and suitable for totally dry and clement conditions, or a changeable day on the bike with wind, rain and roadspray. This is achieved using different grades of material on front and back, so that your wind-breaking front doesn’t absorb deep levels of chill, while the porous back half lets heat escape.

Using a range of base layers and jerseys is how Castelli suggests you can make the most of the Perfetto’s adaptability. The jacket is treated with DWR (durable water repellent) which reduces surface tension and allows water to roll off, and while Castelli rates it four out of five for waterproofness, this is not billed as a waterproof jacket.

Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket: Weatherproofing

The thoughtful mixed fabric approach, with Gore-Tex Infinium 205 Warm covering front-facing areas and the unlined 203 Stretch taking care of the rear, works effectively.

On a brisk and breezy 7 degree-morning I felt well protected from the wind. Plus, as the windstopping properties are only rolled out on half the garment, it helps the Perfetto in size Large stick to a modest 280g.

It feels more like a substantial jersey than a thin jacket. The sizable zipper is overlaid with material to maintain a clean single-toned surface and minimizes this vertical chink of chill in the armour. Because this zip hood is truncated before the bottom of the garment, it avoids any clumsy glove fumbling to try and cover up your torso once you’ve crested a climb.

The occasional dousing I received during my test period gave me a good handle on how the jacket coped with water. Whenever it got a good soaking it brushed off much of the rain, allowed pocket rain to disperse through the carefully placed irrigation holes, and the only visible seeping was around the back pocket stitch points when I flipped the jacket inside out.

Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket: Breathability

On an early morning single-digits ride, I padded out the Perfetto with an underlayer and a jersey to stave off those dark sky, early ride shudders, and my core temperature remained more or less perfect for some conversational Zone 2 laps on the flat.

I even avoided the dreaded core layer of sweat which renders any stops a very cold experience. It was straightforward to make use of the chest vents (just don’t mistake them for pockets!) and I flared out the waist with the reversible zipper once I started on a few efforts, but I never felt the need to remove my under-jersey, nor did any unsightly sweat marks appear on the chalky blue pastel colour of the jacket.

Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket: Fit

For the Perfetto 2 update, the shoulder seams have been moved 90 degrees to the rear to prevent rain ingress and now connect with the horizontal back seam, but it’s the astute fit that riders will really notice.

The sleeves are snug on the wrist and arm, but loosen towards the bicep with a stretchy fabric underneath the armpits to allow for extra movement. In riding position the jacket hugs the torso nicely while giving the shoulders space to flex.

Off the bike, as is the case with most well-fitted jackets, manouverability is quite tight. Similarly, the sleeves collect a little at the wrists with straight arms, but shorten to fit when hands are on the hoods.

Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket verdict

Castelli has used top-end Gore-Tex material to pair technological excellence with thoughtful and intricate design resulting in a stylish and snug jacket that protects riders through the shoulder seasons.

If you’ve got some budget to play with and want to invest in protecting yourself for almost all weathers except the worst rain, then the Perfetto 2 justifies the outlay.

Castelli Perfetto RoS 2 jacket alternatives

Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall Jacket C2

In a similar price bracket is the Assos Mille GTS Spring Fall Jacket C2, coming in at £210. Its name gives away the Mille’s favourite months and Assos heralds the qualities of its Airblock.888 that acts as a shield to rain and wind, while also providing breathability.

The struzzoKragen collar differentiates it from the Perfetto, providing an alternative design on the luminous yellow model as well as claiming to negate the need for unzipping with its active thermoregulation.

The jacket features lidded back pockets for extra rain protection but even fewer colour iterations, with just black or lumo to choose between.

Rapha Brevet Insulated Jacket

Over a third cheaper is the Rapha Brevet Insulated Jacket, at £160. The Brevet is looser and has more of a jacket (rather than jersey) feel compared to Assos’ Mille GTS or the Castelli's Perfetto.

Rapha’s mode of breathable insulation is its (46%) recycled Polartec Alpha, and the Brevet is treated with DWR like the Perfetto.

There aren’t conventional pockets here, just two zippable lower back stashes, but Rapha has prioritised making this more compactible so it packs away neatly courtesy of an elasticated pink band.

Photos: Mike Massaro

Products reviewed by Cyclist are independently selected and tested by our editorial team. Cyclist may earn an affiliate commission if you make a purchase through a retailer link. Read our reviews policy.

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