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Castelli Perfetto foul weather jersey review

19 Sep 2017

The long sleeve Gabba gets a new name but loses none of its quality

Cyclist Rating: 
Keeps your body at the right temperature whilst keeping you protected from the wind
A zip pocket could really make this jersey 'perfetto'

Everyone has heard the story about the Castelli Gabba right? No? The one when all the riders wore it at the snowy Milan-San Remo?

Let me tell you anyway. Milan-San Remo 2013 was one for the ages. Snow, rain, minus temperatures, this addition of La primavera is a classic and where the Gabba made its name. 

So the story goes that conditions got so bad, riders reached for the Gabbas during the race, covering the badge to hide any potential issue with their sponsors. This could be an old wives tale, but it certainly could be true.

The Gabba has been best in class since it was first released and still remains the go to piece of winter kit for many.

Castelli has since made a slight change, reserving the Gabba name only for its original short sleeve original option, renaming the long-sleeve version the 'Perfetto'. 

The big question remains: has the change in name seen a change in quality? 

'Rosso Corsa'

The short answer to this question is no. After having worn the Perfetto a few times in varying weathers, good and bad, I can confirm this hasn't changed. 

If anything the Perfetto may have made some improvements from its time as the long sleeved Gabba. 

What really stands out from the Perfetto is its ability to keep you warm in cold conditions whilst also being breathable, preventing you from over-heating when putting in an effort. 

When I left my house recently to ride, the temperature was dancing around the 10 degree mark. The jersey kept me more than warm on the easy spin out to our club meeting point and the preceding kilometres of chatter that start any group ride. 

Yet when we took on one of the many steep climbs that litter the lanes and my body temperature began to rise, the sweat was kept off my body and I didn't find myself getting too hot.

When the climbs were finished and the chatting reignited, the jersey kept me just as warm at the end of the ride as it had at the beginning. 

Being made from Gore's Windstopper X-Lite, the windproof attributes of the jersey are almost a given. Keeping it sweet, you don't feel the wind. 

The high neck and 'splash flap' on the back are also top additions. Keeping your back side dry, the flap means that if you want the bike to keep the racey feel, mudguards could be left at home for this jersey. 

With a high neck, the need for a neck warmer has also gone, keeping the amount of winter kit you need to put on down to a minimum. 

Fit for purpose 

You may think that by working on the wind and waterproof nature of the jersey, it will have compromised on its fit. This is often the problem with jerseys and jacket that keep you warm and dry, they are not the most aero. 

However, I was left pleasantly surprised by how well the Perfetto fitted. Castelli claim the fit has been further refined, giving a sleeker and more fitted look. 

The jersey fits as well as any regular summer jersey, with little bunching and slim arms, making the jacket almost feel at one with your body. 

As is usual with Castelli, be aware that their idea of sizing usually remains vastly different to others.

Their narrow-fitting clothing across the board is no different with the Perfetto, meaning opting for a size larger than usual is probably the best idea.

One downfall of the jersey, and its only a small one, is the lack of a zip pocket. 

To me, having a winter jersey means that you will be riding it in the rain, therefore getting wet. Having three open pockets means that the contents of those pockets can easily get wet. 

We all ride around with electronics on us, usually a phone, and this is less prone to getting wet if inside a zipped pocket. 

If Castelli really wanted to make the ultimate all-weather jersey, it should have gone a step further and added the zipped pocket. 

The price is right

£175 may seem steep for a cycling jersey but trust me, this could be worth it. 

This pretty much offers everything you will need in a jersey from when the nights draw closer in October until Spring takes full swing in April. 

As a jersey that you will be able to wear for at least seven months of the year, and on the odd cold summer day, the Castelli Perfetto is a solid investment. 

However, the lack of a zip pocket means that, despite the name, this Castelli jersey is not quite 'perfetto'.

£175 RRP

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