Castelli Perfetto Ros Gilet and Warmers: Quick Review

Castelli Perfetto Ros Gilet and Warmers: Quick Review – by Grannygear

If there is anything more versatile in cycling related clothing than the combo of knee warmers, arm warmers, and a gilet (a vest to us A-murr-i-cans)?  I think not.  They build a bridge for us on those chilly mornings that turn into warm days then back into cool evenings.  Not sure what the day will bring (short of rain…and maybe even that)?  These three items can get you home in a pinch even if it gets quite cold, but are so flexible…begin in all three then shed the vest as the day warms and sweat happens.  Then peel the knee warmers, tucking them in a jersey pocket.  Arm warmers can stay or not, even remaining on the arms by being rolled down to the wrists where they can be pulled back up into place while riding.

Grannygear in his vest….ah, gilet!
A jacket is all or nothing and might not fit in a jersey pocket. A long sleeve jersey is a full commitment. One can get totally trapped in tights and bake in them if you guess wrong. But this combo I am calling blessed, well it’s almost too perfect and I can’t imagine not having at least one set of these marvels of clothing goodness in your repertoire. Now then I am not suggesting leg warmers.  I am not sure I get the purpose of those.  If it is cold enough to want that much coverage, then I just want tights.  Knee warmers, however, are perfect.  That coverage over the knees is crucial for keeping them warm and healthy and the extra layer at the thighs where things overlap is quite comfy for those hard working quadriceps.
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I have a good selection of gilets. Some are wispy, meshy things that just cut the wind a bit and would pack up into a water bottle (or bidon, since we are being all continental here) and some are insulated, puffy things. Some totally block the wind and most of the rain and others don’t do anything special except match a jersey! I like vests. Collect them all. Good fun. Like stamps except with a purpose.

But the warmers I own are a bit less numerous as I do not need more than one set for each gear bag…road and gravel/MTB. I like a medium-weight warmer. Something with a simple fleece backing. That is almost always enough to match a normal (or lightly thermal) Lycra short and base/short sleeved jersey/vest combo. I can see a good reason for having a wind blocking front panel on a set of warmers though, but I do not have any like that. My go-to knee and arm warmers have been mostly Castelli, although I have a set of merino wool arm warmers from Endura that I use mostly for layering under a long sleeved jersey as they let too much air through on cool days.  However, when combined with a wool short sleeved base shirt, I can add or subtract the light wool arm warmers under a long sleeved jersey.  I don’t do it a lot, but it works. Later we will look at a set of warmers and a gilet from Castelli but first I will lay out my own selection of gilets and what I like about some of them.  Or don’t like.

A selection of gilets from (L-R) Endura, Louis Garneau, Boure’, Rapha, Reggie Wear, Rapha again, and finally the Castelli Perfetto Ros

This fence row display shows my repertoire of gilets, seven in all.  I look for high collars to keep drafts out and long tails to go over jerseys that have stuff in their pockets.  I do not care too much if the gilet itself has pockets, some do, some do not, but extra features like pockets and layered fabrics make the gilet a bit less stuffable.  It’s a compromise.

Looking at the picture of the hanging vests and moving from left to right, my favorite one, or at least the one I use the most, is the bright green one from Endura, first in line. It is a classic windbreaker front, so not wind proof and is all meshy in back. The tail is very long, which is nice, and it packs into a very small bundle. It is just enough. It flaps terribly in the wind (at the shoulders) but other than that, it’s a staple item I grab for most rides that require a vest.

Next is a Louis Garneau that is pretty fluffy for a vest, with Polartech fleece as part of the build. It’s really warm and does not stow in a jersey pocket, but it’s nice for a gravel or MTB ride that might get colder than you expected.

Boure’. A name from the past, this blue vest goes back to the early days of MTB, clothing wise. It’s a size too big for me and it’s cut like a barn door, but the thing is great for MTB rides as it fits over bulky clothing and under a hydration pack with room to move.

Rapha gets two in the group, both of them meshy, minimal things, one in pink and one in orange (orange one is sixth from the left). They run a bit tight and I wish they were a bit longer in front sometimes, but that cut is for a very aggressive riding position. I have them mostly cuz’ they match my pink and orange jerseys. And they were on sale.

The multi-colored one is from Reggie Wear. It’s one of my favorite pieces, mixing various levels of materials and imagination and zipping into this one always makes me feel good. But I want it to be a pretty cool day. It even has a dual zipper so I can unzip from the bottom up to get to things under it. It’s a smart piece, but is not terribly stuffable. It needs a pocket all to itself, really.

And then we have the new Castelli gilet, resplendent in bright orange.

Castelli Perfetto Ros:  A gilet for Flanders weather.

From the Castelli website.

The Perfetto Vest has been a favorite with everyone from our pro riders to Castelli staff to performance cyclists everywhere. But we wanted to make it even more perfect, so we developed a new exclusive GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® fabric that is both lighter and more water repellent than the old fabric while maintaining the stretch and breathability.We matched it up with better water repellency in the back while maintaining the breathability, and further improved details like the back pockets and reflectivity.A more perfect Perfetto Vest. $179.99MSRP

Most of the gilets I have share one thing in common…no sense of protection in wet weather and if the wind is really, really up, they are a decent barrier but not a total stopper. Perfetto changes all that with GORE Infinium fabric. I loved the older Perfetto LS jersey when I reviewed it last year. It truly is my number one winter piece for faster rides in changing weather and this piece seeks to bring that performance to a rider in a gilet.
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The front of the Perfetto Ros is very water resistant and totally windproof, it also is quite breathable and stretchy, especially in the back, so it’s form fitting as well. Of course it’s also Castelli and that means a snug cut and I had to go to an XL to get the thing to fit me. It has two back pockets with a sewn in pump section and a strip of fabric that drains any water that runs into there. The high collar has a zipper garage and a soft, meshy, material at the neck for comfort. Reflective bits at the armpits help with being seen, but there is not much else that will bounce light back except that drain strip at the rear pockets. It does not look reflective, but it is.
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The front fabric is GORE Infinium which is a pretty durable barrier for wind and water. The rear fabric is Nano Flex Light Woven which is not windproof, but is rated as offering water protection. Obviously this is not a rain vest in any pure sense, but I bet it would be quite good in light showers and it’s way better than a typical windbreaker gilet would be. Way better. It’s a very warm vest, feeling quite coddling, but it’s at its’ best when you are riding fast. For slower, more adventure based efforts in cold weather something like the Garneau is better.
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The Rosso Corsa name gives a hint to the fast moving intent of this piece and if you are a full figured, Iowa corn fed type, better size way up. My only complaint is that I wish the tail covered a bit better. It seems long enough, so maybe it is the snug fit, but if the jersey under it is long in back, it protrudes past the Perfetto Ros.

Fuzzy layers for limbs:  Keeping the appendages warm and happy with Thermoflex 2..

Castelli Arm Warmer as modeled by Grannygear

The arm and knee warmers from Castelli are Thermoflex 2 and hit that middle ground of warm but not arctic-warm. I would say they are classic warmers in that sense. I fit a LG in the arm warmers and I can either wear a LG or MD in the knee warmers. They are quite simple, cut to be anatomical and with grippy sections at the top of each piece, it’s an understated look with ‘Castelli’ embossed in black on the lower outside and as part of the grippy stuff, but you really have to look hard to see it. Frankly I miss the Castelli logo, but call me traditional. That also made it easy to know which warmer is which (left or right) as the old scorpion logo was always facing outwards.

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Basically, they are basic.  But that is just fine with me.  And I have had a set of the Castelli Thermoflex knee warmers for five years or so and they look as good as new.

$39.99 each pair. Seriously…you need at least one set of warmers top and bottom and a vest or two.  Buy them.  Wear them.  treasure them. You can thank me later.

NOTE: Riding Gravel was sent some of this kit featured in this post by various manufacturers at no charge for test and review. A few pieces (as indicated) were purchased by Grannygear, We were not paid nor bribed for this post and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.

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Grannygear

Author: Grannygear

Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for RidingGravel.com in his spare time.

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3 thoughts on “Castelli Perfetto Ros Gilet and Warmers: Quick Review

  1. Except the one thing with the vest and armwarmer combo is the shoulders/upper arms. Fine if it’s just a chilly set art to the day. But if you might have to wear those layers for a longer time, I want some more balanced warmth and wind protection across my entire front.

  2. So if I need the full windproof projections that Gore Windstopper/Infinium brings, that I want at least something warmer or more wind resistant for my shoulders/upper arms, especially on the bike, where those body parts are not working.
    I do love the Perfetto Short sleeve, of whatever it’s called, windproof front, including front of upper arms, then some arm warmers with that.

  3. @Slim…yes, I get it. In fact that makes me tend to not do a super warm vest like the Garneu. If it’s that cold, I want my arms sheltered too. But a lot of folks have thermostats set higher than I, and maybe you too. For them, a vest is good 90% of the time. I would like to have a set of wind blocking arm warmers some day, just on the front side.

    gg

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