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