When the Gabba first launched in 2013, it basically took over the cycling world. By now, you're likely familiar with its clandestine appearances throughout the peloton, so we'll skip the anecdotal praise and get to the matter at hand: Castelli's replacing it. The new, Men's Perfetto Jersey spells the end of the Gabba era, and—once we got over our initial outrage—we realized that Castelli hasn't lost its collective mind. The long-sleeve Perfetto is, basically, a Gabba-plus, beginning with the same race-fit, weather-resistant features that made the Gabba so damned impressive and pushing those properties to further extremes. It's still based on the platform of GORE's Windstopper X-Lite Plus material, and we'll cover that below, but any time something as iconic as the Gabba gets tweaked, those changes bear analyzing in detail.
The biggest change from Gabba to Perfetto is that Castelli claims to have improved the Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric's water-repellent finish. We write "claims," because it's hard to believe that it gets better than the Gabba. But here we are. The change addresses a relatively minor complaint that many of us have with the Gabba—namely, it does tend to get a bit stifling during race efforts and interval sessions. That's not an issue that most other inclement weather gear needs to address, because most other inclement weather gear isn't cut for racing. Since the Gabba is, we were able to push it to its limits in the most demanding situations. The Perfetto effectively extends those limits; we look forward to testing them in the sodden races of early spring.
The Perfetto's improved water-resistance and breathability are only noticeable during hard efforts in questionable conditions, but Castelli also made a few readily apparent changes to how the jersey fits. First, the brand refined the fit, further eliminating unnecessary material at the usual flap-points for an even more streamlined ride. Castelli also revisited the extended rear storm flap, making it more of a flexible material (similar to Nano Flex) that lies flat rather than blousing out. The rear pockets were also tidied-up, with the drain mesh relocated to three laser cut holes instead of an accordion construction between the pockets and the jersey itself. This contributes to the lower profile storm flap's fit, which in turn improves the overall profile of the jersey.
With the exception of the stretchy Nano Flex inserts in the underarms, the Perfetto's body is made from Windstopper X-Lite Plus fabric. Windstopper X-Lite Plus has 1.4 billion impossibly small pores per square-inch that guard your microclimate jealously. They don't let wind in, but they do let moisture and water vapor out. This claim isn't just based on vague marketing copy, though—the science behind Windstopper X-Lite is measurable in a rating called CFM, which stands for cubic feet per minute, used to measure the volume of air that passes through a fabric in, you guessed it, one minute. In order to be considered truly "windproof," a fabric must register a CFM of equal to or less than 1.0. Windstopper X-Lite Plus actually beats this rating, so you're guaranteed a top that is literally classifiable as windproof.
While the Windstopper membrane is impressive, the Perfetto's key defining element is its race-minded fit. The sleeves are forward-oriented and the chest features an abbreviated fit compared to similar offerings from other manufacturers. The Perfetto feels a little tight across the chest while you're standing, but your body fills it out perfectly while stretched out on the bike. Compared to the Gabba, it sits even closer to your chest and stomach, eliminating the pregnant hippo look that so many of us despise in kit designed for cold or inclement weather.
The Nano Flex underarm inserts offer increased stretch and ventilation, which can be further supplemented with vertically oriented, zippered vents on either side of the front panel. Those vents seem inconsequential, but they're a surprisingly effective alternative to opening the front-zipper floodgates. The collar is articulated to eliminate looseness while you're in the saddle and the front zipper features an external flap. The Gabba's reflective stripes are replaced by Castelli branding on the storm flap, which is one of the few embellishments to an otherwise refreshingly minimalistic design.
Castelli recommends the Perfetto for use in the same temperature range as the Gabba: 43 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. As with the Gabba, many of us find that the mid-50s are a bit warm for this jersey, especially when hammering through intervals or riding at racing effort levels. Its peloton-worthy cut, insulating characteristics, and low claimed weight do recommend it for racing, just in the low-50s and below. Recreational cyclists or riders building low-intensity base miles will find that the Perfetto works comfortably into the high-50s, depending on personal temperature preferences.
- An update to the original race-cut, weather-resistant cycling jersey
- GORE Windstopper X-Lite Plus is breathable, all-weather protection
- Racing fit is cut to eliminate flapping material
- Wheel spray is deterred by the closer-fitting storm flap
- Zippered side vents dump heat during hard efforts
- Laser-cut mesh drains in the three rear pockets
- Reflective branding adds visibility in inclement conditions
- Castelli continues to redefine all-weather racing kit
- Item #CST00F9
What do you think about this product?
March 12, 2020
Great winter layer
Perfect layer for east coast winters. Runs small - I'm usually a medium but the large fits like a glove.
October 19, 2019
good product. one complaint...
certainly a well made garment. fit is perfect for me HOWEVER I don't like how long the tail is. It is too long and catches the saddle whenever I stand on pedals. I am going to get some velcro so I can flip the tail up and under the back to avoid this. warm enough with a jersey or base layer for cold days ( 40's ). zipper under arms to cool off when needed. I think I would prefer the vest version of this in hindsight. I bought XXL ( never had to do that before because I'm fairly lean )
January 17, 2020
The tail is meant to keep your backside dry on rainy days. If it didn't have it, they couldn't say it was a foul weather jersey.
September 20, 2019
Excellent Jersey for the Fall
This is an excellent jersey for the fall and will be this spring in the Northwest. This has become my go to lunch ride jersey this fall in mist, rain, and down right down pour. As the temps drop it will only get better. I agree with Ed G. on the fit! The side vents are great on climbs or if ambient is in the upper 50's. Also the red color is very visible according to my co-workers who pass me on the way back to work.
March 11, 2019
This is a really fantastic jersey for cooler weather. The fit is snug and doesn’t flap in the wind. Love it!
March 5, 2019
Go-to jersey for Louisiana "winter"
In Southern Louisiana the "bad days" of winter are mostly 30's-50's, often sunny, can be windy, occasional light rain. This has become my favorite top for those conditions. Took a while to decide on sizing (XL vs XXL) as I hate the hassle of returns. Thanks to Nate for the size confirmation. For me, XL sizing is perfect - yes, it's form fitting, it's supposed to be. I will ride in the low 30s with a base layer such as the Flanders or Prosecco, and just a sleeveless core layer mid 40s-mid 50s. Above that it gets a bit steamy even with the vents open. Rear pockets are fine for a phone and a multitool.
January 16, 2019
Maybe not perfect, but darn good
Fit: I'm 153 lb / 5'8". I've got a Medium jacket. Fit is good in terms of shoulder width, torso length, and arm length (and I have long-ish arms). Fit is snug around the torso, and when I'm really working hard, I feel like it constricts my breathing a little: a bit of elasticity around the midsection would help, although this may say more about my fitness than the jacket's fit (perhaps that's what the side vents are for!). I've got a cyclist's upper body, and the sleeves are a close fit--if I start hitting the gym, they'll be tight. There's enough give that it doesn't pull me into a crouch when I'm off the bike (I've got a different jacket that does), but it definitely fits better on the bike. For just riding along, it fits great. Temperature range: I've been wearing it with a wool baselayer. It seems to be ideal on a gray 50°F day. In the mid-40s, it takes a while before I feel warmed up; in the upper 50s, I feel quite warm after a few miles and start unzipping. Weather resistance: So far I haven't ridden through worse than drizzle, which it shrugged off easily. I'm not convinced that it is windproof, but I haven't been able to do side-by-side testing. Construction: So far seems solid. The cuffs and hem all stay put. The pockets seem high on the back, so they're hard to access. The rain flap sits quite low across my butt, but can be tucked underneath. Would be nice if: The neck were taller. There were a zippered "napoleon pocket"--I'm surprised there are no zippered pockets on this jacket at all.
January 9, 2019
great for cool weather
Great feel in cool weather 40s-50s. I go on morning rides along the coast, often damp, overcast and a bit windy. The jersey is lightweight and protects in moderate conditions. Although I'm slim and generally wear small, medium is better with this one- I can add a layer on colder mornings and not feel bunched up. I like the little extra room the medium gives as the selves are tight but the chest is roomy- maybe a bit too roomy as compared to the shoulders and sleeves, hence the four stars. Love the feel of the breathable fabric- even on hard climbs, I have not overheated- the jersey really does breath better than any I have owned, and stays comfortably warm on the flats. I have the Perfetto in a short sleeve as well, size small, and love the tailored fit and wind protection.
December 29, 2018
Lives up to the hype
Seconding all of the other positive reviews. I've worn this in a series of rides now with temps from the low 40's F to mid 50's, conditions ranging from cool and blustery to outright downpour. It's a totally versatile layer with the right base underneath, totally shrugs off road spray and light rain, kept me dry even in a serious rain. In the 40's I've ended up layering a gilet over it. Size up, even more than you might with Castelli - I'm a Medium in Rapha Pro Team and the Gabba, Large in Perfetto.
December 12, 2018
Castelli Fit is always a Challenge
I love Castelli product. Styling gets 5 stars. Quality gets 4-5 stars. Sizing gets like 2-3 stars. Castelli is known for running small. The question is how small? One size too small, 2 sizes too small? Unknown. I'm not a big guy. I wear the Gabba 2 in the spring and fall. Size XL. I'm 5'10, 165, 39 chest, 33 waist. With a tape measure, measured. Pretty average sized, actually. My weight varies maybe 5 lbs. Castelli notes a 41 inch chest for the XL Gabba 2. I wear a really thin layer under it. So sizing up two, It's form fitting and looks decent. Sticking with my XL experience, these jerseys were way off for me, using the exact same underlayer. Chest was good, but the mid section was pretty baggy. The sleeves were at least 1.5 inches "on-the-bike" too long. I buy Gore and PI stuff. Their sizing is always spot on. I buy a medium in PI and a large in Gore. They fit, every single time. I will continue to buy Castelli product but the returns for retailers on inconsistent sizing must be a huge pain. Looking at the other reviews, it would seem a common issue.
December 8, 2018
Does the job, but runs really small
I purchased this on advice of a good cyclist friend of mine. He too owns a Perfetto, and it's previous iteration, the Gabba. I got the Sky Blue color, which looks stunning. The first time I used this was on a 38-mile fall ride in southeast Michigan in cool weather, and this held up really well in 50-degree F with light drizzle. Subsequent fall-weather rides have been very pleasant, in combination with a SmartWool 150 or 250 base-layer when it gets colder. The base-layer can be a tight fit in size M, especially if you wear a heart-rate monitor on your arm. I had purchased a size M based on my experience with other Italian cycling clothing (Santini Origine short sleeve jersey). The Perfetto in size M is even more tight-fitting than I expected, even for someone whose arms are as slender as mine. I'm 5'10" with a 35" waist, 37" chest and weight around 180 lbs. Being south Asian, I have a more slender build than the average physically-active American. I tried sizing up, but the item was no longer on sale, and I didn't wish to pay full price. I usually wear size S for Pearl Izumi, and M for Santini. I would size up to size L at least for any other future Castelli jersey, especially in their Rosso Corsa line.
December 6, 2018
Colors are not accurate for Med
Note, I ordered a L and M as not sure on size (which is my typical Castelli experience!). The M fits, it is tight, race fit, not for casual hanging out in the coffee shop fit! I can get a thin insulating layer under, but this is a jersey, NOT a jacket. I am 5'11
December 3, 2018
Returning this to a large since this is the most skin tight Medium I've ever worn. Aside from that, I believe I'll be very warm in this jacket. Can't wait to get the Large in to test my hopes!
November 24, 2018
Itâs as perfect as Gabba 2
Bought Gabba 2 for New York City 4-season riding. ONLY needed that for temp as low as 20F (with 1 layer of Patagonia mid weight long sleeves). I needed something more so I bought this. It is as awesome as Gabba 2, a bit more form fitting. For Rapha Iâd need M, this I need L. For competitive cyclists out there, this is the only thing you need if you hammer every ride. For colder days, I have Castelli Alpha, probably with that is thatâs too hot for even 0F.
October 14, 2018
Quality product sizing not very accurate
The jacket is nice. I originally ordered an XL, then a 2XL and finally a 3XL. I'm somewhat barrel chested, so the 3XL provided the fit I needed. Unfortunately, this makes the arms a bit long. I bought this for riding in 50-60 degree weather. Was unsure of how to layer with it. I think I should have layered a bit heavier. 55 degrees, sunny with a good wind. The jacket seemed to cut the wind. Overall, I was a bit cool, but that was probably due to how I layered. Overall, I'm happy with this product. The sizing is weird. Other than that, I like it and would recommend it.
May 1, 2018
With a 41" chest & 35" waist, I needed an XXXL to fit. The sleeves of the XXL were too tight for my skinny arms! Ridiculous sizing. The XXXL looks great and fits well. Beautifully windproof. Worn with a Smartwool 150 gm long sleeve undershirt in 40 to 55 degree weather and rain, I found that while it is fairly rainproof, my torso and arms became wet at 45+ degrees due to sweat, and periodically my arms and torso were cold due to the sweat buildup. I have never felt sweat on my arms before. The jersey DOES NOT breath. The two side vents are totally inadequate. I would just as soon get lightly wet from rain as wet from sweat. My Goretex rain jacket breaths much better and results in less sweat buildup. Would be okay doing a leasurely ride at 40 to 50 degrees, but not when you need to breath hard or over 55 degrees..
March 30, 2018
Wore this for the first time this morning on a typical spring ride - 45 degrees, light rain and road spray. Paired it with Castelli Seamless Men's Sleeveless Base Layer and it was perfect! I was just the right temperature and completely dry. The rear storm flap is awesome - my buddies all had wet and dirty bib shorts but I had nothing on mine at the end of the ride. Like everyone says it does fit small. I normally wear a medium in other brands but the large was just right and the race fit was fantastic. I'll definitely be buying another one!
March 1, 2018
Incredibly Inaccurate Sizing
It looks great, but I could not wear the XL even though I normally wear Med to Large in Pagatonia, Ibex, Smartwool, Kitsbow. Etc. I am skiing and the sleeves were terribly difficult to get into. Not sure if an XXL will fit. Looks great, but why can't they size it properly?
December 9, 2017
Versatile and well-named
I got this for road rides into late fall and winter in the Berkshires and western New England. It is windproof and somehow breathes well, but it's not warm. On my ride today (it was 29degF), I wore a base layer and the Castelli Puro 2 under the Perfetto and my temp was perfect. After going 31 miles, only my toes were cold. I'm 6' and 185 lbs with skinny legs, and I got the XL--it was big enough to fit 2 layers underneath, albeit snuggly. Pockets are deep and stretchy, and there are reflective bits to make you stand out. I got the Sky Blue version. Nice color.
December 11, 2017
Thank you for the feedback!!!
December 6, 2018
I recommend the Castelli Quidici wool socks and road style insulated boots. It'll the way you view cold weather riding.
November 17, 2017
Love this jersey/jacket. It's a tight slim fit - but that is as it should be for fall fitness. I got the Sky Blue one. It's a stunning vibrant blue. A touch darker than in the photo on this page. Overall a high quality product.
October 12, 2017
Not Good for Cold Weather
I wore the this other day when it was 57 degrees and a little windy on a 25 mile ride. The upper part of my arm near my shoulder was cold the entire ride, but my lower arms/body were warm however not overly so.