The Castelli Perfetto RoS Women's Gloves are an excellent, fleece-lined winter warmer with impressively little bulk. They're dexterous and a pleasure to wear, and even though they're not totally waterproof they stay pretty warm when soaked. They are really expensive though.
Castelli recommends these from 10° down to 6° C, and while I found you can push them to lower, they're definitely too sweaty for anything milder. I have gone as low as 3°, and while I didn't return with toasty warm hands, I wasn't numb either. My hands and fingers were fully functional.
Good to know for mornings that start out cold, or afternoons when temperatures quickly fall away.
In their stated range, they're lovely. The Gore-Tex Infinium outer shell is superbly windproof, and light persistent rain is no problem. The fleece lining isn't the cosiest but it does a good job of retaining heat – despite it being so thin you hardly lose any dexterity.
As their 'four stars out of five' waterproofness rating – something you could also apply to, let's say, the Titanic – implies, they're not actually waterproof. The Perfetto RoS eventually gives in after prolonged heavy rain. However, they stay insulative when soaked, somewhat like neoprene, and keep your hands as warm as they were before.
The cuff is a good length with a stretchy, neoprene inner edge. It sits neatly under your sleeve for a comfy overlap with a jersey or jacket. Some may find the fit a little too snug here – I personally prefer it to a bulky cuff which goes over a sleeve, and to Velcro adjusters too.
The thin padding at the heel of the hand proves just enough protection, giving a good feel on the bar and reducing numbness from road buzz. I didn't experience discomfort on road rides in excess of four hours.
The palm has dimpled silicone sections and strips along the two leading fingers for good grip on the controls. I find they work well no matter what your hand position.
I've used these a lot, and they genuinely still look new; they've certainly fared better than Altura's Firestorms over a similar period.
And while the instructions are to 'hand wash cold,' in the second half of the test I resorted to 30 degree machine washes... hand washing is a faff! They've continued to perform. It's possible the shower proofing has been compromised marginally, but I personally haven't noted it.
The Perfettos don't have much reflective detailing. Compare them to,for example, those Altura Firestorms or the Polaris RBS Reflect Gloves and they really are rather discreet. Yes, black is slick, but it might not be everyone's preference.
There's no 'snot wipe' and snail trails really show up on the smooth, shell-like outer. Again, not an issue for everyone.
Touch screen compatibility works well; it never once failed with my old Garmin 810 or my smart phone. However, with my phone in a holder/wallet, it wasn't 100% reliable. That's perhaps a fair bit to ask, though.
At £65, the Perfetto's are expensive. There are others at this level – for example Pearl Izumi's £69.99 Pro Barrier WXB Gloves or Assos's £70 Assosoire Winter Gloves – but the benefits over cheaper options are, in all honestly, marginal.
Gore's Gore-Tex Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves look similar and are £42.99, as do Sportful's WS Essential 2 W Glove for £50. If you want to save even more, consider dhb's Waterproof Gloves for £35 or Endura's Strike Glove for £39.99.
All bar one of these is female specific, too.
The Castelli Perfetto RoS Women's is a high-quality glove that's outstanding in single figure temperatures, coping with virtually all that winter offers. Nevetheless, it's slim and dexterous in use – you can fuel yourself, adjust clothing, operate fiddly locks and use devices without going through the hassle (or chilly discomfort) of taking them off.
Outstanding warm-yet-slim gloves that handle rain well – that price though...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Castelli Perfetto RoS Women's Gloves
Size tested: Large/ Extra Large
Tell us what the product is for
Castelli says: "By using reduced-seaming technology and the new GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ WINDSTOPPER® fabric, we've made a glove that is deceptively warm while staying reasonably thin and allowing maximum dexterity. We've added grip features in the palm and our Castelli Damping System for comfort."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Engineered with GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Stretch Warm fabric and reduced-seam technology
- Fleece lined for warmth
- Castelli Damping System (CDS) protects median nerve
- Neoprene stretch wrist insert for easy on and off
- Reflective details
- Silicone zones on palm for extra grip
- 6°-10°C / 43°-50°F
- Weight:44 g
Very tidy, as you would expect for the price.
Zero signs of wear despite continual use and (overenthusiastic) washing.
A close but not tight fit.
I was just into the L bracket on Castelli's sizing guide. I'm sure I could size down without problems for a closer fit. As it was, I had breathing room inside without them feeling too big. If you're on the border, decide what kind of fit you want and go up or down based on preference.
Very good, but very expensive.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Instructions are to 'hand wash cold,' but in the second half of the test I resorted to shoving them in the machine at 30 degrees; hand washing is a faff! They've continued to perform. It's possible the shower proofing has been compromised marginally, but if so I haven't noted it.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are impressive.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Protection against cold without bulk.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They really don't like being out of their temperature range.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're expensive! Santini's 365 Win XF Winter Glove is great for £47, for instance, while Bioracer's excllent Glove One Tempest Pixel Protect is £42. Both look almost cheap next to the Perfetto RoS.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Brilliant in virtually all single figure temperatures and accompanying conditions, without loss of dexterity, and they feel durable. The fit is great too. It's only really the price that's an issue - they're fantastic.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…