Convertible jackets have never been so well conceived and created. The best new example is the Perfetto Convertible Jacket which essentially converts from the Perfetto Jacket into the Gabba 3 Short Sleeve. The race ready, lightweight, aerodynamic jacket, with excellent protection from Gore® Windstopper® X-Lite Plus fabric has been updated with fit refinements, better breathable water and wind protection, laser cut drain holes in the pockets, and a redesigned rain flap that sits better and closer the body. You do lose the ventilation zips of the Perfetto Jacket, but now have a whole other set of options. Of course, given that last year the piece was called the Gabba many of the true Gabba features carry over as well. Perfetto, indeed.
In some ways, the Perfetto Convertible is actually a protective long sleeve jersey with a zip-off option. Many riders eschew other layers, rocking just a baselayer underneath depending on the weather and temperature conditions. But when you are considering fit and function, it helps if you think of it as a jersey. The 4-way stretch of the X-Lite Plus fabric ensures a snug, though compliant fit and it is aided by the thinner, highly breathable, lightweight Castelli Nano Flex fabric panels under the arms. X-Lite Plus has the exceptional wind blocking capabilities Windstopper is known for, and excellent water repellency that has been enhanced with additional liquid application. When you need to go out to train hard in the cool and wet, the Perfetto gets the job done. A fine brushed fleece inner face is soft and comfortable, serving to offer mild insulation (that seems warmer due to the highly effective blocking of onrushing air), and through movement ensures that moisture is lifted off and released through the Gore membrane system.
Fit is perhaps a bit more generous than the Gabba, with the stretch assisting, but make no mistake, this is an aggressively cut, Rosso Corsa piece for fit cyclists who require and desire the aero fit- in either configuration. The full front zipper is ultra-reliable YKK Vislon, and a windflap offers extra protection over the top. A silicone gripper at the waist holds the Perfetto Long Sleeve in place and the three-section pro pocket is race jersey worthy, and still holds the essentials. We are thankful for the laser cut drainage holes. When a fabric blocks water as well as the X-Fast Lite Plus, the water has to go somewhere, and filling the pockets isn't exactly optimal. The new splash flap is also a big improvement. It hugs the body better, offering true protection. When you feel the weather becoming milder, you can simply unzip and stow the sleeves, to wear this as a short-sleeve that also operates as protective "vest", except even the short sleeves protect as well. It may seem odd to a traditionalist, but with a short or long sleeve baselayer, the cyclist has a great range to work with, making it a great, simplifying piece for travel, when packing two baselayers and the Perfetto Convertible replaces a jacket and a vest or whatever jersey's you;d need to make it all work.
The Gabba Long and Short Sleeve protection pieces were as highly regarded as any cycling productsof the last decade. In this new generation, as the Perfetto Convertible, Castelli truly improved upon the Gabba concept, giving the best of all worlds in one piece. Never before has convertible had such implications for how one approaches a day with climate instability, travel, mountain rides, or simple rider economy.