Part of Castelli’s Rosso Corsa pro-level range, the Perfetto Max gloves offer a lot of warmth, while not being overly bulky.
There’s good handlebar feel and a large grippy area on the palms. However, they’re let down slightly by uncomfortably placed care labels.
Castelli says the Perfetto Max gloves are the warmest in its Perfetto range, with extra padding over the Perfetto RoS and Perfetto Light versions.
Despite this additional padding, they’re very lightweight at 64g a pair. In short, they’re very streamlined for the warmth they provide.
Castelli Perfetto Max Glove specifications
The outer shell of the Perfetto Max Glove is made from Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper fabric, while the inner face is fleecy. Between them, they do a good job of protecting you from cold winds and keeping your hands warm during cold winter riding.
Getting the gloves on and off relies on the stretch of the fabric and a small elastic dart at the cuff.
There’s a pre-formed curve to the gloves to help prevent rucking, and a single seam down each finger, rather than the more usual box construction.
Although the entire glove, including the palm, is made of the same fabric, there is plenty of grip thanks to two large areas of fabric with silicone dots sewn into the palms.
In the middle of the heel of the palm, Castelli says the shock-absorbing CDS patch (Castelli Damping System) protects your hand’s median nerve to help prevent numbness.
The index and middle fingers have a silicone stripe for lever grip, while the index finger and thumb have touch-sensitive tips.
There’s a reflective Castelli wordmark across the back of the hand, but surprisingly the gloves are devoid of the usual Castelli scorpion.
Castelli Perfetto Max Glove performance
For such a thin, lightweight glove, the Castelli Perfetto Max is very warm.
There’s an impressive degree of insulation and the windproof outers do a good job of preventing windchill. There’s a lot of stretch too, so the fit is close, which helps both with heat retention and keeping your grip on the handlebar.
Castelli recommends a temperature range of 0-10°C (32-50°F), which seems about right. I was riding in mid single-digit temperatures and there was warmth to spare once I got going.
The Gore Infinium fabric is DWR coated, so water will bead off it, at least initially, although DWR coatings tend to become less effective with use and washing. Unlike Gore’s Gore-Tex fabrics, it’s not totally waterproof though (if such a thing exists when it comes to cycling gloves).
I like that there’s not too much bulk, so it’s easy to use the controls; the palm and knuckle grips keep your hands well planted on the bars.
The thin, close cuff makes it easy to pull the gloves under the cuffs of a cycling jacket, so although the gloves are quite short, drafts stay out of your sleeves.
The touchscreen tips, although not a match for more delicate operations, will enable you to swipe touchscreens pretty well.
Castelli has sewn no fewer than five care labels into the seam inside the right glove. They’re placed awkwardly on the outer edge of the palm near the wrist and I found they cut into my hands.
The simple solution was to remove them, but even then a smaller country of origin label with sharp edges was rubbing in both gloves.
I cut these out too, but since they’re sewn into the main seam holding each glove together, it’s a slightly nerve-wracking experience and doesn’t remove the label completely.
Castelli Perfetto Max Glove bottom line
The Castelli Perfetto Max gloves do a great job of providing warmth without compromising grip or your ability to use the shift levers.
The close fit means your hands don’t slip around in them as you ride and the gloves trap warm air well.
They’re a class act; it’s just a shame the care labels are placed irritatingly. They are expensive too, but they offer a combination of warmth without bulk that is matched by few rivals.