Oh Parentini, how I’ve missed you. There’s no doubt that they make great winter kit, the Mossa, Mossa.2 and Shark bibtights getting me through many a wet or cold winter’s day. And their Shark bibshorts which I reviewed previously are still going strong, and so very comfortable with their sublime insert. But it’s been a while since I looked at their stuff and it’s great to be able to ride in it again. We’re not full on summer yet, so some of this is transitional but we’re getting there. In this review I’ll be looking at their Scatto long sleeve ‘super-roubaix’ jersey with its accompanying base layer. That base layer is certainly not uniquely intended for use in cold conditions, it’s an all rounder and equally at home under a summer jersey too.
The Scatto ‘K-Dry’ Long sleeve jersey retails at €104 or about £90 right now. You can buy it directly from Parentini but any UK stockist should be able to order it in too. At that price it’s competing with roubaix jerseys from the premium brands. But then Parentini is a premium brand too. But the question is what differentiates this jersey from the rest? I’ll come to that in a bit.
The Scatto is a super roubaix fleece jersey which Parentini say is good down to about 10-13 degrees. I reckon you can go a bit colder than that, down to even 5 or so with a gilet and gloves. If you’re hardcore perhaps even lower. It’s not windproof but the tight nature of the weave means that it does keep quite a lot of the wind out. It’s probably best described as ‘mid weight’ but certainly not a jacket.
It’s available in three colours, the red and blue here (which could be divisive but it’s certainly my favourite), blue and black, and all black. Size wise it’s a perfectly normal affair, which has always been refreshing for an Italian brand. So whereas I’ve found myself wearing a 2XL in a Castelli Perfetto, this is merely a large. So, good for 39-41″ chest or so up to about 80kg. And neither is it especially race fit requiring a breath to be taken when zipping up. It fits perfectly. The arms are the right length in proportion to the body, the waist tapers naturally. If I was being a little picky the neck could do with a cm or so room, but that’s just me. The zipper is quality and the construction is premium as you’d expect. Even the length relative to the fit is spot on.
There’s nothing all that much to say about the interior other than it’s very well assembled and a nice lightweight fleece. Gripper duties are taken care of by an all round silicone band which keeps everything nicely in place. Stitching is premium and it looks like something that will last for years.
The arm termination is a double lined cuff. It’s sufficiently tight to ensure no wind gets in. You could easily stick it inside a glove or fit a glove inside it. Above all the entire affair is super comfy.
Round the back you have three deep pockets, some logos and a really decent reflective strip. You may be slightly put off by the hashtag but, hey, get with the social media age. It’s a good reminder for those cycling behind you to go and check out a brand they may not have come across.
And that party piece? It’s water repellent. There’s a DWR type coating applied to the garment as a whole, which means that light rain and showers will run off. Here’s an example of what it does when it’s placed under a running tap.
It’s not easy to make out but water simply beads and runs off. Now, it’s not waterproof but it will survive in heavy rain for quite some time before eventually giving in. Will it eventually wear off? Sure, but it will take some time. And, even if it does, you can re-activate it by ironing with a warm iron (over a tea towel) or re-proofing it with something like Nikwax. This isn’t a replacement for a rain jacket, or something like the Mossa, but it’s a pretty useful addition to have in the Autumn and Spring months when you might get caught out.
This is a very good long sleeve jersey. It’s very well made and the addition of that water repellency makes it very versatile. It’s no replacement for a full on windstopper on cold days (but the addition of a gilet would take care of this). It’s sufficiently lightweight to breathe but sufficiently heavy to insulate on the colder days. The temperature range is fairly wide and you could get away with this if temps soared to the mid teens. It’s a damn good addition to any wardrobe and very well priced. If it does rain, you’re going to be ok for a little while.
Legerra Carbon Base Layer
I know, that’s just a string vest. Yeah, I get that. But string vests did have a purpose even if they were unsightly worn alone. The theory of string vests was to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If that theory plays out, then a string base layer is the perfect thing. Of course, all base layers are, to an extent, perforated, it’s just that on this one that perforation is exaggerated.
The “Seamless Net Carbon Leggera” base layer retails at a shade over €40. That’s actually an excellent price, premium quality and performance for about £35, well under what you’d pay from some of the other premium brands. It’s a polypro, elastane and carbon mix. The carbon takes care of those nasty whiffs, killing off bacteria. Oh, and it comes in one size which means that it’s a comedy base layer out of the packet. But it appears to stretch to infinity, being absolutely spot on on me. I’ve no idea how it would cope with a 50″ chest, but I should imagine it’s good for any reasonably large frame.
And it’s a bit of a gem IMO, being at least as good as the Assos vest that I got with my Rally Jersey. Given that was around £55-£60 to buy separately it makes the Parentini equivalent quite the bargain. You simply don’t know that you’re wearing it and it works really really well. I’ve been wearing it with the Scatto and I do think that vests are one of the best ways of wearing a long sleeve jersey. I’ve been wearing it with a short sleeve summer jersey and it’s equally at home there, keeping you temperature throughout. Naturally it wicks extremely well given it’s holey nature. If you don’t fancy the vest then there are short sleeve options too. For winter, if you need to go long sleeve, Parentini cater for that as well. I might even be looking at the long sleeve zip or skiing next year.
And that’s that for now. I’ll be looking at the K-Dry gilet and the excellent Tiger.2 bibshorts shortly. For now, Parentini, it’s good to have you back.