If you click to buy here at the time of writing everything on Chapeau’s website is 3 for 2. So, the RRP of this £99 jersey, and I’ll talk more about whether it’s worth it a bit later, is mitigated somewhat. How about a pair of tights, gilet and this for free? Go mad. Or get this, add some other bits and get the cheapest free. Bonus.
Anyway, imagine the softest thing you can imagine. Soft kitty, warm kitty? Close, but think even softer. The Chapeau jersey is hands down the softest thing I’ve put next to my skin as an outer layer. It’s softer than Mister Soft from the Soft mint commercial (yes, I am that old).
Chapeau describe this as a long sleeve thermal jersey. It’s not called a winter jersey, it doesn’t define what season it should be used in. It’s “just” a thermal jersey. So I’ve been trying to find out, as usual, what sort of extremes one might use it at and how it performs in a multitude of roles. Fortunately the weather has exhibited sufficient diurnal temperature variation (I’ve always wanted to get that one in) in the past few weeks for me to give it a proper test.
The thermal jersey comes in a very agreeable five different colourways. Mine, which is very red indeed, is the only one that’s actually a single colour throughout. The others are generally a two tone affair with contrast stripes. There’s pretty much a colour choice for everyone and if you prefer avoiding black during the winter months there’s plenty of choice as well.
The very red colourway on test is pretty much guaranteed to get you noticed in the daylight hours. I opted for a medium this time given that I’ve lost a bit of weight. And on a 39″ chest, 78kg or so this is utterly spot on. The arms are a good length as well and should provide an inch or so if you have longer arms than me. The wrists lack any fancy termination being stitched parts of the main arm with double back fabric. It’s comfy and stretchy with zero flappiness. There’s no baginess, no sag, no bulging out belly or zip. The fit, on me, is perfection.
The exterior is your usual soft material but it’s the interior which is super fluffy. It’s actually branded super roubaix (a bit like this site) made my MITI in Italy so you know that you’re getting top quality, top drawer soft kitty loveliness. This isn’t roubaix type, this is serious roubaix.
I’ve owned many “roubaix” lined fleecy jerseys. I’m a big fan of such things. I’m a particular fan of the dhb aeron which provides decent warmth and good value and of the excellent Lusso Leggero. But, for me, this is a much softer and, simultaneously, slightly warmer affair. than either. It’s not for deep winter and I reckon 5 degrees is probably its limit sans base layer. But add a base layer, stick a gilet on top and I reckon you could squeeze a decent temperature out of it. Whip off the gilet and you should be good up to mid teens. Indeed, you won’t overheat even if your autumn ride turns into 16-18 degrees or so. It’s pretty versatile actually. In fact as I’ve finished the edit of this particularly review I’ve ridden home in some blowy south westerlies. The temperature was about 16 and the pace slow (given the wind) but very energetic. The material wicks well, insulates and never feels overwhelmed. It’s equally at home in the early mornings when the temps hover in the mid single digits. Despite lacking any form of windproofing it’s surprisingly protective.
Round the back and it’s the usual story. Three pockets and one zipped one. Perhaps unusually that zipped pocket is centrally located. I can’t say I prefer one thing or another, it’s just that most zipped ones tend to be offset.
And while the jersey itself is not water resistant the pocket certainly is. It’s lined with a waterproof material all the way round and the zip should be pretty water resistant as well. As I go on to deal with below the pockets are a pretty decent size and, for reference, you can just about squeeze a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge into it. Anything smaller, great. Anything larger, oh well. But that’s a pretty big pocket for a zipped one anyway.
Reflectives round the back? Check. Just the one, the Chapeau roundel. But it’s a fairly good one nevertheless. Sure, there could be a few more, but there we are. Reflectives are useful but, at this time of the year, no substitute for a good collection of flashers.
As stated, the pockets are very deep. You’ll see from the below picture that they are placed slightly higher than the waistband. The effect of that is that they do sit slightly higher on your back. Reaching into a pocket is a slightly more difficult affair but it’s not problematic in any way and it really does keep them out of the way of road spray and muck. They’re a sturdy affair and look to have a great deal of longevity.
And, in terms of quality, everything’s put together very nicely indeed. The stitching is perfect, the material is lush, the fit is superb. There’s no scratchiness and all the little details are present to ensure that there’s no discomfort. A zip garage hold the zip away from your throat and the collar is absolutely spot on in terms of length for me.
The price is £99.99 though, as I’ve said, that’s mitigated somewhat if you opt for the 3 for 2 offer live at the time of writing. But, otherwise, is it worth £99.99 when other jerseys exist for less? That’s up to you but, for me, yeah, I think that it is. It’s not quite the substantial affair of the Assos Tiburu (which is generally way more expensive) but it’s a bit more premium and special feeling that the dhb Aeron jersey. And, in relation to both, it’s much more soft kitty. The temperature range is great, it fits really well indeed and, if you partner it with a gilet, it should see you into the low single digit temperatures or deep winter as it’s become known in most of the UK. If it warms up, stow the gilet in one of the really substantial pockets.
So, for me, another hit from Chapeau. A nice feeling premium jersey that pushes all the right buttons. Purr, purr, purr.
Oh, and, by the way, they’ve also launched some rather nice winter warm up lotion! See here. There’s a lovely wintergreen vibe coming from it and it really does work.