Chapeau! Club Thermal Jersey (£69.99)
When I reviewed last year’s Chapeau long sleeve thermal jersey I was taken with just how soft and warm it was. It wasn’t something designed for the coldest days, but it was excellent on the chillier ones, especially when paired with a suitable base layer and/or a gilet.
Last year the thermal jersey was the only line in Chapeau’s wardrobe. But, this year, there’s the choice between the cheaper (£69.99) Tempo thermal jersey (reviewed here) and the more expensive (£99.99) Club thermal jersey. The latter is a bit different to what came before and now includes a DWR treatment making it a true 3 season piece. It’s not ‘Gabba’ level protection but it should do a decent job if you’re caught in a shower. The fabric is a little different to the stock roubaix fleece that we’ve come to love in our winter thermal jerseys. So, it’s a great jersey to check out.
This review is of the more ‘standard’ thermal jersey. So, let’s have a look at what we get.
The design takes its cues from the Tempo and Club summer jerseys, that is to say a series of colours with contrasting lines across the chest. It’s a nice, mid weight, thermal roubaix that should be good enough to keep you comfortable into the single digits or perhaps down to about 5 degrees with a suitable base layer. Add a gilet and it should see you down to temps approaching zero. There’s no fancy windstopper here, or DWR treatment, so this should really be used in dry conditions unless you’re throwing a rain jacket over the top in which case it is, of course, very breathable.
Size wise, I found it a little smaller than last year’s thermal jersey, so choose with care. The medium version tested here is good for 39-41 chest but I’d say it would be worth sizing up if you wanted to squeeze a base layer underneath. If you’re towards the upper end, definitely size up. If you’re towards the lower end you should be ok. But it’s worth deciding what kind of fit you want. Length wise it strikes happy medium with sufficient coverage on the waist and proper length sleeves that come down far enough without any bunching higher up. The wrist sections are fairly straightforward and none the worse for it.
The roubaix type fleece lining is just as soft kitty as last year. You can see that in the picture below, it wicks well too. Waist duties are taken care of with an elasticated waistband and some silicone grippers. It all stays in place with little fuss. The zip is high quality and you should be able to operate it even with gloves on.
The neck isn’t fleece lined but the material is doubled up. It’s comfortable, cosseting and sufficiently protective. I’d rate it as mid height which is pretty much spot on for me. It’s sufficiently wide without being gaping (my neck is 16″).
Round the back and it’s pretty standard fare, overall. You have three very deep pockets. They’re deep enough to take even a massive phone like the Galaxy S8+. They’re well supported so there’s zero sag. There’s a small reflective Chapeau! logo down on the outside pocket to keep you visible.
Overall, this is another top quality and comfortable thermal jersey from Chapeau. The sizing is slightly different to last year’s offering, in my view, but that makes little difference to the performance, just size up if you need to. It’s comfortable from the mid teens downwards and should see you through a normal British winter with no difficulty. There are a raft of colours available too, three with stripes and three without, so there should be something for everyone there as well. Remember too that there are a raft of other winter products in the range too, bibtights, socks, base layers and warmers, so you really can go for the Chapeau look all over. That goes for the girls too!
Chapeau! Winter Gloves (£39.99)
The Chapeau winter gloves do what they say on the tin, with some caveats. I bought mine last March and they saw a considerable amount of use on the chillier spring days. They’ve been brought out again recently as the temperatures have dropped. In terms of sizing, Chapeau produce a handy PDF guide, so getting the right size should be a piece of cake.
These winter gloves are your usual softshell fare. That is to say, a windstopper outer combined with a fleecy liner. More of that in a moment. They retail for £39.99 which, in my view, is very reasonable for a winter glove, especially one where you will get an awful lot out of it. Because, as I’ll come to, these are very versatile gloves indeed.
The outer is water and wind resistant. Obviously there are seams so, equally obviously, some water will eventually get in. But, in practice, they hold out the water for ages. If you run very warm then you will get some moisture build up inside but that’s par for the course.
The wrist section is really nice. There’s a stretchy wrist section with some velcro to pull things tight. It’s a small thing but, personally, I feel that velcro should be under the wrist as it is here. The fit is excellent, so easy to get in, then a nice snug fit. The bit poking out at the right hand side of the picture is the inner liner, which extends slightly, and that’s good too. You’ll note that there is extensive padding on the palms and this keeps everything nice and cushy. Grip is very good.
The reflective fingers are a nice touch. Extend your arm to indicate in the dark and you should be seen. It’s something omitted from many gloves and it’s great to see it here.
In terms of that waterproofing, you can see that the combination of the fabric and DWR coating just makes the water run off. It will soak in, in the end and the towelling section on the thumb area is slightly more absorptive, as you would expect.
The inner liner is very lovely, and (micro) fleece lined. There’s sufficient space (assuming you size right) to add a further silk liner in if you really struggle with warmth. If there’s a flaw, it’s that the finger section is not bonded to the inside of the glove. If you run a bit warm and some moisture builds up then you can end up dragging the liner out a bit when you remove the gloves, so that means having to reinsert the liner into the fingers. Just use your teeth to remove them and it’s all fine. This isn’t exclusive to these gloves.
What I like about them is that they’re versatile. They’re not sub 0 degrees gloves but, with the addition of a liner you could run then down that low if you run warm. But I’ve been using them at around 2 degrees on their own with no cold effects. Equally they’re quite happy up to about 12 degrees or so to take the chill off. There’s little real bulk here either so they can be worn most of the time. If we get last year’s winter again, these really are useable throughout the winter. If it’s harsh, they’re still useable when the temps rise slightly.
At £39.99 they’re actually one of the best pairs of winter gloves I’ve owned and I really do struggle to get ones which work.