The ultra-fine weave used on the Chapeau Merino short sleeve base layer ensures its well-suited to the tepid British spring/summer.
Wearing a wool base layer in the summer may be counter-intuitive, and there’s no getting away from the fact polyester is best at keeping your dry when the weather’s at its hottest, but lightweight merino like this remains a good option when the weather’s so-so. The fabric Chapeau use is very light and regulates body temperature well.
The Chapeau Merino short sleeve base layer is at its best when the temperature is hovering between 10 (and when used as part of a layering system) and around 20 degrees, although Chapeau also have a sleeveless version in the range if it’s much warmer, as well as a long sleeve option for when its cooler.
Chapeau use a high grade of Merino which does everything Merino should. It’s soft next to the skin, can survive a few rides without going in the wash and does a good job at wicking sweat away from your skin, although, like any Merino, it retains moisture so it can get damp when it’s really warm or when riding particularly hard.
Otherwise, the base layer, which is available in one colour (charcoal) has a slim fit which is close rather than skintight and there are no internal labels, so nothing to scratch on the skin. All that makes for a good summer base layer which is a viable alternative to polyester.