Two pieces just in from Devon-based brand Chapeau to see us through the rest of winter: the Mistral Jacket and Repel Jersey.
The Mistral is mid-weight winter jacket which places an emphasis on warmth and comfort, while the Repel is a wind and water resistant jersey. We’ll take a closer look at the technical specification of both before testing begins.
Chapeau Mistral Jacket
First things first, the Mistral is a super-stylish jacket. We love the colour of our ‘rust’ sample and it’s attracted favourable comments from cyclists and non-cyclists alike through the early stages of our test, but it’s also available in grey if you like to keep things a little more discreet.
The fabric is unlike any we’ve previously come across. It’s a tough material, a little coarse to touch, but one which feels impressively durable. It’s an ‘Ecorepel’ fabric from the respected Swiss textile manufacturer Schoeller, who claim the helix structure of the fabric means it’s stain resistant, so mud and water should run off the jacket (though it’s touted as water resistant, rather than waterproof), without negatively effecting breathability. The fabric isn’t windproof or fleece-lined, so we’ll see how that impacts on overall warmth.
Chapeau say the Mistral Jacket has a regular fit and, after a handful of initial test rides, that’s a fair description. The Ecorepel fabric has a fair amount of stretch in it and the Mistral is noticeably roomier than the Repel Jersey, which is described as having a performance cut. It’s worth noting, however, that Chapeau clothing typically comes up a little bigger than many brands and that’s still the case here (I’m a medium in most clothing brands but have moved down to a small in both the Mistral and Repel) but the cut is excellent on both – neither tight nor with excess material. It’s just a case of finding the right size for you.
The Mistral has a cross-over zip which Chapeau say ensures an “optimum fit when in the riding position”, while the generous dropped tail intends to keep your rear end dry. The cuffs have a microfibre lining designed to provide a snug fit over winter clothes and other features include three main rear pockets and an additional water resistant zipped pocket. That pocket has reflective detail, while there’s also a reflective Chapeau logo and reflective piping on the rear. Otherwise styling is kept to a minimum, with a second, smaller Chapeau logo on the right breast at the front of the jacket.
The Chapeau Mistal Jacket comes in five sizes, small to extra-extra-large, and costs £184.99