The Chapeau Mistral Jacket is super-stylish, mid-weight outer layer well-suited to winter and cool spring rides alike, though the Schoeller Ecorepel fabric is more water resistant than it is stain resistant.
That fabric, from the Swiss textile manufacturer, is billed as both thanks, Schoeller say, to the helix structure of the material, which is supposed to shed water and mud. While we had no qualms wearing the Mistral through a rain shower, when the water would happily bead up off the surface (though we’d reach for a waterproof jacket in prolonged and consistent rain), we found it no better or worse than most materials when it came to fending off the dirt kicked up by road spray.
The Ecorepel fabric feels unlike any we’ve seen on a cycling jacket before. The outside feels a little coarser under hand than many but the inside remains soft and the jacket isn’t anything other than completely comfortable to wear.
That’s thanks in part to the excellent cut. Chapeau describe the Mistral as having a ‘regular fit’ and that’s a fair description. It’s a close cut in all the right places, with a generous dropped tail and arms (which have a microfibre cuff to provide a secure fit over gloves) that are spot on in length for this reviewer. The fabric is also fairly stretchy and the cut of the Mistral ensures there’s enough room under it to wear a couple of layers – a base layer and jersey, perhaps – on really cold days.
Speaking of which, the Ecorepel fabric isn’t fleece-lined, nor is it rated as windproof but it’s a fairly dense material and we found it did a very good job at keeping a chilly breeze at bay and, with the right layers, plenty warm enough for anything we’ve experienced through this admittedly fairly mild winter. Importantly, however, it’s also proved to be really breathable, too, and we’ve continued to wear the Mistral on top of just a base layer (short or long sleeve, depending on the temperature) on chilly morning commutes through this early part of spring.
Featured include three generously sized rear pockets, including an additional water resistant, zipped pocket for valuables. That zipped pocket has reflective detail on the outside, while there’s also a reflective Chapeau badge on the right-hand pocket and piping on either side of the pockets. The collar is high enough to keep the chill off your neck and has a soft microfibre lining.
The Mistral is available in two colours, with a grey option alongside our ‘rust’ test sample. The ‘rust’ colour may not be to everyone’s taste but it scores top marks from us – ‘Sunday best’ stylish, we reckon.
While we remain unconvinced about the Ecorepel’s mud-shedding qualities, the Mistral remains an excellent mid-weight jacket. It’s warm, breathable and impressively water resistant, and looks great, too.