Chapeau! Thermal jersey - review
Retro-inspired update on classic winter jersey performs well across a range of temperatures
by Jim Clarkson
With its retro-inspired styling and straightforward looks, the Chapeau! Thermal jersey is a no-nonsense jersey that performs well across a range of temperatures. Made from Thermo Roubaix fabric, by MITI, the jersey is comfortable and adaptable.
The Thermal jersey was part of the Devon-based brand’s debut winter range back in 2013, but it has been redesigned for 2017 with a new look and a few slight tweaks. We liked it back then, and we’re even happier with the new jersey.
Inspired by iconic sportswear, Chapeau! say the new look pairs ‘glorious sporting history with decidedly modern benefits’ and it’s definitely a bold look. We tested the Sport Red, though Chapeau also offer the jersey in black/burgundy, black/charcoal, Midnight Blue and Sport Red/Midnight Blue colourways.
The jersey, which also boasts the white and black stripes inspired by the classic sportswear, feels retro but not old. There’s also the Chapeau detailing which is consistent across the Thermal range, and all in the jersey looks smart and distinctive without being too fussy.
Alongside the style, another big change is the move to a full-length zip. We found the original three-quarter zip tricky to use, and it was our only real gripe with the Thermal Jersey, but the new zip eradicates that problem. There’s also a good chin guard to prevent it rubbing.
As you would expect from the fleecey Thermo Roubaix fabric, the jersey is warm. I paired it with a base layer, and the brushed interior felt very snug, allowing air pockets to be trapped and keep the warmth in.
- Price: £99.99
- Sizes: S-XXL
- Size tested: M
- Colours: Sport Red
- Website: Chapeau!
A good sleeve length - I have fairly long arms, as a rough guide - meant good glove overlap, while the mid-height neck sat quite snug when fastened, all of which enhanced those thermal properties.
Out in the lanes, I liked the warmth - and it was as you’d expect the fabric to be: warm, with little wind resistance and good moisture-wicking properties in midler temperatures.
On windier days, however, it just cut through the jersey and pairing it with a windproof gilet or jacket is a must. In fact, it really brings out the best in the jersey as, when under another garment, it was super-warm down to around two degrees.
The fit of the jersey is an athletic one; a little looser in the shoulder perhaps, but close and true to size. It’s worth using the Chapeau! measurements online to be sure of fit though.
The rear of the jersey drops nicely with an elasticated hem and silicone dot grippers to keep it in place. There is a small reflective detail on the logo icon on the central rear pocket, but a few more wouldn’t go amiss. Speaking of pockets, the three main pockets are easy to access. There’s a good stretch on the fabric, but little sagging when you load the pockets up, and there is a handy waterproof zipped pocket. The fabric for this pocket could be a little more robust, however, as I think it may tear or wear quick against tools or anything sharp like keys inside it.
All in, the Chapeu! Thermal Jersey is a fine performing jersey. It doesn’t offer anything especially stand-out, but neither does it lack anything - as a staple of most riders’ kit, it does exactly what it needs to do. Some windproofing on the front panel would have increased its range of use without the need for layering, but that’s a minor complaint.
- Full-length zip easier to use than previous models
- Warm Thermo Roubaix fabric, particularly good when layering
- Good moisture-wicking properties in milder conditions
- Lack of windproof panels on the front restricts its use as a standalone jersey