Getting out for a ride in bad weather is something that’s usually enjoyable once you’re out, it’s just getting out that’s the hard part.
To help make this more enticing and to keep you warm, Chapeau has released a new women’s winter collection consisting of a winter cap, merino base layer, thermal bib tights, merino warmer and thermal jersey. Of course, you don’t have to invest in the entire kit but we put it to the test as a whole to see how it performed.
I’m a cold human being at the best of times. With the inability to regulate temperatures like most normal people I find myself running too hot in summer and freezing cold come winter. It takes a lot to entice me out of the warmth when it’s really cold even, but knowing this kit could potentially take the edge off, I decided to give it a go. Testing in both mild weather and on days where it's been so cold I thought my feet had frozen, died and fallen off.
The nice thing about the Chapeau kit, something they state themselves, is the staying warm whilst looking the part, and while the look may not be an important aspect for some, you can be rest assured the style doesn’t hinge on performance.
Chapeau Women's Madeline Thermal Jersey
The Madeline thermal jersey comes in a range of patterns and colours but I opted for the Polka Stripe jersey in Sky Blue and size medium.
The fit was mostly great, the arms were long and the sizing was pretty accurate, I’m a UK 10-12 and the only issue I had was due to my broad shoulders making it feel a little constricting but I didn’t notice anything when riding.I would have also liked the jersey to be a little longer but this is an issue I have with most jerseys (at 5’9 I’m no giant but just a little longer on the body).
Personal issues with fit aside, the Madeleine thermal jersey was so soft and warm, the fleece fabric really helped lock in warmth. The jersey comes with two pockets on the back with one smaller zipped compartment and a silicone hem to stop it from riding up.
"The moisture wicking properties came into play in warmer weather once I got going and heated up but it helped to keep me warm once I’d stopped cycling"
The slim fit was flattering and when worn alone on a warmer day in autumn and under a riding jacket in freezing temperatures the jersey did its job. The moisture wicking properties came into play in warmer weather once I got going and heated up but it helped to keep me warm once I’d stopped cycling, there’s nothing worse than getting a chill when you stop.
The subtle branding is a nice touch too with a small logo on the breast and on the pocket on the back, the little details really make this jersey look good.
With multiple colour and pattern options, this jersey is a good looking investment that is sure to keep you toasty. Retailing at £59.99 they are available here in sizes x.small to large.
Chapeau Women's Soulor Thermal Bibs
Chapeau’s thermal bib tights are a relatively affordable option for those who are looking to keep warm on their rides. At £89.99 they won’t break the bank and should see you through winter with no problems.
The tights come with a fleece lined leg, mesh panel on the upper back, a small amount of reflective detailing on the rear and an elasticated leg. Opting for a large to give myself room and a little extra length (a large comes in at a 31" waist and 31" inside leg) they are slim fitting, comfortable and stay in place on the ride.
"Chapeau set out to create a simple, flattering and reliable pair of tights and they’ve succeeded!"
Chapeau set out to create a simple, flattering and reliable pair of tights and they’ve succeeded. The front zip may seem like an unusual addition but it does make it easier to pop on a base layer and get tucked in comfortably without having to do the frustrating pull and shuffle dance to try un-bunch things under your tights.
The thicker straps are also a comfortable addition and this coupled with the female-specific Dolomiti Maloja pad make these tights a good option for those who want an affordable tight that performs well and helps keep you warm.
I wore Chapeau’s own base layer under these tights and stayed comfortable and warm which is always a bonus and one less thing to worry about when the weather is at its worst.
Available in sizes x.small to large, you can pick up a pair here for £89.99.
Chapeau Women's Cycling Accessories
Chapeau’s Warmer is made of merino wool, has the same cosy soft feel as the base layer and is a great addition to those really cold days. Thicker than a regular buff it really helps to keep any chills getting in.
I wore it on a particularly cold day and pulled it up to cover the bottom of my face. It stopped the bitter wind getting in and was breathable enough that I didn’t feel like there was too much moisture build up from the condensation.
Merino Base Layer
Chapeau’s lightweight base layer is super soft and comfortable to wear, it’s designed to be worn underneath a jersey or jacket and is slim fitting and made from 100% non-mulesed fibres sourced from Australia.
The long sleeve base layer is a definite must, worn underneath my bib shorts it felt great against the skin, no itchy fibres or discomfort when out on a ride and it really did help wick any moisture (during the warmer autumn rides) and any odours were definitely kept at bay. Opting for a medium size (UK 10-12) the fit was on point, not tight in any way and the length of the body and arms was great.
Ladies Winter Cap
Having a cold head is something that can finish a ride before it begins but this cap is the solution to the woes of having a ride ruined by frozen ears. This is Chapeau’s first attempt at winter headwear and they’ve got it pretty spot on. The winter cap comes with a soft lining, knitted rear headband and is made from a breathable material. I particularly liked the design too, like a small winter hat it’s a nice attention to detail.
I can’t praise this cap enough and wearing it under my helmet kept my ears warm without overheating. The only downside was the peak, it was a little long but I tucked it up out of the way under the front of my helmet and had no issues. It comes in one size only and at £34.99 it’s worth every penny; it’s windproof, soft and the attention to detail in both the design and performance makes it a smart investment against the winter chill.
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