The Chapeau Club Gilet Stripe offers good protection from the elements while remaining highly breathable. It has a nice tight fit and is perfect for layering, as well as being easy to remove.
A gilet is a really useful piece of riding kit, especially here in the UK where our weather changes all the time. Chapeau's Club Stripe is light, packable and weatherproof while remaining breathable.
The front is windproof and splashproof, keeping out chills and stopping you from getting wet from road spray (if it's pouring down, it doesn't take long for the rain to soak through). The back of the gilet features a more mesh-like material which is less water-repellent but does allow for extra breathability.
It's breathable enough that I found it comfortable in temperatures up to around 17 degrees before I became a bit too hot – at which point I could remove it and pack it into a jersey pocket. I found it most useful at the start of a morning ride, when the roads are still damp.
The breathable mesh back also has some elasticity to it, which helps with the fit – I found it better in this regard than most that I've worn, helping to keep the shape nice and aerodynamic.
Another key feature of this gilet is its smooth-functioning full-length zip. This is especially important if you are taking layers on and off while on the move – the last thing you want is a zip getting caught in the fabric. This one works really well – I found I could remove the gilet easily while riding without fear for my safety.
Unlike some gilets, which have none, the Chapeau has three rear pockets so you can keep stuff readily available without having to delve underneath to your jersey's. They're quite deep but a bit narrow, so you can't get that much in.
Over the course of testing in May, I had no concerns about visibility with this rather stylish flint grey colourway, but a few more reflectives wouldn't go amiss for gloomy days and evenings.
Value-wise, at £89.99 it's not cheap, but it is the same price as the recently reviewed Endura Pro SL Lite Gilet II, with many of the same features and a similar design. Chapeau does offer a free crash replacement on its gilet, which is a nice touch that adds value.
It's also a fair bit less than ashmei's similarly windproof and water-repellent gilet, which comes in at £108.
However, there are more affordable offerings out there that offer many of the same features, such as the Lussa Aqua Challenge at £64.99.
If reflectives are more important to you than a racy aero fit, the ETC Arid that Dave tested is just £50.
Overall, I liked using this gilet and found it easy to integrate into my clothing choices while out training. It offers a nice balance of weather management and breathability, which means it can be worn for extended periods of time, though I do think there's scope to improve its visibility in low light conditions while keeping it stylish.
Very good weatherproof but breathable gilet for changeable days
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Club Gilet Stripe
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for
Chapeau says: 'The new Chapeau! Club Gilet is a lightweight, packable layer that's designed to keep the wind off your chest whilst keeping your temperate just right. It's designed for the shoulder seasons, when the wind is cool and the roads are damp.
'The Club Gilet is built to protect you against the elements whilst managing your temperature and remaining lightweight.
'The front is wind and splash proof to keep you comfortable when conditions aren't perfect. The rear is light and breathable mesh to help pull warm air away from your body and leave it far behind.
'When you don't need it, the Club Gilet packs down to the size of an apple, perfect for stashing in your jersey pocket.
'The Club is, like many of our garments, designed to work all year round as part of your layer cake. It can be worn as an outer layer over a short or long sleeve jersey and can pack down into a back pocket when it's not needed. It's designed as an outer layer, but is slim enough to fit underneath a warmer jacket if required.
'Of course, everyone is different so we'd recommend layering up or down to find your perfect fit.
'The fine details include access ports to reach your jersey pockets and a number of reflective logos and details to keep you seen on dark roads.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The only other details Chapeau gives are:
Free crash replacement
Worked well in light rain and on damp days.
No signs of wear, and no issues with any aspect of the gilet over the testing period.
One of the best fitting gilets I have tried, because of the elastic mesh back panel.
Sizing was spot on.
At 130g there are lighter gilets, but you will not notice the extra when out riding.
Fits very comfortably.
It's not cheap, but you can pay more for a high quality gilet.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Over the testing period I washed it once – it didn't lose its shape and I didn't notice any detrimental effects on the waterproofing. (You wouldn't want to wash it too often because of its waterproof properties.)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The gilet performed well, keeping me warm and dry when the weather was iffy and the roads were wet.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The breathability. Some gilets are not breathable enough and you end up having to take them off. The Chapeau gilet is more breathable than most I've worn, so you can wear it for longer while remaining comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Its visibility could be improved for low light conditions.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Chapeau gilet has the same RRP as the recently reviewed Endura Pro SL Lite Gilet II. Both are on the more expensive side, but both feature a similar design in order to keep you comfortable in not-so-ideal conditions.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Based on performance, this gilet would receive a 9/10 for being near-perfect for a broad array of conditions. However, it's a bit expensive, and it could do with more low light visibility.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is: Giant Trinty
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, club rides, the occasional bit of track