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The Chapeau Men's Arm Warmers are simplistic in their design, but they do exactly what you want them to, fit snugly and keep you warm. They are very well made too.
Arm warmers are tubes of material, so to be honest you can't really go wrong – so long as you get a few basics right.
First of all, they need to keep your arms warm. Yes, really! Chapeau's do that very well indeed. The fleece-backed thermal fabric traps a bit of body heat without being bulky, and feels soft and smooth against the skin.
For the last four or five days of this test, the temperature was barely above 3°C, and as low as -1°C. These arm warmers kept me warm while moving, even on sections into the north-easterly wind.
Obviously, we all react differently to the temperature so going that cold might not suit everyone, but I'd say they comfortably cover between 5°C and 15°C.
Secondly, they must not slip down you arm. Chapeau has dealt with this with silicone grippers at the top, and not just for the inside to latch onto your skin – it's also on the outside to grip your jersey. The wrist end just relies on the stretch of the fabric.
It works a treat, and I never once had to adjust them mid-ride. To cover various arm lengths and diameters, Chapeau offers two sizes. Also, if this 'Deep Ocean' colour is simply too bright for you, there's a black version too.
Lastly, arm warmers need to avoid irritating seams. Some brands knit their arm warmers as a tube so there are no seams at all, but while Chapeau has joined two edges with stitching, the seam is barely noticeable and I certainly got no irritation from it.
If you position the reflective logo on the top of your wrist, the seam runs along the inside of your arm without issue.
The £20 to £30 range is pretty common for quality arm warmers, and these fit right in. In all of the Chapeau products I've worn and tested over the years, the finish has always been very impressive, as has the durability.
The only real negative is that, unlike many warmers around £30, these have no form of water repellence. The Sportful NoRain Arm Warmers (£27) or the Lusso Repel Corsa Arm Warmers at £29.99 do, and it can be useful.
That said, the likes of the Assos Armwarmer_evo7 lack water resistance too, and are still more expensive than the Chapeaus at £35.
Yes, you can get similar performance for less elsewhere, but the Chapeau Men's Arm Warmers work very well, offer plenty of comfort and are made to a high standard.
Comfortable, high-quality arm warmers that keep the heat in well
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Men's Arm Warmers
Size tested: Small/Medium
Tell us what the product is for
According to Chapeau: "Chapeau!'s Arm Warmers are for when the wind picks up and your ride turns chilly. They'll stow out of sight in your back pocket and can be deployed at a moment's notice to keep you out riding in your favourite summer jersey for longer. They're a must-have for the windy winch back to the car, for the coffee stop or those quick photo-opportunities on the hill tops."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Chapeau! says, "They're made with soft on the skin thermal Italian Carvico Artica fabric and are adorned with subtle, reflective details to help keep you safe at night."
All of our new warmers are build with double-sided silicon grippers to hold them in place. One side grips to your skin and the other to your base layer sleeve, guaranteeing they won't mess you around."
Sizing guide seems spot on.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with washing either by hand or machine.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They are arm warmers, and kept my arms warm...
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
No movement once in position.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No water repellent coating.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For a non-water resistant arm warmer they sit at the higher end of the price range. It doesn't make them expensive, though.
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
Keeping it simple doesn't mean corners can be cut, and Chapeau hasn't done that. It's focused on delivering a product that works well and hasn't scrimped on quality. That does add a little to the cost, though.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!