The Chapeau Men's Club Windstopper Jacket does a great job of keeping cold and/or damp air off your chest and arms while offering enough breathability around the back to be suitable across a wide range of temperatures. It's cut slim and well made.
The Club Jacket is made mostly from two types of fabric. The front panels, shoulders and arms – the most exposed areas – are made from a windproof/waterproof laminate material with a fleecy back, while the sides and rear panels are made from a more breathable thermal stretch fabric with a soft brushed lining, a lot like you'll find used in winter tights. It's an approach taken by many other cycling brands and it works really well.
The front panels are the ones doing the heavy lifting here, stopping cold air from getting in and chilling you, and also keeping any drizzle out. A storm flap behind the full-length front zip helps, and the collar is close fitting without being tight, so there's no way that cold air can get channelled in there.
Chapeau has used the laminate fabric for all of the sleeve panels whereas some manufacturers opt for a more breathable fabric on the less exposed underside of the arms. I can't say that I even noticed a difference in use, although heavy sweaters might, I guess.
The rest of the jacket has a certain amount of water resistance to it – enough that any road spray from your rear wheel will roll off rather than soak in. If you get caught out in anything heavier than a brief shower, though, you'll need to put a waterproof jacket over the top. Being low bulk, that's never difficult.
The tail isn't as long as on some other jackets out there, such as the Lusso Aqua Repel V2 that we reviewed recently. That said, if you pull it down it tends to stay in place thanks to a silicone gripper on the inside.
I've not been using this jacket on super-cold rides. When it's down in low single digits I prefer windproofing all around, although you might be different. From about 8°C, though, the level of protection on offer here is about right for me.
Chapeau's size chart told me that I needed a medium, based on my chest measurement. I'm tall for a medium (1.89m) so it's always a bit of a gamble as to whether a jacket/jersey will fit elsewhere, particularly in the arms, but everything was tickety-boo here. I found it to be a close cut but the stretch in the fabrics means you can have a snug fit without any tightness. (It's not me in the photos, that's Adam, but we're a similar build.)
You get three pockets in the lower back plus a water-resistant fourth one that measures 9 x 15cm. I couldn't get my phone in there, though, because the zipped opening is too small.
Chapeau has stuck another water-resistant pocket on the chest, and this one is a touch larger (12 x 17cm) with a longer zip. My phone fitted in here fine, but a couple of others that I tried didn't. Although the dimensions of the pocket were large enough, it was again the size of the opening (about 10.5cm) that was the limiting factor (your phone might well be waterproof anyway).
The Club jacket is available only in black but there are a few reflective features to help get you noticed: little badges on a rear pocket and the chest, and logos on the tail and each arm. These look grey in normal daylight and shine brightly when caught in car headlights. There's also the larger striped patch on the back.
The Sportful Fiandre Strato Wind Jacket that we reviewed recently is broadly similar to the Club jacket in approach, with Windstopper panels on the front and sides, and extra breathability at the back, and it's a little more expensive at £155. There's no windproofing on the arms of that jacket, though, and reviewer Dave Arthur said that at times he wished he had a little more protection there. I'd definitely want arm protection on a jacket of this kind.
The Lusso Aqua Repel is a bit cheaper at £134.99 and offers good value for money. I'd still say that the Club jacket offers above average value, particularly since Chapeau gives you free crash replacement cover if you register your purchase. This is exactly what it sounds like: come off your bike and damage the jacket and you qualify for a free replacement.
There are a lot of fairly similar windproof/waterproof-fronted jackets out there, but what I particularly like about the Club are the slim fit and the high build quality. This is a great jacket for many conditions from the start of autumn through until the end of spring.
Windproof front/arm panels and a slim cut make this a very good three-season option
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Men's Club Windstopper Jacket
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Chapeau calls this, "A lightweight and versatile outer layer for autumn, winter and spring that blurs the lines between a jacket and a jersey.
"The Club Windstopper pairs a thermal waterproof and windproof front with a water-resistant and more breathable rear.
"The Chapeau! Club Windstopper is made to keep your temperature just right when you're working hard in the autumn, winter and spring. It's for those days when the wind is howling and there's moisture on the roads and in the air.
"The Club is built smart to protect you against the elements whilst also managing your temperature. The front is waterproof and windproof to keep chilly winds, rain and spray in check. The rear breathable and water-resistant to pull warm air away from your body and away into the distance.
"The Club Windstopper treads a fine line between jersey and jacket. It's tough enough to ward off the elements without feeling heavy or bulky. It can be worn as your outer layer but is slim enough to hide under a waterproof when conditions are truly foul. Of course, everyone is different so we'd recommend layering up or down to find your perfect fit."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Chapeau says, "The fine details include a waterproof breast-pocket, the classic three rear pockets and a further zip up, water-resistant pocket. There's also a number of reflective logos and details to keep you seen on dark roads, including a large, high-profile detail on the centre of the back."
It's well made throughout – very neatly done.
It's just the fabric that's used for the front panels and the arms that's waterproof. It's a softshell-type fabric. The other panels use a fabric with a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment that will eventually wash out and need replacing.
It's a slim fit. There's enough stretch in the fabrics that the closeness of the cut doesn't feel uncomfortable.
I picked the medium size based on Chapeau's sizing charts and it fits really well. There's enough length in the sleeves even for tall, long-limbed riders.
The fleecy, brush-backed fabrics are very comfortable if you wear this over a sleeveless or short sleeve baselayer. The stretch in the fabric makes for a high level of comfort too.
Loading up pockets can sometimes result in some stretchy fabrics hanging too low, but that doesn't happen here largely thanks to the close fit.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Simple. It goes in the machine at 30° with the rest of your cycle stuff and comes out looking fine. Several weeks in and the reflective print is still intact.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does what it's supposed to, and does it very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The fit, the warmth.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
It's only available in black.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Sportful Fiandre Strato Wind Jacket we reviewed recently is a little more expensive at £155, while the Lusso Aqua Repel is a bit cheaper at £134.99. I'd say the value is above average.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A very good jacket at a decent price.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.