The Chapeau Men's Leg Warmers are simple in their design, but the lightweight fabric is plenty warm enough for winter riding, and they stay in place too.
The expense of winter bibtights means a pair of decent leg warmers can be worth their weight in gold during the winter months. Chapeau's version use a lightweight Roubaix (fleece-backed) fabric that's surprisingly warm considering it's lack of bulk. I have been using them for rides hovering around freezing and had no issues with cold winds getting through, or heat building up when temperatures rise either.
Some leg warmers get a water repellent coating, but the Chapeaus don't. It's not a massive deal as, if they do get wet, your legs remain warm even when riding into the wind.
These come in two colours: black and this navy blue, which Chapeau calls Deep Ocean. They also come in two sizes – S/M and L/XL – which are not just different diameters, but different lengths too. I found the fit good and Chapeau's guide spot on.
These leg warmers are constructed using a single seam, which Chapeau has positioned down the inside of the leg (you can tell from the location of the reflective logos), which keeps it away from the back of the knee.
When it comes to knee or leg warmers though, I prefer them shaped – slightly bent at the joint – to avoid bunching. The Chapeaus are completely straight, which does cause a bit of rucking. I didn't find it to be terribly off-putting though... I've definitely worn worse.
I think what helps is that the silicone grippers at the top and bottom mean that they don't move at all. There is nothing worse than a warmer that's constantly making a bid for freedom from your thighs.
Cleverly, the tops of these have silicone grippers both inside and out, so they grip both your skin and your shorts.
The quality is to Chapeau's usual high standards, and they are proving durable, standing up to plenty of hassle from the zips and Velcro of various overshoes.
Lusso's Max Repel also offer water resistance, and are still available for £29.99.
These Chapeau leg warmers are relatively simple, but that doesn't mean they haven't been executed well. The quality is very good indeed, and their versatility across a wide temperature range means you'll get plenty of use out of them.
Very well made leg warmers that work in a broad range of temperatures
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chapeau Mens Leg Warmers
Size tested: Small/Medium
Tell us what the product is for
From Chapeau: "Winter needn't mean a season on the sofa with your bike gathering dust in the shed. It also needn't mean a complete wardrobe replacement. Our Leg Warmers transform your favourite shorts from one season to three seasons, scooping you off the sofa and out to your best winter ever."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Chapeau says, "Made with soft on the skin thermal Italian Carvico Artica fabric, our warmers will keep you toasty in all but the coldest of conditions. Deep silicon grippers will keep them locked comfortably in place and reflective details will help keep you safe after dark."
Chapeau has a very precise guide for sizing – follow that and you won't have an issue.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with regular washing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Keep your legs warm and don't move once in position.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fabric is very soft and warm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
No pre-shaped knee.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are more expensive than both the dhb and Lusso options mentioned in the review, but then they're very high quality.
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
Well made and impressively warm for the relatively lightweight material. With some shaping to the knee for fit, they'd be an eight.
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!