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review

Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless

8
£29.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Smart looking baselayer made from quality materials with impressive wicking properties
Available in a range of colours
Great wicking
Decent price
Weight: 
51g
Contact: 

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

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The Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless is lightweight, feels soft against the skin and works really well when the temperature is warm thanks to really good wicking capabilities. It comes in a range of colours too, to match your kit.

I have quite a few Chapeau baselayers in my collection, one of them a short-sleeved design that I've had since 2018. Its durability is excellent; it still looks like new, has retained its shape and the white is still white – many can turn yellow under the arms and around the neck over the years.

As this is made from the same mesh material, with solid, stretchy panels down the side, I don't see this blue one being any different.

2021 Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless - back.jpg

The fit is really good – close, thanks to those stretchy side panels, but without feeling restrictive. You obviously need the fabric to touch your body for the wicking purposes.

The lightweight mesh material is very thin with quite a wide knit pattern which allows the breeze to blow through and keep you cool.

2021 Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless - hem.jpg

On all but the hottest days it does a good job of keeping you dry, and should it get overwhelmed it'll soon dry again quickly once your pace has dropped a touch.

On top of the shoulders is more of the solid knit fabric found on the side panels, which gives a bit of protection from the straps of your bib shorts – both for your skin, and the longevity of the baselayer itself.

2021 Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless - shoulders.jpg

The Chapeau Sleeveless is available in five colours, all with corresponding decals and logos on the chest.

The majority of mesh baselayers are either black or white so it's good to see a bit of variety here. They are colours that match Chapeau's other kit so you can look coordinated when you're gruelling your way up a steep climb with your jersey unzipped.

> Buyer’s Guide: 16 of the best cycling baselayers

Its £29.99 rrp is the same as the Lusso Pain Cave Eco Summer baselayer, although that is made from recycled material which might add appeal.

One that does look a bargain is the sleeveless version of the Galibier Echelon short sleeve baselayer we tested earlier in the year; that costs just £19.

Conclusion

Overall, the Chapeau is a smart looking baselayer that works very well, and if it can maintain the durability of Chapeau layers of old then it'll be a worthwhile investment.

Verdict

Smart looking baselayer made from quality materials with impressive wicking properties

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Chapeau Mesh Base Layer Sleeveless

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Chapeau says, "What's cooler than an unzipped jersey, flapping gloriously in the summer sun?

We created our base layers to colour coordinate perfectly with our jerseys. Whether you're at home on the turbo or out in summer sun with your jersey flowing, they'll guarantee you maximum style points and comfort."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Product details from Chapeau:

"The Chapeau! Mesh Base Layer is soft on your skin, snug fit and stylish. It will whisk moisture away when you're working hard all whilst staying fresh and keeping your temperature just right.

It's designed to be a 'can't live without it' favourite that's as home on the turbo in the shed of dread as it is on your summer holidays, racing to the final cafe stop of the day.

Available with or without sleeves, the Italian kite mesh fabric wicks moisture away from your skin, feels soft and comfy and looks as good in Watopia as it does peaking through your jersey on your local club run."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

Follow Chapeau's size guide and you will be fine.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Chapeau recommends a cool machine wash, and doing that I have had no issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

A comfortable fit, and plenty of breathability.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

A good close fit without being restrictive.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

I'd say the Chapeau kind of sits towards the upper price range for a mesh baselayer, but it's certainly not on its own. There are some bargains out there though, like Van Rysel's for around 15 quid and the £19 Galibier mentioned in the review.

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

While you can get mesh baselayers like this for around half the cost, I'd say the Chapeau is worth the investment because of how good the durability is, and it just works really well.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

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!

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