‘Streamline design. Deliver simplicity. Remove, rather than add.’ Those statements are part of a design ethos that 7mesh touts with its made-for-biking outerwear line.
7mesh of Squamish, British Columbia, offers products that borrow materials and techniques from the world of high-end technical outerwear. Its founding employees were formerly with Arc’teryx, and the influence is apparent with 7mesh’s use of Gore waterproof-breathable membranes, advanced fabrics, welded seams, and weatherproof zippers.
This winter, we put two of the company’s pieces — the Synergy Long Sleeve Jersey and Strategy Jacket — to a multi-month test in temps from 40 degrees to below zero. This is my review.
7mesh Synergy Jersey LS Review
Cold weather makes for sublime rides, and for many cyclists, there really is no “off-season” anymore. But road biking takes on a different proposition in the colder months, as low temps, wind, and weather makes apparel and outerwear crucial gear.
The 7 Mesh Synergy Long Sleeve ($175) top is a lightweight wind-shell disguised as a jersey. It has Gore Windstopper softshell fabric that protects the torso and arms, yet the garment retains such a minimalist feel that I’ve worn it on rides up past 40 degrees.
The fit is far superior to similar tops I have tried, including long sleeves, elastic cuffs, vents on the back, and a warmth-to-weight ratio that’s impressive. There’s a weatherproof front zipper, collar headphone loops, and a gripper elastic hem.
The brand touts it offers “the protection of a wind-shell, the coverage of arm warmers, and the breathability of a lightweight jersey.” I agree, and now I wear this top all the time for cool weather mountain biking as well as on the road.
7mesh Strategy Jacket Review
Designed for “high-output rides in cold conditions,” this close-fitting jacket uses two types of Gore Windstopper softshell fabric.
The outside is a congruent water-resistant face. Inside, high-loft fleece adds “mapped” insulation on the chest, shoulders, and kidney areas.
7mesh calls the Strategy Jacket ($250) windproof and “extremely water resistant,” meaning it’s not a rain jacket but will protect against precipitation to a point.
I found the fleece panels of varying thickness on the interior kept the torso warm but allowed unrestricted movement on the bike. For riding one of my favorite three-hour road loops, the Strategy Jacket was warm enough, even down to 10 degrees; it gave the same warmth as much heavier pieces and fit well in a cycling position.
Three rear pockets, including two with zippers, keep your essentials stowed securely. The “fit-and-finish,” to borrow a term from the auto industry, is very impressive.
While the cost of admission is high, the 7mesh jacket is super high quality and something you will have in your cold-weather arsenal for a long time.
–See the full 7mesh product line.