The past few weeks (March) it was often too cold to hit the road with summer cycling clothes. Still, because the Canadian company 7mesh asked me to test their latest collection, I took it. I drove almost 350 km in an outfit that consisted of the Cypress Hybrid waistcoat (€ 150), the Skyline shirt (€ 230), the RK1 bib (€ 230) and the Ashlu socks in merino wool (€ 25).
The 7mesh brand
7mesh started operations in 2013 from Squamish (BC, Canada), an hour’s drive north of Vancouver. Founded by three Arc’teryx veterans Calum Davidson, Ian Martin and Tyler Jordan who had had a long career with Arc’teryx. Tyler Jordan left there in the role of CEO.
Squamish refers to the natives (Indians) who lived in this area. 7mesh is inspired by the written nickname of this people: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. In 2015 the first line was in the shops. In the logo, we see 7m, which refers to Garibaldi Park (the 7) and the “m” refers to the slopes of the surrounding mountains.
Honestly, I say that – after unpacking the stuff – I was a bit disappointed at first. Purely the first reaction. But that is entirely personal (!) And mainly has to do with the chosen colours (combinations): I found them a bit boring compared to other brands. Also, beautiful details as you sometimes encounter with competitors. The most excellent feature is the back of the shirt: in a beautiful gradient orange design, and the 3 pockets – plus two zippers on the sides – are attached separately from the end for an ideal fit when the pockets are fully loaded.
On the road
During the bike rides, I only really found out how comfortable these clothes are. The different parts belong to the top line of 7mesh, and all are beautifully finished and super light. The whole set excluding the socks together weighs a little more than a packet of butter, 380 grams to be precise. And that is very little. These items are an absolute must for riders for whom every gram of profit is. But well, that may also be expected for those who spend € 610 on trousers, shirt and waistcoat.
RK1 Bib (168 grams)
This bib fits like a glove, tastier than any other pair of pants I have ever worn before. 7mesh sells it on their website as a “second skin”, and that’s right. The pants are tight but comfortable. The silicone edge keeps the pants in place. The finish is of high quality, and the pad provides sufficient cushioning of pants in this price range. The pad is part of the pants, which seems to have a cooling effect. This men’s bib is also handy for a possible urination stop; pants from other brands are sometimes very tight around the navel, but these pants are very elastic on the spot. One point that I think could be improved is the (too) flexible shoulder straps. They feel a bit cheap and take longer to put on quickly and smoothly. I like some stiffer shoulder straps myself.
Skyline shirt (120gr)
The Skyline is the most expensive jersey 7mesh sells and is a real race shirt. Tight fit, super light and breathable. The silicone edges do their job well. On the back of the shirt also the 7mesh logo with underneath the patented “Anything Panel 5 Pocket System”: an ingeniously designed combination of pockets that “hang” loose at the bottom. You don’t notice that while driving, but especially during longer rides with a lot of ballast, I can imagine that this is useful. There is no shortage of space: 2 zip pockets, and 3 “normal” pockets. However, I found that the shirt pulls around the armpits and chest. Not that that is uncomfortable, it is mainly less well-rounded. I don’t think it had to do with size because I always wear an M.
Cypress Hybrid waistcoat (92gr)
The Cypress Hybrid is a nice windproof waistcoat with an elastic back and silicon “grippers” on the inside of the bottom. What I find useful are the two large zippers at the back, which are easy to open and close from the rider’s position, allowing you to access the back of your cycling jersey. For example, to get a banana out of it. As a result, you do not run the risk of getting off the road, because you have to unzip your waistcoat to create space. Or by having to pull up your vest at the back. The zipper has handy loops, so you can even reach the zipper at the back with gloves on.
One point that can be improved is the relatively large shoulder/sleeve holes. I have had a few times that the shoulder part flaps irritably in a headwind.
7mesh is a young company and performs to make great fitting cycling clothing. Of course, there is no arguing about taste, but in any case, you distinguish yourself with this brand from the hordes of riders who wear Rapha or Castelli, or the lycra bellies that ride once a week on Sunday. The whole look neat. In my opinion, an excellent price-quality ratio. Bringing my focus points for their 2021 clothing line brings them close to perfection.