Based in Squamish, BC, 7mesh has steadily gained a following in the cycling scene for their understated and beautifully constructed clothing lines. With just three employees, 7mesh launched their first products in Spring 2015. These days, 7mesh has a staff of eight and in 2017, they partnered with lululemon to widen their reach and expand their collections.
This season, 7mesh offers a mix of road and mountain bike clothing for men and women with an emphasis on merino and soft-shell fabrics that aim to keep the fall chill at bay. We had the chance to test out a few pieces from the 7mesh women's mountain bike line and they've quickly become a go-to for us, thanks to the tailored fit and quality fabrics.
Here's what we've been riding.
Designed for all-around, everyday mountain biking, the Glidepath is constructed from a lightweight woven material. The fabric has a slight stretch for mobility and the shorts feature the trim fit that is characteristic of the 7mesh line. A slight curve through the seat area keeps the fit comfortable on the bike and flattering off of it.
The Glidepaths are cut to approximately knee length, so if you prefer a shorter hemline, these may not your first choice. 7mesh is meticulous about fit and we appreciated the way these shorts curve slightly through the transition from hip to waistline.
Pockets are make-or-break on mountain bike shorts for us. The Glidepath shorts include two front pockets up front, just like our favorite pair of jeans, and two angled zipper pockets that run along the hips. The side pockets include two internal pockets and are perfect for small items such as snacks, phone, or compact multi-tool. Yes, we can carry a pack, but sometimes we want to stuff our phone and a snack into our pockets and get out there.
Finishing touches include a lux-feeling fleece lining on the waistband and external tabs for adjusting the waistline. We're also especially happy to find belt loops, which are a detail that's often missing from women's mountain bike shorts. We found the Glidepath to run true to size, relative to 7mesh's printed size charts, but if you're in doubt, we'd recommend sizing up. We tested a size medium.
Women's WK2 Short ($130)
7mesh sells the Glidepath short without a liner — the thin, lycra and chamois underthings often sold with mountain bike shorts. We like this ‘bring your own chamois’ approach: For longer rides, maybe we'll wear full bibshorts. For bike park laps, sometimes we'll slide into a pair of seamless boyshorts, rather than mess with a chamois.
Designed to be worn under a mountain bike short or on their own, 7mesh's WK2 short is made from lightweight Lycra and includes a comfortable, stretch chamois. Called "elastic interface technology," the stretch material helps ensure that the chamois fits close to your body to avoid chafing and that dreaded maxi-pad feel. Every woman's body is different, but the chamois in the WK2 worked well for us.
The WK2 features a wide, flat waistline that's supportive and flattering – and feels a lot like our favorite yoga pants. The hemline runs long, so if you like a fuller coverage short, the WK2 is a good choice for you. We rolled them shorter. One future upgrade we'd love to see is flatlock stitching on the seams, because it makes for a smoother feel against the skin.
7mesh constructs this versatile top from a blend of merino and polyester. It's surprisingly lightweight and breathable with the soft hand you'd expect from merino. The Desperado immediately caught our eye for its understated feminine style. We tested the black; the other colorways are more obviously feminine in hot coral and wisteria.
The magic is in the tailoring. 7mesh gives the Desperado a curved profile and princess seaming. A smoothly asymmetric hemline lies flat and provides extra coverage in the back. When leaned over our handlebars, we did not experience the unflattering gap between the henley and our shorts. The fabric's slight stretch allowed for a body-skimming fit that doesn't feel constraining. If you like a more boxy fit, though, this piece is probably not going to be your first choice.
Three-quarter sleeves make the Desperado a nice choice for fall or as a first-layer for colder-weather riding. While we found the fabric to be light and breezy, we wouldn't choose this piece for a hot-weather ride during the peak of summer. The two-button closure provides a jaunty detail. The Desperado easily doubles as a lifestyle piece and more than once, we've ended up wearing it to the coffee shop.
On the sizing front, we tested a large and found it ran true to size. We often struggle with hemlines that are too short in women's clothing lines and the Desperado fit well on that front. The sizing felt comparable to other outdoor brands we've worn.
When we received the Callaghan hoody, we immediately wanted to schedule a trip to Colorado or Utah for some high-altitude fall fun. The Callaghan is a perfect shoulder season piece or a nice mid-layer for the winter months. It's a soft, thermal hoody that blends a fleeced merino inner layer with a smooth polyester outer face.
Cut close to the body, the stretch fabric and careful seaming ensures mobility. Hand-warmer pockets and a close-fitting hood add to the snuggle factor. We especially liked the longer length on the sleeves. They didn't ride up when we reached for the bars and the extra length gives this piece an extra comfy vibe. The Callaghan is cut slightly larger than the Desperado to allow for base layers or jerseys underneath it.
We did not test this piece extensively on the bike, thanks to our location in California. It's just not quite merino hoody weather here yet. But like the rest of the clothing we tested from 7mesh, we were impressed with the cut and quality of the Callaghan. We're pretty sure it's going to do double duty on the bike and as a regular winter surf check companion.
More Gear content from ASN here