Hailing from Canada, 7Mesh certainly know a thing or two about bad weather. With their new Resistance Jacket, they seek to give you all-round protection, breathability and a low weight. We headed to the Pyrenees in search of some rough weather to put the Resistance to the test.
Our idyllic daydream rides always takes place under a powder blue sky with a light breeze to keep us cool. The reality of riding, especially in the UK, is that it is not a question of if the weather will take a turn for the worse, but when.
7Mesh understand your concerns and from their wet, wild and woolly headquarters in the delightfully named Squamish, Canada, they present the Resistance Jacket. 7Mesh realise that the weather is constantly changing and rather than clothing for each and every possible temperature variation, what cyclists really want is something that is going to keep you covered for the widest range of conditions.
"Constructed from a Windstopper Active Shell windproof membrane with 8mm seam tape, the Resistance keeps you fully protected from the wind and almost entirely sheltered from the rain."
Enter the Resistance Jacket. With this jacket, 7Mesh have attempted to tick all the boxes for a versatile, comfortable and stylish jacket that goes beyond providing resistance to bestowing protection from the worst of the weather.
Any highly versatile jacket requires a low weight and a compact and packable size. Rarely are the heavens open from the beginning of your ride till the bitter end so the ability to quickly put a jacket on and take it off is a must. The Resistance Jacket offers just this with a lightweight and compact 115-gram reading on the scales and the handy ability to stuff it into its own security pocket - which means it can easily fit into a jersey pocket.
That's one box comprehensively ticked, what next? Protection, of course. Rain, the wind and the cold - the Resistance claims to have it all covered for three-season versatility. Constructed from a Windstopper Active Shell windproof membrane with 8mm seam tape, the Resistance keeps you fully protected from the wind and almost entirely sheltered from the rain.
Despite the jacket's proclamation that it is 'just' water resistant, expect more from the Resistance. I wore the Resistance Jacket through a series of heavy showers when testing it in the Pyrenees and I came out dry every time. The extent to which the jacket is 'water resistant' rather than 'waterproof' will likely go beyond the sort of conditions you will consensually ride in. Even then the rain and road spray will start coming in the neck hole far before the fabric or the seams are breached.
Okay, so the Resistance Jacket has protection covered too. What about fit? Complimenting the jacket's minimalist face fabric is 7Mesh's Helix patterning, which the Canadian company claims forms to fit your riding position. The cut is certainly tailored specifically to fit the best while you are tucked forwards in the riding position.
"The Resistance Jacket's superb level of breathability is what lifts it from a good jacket to a must-have piece of kit."
The slightly dropped tail adds wheel spray protection and the shoulder cut prevents any uncomfortable bunching whilst you are leaning forwards in the drops. The only possible grumble could be that more reflective elements would have been appreciated on the rear of the jacket for nighttime, dawn and dusk rides.
If you are going to buy a premium jacket it would be nice if you could wear it at other times rather than just on the bike. Thankfully, with the subtle Helix cut and soft collar fabric, the Resistance Jacket does not look out of place in social situations or doing other outdoor activities like hiking.
Now for the pièce de résistance; the jacket’s breathability. A tailored bin bag would keep you dry but it would leave you feeling like a horrible sweaty mess as soon as you started heating up. Not the Resistance Jacket. Its superb level of breathability is what lifts it from a good jacket to a must-have piece of kit.
This high level of breathability is largely down to the Windstopper Active Shell fabric, which features a light urethane coating. The urethane transports perspiration away from your skin and through the fabric's microporous PTFE membrane, leaving you dry and comfortable.
Further ventilation is provided by the mesh cuffs and strategic vent panels on the back of the jacket. As an anecdotal testament to this jacket's performance, I used it on several occasions while descending in the Pyrenees. The top of the mountains were often windy and up to 15˚C cooler than the valley below. The Resistance kept the wind off on the way down and when I reached the valley floor, where the temperatures sat around 30˚C, I was still dry and comfortable.
The jacket's full-length zipper is certainly appreciated when you need to whip the jacket on quickly and the single rear security pocket is perfect for nutrition, valuables and essential kit such as an inner tube or multi-tool.
What a jacket. The 7 Mesh Resistance Jacket totally delivers on its promises of three season versatility with an optimal blend of protection, fit and breathability. The low weight, adaptable fit and high levels of protection and breathability mean that the jacket offers significant value, even if the price tag seems a little lofty at first glance.
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