7Mesh is a cycling clothing company based in Canada, sandwiched between Vancouver and Whistler, it’s a brand that is proudly Canadian and very connected to the land and culture of the BC area. Since 2013, 7Mesh has been designing road and mountain biking gear to handle riding the mountainous terrain and all weather conditions that can be experienced from its doorstep. The Horizon jersey and MK3 bib shorts are endurance focused road clothing aimed to offer innovative design features for greater comfort during long days in the saddle. We’ve been putting them to the test to see how they fare against the best cycling jerseys and best cycling shorts on the market.
Design and aesthetics
The 7Mesh Horizon is made from 100 per cent polyester which in itself doesn’t offer much in the way of stretch, instead, 7Mesh has relied on some smart tailoring to give the jersey its on-bike fit. That means it doesn’t have that second-skin feel of a race jersey as the areas where the jersey doesn’t sit close to the skin are looser, albeit not in a flappy manner.
Aggressively rolled shoulders and rear shaping darts are used to avoid constriction and bunching around the arms and back giving the jersey a decent fitted shape. The material itself has an anti-microbial treatment to keep smells at bay and is rated to UPF 50+ so if you are riding in the heat of the day there isn’t the need to slather your whole torso with sunblock. The full length concealed front zipper gives the jersey a clean finish, it isn’t cam-locked although 7Mesh has added a little cord making it easy to grab when you need to adjust the zip while riding.
7Mesh has put a lot of thought into the rear pockets to develop the Anything Panel 5-Pocket System on the Horizon. The whole pocket section floats on a stretchy piece of material that is attached to the jersey across the top and sides of the panel, in turn, the less stretchy jersey material supports the load. The design focuses on stabilising the pockets using the jersey back panel to maintain fit when the pockets are crammed with riding essentials. There are five pockets: Three standard quick access pockets, a right-hand zipped valuables pocket and a second larger zipped pocket.
The 7Mesh MK3 is a long-distance endurance bib short to offer comfort for long days in the saddle. The shorts are made from Miti Gravity Interpower material which has an unusual feel compared to other shorts but is soft to the touch and hasn’t shown any signs of wear so far. The material offers some compression and has seamless raw edges with densely packed silicone grippers around the inside of the hem. The shoulder straps are 45mm wide, supportive and have caused no discomfort. At the back, there is a Y junction section where the straps meet and attach to the shorts at a single anchoring point. If you are looking for a more adventure-friendly short option, 7Mesh offers a cargo version of the MK3 with two leg pockets and three rear pockets at a small extra cost.
7Mesh says it has placed seams and sewing lines away from action points although unlike any other short there is a seam that travels between the legs from the front to the rear. There are a number of other unusual seam positions as well however this construction is the groundwork for the MK3’s party piece.
Unlike most bib shorts 7Mesh has created a hammocked lining to which the pad is attached. This lining attaches around the front and under the rear bib strap and allows leg and other on-saddle movements to be more independent from the chamois. The chamois is an Elastic Interface Mens Performance Space, made with recycled content, it has a deep centre channel and high-density foam to offer more support on key contact points.
The jersey has a very on-bike oriented tailoring which is surprising considering its everyday versatility and endurance leanings. While the tailoring does a great job of fitting to the body without any points of tightness or hindering movement, the fit would be further improved if there was a little more stretch in the material.
The approach of intricate tailoring rather than simply relying on the stretch properties of a material is a design consideration centred around the floating pocket setup. While other jerseys can suffer droop when loaded to the gills, the Horizon doesn’t. You still don’t want to stuff the pockets to a bursting point, but they can easily swallow up all the spares and snacks needed for a long ride that would have other jerseys wallowing and swaying. The second larger zipped pocket is surprisingly deep and offers a secure place for the not-as-valuable valuables that are usually stored in open pockets. The additional rear zipped pocket also adds more options to distribute items evenly for more efficient storage.
The material is comfortable to the skin and has a nice soft waffle texture giving it a lofted feel. Despite being a man-made fabric, it has an almost merino-type level of heat management making it comfortable across a wide range of temperatures. It does run a little on the warm side but handles moisture effectively, letting it evaporate rather than becoming sodden.
We’ve used this jersey for a range of riding, including a particularly mucky gravel ride and the jersey is still showing remnants of that ride around the inside of the collar which is disappointing. This is made more obvious by the very vibrant Firecracker red colour, the darker shades probably wouldn’t have the same issue.
The overall fit of the bibs is good with a comfortable compressive quality, the shoulder straps have a very light elasticity to gently hold everything in place whilst remaining unnoticeable when worn. The silicons dots on the hem don’t offer much purchase as the raw hem doesn’t have any additional compression which resulted in some creeping up until they found a natural resting position. This meant the legs went from being the right length to feeling a touch Eddy Merckx however they never become too short and, once settled, they sit comfortably for the duration of a ride. The double layering and creeping also leave them with a wrinkly finish to the outer layer which didn’t cause any discomfort but does leave the shorts looking like you bought the wrong size – this is just an aesthetic point and, unless you are really worried about the aerodynamic drag of fabric, doesn’t affect performance.
What the double layering of the hammocked chamois does achieve is effectively locking the pad into place – and I mean really locked in – keeping everything positioned where it should be no matter how many times you stand up and sit down. I found the chamois well-shaped, offering support and some dampening from vibrations to so hot spots and fatigue shouldn’t be an issue on longer rides.
The Horizon jersey is a well thought out jersey that is comfortable to wear all day on the bike. The pocket system is the clear selling point and offers a significant benefit in storage security, stability and versatility over a traditional jersey pocket. This of course comes at the compromise of fabric stretch, yet 7Mesh has done a superb job of tailoring the jersey to offer an unrestrictive on-bike fit. Riders at the ends of the jersey sizing may find fit a little more challenging due to the limited material stretch, however 7Mesh offers 30 day free returns on its products so changing sizes isn’t an issue.
The shorts feature their own innovative design with the chamois is hammocked within the shorts. For riders who find themselves shuffling around on their saddles struggling with chamois placement throughout a ride, the MK3 bib shorts will be a revelation as the pad is locked in place like no other bib short I have tried. Personally, I found the pad a little too locked in place however the comfort is was still up there with the best and I had no discomfort on longer rides. While the legs would settle into the ride, for me the settling point was a touch too short and I found the little bit of creep quite distracting. It would be nice to see some additional compression around the hem to stop the creep and help keep the shorts from becoming wrinkled as well.
Tech Specs: 7Mesh Horizon jersey
- RRP: $140.00 / £99.99 / $120.00
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Colours: Six
Tech Specs: 7Mesh MK3 bibshort
- RRP: $200.00 / £15.00 / $175.00
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Colours: One