All of 7mesh’s products are covered by their Crash Replacement Program, which I got to test out sooner than expected, and had explained to me by one of their customer service specialists.
“Under our Crash Replacement Program, we will replace or repair any item free of charge if destroyed in a crash within 30 days from original purchase. Typically, trail shirts, bib shorts, and road jerseys will be replaced while trail shorts, thermals and jackets will be repaired. We have repair centers in Squamish (servicing Canada), Seattle (servicing USA), Scotland (servicing UK), and Germany (servicing Europe). Turnaround times vary but typically 3-4 weeks. All our repair centers have inventory of our fabrics, waterproof tapes, and zippers; therefore, these items are returned to a nearly new condition. The craftsmanship is stellar, and many repairs are imperceptible.
Beyond the 30-day Crash Replacement period, we do still opt to support customers in replacing their item so that they can continue wearing 7mesh. We generally provide folks with a discount on a replacement. We’ve even replaced bib shorts that were eaten by a racoon, and a pair of shorts that were accidentally left behind on the Tour Divide when a racer had to scurry out of their campsite quickly due to bear activity.”
To get a sense of relative fit, I’ll do my best to describe my dimensions and build. I’m around 6’3” tall and 175 pounds, with a +5” ape index. Long limbs, pretty skinny. Picture in your head one of the War Boys from Mad Max, if that rings a bell. Like many mountain bikers, I have the big legs small waist thing going on, which can be a tricky fit issue with more standard cuts of apparel. Most of my riding is done in Bellingham Washington, where colder months are typically 35-50° and rainy, with warmer times ranging from 65-80° and fairly humid.
It was a particularly toasty summer here in the Pacific Northwest, so most days were a matter of wearing as little as you could get away with in hopes of dumping heat in the sweaty woods. Though you wouldn’t think of this as wool and pants weather, it turns out well-designed gear can flip those assumptions on their head.
I’m a strong proponent of merino kit in warm weather as it remains comfortable even when soaked through with sweat, all while staying cooler than some synthetic jerseys that just don’t breathe. The Desperado tee is a prime example of this, as its weight and weave make it ideal for hot and sweaty days when you plan to be out for the long haul. I wore this shirt on a 15-hour epic this August, and it remained comfortable and temperature-regulating from dawn to dusk. Even on the bigger climbs on that mission, it never felt too warm or soggy, which can’t be said for even the best plastic-thread tops out there I’ve tested. The size Large fits me nicely, with what I’d call an athletic trim that fits well under other layers without looking like a skinsuit.
Similarly category-defying are the Glidepath pants, but in a slightly more confusing sense. The fabric is the lightest I’ve ever seen spec’d on a riding pant, and the result is a cool and comfortable bottom that pedals very nicely. The downside to this is that they lack in both durability and structure, making for a somewhat loose and bunchy fit. Part of this might come down to my body fit, as I’m pretty trim, but 7mesh even refers to these as a “Trim Fit” item, so I’m surprised at how roomy some areas of the pants are. For a Medium, the waist is fairly large, but the lower leg tapers quite a bit, making for a very triangular shape. In terms of durability, the stitching is certainly robust, but the fabric itself didn’t hold up to a fairly typical tire buzz, during a sketchy moment on/off the bike. Nothing is going to hold up to all crashes, but this wasn’t particularly nasty, so I reached out to the service team at 7mesh and made good use of the Crash Replacement Policy to sort out a replacement. Since getting a fresh pair of the pants, it’s been smooth sailing for a couple months of serious riding, which gives me a bit more confidence in their long-term durability.
Finally, we have the Northwoods Windshell, which may be a new favorite of mine. As seasons roll over here, carrying a windbreaker is critical to staying comfortable over the course of a ride, as temperatures and moisture change pretty rapidly. For years, I’ve been carrying a Patagonia Dragonfly (the spiritual predecessor to their now hugely popular Houdini), but due to age and use it was starting to lose some utility. This Northwoods jacket is a perfect replacement, with all the right MTB-specific updates I would’ve hoped for. The fit of the size Large is great for riding, the weight is about as light as can be while still remaining useful, and the packability is top notch. Thanks to the handy little elastic straps in the stash pocket, you can attach the packed jacket to your frame when not in use, eliminating the need for a pack or spare frame strap.
The Wolf’s Last Word
As a whole, the Northwoods Jacket and Desperado Shirt from 7mesh have proven to be adaptable and high-quality pieces that should last the test of time and usage. Despite some durability concerns about the Glidepath Pants, their comfort and well-rounded utility keeps them in regular rotation. Though the prices are quite high for an imported garment, the customer support and brand philanthropy that 7mesh offers do sweeten the deal.
$170 – Northwoods Jacket
$170 – Glidepath Pants
$70 – Desperado Shirt