by Marc Basiliere
October 2, 2016
While there wasn’t a whole lot of “look at me!” in the 7Mesh interbike booth, there was a whole lot to discover for those who took the time to examine the apparel on display. One of the Canadian company’s standouts was the world’s first sub-100g GoreTex jacket. That’s right- 7Mesh were showing a waterproof that weighs less (and packs down not much larger than) than all but the lightest road stems on the market.
Built from pure GoreTex Active membrane, there is no woven fabric to be found on the entire piece. Because the GoreTex membrane is not backed by a second or third layer, Active is the most breathable GoreTex fabric ever. (It also means that more care is required in use.) Bells and whistles are kept to a minimum, though there is an internal phone pocket that doubles as a stuff sack and rear vents double as jersey pocket access flaps. Black is the only colour available- at least until Gore decides to produce the base material in another hue.
The full-length zipper is bonded to the fabric rather than sewn and is itself a special piece assembled from the best bits of several models in the YKK catalogue. The Oro probably wouldn’t be the best choice for gritty winter mountain rides- but is undeniably an impressive piece of kit.
Intended to be an everyday jersey, this $150 top aims to deliver on wool’s all-weather promise without the material’s usual saggy fit. To that end, the Ashlu jersey consists of superlight merino wool fibres wound around sturdy nylon cores and features synthetic panels running from the armpits to rear pockets. Taken together, these help to support the pockets and maintain 7Mesh’s cut- (rather than stretch-) based fit. If there was a jersey to convince synthetic holdouts to give wool a try, this could well be it.