7MESH Copilot Jacket Reviewed | Packable Waterproofing for the Trail

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I think it was 16 years ago that I was bought a GoreTex Paclite jacket for cycling to work in. From memory, it didn’t cost much less than this 7MESH Copilot jacket. I’ve still got it – it’s somewhat less waterproof than it was, but it remains a pretty functional jacket that I still use for running thanks to its snug fit and lack of hood. So all that time later I was looking forward to trying out the 7MESH Copilot jacket, made from the more modern Paclite Plus Goretex, and with 16 years of design and cutting techniques added into the equation.

The 7MESH Copilot only has one pocket, at an angle on the left lower ribcage. This acts as a stuff sack, so you can bundle the jacket into itself and pack it down – it’s not tiny, but it is tidy. As a pocket, it’s OK, but it’s quite shallow towards the front, meaning if you forget to zip it up you are at risk of tipping things out as you ride along. My giant iPhone does fit in it, but it places it between my hip bones and rib cage, which I found uncomfortable. Personally, I’d rather store my stuff safely in a backpack rather than in this pocket.

The hood has elasticated draw-cords so you can pull it in snugly. It’s sat happily under a helmet, but it is designed to go over one. To get it to fit over your helmet, you first need to partially unzip your jacket. You then put the hood up, zip your jacket back up, and the hood stays in place. May this year has provided plenty of torrential rain opportunities for such testing, and while it’s sold as ‘a back up shell’ it has largely been tested as an essential piece of kit for setting foot out of the door.

The wrists are shaped and slightly gathered, but have no adjustment or fastenings on them. At first I found this a little odd, as I’m used to snugging my sleeves up over my gloves with Velcro fasteners. However, in use the wrists fitted nicely and the absence of cinching straps meant I could more easily remove a glove to use a phone or camera, or push my sleeve up to check my watch.

7MESH CoPilot jacket
7MESH CoPilot jacket

The front is cut quite short, while there’s a bit of a tail at the back. On the bike this cut makes total sense, but on me – and I am on the tall side at just over 5 foot 9 – it renders the jacket just a little too short at the front for it to double up as an ideal hiking jacket. Walking in a deluge, the short front ends on my midriff rather than at a point where water drips off my hips and down, resulting in a wet waistband and pants. That’s OK – it’s not designed for hiking and the pattern has been specifically cut for on the bike positioning, but at the price you might be wanting something more do-it-all.

The Paclite Plus fabric is fairly noisy, but the cut is neat enough without excess fabric, which mitigates the noise. I did struggle with the zips – they’re really stiff, and for me they meant a definite stop and use two hands to operate them – even just unzipping a little while riding along was difficult. As well as the zips being fairly stiff and substantial, the fabric is light, which I think adds to the effect of pulling the jacket rather than the zip – you need that second hand to hold the jacket still while you’re zipping. I hope that over time the fairly substantial zips will prove their worth – the lighter weight zip on my 16 year old jacket is proving to be the weak point that may spell its eventual demise – but it would be nice if they ran a little easier.

7MESH CoPilot jacket

Being a light weight jacket, there’s no lining, so if you’ve got bare arms your skin is up against the plasticky inner of the waterproof material, not a woven fabric. However, I’ve found this to be comfortable and not sticky – the jacket seems nicely breathable to me and the dark grey inner facing has a slight texture to it rather than being sticky-smooth like a carrier bag. It’s more comfortable against the skin than either the original Paclite fabric, or my previous favourite mountain biking jacket, the Showers Pass IMBA (which, while we’re comparing, is a little more multifunctional in its cut and array of pockets). There is a little mesh fabric area on the back of the neck – which I imagine prevent any itchiness in that sensitive area, and there are no scratchy labels there either.

All the finishes – the seams, the stitching, the taping – are absolutely flawless and you couldn’t ask for a higher quality finish. There isn’t a lot by way of reflective bits on it, but off-road I’m not too fussed about that. Being a mucky pup, I’ve had cause to wash it on a number of occasions and it’s not suffered for the experience. I’ve been testing the women’s fit jacket, but there’s a men’s cut too – and both men’s and women’s come in the same colour choices – this reddish colour, and a nice grey-blue too.


I do really like this jacket. It’s a pretty huge sum of money to spend on a jacket, but if memory serves me rightly the Goretex Paclite has never come cheaply. Expecting to get another 16 years out of it may be unrealistic, but the quality of the cut and finish is such that I’d certainly expect to get a decent spell out of it that could well justify the cost against a couple of replacements of ostensibly cheaper options. The cut is perfect for on the bike but that does compromise it a little for other uses and it’s definitely best while riding – I suspect a guide or coach might bemoan the lack of handy pockets, and the short front cut isn’t ideal for that wet family walk at the weekend. If you’re looking for a bike specific jacket that works really, really, well on the bike and will sit neatly in your pack when you don’t need it, then the 7MESH Copilot hits the mark. 

7MESH CoPilot jacket

Review Info

Brand: 7MESH
Product: CoPilot Jacket
From: 7mesh.com
Price: £220
Tested: by Hannah for 3 months
Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Comments (6)

    Refreshing to read a review of this jacket that wasn’t gushing and didn’t try to pass the short comings off as plus points.

    It does look good but I couldn’t justify that much on a jacket that was only any good on a bike.

    For decades I avoided spending that sort of ££ on a lightweight jacket because I expected I’d rip the arm on a bush or in a crash on the 1st ride. And the paclite felt cheap, nasty and fragile when it 1st came out.
    But I finally bought a Showers Pass jacket about 2 months ago at this price range (minus £40 c/o the great 20% ST subscriber’s discount ). Praise the Lord that I did. Its been well tested since, particularly in a sideways monsoon on the top of a moor, as well as in snow and hail too on other rides. And I remained dry. It also packs small enough to get in a the jersey pocket when on the road bike too. I had several of those ‘that was actually worth the spend’ moments in April and May (snow in the Peaks in April, and sideways rain in May. I blame e-bikes for those).

    @Robertajobb Yeah, that ‘ooh, this just works’ of that now ancient Paclite jacket did introduce me to that sense of buy one good thing once. Plus, I used to do a fair amount of fell running and there’s something about being out in the wild entirely under your own steam that makes the difference between kit that really works and kit that’s OK all the more important. What’s an extra £100 compared to hypothermia when the weather changes and you only brought a windproof because the cheap waterproof was too heavy?

    @Nigel_Leech It’s a really great jacket designed for a specific task and it does it really well – probably in part because of the features that make it less good as an all-rounder. Maybe you should get your family hiking/wet day at the shops coat really sweaty stinky and then people will positively beg you to buy a bike specific jacket?!

    Well there is that I suppose. My current bike waterproof is a Royal Racing Matrix. Inside pocket for my phone and big vents/pockets on the front and a style that works on the bike and the school. Also has the advantage that at half the price of this one I can have a second for off bike duty and still be quids in.

    School run, I should have said!

    the sky pilot has pockets, but isn’t as packable.

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