7Mesh WTV Chilco Jacket review

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7Mesh WTV Chilco jacket (‘Wind, Thermal, Ventilation’) is a big new thing from top-notch clothing company.

WTV a new fabric combo that promises to stop the wind and keep you warm, while still being extremely breathable. There’s a level of water resistance too, but that’s not the remit of WTV. It’s intended mostly for those cold, clear days with a biting wind. The 7Mesh Chilco WTV ‘anorak’ is a smock-style jacket aimed at keeping mountain bikers warm in those cold, dryish conditions.

  • Brand: 7Mesh
  • Price: £170
  • Tested: By Chipps for 3 months
I’m looking at you, winter!

Three Things I Loved

  • The instant comfort and warmth putting it on
  • Excellent fit, particularly around the arms/armpits
  • The ‘quiet’ fabric that’s soft to wear and doesn’t scream ‘I’m a cyclist!’

Three Things That Could Be Improved

  • Make the handwarmer pocket actually warm your hands
  • Some way of keeping the hood out of the way when not in use
  • Hopefully 7Mesh will make a full zip jacket soon. Not everyone loves a smock

Cold, windy and mostly dry are the kind of conditions that the original softshells of the previous decade were designed for. While they worked very effectively, in general they were heavy and rigid-feeling, so the WTV fabric is intended to take that idea and make it better.

The WTV outer fabric is tightly woven and blocks the wind completely. It has a lovely handle and is fairly resistant to thorns and the general rough-play world of mountain biking. There’s a built-in hood (that’s not stowable), a high, zip-up smock collar that comes up just under the nose and there’s a front pouch pocket made of a very stretchy material. Apart from that, it’s light in other features. The cuffs have a small dart of the stretch fabric in, but generally, like all of 7Mesh’s kit that I’ve tried, it relies on excellent tailoring to ensure a great fit, without needing excess straps, buckles and Velcro to keep things in place.

Ideal for blending into an autumnal forest. Also comes in black (and midnight blue). Obvs.


Inside the jacket is simply a very lovely place to be. There’s a super plush, waffle fleece lining the entire body and arms. There’s an instant feeling of warmth and calm when slipping it on. The waffle is soft enough to wear on bare skin, with a short sleeve base layer, perhaps, and it’s also smooth enough that you can pull it on without much of a struggle (unlike some first-gen softshells I have where you need a solid grip on your base layer sleeve to stop it from ending up around your elbows when putting a jacket on).

7mesh ltv chilco
Looking warm, feeling cosy, (looking stupid, but not caring…)

In use

I’ve had this Chilco anorak for a few months, but it’s only recently got cold enough to give it a proper workout. I tried it back in October, but it still wasn’t cold enough and I roasted myself. I would say that you only want to get this out of the drawer when the temperatures are well into single figures and below. And this brings me on to my main criticism of the Chilco jacket – it’s simply too hot most of the time!: it has a solid operating range of temperatures (from minus whatever you want, I reckon, to about plus 8°C for me, at least) but above that, you’re going to be hot and uncomfortable. The only temperature regulation is from the 1/3 chest zip, and that’s it. There’s no provision to loosen or roll up the sleeves or open any vents anywhere. However, as long as you’re somewhere chilly, you’re going to have a great time. If you’re after the thermal benefit with a bit more versatility, though, there is a WTV Vest.

I’ve used the 7Mesh WTV Chilco jacket for several, frigid, mountain bike rides and remained comfortable throughout. The cut of 7Mesh clothing has always impressed me, with the arm length designed for riding, a long back and arms/shoulders that allow for a wide range of movement without any drafts coming in.

For e-bike riding, the Chilco excels. E-bike riding doesn’t produce as much heat on the climbs, yet you still get all the chill of the descents. The WTV fabric’s ‘instant on’ thermal properties allow for a comfortable ride from start to finish. Even when I’ve stopped off for some trail foliage clearing, the jacket has continued to keep me warm, even after the sun had set and the temperatures started plummeting.

I found the single front pocket near-on useless, mind. The fabric is thin and stretchy, and the two hand zips open into a large cavernous space. At best, it would be OK to keep a map in, but tools or keys would rattle around and anything heavier than a pair of gloves would droop down. It’s what would be called a ‘handwarmer’ pocket, except the thin front of the pocket has no thermal value whatsoever, so you won’t find any warming in there at all. If only the zips penetrated the fleecy warm layer below, but they don’t.

The hood is great, though. It will just go over a helmet if needed, or is slim enough to wear under a helmet if you’ve got some adjustment. For lunch and puncture stops, it’s got that instant warmth feel to it and made me forgive its lack of stowage, though don’t blame me if you get a hood full of snow and dirt when playing in the woods.

Overall

The 7Mesh WTV Chilco is a great jacket for your winter arsenal, on the proviso that the temperatures are low enough; once you get hot in this, there’s nowhere to go. The WTV fabric has a great, comforting, non-rustling feel and the outer face fabric is rugged enough for most conditions. It’ll shrug off showers and splashes and is fairly thornproof. It’s also a smart enough jacket to wear to the pub without looking like a mid-ride cyclist. Try doing that in your old softshell.

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Review Info

Brand: 7Mesh
Product: Chilco WTV Anorak
From: 7Mesh
Price: £170
Tested: by Chipps for 4 months
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Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • 7Mesh WTV Chilco Jacket review
  • nickc
    Full Member

    And this brings me on to my main criticism of the Chilco jacket – it’s simply too hot most of the time!

    I have the vest/gillet version of this, and for most of the time, it’s also too hot. It is however lovely to wear.

    gazzab1955
    Full Member

    Spooky, this top popped up on my Facebook feed yesterday! Had a look and really liked it, but having read your review I don’t think I will be buying it. I like some storage space in a top layer for phone or wallet or snacks as most of my rides don’t need a backpack. I like smock style jackets/tops, my Alpkit Jura is the go to jacket when its cold enough, but the kangaroo pockets need to hold gear in place and not make you look like you have eaten all the pies and then some more. This top needs a proper storage pocket, some armpit zips and some way of securing the hood so it doesn’t become a parachute brake.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Just wondering if this WTV fabric is similar to what Patagonia calls TechFace, which is actually a rebadged fabric called Stormfleece, which in turn is used by the Sport Pursuit-owned Rivelo cycling brand at a fraction of the Patagucci price. It sounds similar.

    That yellow colour manages to be both gently hideous as well a thoroughly impractical for UK mountain biking, though I guess it’s not really aimed at UK winter gritfests.

    amandawishart
    Full Member

    I have several friends with these jackets and they seem to live in them. Emma Whitaker (Reyt Good Rides) didn’t take hers off on a two day bikepacking trip back in October – if she had I probably would have swiped it!

    gazzab1955
    Full Member

    @BadlyWiredDog – that Stormfleece MTB jacket is currently on £39.99 (was £100) at Sports Pursuit, looks like a good buy. Also agree with you on the colour, but the black and blue versions look very plain and if you are on a road very dark.


    @amandawishart
    – I am sure it’s a good top, but for £170 I would expect a little more on the practical side rather than just being a nice and warm material.

    iainc
    Full Member

    I bought their outflow hoodie in the SportPursuit PSA the other week for about half the price of this one and think it’ll do a better job in most situations..😁

    endoverend
    Full Member

    Yep, this is a modern techface type fleece… see also the Pontetorto fleeces used in Mountain Equipments Shroud/ Eclipse. These fabrics are a sweetspot for sure, so comfy and usually just about right for uk weather, though we may need more water resistance than this- I’m sure it would be good for both of the clear and dry days we’re allocated a year. These fabrics are more sustainable and more durable than most of the alternatives too, which should be a major consideration, if it’s not ‘ave a word with self. Colour possibly just the wrong side of mustard. May consider at half the asking price – but ideally would want no hood, swing front pocket round to the back, a touch more fitted…

    grahamt1980
    Full Member

    The sportpursuit one is really good, but i think it is less insulated than the 7mesh one.
    Still well recommended though especially at that price

    iainc
    Full Member

    ^^^ agree, and they are both 7mesh products, hard to see why they have brought out a new similar use one, but I guess that’s marketing for you 😁

    The Outflow review seems to say they do pretty much the same thing :

    https://off.road.cc/content/review/jackets/7mesh-outflow-primaloft-hoody-review-4117

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    @BadlyWiredDog – that Stormfleece MTB jacket is currently on £39.99 (was £100) at Sports Pursuit,

    Tbf, I don’t think it has ever been £100 in real life. It was on SP for £50 until recently, but the only place it’s been priced at £100 is, I think, on the Rivelo brand site. In reality, like other SP brands, it’s effectively just sold through SP. The Fjern outdoor brand works similarly.

    But yes, I tend to agree that stuff like this and Tech Face/Stormfleece – available in several weights, Patagonia call it Techface R1 and R2 – makes a lot of sense. I keep almost buying the SP version, but my vintage Rab VR Alpine is still going strong and, I suspect, does a similar gig.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Some basics like being able to stow the hood and a warm hand warmer pocket are disappointing – but not surprising in MTB and cycling clothing. We seem to be led so much by fashion and specifications, not tested functionality.

    I though that 7Mesh would be better than that…

    LAT
    Full Member

    Just wondering if this WTV fabric is similar to what Patagonia calls TechFace,

    when asked the difference between this and the patagonia r1 on pink bike, their answer was that it is more stretchy. there were other things said, but that sticks in my mind. i think i read somewhere that the 7mesh fabric is made by polartec

    iainc
    Full Member

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Some basics like being able to stow the hood and a warm hand warmer pocket are disappointing – but not surprising in MTB and cycling clothing. We seem to be led so much by fashion and specifications, not tested functionality.

    I though that 7Mesh would be better than that…

    Posted 10 minutes ago
    REPLY | REPORT

    I have an Endura MT500 freeze point and it scores on both these points. I didn’t really need the Outflow but was a great deal for a spare !

    nickc
    Full Member

    Some basics like being able to stow the hood

    y’know, I don’t think any of my mid-layers that have a hood have stowage for that hood, so it’s not just 7mesh I think

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    that Stormfleece MTB jacket is currently on £39.99 (was £100) at Sports Pursuit,

    I bought one last year and have just bought another, it was fine on this ride with two long sleeve baselayers

    It’s windproof and light shower proof. I live in it on the bike this time of year. Hood is pretty intrusive too

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    when asked the difference between this and the patagonia r1 on pink bike, their answer was that it is more stretchy. there were other things said, but that sticks in my mind. i think i read somewhere that the 7mesh fabric is made by polartec

    Copied from the comments on Pinkbike, this is what 7mesh said:

    ‘There are fabrics that look similar from the outside, but they’re not the same. (In fact our fabric isn’t even from the same maker as R1.) We worked directly with our partner to tune the construction for the performance we wanted, specifically high output riding in cooler temps. WTV has greater stretch than R1, and higher air permeability which is what helps so much with the comfort range. The backer on the inside of WTV has also had a brushed treatment which increases loft to maximize warmth despite the permeability. We find it hard to give solid advice on temperature ranges since people are so variable, but our testers were riding it as low as -10C in Sweden at high output (with a base layer) while in Squamish we’re riding up to say +10C before it becomes too warm while you’re working hard. Our staff have been wearing their WTVs on cooler evenings or mornings this summer, but really it comes into it’s own for Fall/Winter/Spring.’

    I’m assuming btw, that they’re talking about R1 Techface, rather than regular R1, which is just a conventional fleece fabric. There’s also R2 Techface which is a heavier gauge fabric. Anyway, good to see a bike clothing brand using interesting fabrics.

    LAT
    Full Member

    th he outflow is a very different jacket. sticking with the patagonia reference it’s more like the nano air than the R1.

    someone mentioned they’d prefer a closer fitting chilco with pockets on the back, there is a road jersey made from this fabric that is essentially that. very road looking.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    y’know, I don’t think any of my mid-layers that have a hood have stowage for that hood, so it’s not just 7mesh I think

    Are they all hooded cycling tops?

    Time was that every hooded top had at least a strip of fabric and wee velcro patch.

    Now they all need to be 3 grammes lighter than the competition.

    gbozo49
    Full Member

    So Chipps how does this jacket compare to the Albion insulated 3.0 or the Specialized Trail Alpha (the one that made you look like a tramp)? I managed to find the Alpha jacket on offer but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on how the 3 of them compare?

    didnthurt
    Full Member

    Don’t other outdoor clothing companies offer different products with similar (or even the same) type of use?

    I think it comes down to making similar products but from different materials.

    ahsat
    Full Member

    I have several friends with these jackets and they seem to live in them. Emma Whitaker (Reyt Good Rides) didn’t take hers off on a two day bikepacking trip back in October – if she had I probably would have swiped it!

    You’d have to have wrestled it off me first… 😛 And hers is the more practical UK-friendly blue!  (Annoying I think it would have fitted you better than me – haha!)

    chipps
    Full Member

    Good call @<span class=”bbp-author-name”>gbozo49</span> – I’ll dig them out and compare them for you. I’m glad you’ve been paying attention to our reviews. The WTV is definitely much better tailored than the Specialized Alpha, and the fabric feels ‘smarter’ and that it’ll survive abrasion and a bit of a rough life. The Spesh jacket is more of a fleecy liner and a windproof outer, whereas WTV is all in one, so it feels much more compact and snug. The Albion jacket by contrast is much more minimal (and feels a lot more shiny and nylony… The Albion jacket is probably a better call for a jacket you’d need to stow, and one that suits grey days in the UK. The WTV stuff needs some serious single digits for me not to overheat (though I do run warm – if you’re stopping more, on an e-bike or feel the cold, you’ll love it.)
    Hope that helps fill in some gaps.

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