The 7mesh Women’s Northwoods Windshell is a lightweight, packable layer offering windproofing and water resistance. It stuffs down quickly and easily into its own pocket, with plenty of room for this to not be a seam-stretching struggle, and once packed down there are two elasticated straps to attach it to your bike frame or bars.
- Practically weightless (~100g)
- Built in buff is really cosy
- Side pocket is expertly placed
- Hood is very flappy in the wind
- Hanging hook is useless/way too small
- Not got a two way zip
In use, the 7mesh Northwoods Windproof jacket is a comfortable, slightly loose fit, with hem drawcords to keep it in place on the windiest days. The hood isn’t large enough to go over a helmet, but is quite baggy with possibly too much room to spare. There is an elasticated adjustment on the hood, but due to the amount of fabric I have found it best to tuck it into the jacket when riding to avoid a parachute effect.
The sleeves have ~2in elasticated section on the cuffs, and they’re loose enough to pull your sleeves up, yet I haven’t found that wind gets up them. Wind doesn’t penetrate the jacket if you zip it up and make sure the hood is secure. It is not very breathable and I’ve had a few rides with a boil in the bag effect if I leave it on for long climbs. I have been impressed with the water resistance, so I guess the lack of breathability is a compromise to have a super lightweight layer that can fight off unexpected showers, or puddle splashes.
One of the best things about the 7mesh Northwoods Windshell is the pocket. On the left hand side, set slightly back from your ribcage, it can hold a heavy mobile phone without hanging forward or adjusting the fit of the jacket. It seems the position and the size of this pocket have been perfected to carry items out of the way. Even with a backpack on, it sits perfectly in the gap between pack and straps. This pocket doubles as a stash for the jacket to attach it to your bike, achieved by hooking two plastic clips together. I’ve tried several frame-mountable jackets, and this is the only one I’ve actually strapped to my bike, possibly because the stash pocket is large enough to make the item go quite flat, and the straps aren’t a faff. Some packable jackets turn into a bulky round shape that gets in the way on your bike, but this doesn’t.
I haven’t mentioned the colour in the review, because that’s just aesthetics… but it’s my favourite colour jacket ever. I’m highly visible, shielded from the wind and I can always carry this layer with me since the frame attachment is actually really well designed. It’s on the sweaty side of windproof, but the water resistance cancels that out as far as I’m concerned.
|Tested:||by Amanda for 1 month|
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