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7Mesh Oro jacket review

31 May 2017
Verdict:

Incredibly light, remarkably waterproof

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£250
For 
Incredibly light, remarkably waterproof
Against 
Lack of colour options

There’s a well-worn adage about bikes, usually attributed to Keith Bontrager, that goes: ‘Light, strong, cheap. Pick two.’ When it comes to rainwear, a similar sentiment might be: ‘Light, waterproof, breathable. Pick two.’

Usually there is a compromise to be made. You can have something that stuffs easily into a jersey pocket but it won’t keep you dry in a downpour, or you can have a jacket that keeps out the rain but makes you soaked through with sweat owing to poor breathability.

In the past, plenty of manufacturers claimed to have created the perfect cycling rain jacket, and I have been disappointed on enough occasions that I have become cynical about any brand that promises the triple-whammy of light, breathable, waterproof.

Until now. The 7Mesh Oro jacket really can do it all.

It's light and packs down small

Let’s start with the weight. On the Cyclist scales, a size large Oro jacket is just 96g. That’s about as light as any jacket I’ve ever come across, and it will squash down into a ball no bigger than a rolled up pair of socks.

It means there’s no reason not to take it on a ride, as it can be stashed in a jersey pocket (the middle one, of course) and forgotten about until it’s needed.

Should the rain fall, the Oro proves to be remarkably waterproof compared to most lightweight jackets. On one occasion I wore it during a proper deluge, and when I got home with waterlogged socks, I peeled off the jacket and my jersey beneath was perfectly dry.

The real geniuses behind this jacket are textile company Gore, which has developed a new material called Gore-Tex Active.

It utilises the Gore-Tex membrane that allows vapour from sweat to get out while stopping water from rain getting through, but it does away with the usual face material, making it much thinner and lighter than standard Gore-Tex fabrics.

It really is rather brilliant.

7Mesh isn’t the only company to use Gore-Tex Active (Gore has a very similar jacket called the One) but it has done a very nice job with the Oro, incorporating several neat elements to keep the weight to a minimum and ensure a good fit.

The zip is waterproof, so there’s no need for an additional flap of material, and the zipper is a tiny, minimalist piece of metal that weighs virtually nothing.

The jacket is intelligently cut to ensure as few seams as possible, and the ones on show are sealed with thin strips of tape. Vents in the rear provide ventilation and allow access to jersey pockets.

The collar and cuffs are tidily finished to ensure that there is no excess material or elastic required.

The fit is neat without being restrictive, and I found the 7Mesh Oro jacket comfortable to wear for long periods. Indeed, it’s hard to find anything bad to say about it.

One thing is the colour. The nature of the material means it doesn’t take well to sublimation printing, so the only option is this dark charcoal colour.

I actually quite like it, but I also like to be visible when riding in gloomy, rainy conditions, so it would be great to have this jacket in a brighter colour.

Perhaps that will become possible as Gore develops the product.

I’d also be interested to see how robust it is. The material looks like it would rip easily if it snagged on something sharp, although I’ve been at pains to ensure that doesn’t happen.

I’d hate to lose this jacket, and at £250, it’s not something I’d want to replace on a regular basis.

7meshinc.com

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