photos by Zach Rotstein
We made it back from LA just in time for another bought of rain. Thankfully we had enough of that bright California sunshine, so it was time to head back and plunge ourselves straight back into damp, short days. It was a good thing too, have you ever tried testing out a rain jacket in the sunshine? Only works for a second. Thankfully, the guys at 7Mesh are onto something with the color of their Launch Edition Revelation Jacket and it is something trending towards sunshine itself.
But, why do we need more rain jackets? Because they are cool, they're technical (and becoming more so) and if you're like me you enjoy having new clothing — you know, for the fashion sense. However, in my mind, and for that "bang for your buck" sentiment, I already had the perfect rain jacket. It was light, sort of packable and had a minimalistic style sense that is akin to what I had already been working with - grey. It was a jacket made by those crazy cats over at Arcteryx in their "Veilance" line.
Well, it turns out that the good folks over at Arc (can we call it that?) were ready for something new, so seven of them (I made that part up but it sounds good) left to start a new company taking what they had learned and giving it a bit more thought to the bike end of the outdoor wear spectrum. Trust me when I say that this is a good thing. The resulting jacket — 7Mesh Launch Edition — is one that is going to stay in my personal lineup for some time.
Here's why (Note: I say these things in all seriousness):
LENGTH & ZIPPERS
Finally designers are starting to come around to the idea that when people put on a jacket like this, they will be doing a variety of activities with them. Meaning, that shorter than average sleeves might look ok when you're off the bike, but the minute you stretch yourself over that 130 stem on your commute home, or you're leaning into loamy berms, that jacket is going to ride up your forearms. Not the case with this guy, so we have a designer to than for that, more than likely one with long arms (I can speak directly to that being the case at Rapha - Graeme Raeburn is a one long string bean). But I cannot stress how important this is with "cycling forward" jacket.
There are a few odd zippers on the Launch Edition jacket. When Bobby from 7Mesh was in our shop breaking down the finer points of the jacket he started in on the strange vent zippers at the forearms — but then we were interrupted (thanks CD) and he never did tell me why they are that way. Though it seemed like it was for a very good reason. In any case, the zipper pulls are not too tiny and that makes for greater ease of use on the bike. So, I'm thankful for that.
ZIPPER BONUS: The blue that they use on the mens version looks like blue razzberry licorice.
(Do Not Click That Link).
I can honestly say that I have never seen snaps like this before on a technical jacket. Of course they have been around for a while, but the last jacket I bought was well before that so I'm stuck with good old Patagonia snaps. These look great and have a minimalist feel to them, they also work really really well and there are no cold metal snaps to rub your face or fingers on when you're out fumbling around with a hood.
NOTE: The hood seems a little small to cover a helmet, but then again if you find yourself needing that sort of hood helmet scenario maybe you should just pull over and wait it out.
A NOTE ON COLOR
Seriously? What the hell is this color jacket? Mustard-y baby poop? That was my first reaction when unboxing these jackets. Great packaging, great ethos, great jacket, but what the heck was going on here? Now, I'm only telling this anecdote to illustrate a point, because I have to say the color is growing on me. If Orange was it for last season, well then Safron Pee Yellow can be it this time around. But seriously.
The real thing that this color does is get the point across that this is the 7Mesh jacket that you're looking for. I have had a few people come up to me asking about the product because they had seen the jacket from across the way/room/field and had known straight away that it was indeed and they needed more info. Draw them in with a wacky color. Make it totally recognizable from 100 yards. Job done. Anyone who does a special color just for their launch is aces in my book. Then there is the fact that it strangely goes with pretty much everything. Teal workshirts. Check. Navy jeans. Also check. Razzberry Licorice.
NOTE: The jacket color strangely matches my newest sneaker purchase - Asics x Ubiq GT Cool that I bought 1. for the name and 2. because the laces were so damn amazing looking.
I could go on and on about this jacket. Because bags and jackets and sneakers are some things that I feel passionately about. I probably shouldn't, but I do. And this is one of the lightest, nicest taped seam jackets that I have ever laid my grubby little fingers upon.
The real bonus though lies within the company itself. It is always great to see people break away and continue to do what they were doing. It not only reinforces what was happening over at the big A in terms of quality and design, but it makes me hopeful that these cats will continue to raise the bar in their new venture. Kudos all around.
Now, if only these jackets came with packs of blue licorice.