7MESH GLIDEPATH SHORT - $140
7Mesh's Glidepath has been a favorite short since it's release. It's weight is perfect for summer use, the fit is not-too-tight and not-too-baggy. The waist adjusters work well. They call the fabric a Soma 2-way stretch woven. The stretch is subtle and not obvious, but the shorts have never felt constricting. The zip pockets have an internal organizer, so your phone stays put. Like most of their pieces, you can tell they thought long and hard about how a mountain bike short should work. Works great for bikepacking as well due to its light weight and quick-drying properties. Did we mention we love the rust color? We do.
KITSBOW ADJUSTABLE SHORT V4 - $265
This is our second look at the Kitsbow adjustable short and it has undergone a total redesign. First and most notably, the fit has changed to be much baggier. The first version we tried is what you would now call an XC or gravel short. Yes, I know ridiculous to have these niches for mountain biking clothing. The Schoeller fabric, which is a high performer - super stretchy and water resistant has a bit of a sheen to it, which you may or may not like. The amount of stretch in the fabric means no binding ever. You won't notice these shorts while riding. Finally, Kitsbow has developed what they call the “Fidlock fastener” which is their magnetic belt that snugs up the waist nicely. We tend not to weigh in on the price of an item, but 265 is worth noting and we'd hope it would be perfect for that price, but it's not completely. 2 bummers I've noticed in using the shorts recently: one is extra fabric in the crotch. When you sit, you end up with a bunch of bunchiness. Second is fabric pilling, which is probably caused by my bikepacking bag velcro. If you don't run bags on your bike, I doubt this will be an issue for you. Overall, an insanely comfortable short, but we'd like to see the crotch fit get tweaked for V5.
7MESH NORTHWOODS WINDSHELL - $175
7Mesh has killed it with all their Jackets. The Resistance and Revelation jackets are already hall of famers. So, we were excited to try their take on a wind jacket. The Northwoods does not disappoint. The fit is trimmer than my Patagonia Houdini, which I like, and definitely performs better in the flap test - meaning it doesn't much. The brushed tricot trim on the hood brim and chin guard are a nice touch and don't seem to add much if any weight. Weight weenies and bikepackers will love it, since it's sub-4 oz. and packs up to practically nothing. I've been wearing it just over a wool undershirt all Spring and that's been perfect for most days. I love the “titanium” color and it's low key enough that I've been wearing it around as street wear as well. Very versatile piece that will continue to get lots of use. Recommended.
7MESH DESPERADO HENLEY - $80
7Mesh would never just make a simple merino top. I mean look at the paneling that's done to give a proper drape on the body, even when hunched over the bike. We keep going on about certain products that just seem to disappear when in use and that's the highest compliment. The Desperado is one of those products - we attribute that to the fabric choice - merino blended with nylon and the flatlock seams. We like the length of the sleeves - they're perfect - not too short, not too long. The henley snaps are classy - a great shirt that feels at home going to a cafe or bar as much as it does on the trail. Also available in a nice “Stone” color that goes really well with those rust Glidepath shorts. I'm normally a medium and sized down to a small, as I do with many 7Mesh pieces. Upgrade your merino tee quiver with the Desperado.
WOOL & PRINCE CREW NECK - $68
We recently became aware of Portland's own Wool & Prince. They're a new garage band in the world of merino clothing, and one you may want to check out if you're looking for high end or high quality travel clothing. The young owner is related to Pendleton family, so wool clothing is in his blood. Their button ups we've been testing quality is top notch and built to last. So far their crew neck tee has been great. Their tee is a blend of 78 percent merino and 22 percent nylon for stretch and durability. We love the end-on-end fabric, which is two different colors of fabric knitted together to give a heather look. The crew neck wicks sweat as well as any merino/nylon tee and the look is clean. Our only complaint is the shape of the neck trim doesn't always lie completely flat, which takes away from the overall finish of the piece, but it's not a deal breaker and likely a detail they'll take care of in their next iteration. Keep an eye on Wool and Prince.
GORE ACTIVE TRAIL PANTS - $199
We're constantly on the lookout for light, packable rain pants that we can pedal in. These may be the ultimate MTB rain pants - for several reasons. Reason number one and two are weight and packability. They weigh in at 6.8 ounces and pack up small enough to fit in a frame bag or at the bottom of your backpack. They are surprisingly full-featured for a rain pant at that weight - they feature a drawstring, gripper waist, as well as zippered ankles. Where these pants really shine is the slim cut and the fact that they're designed with riding in mind. I won't be using these over streetwear for commuter rain gear, but the cut is loose enough to put over bib shorts and (slim) baggies. I'm guessing you could size up if that was your plan. I can't yet speak to the waterproofness, since we got these in May and it hasn't rained since! Gore has always been extremely reliable in this regard and their fabrics are only improving. There is no reason to think these 3 layer pants won't keep us bone dry in a downpour, but we'll report back when we get more rainy days in them.
GORE C7 SHAKEDRY STRETCH JACKET - $369
Gore fabrics have always been leading when it comes to outerwear technology and Shakedry is the latest and greatest in light weight water shedding technology. Water actually beads and rolls off without wetting the material! The only issue with Shakedry is that it has no inherent stretch and making a garment fit the body well can be a challenge. The C7 Shakedry is what I would call a slim fit road jacket. Could you take it mountain biking? Of course you could. The function would be limited for bikepacking, since there isn't much room to layer underneath, but if you're looking for the latest greatest tech for your next fast and light road or gravel event, you should consider this jacket. The stretch panels add a small amount of bulk compared to the shakedry jackets without it, but it's a small price to pay (figuratively, not literally) for the improved fit that the stretch panels add to the piece. The jacket fits extremely well and will move with you on the bike. When it's pouring out and you reach for your shell, you don't want it flapping in the wind, or gapping to let water in. The neck is snug without being tight and comes up high as it should, and the rear zipper pocket has stretch material inside to accommodate your stash. Also bonus points for a functional hanging loop. If you need the latest greatest packable water-shedding tech jacket with a great fit, this is it.