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7mesh’s Flightpath Pants Offer Any Day Coverage and the Cache Anorak Balances Breathability and Protection

7mesh Flightpath pants, Cache Anorak, SF
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As summer faded into fall, then early winter, it was great to have 7mesh’s Flightpath pants and Cache anorak to ride in. The Flightpath pants turned out to be a great all-purpose option, managing a vast range of temperatures well and offering unrestricted mobility. The Cache anorak also impressed me with its excellent breathability and weather resistance.

I did have one notable issue with the waist adjuster on the Flightpath pants, but aside from that I have nothing negative to say about them. The Cache anorak quickly became a new favorite, as it performed well on-trail, looks great, and offers a perfect fit.

Flightpath Pants: Construction

7mesh Flightpath pants, front

The Flightpath pants are made from a high-tenacity Nylon material with a raised yarn to help resist abrasions. This fabric offers a high level of stretch and good breathability. The Flightpaths are a bit heavier than 7mesh’s Glidepath pants, but they’re still on the cooler side and can be worn through mid-summer temperatures.  The legs on the Flightpaths feature an articulated knee stretch panel and taper down around the ankles. 

At the waist is an ultra-suede hook and ladder closure with six positions of adjustment. Beneath that is a zippered fly with a single button. I’ve always liked how 7mesh keeps components like waist closures small and lightweight – the tiny buckle on the adjuster goes completely unnoticed on rides.

The Flightpath pants offer two hand pockets and two zippered side pockets. The right side pocket also has an internal mesh sleeve to hold a lift pass/credit card, etc.

Fit:

7mesh Flightpath pants, on me

I started out with size medium pants (listed as 31-33”), and they fit me pretty well but were a bit loose on my roughly 31” waist. Even with the adjuster cinched in all the way, the waist was just tight enough to stay on my hips. The medium pants were roomy, but not excessively baggy so I was perfectly happy riding in them. The leg length on the mediums was perfect for me; they’re just long enough keep my legs fully covered in any riding position.

7mesh Flightpath pants, broken waist strap

One day during a ride, I had a technical failure with the Flightpaths. The pants felt extra loose, and when I looked down I realized the waist strap was suddenly about 3” longer than before. It seemed the strap had pulled away from an anchor point somewhere within the waistband.

I got in touch with 7mesh, who immediately offered to repair the pants. However, since they fit a bit big I asked for a size small replacement. They agreed, and the smalls were a much better fit. I can now tighten the waist enough with room to spare on the adjuster. I did notice the size small’s legs and lower cuffs are a bit slimmer. The only thing I liked better about the medium pants was leg length; at 5’10” I would gladly take another inch or two on the smalls’ legs. Thankfully they are long enough to sit just above my shoes.

7mesh Flightpath pants, with kneepads

This summer I tested a pair of Dainese’s slim, light-duty Trail Skins Lite kneepads, which I specifically chose to try under riding pants. Even with the size small pants, they easily fit underneath without hanging up or limiting mobility at all.

The Flightpath’s hand pockets are deep and have a tapered shape, so they hold a smartphone securely and comfortably. The side pockets offer more storage, which is great, but my smartphone would bounce around a bit in those pockets. Lightweight string zipper pulls make for easy access with gloved hands.

There is simply no limit to mobility in the Flightpath pants. Their articulated cut is great, so you hardly even have to rely on the fabric’s ability to stretch. Despite their free movement, the crotch area fits closely enough that it wasn’t prone to catching on my saddle.

Temperature Range:

7mesh Flightpath pants, SF, roll

I rode the Flightpath pants over a wide range of temperatures and always remained comfortable. On a 20° C (68º F) summer day, they felt impressively cool even with longer socks and kneepads underneath. The pants don’t have any vents, they rely on their fabric to keep you cool and it does a fine job. It was clear the pants were breathing well enough to keep my legs from getting overly hot or sweaty.

As the seasons changed I’ve now ridden the Flightpaths down to near-freezing temperatures. While they’re a thin pant, they still hold warmth in much better than shorts so I’m loving them for cooler rides.

Aside from the waist adjuster issue with the medium pants, I haven’t done any damage to the Flightpaths. 7mesh built these pants to be durable and the fabric has held up very well, showing no noticeable wear after several rides. The Flightpaths offer a DWR coating for water resistance, which easily fended off puddle splashes. I never got myself soaked in the pants, as they’re not claimed to be waterproof.

The men’s 7Mesh Flightpath Pants are available in sizes XS-XXL, and they come in Black, Bottle Blue or Peat (as tested) colors. MSRP is $250, and women’s models are also available.

Cache Anorak – Construction:

7mesh Cache anorak, front

The Cache Anorak is one of 7mesh’s first pieces from their Airmap collection. The Airmap clothing was created in response to the industry-wide ban on PFAS chemicals, which were used to improve waterproofing. Without them, 7mesh has shifted to new fabrics that aim to offer the most weather resistance and breathability possible. The good news is, I found the Cache anorak was a great performer in both regards. It works so well, in fact, that it made it into our selection of the best mountain bike jackets.

7mesh Cache anorak, back

Airmap garments use up to three layers of fabric in different areas to optimize breathability and weather resistance. The Cache anorak uses three layers in the body, and two layers for the rear side panels, hem and cuffs. It also features fully taped seams.

Intended for MTB or gravel riding, the Cache Anorak is a hooded pullover with a half zipper. As is typical with 7mesh it features lean elasticized cuffs, and small lightweight drawstring adjusters inside the hem. String pulls on all zippers make for easy gloved access while keeping things light.

For primary storage, you get a zippered kangaroo pocket. There is another small pocket inside it, which is usable but also doubles as 7mesh’s Stash System pouch. With the Stash System, the anorak can be packed up and strapped to your bike when not needed. 

Fit:

7mesh Cache anorak, SF, trailside

7mesh describes the Cache’s fit as ‘relaxed and articulated’ and I’d have to agree. It’s roomy enough to accommodate layers underneath, yet it still feels fairly lean on the bike. Arm length and body length are easily ample for me, and the half zipper makes it easy to pull the anorak on and off with a helmet on.

7mesh Cache anorak, hood

The hood is large enough to fit over a helmet, but riding with it up might be a stretch. It’ll keep you covered when standing around on the trailside, but it isn’t quite big enough for me to ride in. With my Oakley DRT5, one of my smaller shelled helmets, the hood was tight enough that it would tug the jacket around while I rode. I suspect 7mesh tried to nail down an ideal size for the hood, as it has no cinches or adjusters.

The anorak’s collar is great. It’s high enough to hide behind in crappy weather, but doesn’t rub on your chin or neck. Fully zipped, it holds itself up and away from your face. With the zipper down, the collar falls out to the sides evenly.

Temperature Range:

7mesh Cache anorak, fat tug climb

With no pit zips, the Cache anorak relies on its Airmap fabric to manage heat and moisture. Thankfully it does a very good job! At first I underestimated how warm this thin jacket would be, and took it out on a 14-16° (57º – 60º F) day with a long sleeved jersey underneath.  I started off nice and warm and noticed good wind protection from the jacket. After about 10 minutes of climbing, I was starting to sweat and had to pull it off.

I went for another ride in varying conditions, ranging from 13-17° (55º – 62º F) with a mix of sun and cloud cover. With a ¾ jersey underneath, I still got to the point of sweating and took the jacket off for the last part of my climb. Soon afterwards, it got cloudy and cooled down a bit. It was just cool enough to put the anorak back on while shooting a few photos and for my descent.

7mesh Cache anorak, happy climb

After these warmer rides I can say the anorak definitely breathes better than anything that’s fully waterproof. I also noticed opening the front zipper helps dump body heat, especially when there’s a breeze blowing.

Temperatures continued to drop as winter came in. With a warm midlayer underneath, I’ve now ridden the anorak in temps as low as 5° (41º F) and remained comfortable. Again, the Airmap fabrics seem to breathe very well; I never wound up a sweaty mess under this jacket.

7mesh Cache anorak, stash system

The Cache anorak packs down nicely, but stashing it on the frame isn’t super slick. The stash pouch is fairly wide and the straps just barely stretch enough to lash it to the bike. It totally works, it just looks a bit bulky. I don’t know why 7mesh made the straps hold the packed-up anorak widthwise across your top tube rather than lengthwise along it (it can’t sit lengthwise due to the buckles). I’m a bit concerned about how long those straps will last since they have to stretch so much.

Water Resistance:

7mesh Cache anorak, wet

One day I got the perfect chance to test the Cache’s water resistance. I rode for 45 minutes, fully exposed for most of the ride, in conditions ranging from a light drizzle to steady rain. The anorak got home totally dry on the inside despite the rain getting heavier throughout my ride. The arms and shoulders looked like they were close to saturation, but did not soak through. I’d say that’s impressive for a fabric that isn’t slick or rubbery like fully waterproof fabrics. As for coverage, the anorak’s arm length is easily adequate, and the tail is long enough to keep all spray and splatter off my jersey. 

The Cache Anorak sells for $330. Men’s sizes go from XS-XXL, and color options are Black, Prince (purple), or Butterscotch (as tested). 7mesh offers women’s models as well.

7mesh.com

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mud
mud
6 months ago

I like pullovers in general but for me the kangaroo pocket of an anorak is the wrong place to store stuff while riding. A waist pack that holds things tight and securely is the way to go.

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