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Shoulder Sheason Shell

7Mesh Northwoods Windshell

Words Trevor Hansen
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Nov 11, 2022
Reading time

7Mesh Northwoods Windshell

When I received the 7Mesh Northwoods Windshell I was pleased to try it but apprehensive to cheat on my beloved Race Face Nano shell. The Nano has been my go-to packable for years. It fits well in my short and pant pockets but when my 7Mesh Glidepath shorts review came out and I showed the Mountie look with the Nano stuffed in one pocket and my other gear in the other pocket the 7Mesh crew decided this look needed to retire. In the name of fashion they sent me a Northwoods jacket to test because it packs into a ball and uses straps to hang off the bike frame: no more Mountie look for me. I could put it in a hip bag but then I'd have to carry a hip bag and let's face it, that is a fanny pack.

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The Northwoods has excellent material, workmanship and innovative features that help justify its price tag.

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The hood, like all my hoods, never gets worn over my helmet but on one day I was super cold so I put it on and rode with my helmet over top. Not a great look but it warmed me up instantly. The low profile draw cords work well for fit adjustment.

The 7Mesh Northwoods Windshell is easily the best light shell I have worn. The large fits me perfectly, the light fabric breathes a bit, keeps the cool of the wind out, sheds a bit of water in a very light rain and makes me feel good inside. I have hooked this shell to my frame many times the last two months...and many times it does not get used. But like Andrew Major's emotional support jacket (just knowing it's there gives a rider peace of mind) having it on board is almost as good as wearing it; almost as good. Before I go on I should say that I have a bit of a jacket fetish, as in I can't get enough jackets. When summer turns to fall, I love that I can wear my jackets. So far the Northwoods has warmed me up and given me the knowledge that I can get warm when it is stowed on board the bike. Yes it costs 220 CAD for a little shell; I get it, that is a huge expense for a lightweight jacket, but this is not like your old K-Way garbage bag/make weight for the 1977 wrestling match shell. I own a 7Mesh Co-pilot Goretex jacket that keeps the rain and cold out but it's too heavy for a lot of the shoulder season rides I do. The Northwoods has been excellent for the fall riding season and I can easily extrapolate that it will perform just as well in the spring.

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I wore a light Merino long sleeve Icebreaker shirt under the jacket during this fall day when the temps were about 7 or 8 degrees celsius in the woods and I was pleasantly warm.

Details

For me the top two details of the Northwoods would be the way it packs into the side pocket using a double sided zipper and the second is the elastic straps that attach the stuffed ball of nylon to the bike frame. Having the jacket along for the ride without it being stowed in a pack, hip bag or pocket is very convenient. The only disadvantage to the frame strapping is that the jacket gets stained from trail dust, dirt and mud. This isn't a big deal however, since the stains don't show when the jacket is unpacked.

Specs

  • 100% Nylon with DWR
  • #3 reverse coil zip
  • Men’s Lg: 126g
  • Low profile hood with draw cords for fit adjustment
  • Brushed tricot hood brim and chin guard
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Packs into its own side pocket with double sided zipper
  • Stuff pocket elastic straps attach the jacket to your bike when stowed away
  • Reflective Detail

If you have a thing for jackets like me (N+1 where N is the number of jackets I currently own) this could be a good addition to your stock. I have used it about 20 - 25 times since I received it for the test. There are no issues other than the aforementioned inside pocket staining from being carried aboard the bike. The material is light, soft and comfortable. It does what it says: breaks wind and breaks wind quite well... I had to write it like that. The Northwoods Windshell has thus far proven to be a high quality piece of gear from 7Mesh.

7Mesh Northwoods Windshell // 220 CAD / 170 USD

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Comments

zombo
Zombo
2 weeks, 2 days ago
+3 Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman Charlie P-t

Simple nylon jackets and vests are probably the most versatile and useful pieces of bike clothing out there, especially for shoulder season riding. Windproof, super breathable, packable, and often cheap.  This one is a little (ok a lot) pricey but I get that some people might want a nicer version.  I'm sure it's high quality like most 7mesh stuff.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
2 weeks, 1 day ago
+2 Pete Roggeman Timer

I’ve owned a light wind shell forever. This type of jacket for me is mandatory to own. Ride up, get sweaty, put on shell ride down. Wear it to work on the morning commute, carry home when it’s warm. I’ll wear this 7Mesh jacket Nordic skiing too because it’s a mtb fit versus road fit and works well for that sport too. I have the previous version of this jacket without the straps but that’s ok because my frames are kind of small to strap a jacket on.

I don’t use the hood often but it is amazing how much quicker I warm up just starting a ride with a hood up. Ten minutes along the hood goes down. And that one time 20 years ago when a hail storm came up and I was getting those tiny ice balls through my helmet vents revealed how a hood would have been useful.

Ps. I’m going Nordic skiing today at Whistler Olympic Park. And you’re  not.

Reply

Tbone
Trevor Hansen
2 weeks, 1 day ago
+2 Andy Eunson handsomedan

Thanks - no parachute hood fill for me. It bobbed around until I cinched down the straps. That helmet is the Bell Super Air R I am currently testing. Spoiler - it's light, comfortable, fits well, breathes great and doesn't feel like a full face a lot of the time.

Reply

Ride.DMC
Ride.DMC
1 week, 5 days ago
0

I have a 7mesh Skypilot Jacket. I was caught in a very heavy rain squall earlier this year while riding and was thankful I could pull the hood up over my fullface helmet.  The cinch straps do an amazing job of combating the parachute hood fill.

Reply

hongeorge
hongeorge
2 weeks ago
+2 Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman

Today I learned my Northwoods jacket had a side pocket.

Mine is an old one, still available in their sale,and if strapping it to the bike isn't a feature you're bothered about (I'm  not) then it's a bargain.

Reply

handsomedan
handsomedan
2 weeks, 1 day ago
0

Thanks for the review.  

Does the hood fill up with air like a parachute when you are descending?

Also, what helmet are you wearing?

Cheers

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