7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS Review: An almost perfect autumn layer

7mesh have ticked a lot of boxes with the new Airmap longsleeve jersey, but not quite every single one

7mesh may not be a brand you have heard of yet, but it’s one that is steadily rising to prominence in the cycling apparel world. Based in Squamish in the Coast Mountains of BC, Canada (unceded, traditional territory of the Indigenous Peoples) 7mesh says it is a company committed to both pushing the limits of performance bike apparel and contributing to local communities – working especially closely with an Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Programme.

It’s clear from my own research on the 7mesh website that this is a brand passionate about far more than just creating the best cycling kit. The commitment to the environment and acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples that have lived on and stewarded the lands that 7mesh team members work on for countless generations tells me that there’s real people behind this brand who want to impact the world more widely than just selling cycling apparel. While that, of course, doesn’t directly correlate with the quality of 7mesh apparel, it’s a good sign. Real people behind a brand usually means people who ride bikes themselves and know what cyclists require when it comes to kit to go the distance.

As the winter rapidly approaches in Europe, it’s time to start building a winter wardrobe that offers complete protection against the elements. A key part of this is an jacket shell which offers waterproof protection and warmth, and the 7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS has thrown its hat in the ring as a good option, not only for a packable layer that can sit in the back pocket, but also as a stand alone jacket that is insulating enough to be worn on its own. Over the last few months I’ve tested the Airmap jacket on many rainy days in London (unfortunately) and have ascertained whether it's up to the job of battling some harsh conditions.

So, what is Airmap? 7mesh’s new concept for its latest winter range is all about using breathable, PFAS-free fabrics to regulate airflow and control both heat and water vapour management. PFAS chemicals have recently been banned for use in water-resistant outdoor clothing, so 7mesh have made a goal of creating the best quality outerwear without PFAS chemicals.

All the clothing in the Airmap range uses three different, selectively placed permeable and breathable PFAS-free fabrics. The three-layer fabric aims to give weatherproof protection, the double-layer fabric provides wind resistance, and the single-layer fabric offers the most breathability and air permeability possible. By placing panels of each carefully in specific places, 7mesh aims to optimise weather resistance and breathability where each is required for the Airmap garments.

As the name suggests, Airmap should map how air flows over the body, blocking air from the front, exchanging moisture and heat and managing water on both the inside and outside of the jacket. The idea is that you don’t need to add or remove layers during a ride as Airmap clothing regulates temperatures so well. 

I tested the 7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS which uses the three-layer fabric on the body and the two-layer fabric on the side panels and inside of the sleeves and a single-layer at the underarms. I found that the construction of fabrics did a good job at dissipating heat – where sweat usually builds up, the fabric wicked it away, yet the front of my body and those all important core muscles were always protected from the wind. Its waterproof qualities were impressive too, with the jersey keeping me dry in some heavy showers.

I had the jacket in a size medium, which was a little tighter than I expected. I wear a medium in brands like Rapha or Pas Normal Studios and rarely find the jackets to be as fitted as the 7mesh one was, so this is something worth keeping in mind if you come to order. The seams were stretchy, however, and the tight fit didn’t feel like it limited my movement at all.

The close fit worked for the sort of temperatures that I was testing the jacket in, which ranged from around 8 to 15 degrees celsius, but any colder and I think I would need a thicker layer underneath the jacket which I wouldn't have been able to put on comfortably given the tight fit. However, in autumn and spring conditions with a thin base layer when the forecast looks a bit risky, I’ve found myself reaching for the 7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS regularly. I liked the bright purple colour that I tested – it felt visible enough out on the roads without being overwhelming like some fluorescent jackets are. The reflective logos and reflective banding on the hem and sleeve cuffs also meant I felt seen.

When it comes to the details, the zipper on the jacket felt durable and sturdy, and the two-way direction meant I could undo it from the bottom if I was getting too hot, without it flapping in the wind. The internal zippered chest pocket and “Anything” pocket system at the rear offer plenty of space for spares and snacks, and the chest pocket gave me peace of mind that my valuables were protected. The hem of the sleeves uses an elastic cuff to keep it in place which ensures no wind can creep its way into the warmth of the jacket. Finally the chin guard with a brushed tricot inside was warm and comforting when starting out on chilly mornings, too.

The fabrics being recycled, PFC & PFAS-free, Bluesign approved and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified makes buying this jacket a little more guilt-free. It has been made sustainably but also feels like it will be durable enough to go the distance – I used it on gravel rides and there’s no sign of wear even from when it was snagged and brushed against tree branches. At £280, the 7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS sits at the more expensive end of the scale, but the quality and ethos that has gone into making it helps to justify this. 

Overall, my only concern with the 7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS is the sizing, but otherwise it’s a solid option for riding in changeable conditions. It’s on the pricier side and probably isn’t a jacket that is as versatile as some others as it isn’t easy to layer up, but if you’re looking for something to get you through the autumn months (or if you live somewhere with milder winters) the 7mesh Airmap Women's S2S Jersey LS does a good job.

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