At £300, the 7Mesh Skypilot is a significant investment for a garment that lives a hard life, but the performance of the Gore-Tex Active fabric is genuinely impressive and the after-sales package means it’s not money down the drain if you crash on the first ride (or 30th).
The 7Mesh Skypilot is the most exotic jacket on test, boasting Gore-Tex fabric and a suitably premium price tag. At just 253g it’s impressively minimal and can easily pack down for storage, although it’s not designed to stuff into one of its own pockets.
Like some of the best mountain bike jackets, the Skypilot uses Gore-Tex’s Active three-layer fabric, the lightest and most breathable in its range, with a 28,000mm waterproof rating and a 25,000g breathability rating.
7Mesh describes the Skypilot fit as relaxed, and that’s accurate, with plenty of room around the torso and shoulders for moving around or layering and good length in the arms when you’re in your riding position. But because the fabric is so light, it never bunches up in weird areas, and it doesn’t flap around. There’s Velcro adjustment at the wrists, a drop hem at the back to help protect from spray when bent over and a hood that pulls over a helmet. Once in place, you can secure the hood with a drawcord. It’s a similar story at the hem, but the elastic on our test sample snapped early on. The damage is covered by 7Mesh’s comprehensive warranty, which also includes a crash replacement scheme, whereby you can get your jacket repaired for a small fee, or a discount on a replacement if the damage is too bad.
Being so light means we barely noticed wearing the Skypilot jacket, and this was helped by the satin-soft liner that feels exceptionally nice next to bare skin. Waterproof performance was excellent, with rain beading on the surface and running off efficiently. Considering we’ve washed this jacket on many occasions, that’s testament to the durability of the DWR.
Equally impressive is the breathability. The Skypilot was the best on test for getting rid of sweat, with barely any moisture inside the jacket at the top of our 10-minute test climb in 12ºC ambient temperatures.
The 7Mesh Skypilot is one of the best jackets we've ever tested in terms of pure performance, with a durable fabric from the biggest name in the business and a warranty that should offer peace of mind in the event of a crash. If you’ve got deep pockets, it's highly recommended.