Lush fabric makes this 7Mesh Optic jersey a joy to wear.
Based in Squamish, BC, 7Mesh hails from one of mountain biking’s meccas. It’s also a harsh place to ride, with hot summers and cold, wet winters that test clothing to its limits; perfect for creating one of the best mountain bike jerseys on the market.
The Optic jersey is one of eight in the brand’s mountain bike range and the only one with 3/4 length sleeves.
7Mesh uses a 100% polyester fabric for the Optic but it’s silky smooth and super stretchy. It’s one of the nicest fabrics of all the jerseys on test, which is impressive given the price. Flatlock seams are mostly undetectable, which helps with the excellent comfort. 7Mesh has also added a hydrophobic coating to help with wicking sweat, as well as built-in sun protection. And both seem effective, keeping us cool on hot days and fending off sunburn on unprotected skin.
The sleeves on the Optic end just below the elbow, offering a bit of extra protection against vegetation while increasing airflow. That’s the sales pitch, but to be honest we’re not that convinced that they bring more to the table than either short or long sleeve options. There’s some tightness at the shoulders and armpits in a riding position, which is somewhat at odds with the roomy torso. Yes, there’s plenty of stretch at the sleeves for elbow pads, but the garment feels a bit disjointed in terms of cut. We also think the v-collar looks a bit weird compared to a simple crew neck – although it feels comfortable – and there’s not much of a drop hem. In terms of features, the Optic is pretty bare.
Overall we really loved the 7Mesh’s functional, comfortable fabric but weren’t so keen on the fit and styling. Which is why we’d save £15 and go for 7Mesh’s simpler Elevate Short Sleeve Bike T-Shirt instead.