7Mesh Thunder Mountain Bike Pants
- Price: $300
- Available at Jenson USA
What would the “god of thunder” do in the winter when the trails are soggy? For Slavic deity Perun the answer might be to face the winter months in good gear that matches the “lightning bolts and axe blades” folk theme.
This black Thunder Pant from Squamish-based 7Mesh are the most storm-ready mountain bike pants we’ve tested to date, and we’re confident Perun would give ’em a smiling thumbs up. At $300, that prowess has to be paid for. Maybe the cash is justified by the notion that you can stop buying snow sports equipment and stick to the trails year-round?
If you start with your usual size, the Thunder Pant can be dialed in to fit your body better than most trousers. I tested the small, as always, and there’s space to layer long-underwear and kneepads beneath if need be. Cinch straps on either hip tighten things up, and that’s it for the waist.
There is no zipper or front clasp to fiddle with, which means there’s one less place for water to leak through in a downpour. The crew at 7Mesh clearly tested these in some legit shit weather.
Both legs offer a calf-length zip that’s easy to get your foot through, closed at the bottom by some tough hook-n-loop to wrap the flexible neoprene-esque cuff over the top of your shoes. If you have thunder-god-size feet these massive openings will be an invaluable feature. The waterproofed zippers are sturdy and feel ready to withstand a few seasons of muck movement.
We don’t all have the same leg length, and 7Mesh honored inseams by making the lower cuff of these pants extra-long and trimmable. The fray-free fabric is printed with measurements so you can cut the legs to your preferred length. I chopped about 3cm from mine and the fit feels dialed, with a good amount of the ankle cuff overlapping my waterproof hi-top riding shoes.
Like all truly waterproof gear, these pants don’t breathe super well. I wouldn’t wear them on a ride warmer than about 12° C (54° F), and I wouldn’t wear anything else for a wet ride that’s colder than 4° C (40° F). With less airflow, there is always going to be some sweating inside, which means these are not the greatest go-commando pants. A pair of merino knickers beneath has served me well, feeling far better than bare skin on sweaty plastic.
Pros and cons of the 7Mesh Thunder Pants
- About as waterproof as pants get
- Warmer than much of the competition
- Super dialed and adjustable fit
- Only one pocket
- Not so breathable
One glaring disadvantage for these otherwise-awesome pants is that they only have one pocket. The sole hip slot is large enough to holster my iPhone 11 and a snack bar, but I wouldn’t mind a little more space. Like the lacking front zipper, this single pocket reduces the number of places for water to seep through, and there are plenty of pockets in my jacket for other gear if I really need it.
- Price: $300
- Available at Jenson USA.