7mesh Grit Pant Review

7mesh Grit Pant Review

Riding in the UK in winter presents a unique, if not almost impossible challenge for a winter trail trouser. With puddles, running water and mud flung up by bikes throughout our descents the assault from the outside can be relentless, not just in terms of cold and wet, but also as a real test for the durability of any fabric. Even a tough regular trouser will eventually saturate on a winter day, shedding precious body heat, gaining weight and sticking to kneepads and in the worst case scenario causing a ride to end early. 

Andy riding Repeat Offender in the 7mesh Grit Pant

What to do then? Up till now the best answer has been a full waterproof trouser to keep the elements outside. The problem with even the good ones however, is that they lack much stretch, so compromise riding comfort a little and most struggle to be breathable enough on the climbs to prevent the build up of condensation. The end result of that is that even though they keep the water out, you end up damp from condensation anyway. 

All fully waterproof garments' ability to breathe and expel moisture is powered by the amount of temperature and humidity difference between the air inside and outside the layer and so all waterproofs breathe best when the weather is crisp, cold and dry. Those familiar with Scotland might instantly see the problem here. With temperatures generally above 0C and plenty of moisture about, it’s a big ask for a waterproof trouser to keep up with the condensation we pump out on the climbs without turning everything inside into a big damp mess. Cover the outside of the garment in water and mud and the task just gets even harder leading to the all too familiar ‘boil in the bag’ feeling scenario so many of us have felt in waterproof gear.

Neil riding Golfie in the 7mesh Grit Pant

The 7mesh Grit pants take a different approach to the norm, using their new Airmap fabric which prioritises comfort and heat management over absolute waterproofness. In essence it’s a nearly but not quite waterproof material which uses a targeted mix of two and three layer stretch fabrics, aiming to strike a balance between water resistance, movement, heat management and durability. The goal is to create a trouser which may not be perfectly waterproof on paper, but one that will keep you as dry as possible and comfortable in the warm and wet conditions we ride in.

In practice it works exceptionally well. Up till now we’ve never had a set of shell trousers that we would want to wear unless it was really, really wet out, but the Grit pants breathe and move so well that any time the weather is cold, breezy or damp they’ve simply become the default choice. Water resistance is very good, so much so that even though they don’t claim to be fully waterproof, we’re convinced that you stay at least as dry come the end of ride as in a ‘full’ waterproof garment with the extra venting more than making up for the slightly reduced waterproofing.

Andy coaching in the 7mesh Grit Pant

The cut is ideal, with a close fit round the calf but plenty of room for a mid sized pad underneath. Articulation and stretch are by far the best we’ve experienced from a shell trouser, with no drag at all on kneepads and the trouser staying perfectly in place at the waist even on long full day rides. Flipping them inside out reveals why, with the trouser made from a number of carefully shaped panels to create space and articulation where needed. Feel against the skin is also the best we’ve had from a shell garment, with the Grits feeling very close to a regular trouser in use. It’s that feeling that makes them so wearable, and it’s part of the reason our pairs have spent as much time in use as they have this winter. 

The small details have also been well thought out. Two angled pockets provide storage and are well placed not to obstruct pedalling. The waist fastener is a metal hook and loop system, which while simple, provides a solid and foolproof adjustment system in use that can’t break or creep loose. After a full winter of use and washing, durability is looking promising. The whole trouser has held up well, is still keeping the elements out and doing its job as you’d expect. There is some slight discolouration forming where the saddle rubs but endless hours against the grinding paste of Scotland will do that to any trouser over time. 

Neil riding Wolferine at the Golfie in the 7mesh Grit Pant

Overall, we’ve been hugely impressed by the Grit Pants and the sheer variety of different conditions they’re comfortable in. Much more than just a waterproof trouser, they’re almost more like a regular riding pant that can also cover the wet days and have become a constant choice through the colder months. Comfortable, breathable and tough, you couldn’t ask for much more. If you need a winter trouser and these fit for your shape, then we’d recommend them to anyone.

7mesh Grit Pant in store now: £280 


☎️ 01896 831429

📧 shop@tweedvalleybikes.co.uk

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