As coaches and guides in the sometimes wet and windy Tweed Valley, we need to carry a lot with us on our rides; between first aid kits, spares and other emergency essentials, our packs fill up fast. With space at such a premium, when it comes to looking for riding kit, versatility is a must. We’ve all been using the 7mesh Chilco Anorak on the hill and around town all year and have been impressed by just how usable it is in a wide range of scenarios.
7mesh have used their proprietary WTV (Wind, Thermal, Ventilation) fabric throughout both body and sleeves; a decently windproof, highly breathable and insulating fleece designed to keep you warm and comfortable while also cleverly managing excess heat. The stretch woven exterior keeps wind and light showers at bay while a brushed lofted interior traps air and keeps you warm; with well balanced air permeability, this is a layer that works all day, useable in multiple places throughout your clothing system.
The helmet compatible hood easily fits over all open face helmets we’ve tried, and the rolled over fabric around the hood and neck makes it really soft against your skin. A double entry pouch gives a huge amount of storage space and makes an excellent spot to keep spare gloves, a buff, or anything relatively lightweight that isn’t going to bounce around on trail.
Pulling on the Chilco is easily done with your helmet still on thanks to the long front zip, the fit is relaxed without being baggy and there’s plenty of length in the arms and body to prevent any gaps developing when you're out on the bike. It’s definitely cut for cycling but isn’t so extreme as to be only wearable as a riding piece. Elasticated cuffs keep things snug at the wrist and a slightly dropped tail helps with mud splatter protection while in riding position. The long zip that makes the Anorak so easy to get on, also allows you to zip right up and protect your neck from the breeze.
When it’s not covered in mud, it works well as an off the bike jacket too, with subtle branding and colours making it an excellent choice for the post ride pint. Some technical clothing doesn't lend itself to everyday wear, but these have proven to be so comfortable and cosy that almost all of us now live in them day in and day out through the cooler months. It’s on the hill however, that the Chilco really shines brightest.
We’ve been using the Chilco Anorak throughout this Autumn and Winter and in that time it’s become an absolute staple in our wardrobe. On dry, cooler days it works fantastically well as an outer layer, trapping enough heat to keep you cosy and providing a great balance of wind protection, breathability and warmth that works well in all but the strongest winds. When the wind speeds increase and the mercury drops below zero, simply layering a windproof jacket like the 7Mesh Northwoods windproof or Sky Pilot Goretex over the top of the Chilco kept us warm and dry in wetter or colder weather. That ability to be both a very versatile outer layer or insulating midlayer is the real trump card of the WTV fabric, there is simply such a massive range of conditions where it’s perfect that you’ll find you use it a huge number of days in the year, with it able to take the place of multiple other items.
After months of heavy use and abuse both on the trails and in the washing machine, our Chilcos have remained unphased and still look as fresh as the day we first put them on. No loose thread, broken seams or torn fabric is testament to the quality of the craftsmanship and gives us the confidence to reach for our Chilcos day after day.
At first glance the Chilco seems a relatively straightforward jumper, but look a little deeper, take one on a ride and you’ll find a garment that’s incredibly versatile, that works well both as a mid layer and outer layer, is cut well and wearable both on and off the bike.
We've a full range of sizes and choice of colours in store, or you can pick one up from our website. Even better, we're offering 15% off your first 7mesh order to help you get into their incredible kit when you sign up to our newsletter. Click here to sign up and we'll email your discount code.
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