There aren’t many clothing materials that come close to beating Merino wool if you want a naturally-made high-performing material. It’s certainly become one of my go-to fabrics if I’m looking to spend a long day in the saddle that will help to keep me warm when I’m, or the garment, are wet and not overheat when the temperature starts to rise.
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7Mesh Callaghan Merino Hoody details
The Callaghan hoody is made from 35 percent Merino that’s blended with 65 percent polyester, which looks to mix the performance properties of the Merino wool with a tougher and stretchier synthetic material. The Merino element of the garment should help to keep it smelling fresher on multi-day rides too.
This mix of materials gives it a warm interior but stretchy and hard-wearing outer finish. The hoody’s got two front pockets to keep hands warm in colder temperatures and has a discrete sleeve inside the right-hand pocket to help keep items such as phones secure.
The hood is relatively small and tight-fitting so that it can fit under helmets — ideal for climbs and hanging in the car park but less suited to descents where it could interfere with the helmet’s ability to disperse impacts.
There’s a full-length zipper which means you don’t need to take your lid off to remove the hoody if you start to get toasty. It has a relatively loose cut that means when you’re not riding it doesn’t have a strange or unwieldy riding position-specific silhouette and its flexible shape doesn’t ruck or bunch on the bike.
7Mesh Callaghan Merino Hoody performance
And therein lies the real beauty of this hoody — the under-the-helmet hood and slim fit mean it’s perfectly suited to colder days on the trails under a jacket or warmer ones as your top layer.
But its sleek and stylish looks and muted colours mean that it doesn’t look out of place off the bike, screaming ‘mountain biker’ to anyone who’ll listen, unlike some more gaudier garments out there.
Couple this with the fantastic performance and comfort of the Merino and polyester mix, it’s hard to ignore how well the hoody performs even when you’re reaching the extremes of its recommended performance range.
Even against bare skin that’s been sweat-drenched it doesn’t feel sticky or clammy like certain entirely-synthetic materials can. Obviously once you’ve generated enough perspiration to drench the top, its performance is decreased but less so than other bits of clothing I’ve used without the Merino.
Unfortunately, because of the hoody’s price, fantastic looks and great performance it almost feels like a bit of a shame to get it covered in mud, sweat and general dirtiness that are all synonymous with the, at times, rather feral sport of mountain biking.
Luckily it takes well to washing and after several, careful, washes the garment hasn’t spawned any bobbles and even the best and most disgusting mud hasn’t so far managed to permanently sully its looks.
It certainly feels like the hoody is destined to become another one of my faithful and (less) smelly friends along with the insulated jacket I’m too scared to wash.
7Mesh Callaghan Merino Hoody specs and prices
- 65% polyester, 35% Merino wool
- 380g (claimed)
- Three colours: black, pine, mahogany (tested)
- XS to XXL sizes
- Under the helmet hood
- Two front pockets, one with a phone sleeve
- Full-length zip
- Articulated fit for both on and off the bike comfort
- £165 / $200 / €200