The Revelation jacket from Canadian company 7Mesh is designed for rugged, outdoor use. This is a jacket for people who measure their rides in mountain passes and hours rather than metres and minutes, and for whom braving the elements isn't really a choice and more of a likelihood.
So for anyone familiar with mountaineering gear, the high price tag for this jacket won't be a surprise. In fact, it's a fairly mid-range price for a technical, outdoor jacket that uses high-end technical fabrics such as GoreTex Pro. For those more familiar with riding jackets, it's likely to be a bit of a shock.
7Mesh was created and is run by veterans of premium outdoor technical clothing company Arc'teryx, and it's aim is to bring the same level of premium technical fabrics and construction techniques to the world of bike kit.
So if the retail on this version of the Revelation Jacket at £280/$399/AU$493 seems expensive, bear in mind that it's designed for use in more technical environments that you may encounter at your local trail centre. Think multi-day mountain based rides, or long adventure rides in inclement weather.
The Revelation is designed for rides that tick over into hours if not days — proper big days in the mountains — which is great in theory, but how does it actually perform?
Well, the fit is snug but comfortable, with laser-cut and sonically welded seams, and there's room for layering up for cold weather. The cuffs and hem are adjustable to fend off drafts and downpours, and the back is slightly dropped — though a little more length would be appreciated.
The sleeves are also cut so that they sit the right length while reaching forward to the handlebars, making them comfortable for long rides with no pulling across the back.
The GoreTex Pro fabric combined with waterproof zips is immense, deflecting 10 hours of heavy rain during my Icelandic test period. Prolonged rain can impact on the fabric’s breathing, but, aided by vents on the arms and sides, those concerns proved totally unfounded.
Waterproof side-pockets capably handle stowage duties. In fact, my main niggles were the magnetic poppers that secure the detachable hood and the zip pulls. They detach too easily and are a pain to reattach.
The zip pulls themselves are small and fiddly, and the pull is just a knotted piece of fine cord: lightweight, yes, but all too hard to get a grip on with bulky, wet gloves, and a couple of the cord pulls came unknotted and fell off during use.
The hood fits under the helmet and is cut to sit comfortably, providing enough coverage while still giving a fair amount of peripheral vision.
Despite many muddy rides, it still washes to a nearly-new look with its waterproofing intact, though after over a year of abuse it's definitely time to give it some TLC and a dose of reproofing.
I've been using this jacket regularly for months and months, and it's my go-to jacket for longer rides in tough conditions. It was a godsend over several days of exposed rainy weather in Iceland, and on a three-day ride in Wales, which was mostly spent riding into a headwind and heavy rain. Combined with the women's version of the waterproof Recon Shorts, it's my wet weather outfit of choice for longer, more adventure-based riding.
In short, this is one great jacket and, while pricey, has worked hard to win me over.
However, since I tested this jacket, a newer version has become available. On the upside, it features a number of updates including increased reflectivity, a small brim on the hood, and it weighs in at a reported 299g (though 7Mesh doesn't say what size this is for) and still has that excellent GoreTex Pro membrane. On the downside, the price has jumped significantly. It's now £385 / $449.95.
Sizing, pricing and availability
The Revelation Jacket is available from size XS to XL. I'm a UK12 (US8 / AUS12) and took the size medium jacket, which fitted well. Although I'm large across the bust and while the jacket doesn't compress, it is stretched tight across the area but not uncomfortably so.
The version of the jacket tested here has been replaced by a newer version, as mentioned above, which retails at £385 / $449.95 / AU$TBC.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.