The 7Mesh Mission Jersey is a really well made, usefully warm Polartec fleece that breathes easily and boasts excellent cut and fit. The full-length zip, long body and snug collar and cuffs are great, but it does feel more baselayer than jersey – and that price is undeniably high.
The soft fleecy lining feels lovely against the skin, and avoids boiling you within minutes thanks to being laid in tiny blocks cut through by cross-streets of bare fabric. That fabric is a polyester mesh so thin it's translucent, so while the gaps trap warm air they also vent moisture easily. Polartec calls the fabric Power Grid, and it works very well.
Unfortunate proof comes from the solid lower back panel (four-way-stretch elastane/nylon), which ends rides significantly wetter than the rest of the jersey, though it does at least stay warm and comfortable; I was never really aware it was soaked until I took it off.
This would be less of an issue when worn without further layers on warmish days, when you'd also be able to access the two zipped and angled rear pockets, but the weather during this test (mostly cold and wet) stopped me finding out. It's certainly vulnerable to wind as a standalone item: on a cold day without a layer on top it loses heat to 15-20mph airflow like any other fabric.
If you are using it as a top, there's a bright red version that looks a bit more jersey-ish than this black one.
There's no doubt it makes an excellent baselayer. The stitching is ruler-straight and immaculate, with small overlocked seams you can't even feel once on. The panels are really well shaped for a great slim fit, and good length in the body and dropped rear mean it covers you no matter what you wear it with.
The full-length zip gets a wide, fleece-backed garage to protect your neck, and decent-length parachute cord pulls to help you find it (and the pocket pulls) in gloves.
The same four-way-stretchy fabric as the rear seals the pleasingly long cuffs totally from draughts, and also makes pulling on further layers easy. The collar is similarly well judged for height and shape.
For your £145 you might reasonably expect perfection, but the Mission Jersey falls just short. With windproof panelling it would be much more versatile on its own, while deleting the rear pockets would improve it as a base or mid-layer.
With very few jerseys using Polartec's Power Grid fabric to compare it to, it's hard to say whether it's overpriced, though it certainly ain't cheap. Fox's Defend hoody uses Power Grid and is £110, though it's arguably more of a baselayer, while Patagonia's R1 hoody is £140.
For £5 less, dhb's Aeron Lab Equinox offers windproofing and water-resistance for bad-weather use (using Polartec Powershield Pro). Alternatively, for £5 more there's Rapha's Pro Team LS Aero, which has neither but is, well, really aero instead.
The 7Mesh Mission Jersey is warm, very comfortable and very well made, and while it's not that versatile on its own, it's very good as a base or mid-layer, as well as being quite lush to wear. If you can afford it, you'll probably love it.
Beautifully made warm jersey that's oddly good as a baselayer – but expensive as either
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road.cc test report
Make and model: 7Mesh Mission Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
7Mesh says: "The Mission Jersey provides highly breathable insulation with a stellar warmth-to-weight ratio. The unique grid structure creates stable air pockets that hold warmth, while voids in the grid allow moisture to transfer to the outer face for evaporation. The end result is a super comfortable jersey that maintains a warm, dry environment on the inside."
It's arguably an excellent baselayer, too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The company lists these features:
Body: Polartec Power Grid
93% polyester, 7% elastane
(54% recycled content)
Contrast: 78% nylon, 22% elastane, 4-way stretch woven
Front zip: #3 reverse coil
* Two large zippered angled expansion pockets on the back for easy access with gloves
* Stretch woven cuffs for sleek tapered fit
* High neck
Men's: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Very comfortable and stays warm when wet.
Really well-judged slim fit.
At under 200g it's very light for a warm long-sleeve.
Soft inside and good at wicking sweat.
Expensive for a thin jersey/baselayer, but few cycling jerseys use Polartec's Power Grid fabric so comparing like for like is difficult. Fox's Defend hoody uses Power Grid and is £110, and Patagonia's R1 hoody is £140.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Takes 30 degree washes without problem.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Lack of wind protection limits its use as a standalone jersey, though it's excellent as a mid or baselayer.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, effective, very comfy, full length zip.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
High price, no windproofing.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's up there at the top end of the range as a premium product.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Perhaps if it were more versatile as a jersey or more deliberately a baselayer, it could be exceptional – and a 9 – but as it is, it's a solid 8 and 'merely' very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Zenium SL VR Disc My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking