At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The 7mesh Skyline Women's Jersey is comfortable and fast wicking, intended to offer a race-orientated fit, while its ample storage will appeal to those enjoying long days in the saddle. However, even with quality construction and faultless finishing, £200 is an eye-watering amount to pay when there are alternatives offering comparable performance for significantly less.
7mesh describes the Skyline as 'a featherlight, ultra-fast road jersey with Coldblack, built for making the break and beating your best in the heat of competition'. I'd say it really needs to be something special in hot weather to justify the price tag.
The temperatures eventually made it into the 20s during the test period – I even managed a couple of rides without a baselayer (be warned, it is a bit see-through) – and the jersey is genuinely impressive. I never once sensed sweat patches under the arms or on my upper back, places where I frequently do when the mercury rises. The fabric is clearly wicking and drying VERY quickly. The only 'dampness' was at the central lower back, under the pockets, and even this was minimal – heavily stuffed pockets were being lifted off the back thanks to the pocket design.
I suspect the Skyline would continue to perform in temperatures nearing 30 degrees if this is anything to go by, making it a great item to pack in a case if you're heading off to warmer climes.
The fabrics are identical to the Men's Skyline Jersey that Iwein tested. It's a treated polyester-elastane mix that takes on a waffle texture. It's thin and lightweight, ideal for layering and very accommodating without being compressive.
The jersey is 'Skin fit' which 7mesh says 'improves aerodynamics', but for £200 I'd quite like to see some windtunnel figures... The seams are sonic-welded to further reduce bulk, and the raw-cut, elbow-length sleeves give it a clean and classy look.
The jersey is gently tapered at the waist, but around the shoulders – particularly at the front and around the neckline – there's an excess of material. The large size on test fitted well elsewhere – the length is well judged and the sleeves generous – and though I could have worn a medium, this excess material is also evident on Tass, who's modelling it and would definitely choose a large.
I'd say size down if you are in doubt; it will stretch where it needs to without feeling tight. It moves well with you on the bike too.
The Coldblack coating is intended to resist heating from the sun and offer 30+ UV protection. Certainly these properties will appeal to those who enjoy plenty of riding in warmer climes, when restrictions permit.
For such a thin fabric I am impressed at just how much protection it offers in cooler temperatures. 'Luckily', I've been able to use the jersey in temperatures dipping into single figures (with a supporting baselayer). It offers more in the way of protection than something like Assos' Dyora RS Jersey or Bioracer's Epic Camo Dot.
The 'Anything Panel 5-Pocket System' mimics that on the men's Skyline. As the name suggests, it's a panel of five pockets – three open, two zipped ones underneath – stitched onto the jersey along the top edge and down the sides. The bottom edge is free to lift away from your back so that when you fill the pockets, the jersey stays flat against your back.
While some may love this, I find stuffing gear on gear makes it awkward to access and can result in things slipping out. I preferred to use the two zipped pockets before resorting to the three open ones; the top edge of these is not elasticated and I did have a rain jacket escape from the middle one on a ride. This is the danger of stacking kit on kit, I find, especially when the fabric it's sitting against is smooth and slippery.
The jersey does remain pretty stable even when the pockets are well packed. Whether its aero properties are affected by something akin to a bum-bag stitched to the rear as you are tucked in on the drops, flying down a descent, is another matter.
The reverse-coil full-length zip at the front is smooth running, and a longer than average cord makes it really easy to locate.
There are only two colour options available for us women – the men have three, including two very bright ones. I felt the colour I tested – charmingly called 'Death Plum' – did nothing for my visibility on the road... The alternative, Electric Watermelon, is much brighter. Reflective logos are minimal.
There are a lot of very good jerseys out there for less than the £200 rrp of the Skyline – looking back through our archive, only two short-sleeve jerseys we've tested on road.cc are more expensive (from ashmei and Rapha).
If you want something solely for warm weather performance riding, Assos' Dyora RS mentioned earlier is £145, or if you want a jersey that will span a wider range of temperatures, as 7mesh's does, Rapha's Pro Team is £120.
You can also get very good jerseys for less than £100, such as La Passione's Duo – lighter than the 7mesh and offering 50+ spf for £80 – Iris's Race Day Catch-Up for around £85, Bioracer's Epic Camo Dot mentioned earlier and also around £85, and Lusso's Freya for £64.99.
The Skyline's performance is very impressive in warm weather – as you'd hope for £200 – but there are alternatives offering similar features for significantly less. If you have the cash to spare then you won't be disappointed – as long as it fits you better than it did me or Tass.
Impressive performance in hot weather, with ample storage, but that price tag...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: 7Mesh Skyline Jersey Women's
Size tested: L
Tell us what the product is for
7mesh says: 'A featherlight, ultra-fast road jersey with Coldblack®, built for making the break and beating your best in the heat of competition.
'The jersey features almost invisible ultrasonic stretch seams to present a smooth face to the oncoming air. A women's specific race fit and waffled fabric encourages speed and boosts thermal regulation during the season's hottest rides, while Coldblack® UPF protection blocks out damaging rays.
'Skyline features generous stow space thanks to the inclusion of the Anything Panel, a modular carry system that includes three rear pockets and dual, zippered side pockets.'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Body: 78% polyester, 22% elastane
Pocket: 80% polyester, 20% elastane
Front zipper: #3 reverse coil
Anything Panel 5-Pocket System (3 Rear floating pockets, 1 large and 1 small zippered side pockets)
Wicking and thermal regulating material
Coldblack® treatment; cooling effect and 30+ UV protection
Full-length front zipper
Tidy finishing all over. Ultrasonic seams are great; zero bulk and no irritation.
Works very well in terms of wicking, and offers surprisingly decent protection in cooler weather.
Fabric might feel fine and delicate but it's resisted damage from contact with Velcro.
I found it a rather strange fit. It's generous around the shoulder area, noticeably at the front/collar bone. It certainly didn't fit like most 'race-fit' jerseys I've worn. I'd say size down if you want a supertight fit.
Size down if in doubt. It's accommodating fabric.
The pocket panel probably adds more to this jersey than anything else. It's only 10g heavier than Assos' Dyora.
At £200, it's one of the most expensive jerseys we've tested.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Instructions say: "Machine wash cold, do not bleach, do not iron, hang to dry, do not use fabric softener, do not dry clean." The label says 30.
I washed it at 30 degrees with all my other cycle kit and it's still looking like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does a great job of wicking moisture and is a comfortable jersey with plenty of storage. Whether it has any aero benefits, I couldn't say.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its impressive wicking and drying. It does offer good protection in cooler weather, too, which is impressive for its thin fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fit around the shoulder area. The colour I tested didn't make really enhance my visibility on the road.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very expensive, even compared with jerseys from Rapha and Assos...
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Unlikely
Use this box to explain your overall score
Great wicking and drying with ample, well-designed storage. The fit wasn't perfect for me, though, and then there's the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…