7Mesh has a well deserved reputation for combining fit and fabrication in some of the most coveted bike kit out there – check out our recent review of its Chilco Anorak for more of their recent gear. Comfort and following the line of the body on the bike is always foremost in its designs and in this respect the Flightpath delivers – and then some.
The style is intended to be worn all year round, with the benefit of providing full leg protection in the rough.
Design and Specifications
The Flightpath is made from a combination of rugged Cordura nylon with a textured handle through the main body and legs, with stretch inserts that run down the back of the calf. There is a zip fly that has a hook and ladder waist adjuster. It features two slip-in hand pockets and two zipped leg pockets that are angled for access on the fly. The right pocket has an additional secure inner sleeve.
The construction is a series of shaped panels that curve around the leg, it’s roomy through the thigh and slimmer at the lower leg, but with what is almost a ‘pocket’ that the knee goes into.
Where to start on the fit of this pant? It could have been tailored for me. The overall effect is slim but not tight and the hook and ladder arrangement to adjust the waist is so much of a neater solution that Velcro tabs. The thigh feels looser, but it’s close through the calf, which does require a wiggle to get your foot through when putting them on. That’s an observation not a downside, because this isn’t a waterproof pant and doesn’t need to fit over shoes, the stretch insert down the back of the calf ensures full freedom of movement. The hem sat just above the ankle on me, (I’m a shade over 6ft) which feels immediately different to other riding pants I’ve tried, but actually works in the context of a ‘shorts alternative’ style. The articulation over the knee is bang on, it means they look a little baggy when standing, but once on the bike it works perfectly.
If I was worried that the back waist of the Flightpath is not high enough, two hours in and without the need of a single pull upwards to adjust the pants, I was reassured. The shaped cut means they simply don’t budge, following the curve from the waist down under your backside and through the thigh even at its highest upward point of the pedal stroke. Because the knee is also cut for active peddling the combined result is a barely-there and incredibly comfortable feel.
With the recent proliferation of designed-for-riding pants I have found myself wearing them more often than not. The Flightpath is a style that I can see extending its use into summer though and more than coming into its own on the local overgrown trails that usually inflict a good amount of collateral damage from thorns and nettles. At the other end of the thermometer I have tested them in three degree centigrade frosty starts with only a liner underneath, and while not insulating, they do take the edge off and were warm enough for long steady rides, without overheating when the sun made an unexpected appearance.
Although the Flightpath is styled for mountain biking, it is, in my opinion, versatile enough for just about any riding. It looks good enough off the bike for urban commuting, the same for bikepacking or gravel, and unrestricted enough for the all-day riding those disciplines might entail. Even weekend road riders that hate Lycra might appreciate the comfortable coverage.
On balance I would say that the Flightpath achieves it objective of being a year round, (with perhaps the exception of the very hottest days) pant. If you appreciate a cut and construction that has clearly been honed to almost the last millimeter you will want this pant, but it is a combination of attention to detail and quality of fabric that doesn’t come cheap.
With the Flightpath, 7Mesh raises the bar for bike pants in terms of comfort, cut and versatile ride performance. They may come with a hefty price tag, but are worth the added investment.
Tech specs: 7Mesh Flightpath Pant
- Price: $250.00 – $300.00 / £200.00 / €206.61 – €211.95 / CA$300.00
- Weight: 267g
- Sizes: XS-XXL
- Colors: Black, Peat, Bottle Blue
- Available from: 7mesh.com