Let’s just get this over. $475. That’s a metric shit ton to spend on a jacket. The odds are good that plenty of readers will write the Revelation off after reading the sixth word in this review. I understand. There are, after all, very good cycling rain jackets selling for half this much.
I’m not here to convince anyone that $475 constitutes a “good deal” or that anyone should buy anything. That’s not my job as a reviewer. My job is to determine whether or not a product performs well. To that end, does this jacket take a beating and keep you dry during long rides in crappy weather? The answer is an unqualified "Yes."
7mesh Revelation V2 Details
• Gore-Tex 3L Pro - 40d nylon plain weave / RGR backer
• Watertight front zip
• DR-Snap removable under-helmet hood
• Zippered pockets, side and forearm vents
• Soft-brushed collar and chin guard
• Adjustable Velcro cuffs
• 8-mm seam tape
• Weight 299 grams
• MSRP: $475 USD
In fact, it does all those things better than most jackets. Whether or not you can afford the Revelation is between you and your checking account. Let’s get on with the review.
The original Revelation debuted in late 2014 and was 7mesh's first jacket. The company, in case the name isn't ringing any bells with you, was founded by a few outdoor industry veterans who previously made their mark at brands such as Arc’teryx. 7mesh is based out of Squamish, British Columbia—as good a place as any to design, prototype and test wet-weather apparel. Kazimer tested the original Revelation
jacket for Pinkbike. I tested it for Bike Magazine and Adventure Journal. Our impressions of that jacket were similar—the waterproofing was top notch, breathability was good and the jacket was surprisingly rugged for something so lightweight. Probably my biggest gripe with the original was its cut, which was aggressively athletic and a bit short in the back.
This second-generation Revelation maintains everything that was good about the original and adds a few new touches, though there is still room for improvement.
All pockets feature sealed zippers. The jacket sports large side vents. For the record, I prefer pit zips on this kind of jacket.
Here are the basics: The Revelation is constructed from Gore-Tex 3L Pro and features water-tight, sealed zippers and fully-taped seams throughout. The material is lightweight, amazingly good at keeping the drippy stuff on the outside of your jacket and surprisingly rugged. The Revelation also features a hood, designed to be worn under your helmet, that is both adjustable (via a small drawstring) and detachable (via three small, plastic snaps). 7mesh added a small brim to the hood this time round. The company also incorporated reflective material to the cuffs and tail of the jacket—always a plus for commuters or anyone logging road time to the trail head. The tail of the jacket, thankfully, has grown a bit longer—which is a very good thing as no one enjoys getting their ass crack spackled with wet mud whilst descending.
The biggest improvement, however, is the Revelation's overall fit.
I am not a particularly big guy, but the old Revelation, in a size Large, fit me like a sausage casing around the chest and arms. Riders of a skinnier persuasion (such as Kaz) still felt the same squeeze. The new Revelation has a more relaxed fit around the chest and upper arms, which makes it worlds more comfortable when you are hunched over the bars. The jacket still has a trimmer overall cut than most rain jackets on the market, but it feels good on the bike. "Tailored to the riding position" is one way to describe it. It makes some other rain jackets out there feel like floppy sails.
Velcro cuffs--good. Reflective trim--good. Minimalist hood snaps? Not so good.
Rain jackets have a lot to live up to—they need to keep the wet out without steaming you to death when your heart is racing. The Revelation is outstanding on the waterproof front. Gore Tex Pro is a three-layer material consisting of a Gore-Tex membrane sandwiched between a tough outer material and a "specially developed" inner lining. There is a whole lot of "special" and "proprietary" language on Gore's site (it can be a bit tedious), but the takeaway here is that the jacket has a waterproof rating of around 20,000 mm, meaning it can withstand hour after hour in the snow and pounding rain without leaking.
Gore Tex Pro is pricey stuff—it's a material generally reserved for high-end backpacking and mountaineering apparel. Gore Pro is meant to not only be crazy-waterproof, but strong as hell. Despite the Revelation's light weight, it has a surprisingly sturdy feel to it. And, yes, the waterproofing is as good as the marketing claims make it out to be. Gore says the stuff is waterproof for life, which sort of sounds like a slogan for a yuppy mountaineering gang, but I can say this: I didn't wash and reapply any waterproofing to my original Revelation for 2.5 years. And I rode in the thing constantly. It looked like King Kong wiped his ass with it before I decided I should probably take better care of it...and it still never leaked. Obviously, I haven't been able to put the new Revelation through that kind of testing cycle (since it's a new version and I lack a decent time machine), but since it's made of the same Gore Pro material, I'm willing to go out on a ledge and predict that it'll share a similar fate as the original.
It's worth noting that the jacket is also fully seam taped—not just taped in critical, high-stress areas. 7mesh keeps the grams to a minimum by employing a particularly svelte tape. It's the kind of little detail that is easily lost in the mix, but it's also the kind of attention to detail that makes the Revelation the jacket it is.
What about breathability? Again, Gore's Pro fabric gets good grades on that score. Gore states that their membrane features "...9 billion pores per square inch, with each pore 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet." The idea here is that rain water can't seep into those pores from the outside, but the steam vapor you generate whilst humping yourself up some miserable bastard of a climb can pass through said tiny-ass pores. Since my electron microscope is on backorder, along with that time machine, I can't verify Gore's claim about the 9 billion pores, but the jacket does breathe well. You still, however, will need to make use of the vents. No two ways about it. Accordingly, the jacket features both forearm vents and sizeable side vents. I'm still not a huge fan of those angled side vents. True, they bring air into the jacket, but if you wear a hydration pack, the straps block the vents a bit. Moreover, every jacket I have used with pit zips has channeled air more effectively into the jacket.
The detachable hood is a nice feature, but I don't care for the three minimalist snap closures that attach the hood to the jacket. If you wear the hood beneath our helmet (as designed), it's never going to go flying off into the woods, but I did manage to unintentionally unsnap the hood buttons when out riding. I'm guessing 7mesh goes the snap route because it's lightweight and doesn't create the potential for leaks, but I'd much prefer a zipper here. Speaking of zippers, none of the zippers on the jacket will let in water. Those zippers, however, are fairly small, which means it takes a bit more effort than usual to open and close the things.