What to wear, what to wear? The age-old question gets pretty difficult in the unpredictable shoulder seasons of spring and fall. A cool-weather long-sleeve jersey is great for when it's cool all day, but you may not always want that. Warm-weather long-sleeve jerseys are meant for the wind to go right through them, but you might not always want that either. One can always rely on multiple layers or mid-ride wardrobe changes, but depending on the conditions, 7mesh has an elegant self-contained solution.
Like most of my favorite clothes, I first got my 7Mesh Compound jersey while testing bikes at the Bible of Bike Tests. In this case, the 2016 edition when we were in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was significantly warmer than last year's Upper Peninsula location, but it wasn't quite summer. I wanted something that wouldn't trap heat when I was on a slow, sun-baked uphill. But I didn't want to get chilled to the bone on the downhill. The Compound jersey offers just what my impossible demands were demanding.
Across the chest and the front of the arms is the jersey's titular compound fabric. Right where you’re facing the elements, you've got a little extra protection. The nylon woven panels have the feel of a four-way stretch windbreaker material. But they're slightly brushed on the inside, so there's no need to wear a base layer unless it's in the coldest of temperatures. Though they don't insulate at all, they do an expert job of keeping the wind off your skin. And they even keep out moderate moisture, so in dense fog, splattery trails, or very light drizzle, your front-facing facade will stay dry. They're also significantly more durable than the rest of the jersey. Where there's the most potential for abuse from jackets, packs, and (knock-on-wood) crashes, the wind-stopping material is the most robust.
The rest of the jersey is an especially breathable, equally stretchy polyester knit material. Across the belly, forearms and the entire back, it feels just like any other lightweight jersey. It wicks moisture and breathes heat. And the fit is relatively casual. I actually sized down for my Compound jersey because I wanted it to be a bit more form-fitting, though I can still comfortably fit a thinner, form-fittinger base layer under it. Combined with the generous stretch, the Compound jersey's cut is perfect for all-day, even if you don't quite know what temperature that day will hold.