Let's get this over with: $450. That's how much this jacket costs. Some of you will gnash your teeth and hobble over to a dark, bitter corner of your soul when you see that price tag. I understand. I wear my $10 Fruit of the Loom undies until they resemble nothing so much as crotchless panties made for guys who live under bridges: I'm frugal as hell when it comes to my clothes.
Then again, I've also almost died of hypothermia (and I'm not employing hyperbole this time around) because I was underdressed for the elements. It's an experience that puts things in perspective. I'm now willing to entertain spending money on gear that could keep me alive when I get stranded somewhere dark, cold and wet…at least as long as that piece of gear is going to withstand more than a couple of seasons of hard use.
Well, I can't make any promises or predictions about the 7mesh Revelation. Why? It's a brand new company and the Revelation is a brand new product. At first glance (and ride), however, things look promising.
7mesh is a small operation out of Squamish, BC. The guys there all ride and have resumes peppered with top-level roles at some impressive gear companies, such as Arc'teryx. What's more, the 7mesh folks actually design, fabricate and test the initial product before sending it overseas to be produced on a large scale. The angle here is that 7mesh has greater control over the shape, feel and function of the final product than if they merely sent over a design brief and a sketch of the jacket to a factory in Changshu or Guangzhou. In this day and age—that makes 7Mesh a different breed of company. Whether that approach also makes this jacket better than the competition…only time will tell.
The Revelation is constructed from GORE-TEX® Pro fabric, Gore's latest wind and waterproof material. That top-tier fabric, no doubt, plays a part in the Revelation's hefty price tag—you can find plenty of mountaineering and snowsports jackets made from the same beefy 3-layer stuff with $600 price tags.
The Revelation has a surprisingly burly feel. I say "surprisingly" because the thing is also astonishingly light—a mere 9.5 ounces. 7mesh bills the Revelation as the perfect jacket for all-day grunts in the wet and there might be something to that, given the whole it-weighs-nothing-yet-somehow-feels-apocalypse-proof vibe.
The Revelation also sports the key features you'd want from a piece of rain gear: removable hood, adjustable hem and cuffs, taped zippers and plenty of vents. These vents are a welcome sight since it doesn't matter how "breatheable" your material is if you don't equip the jacket with some serious zippered vents, you're still going to boil alive in the sucker. The Revelation opts for forearm and side vents (as opposed to the more common pit vents).
We'll see how the new jacket fares. The weather forecast for my neck of the woods calls for crap weather until, oh, July. I'll be getting this thing muddy.
Both Vernon Felton and our gear editor, Ryan Palmer, are testing this jacket, so be on the lookout for a full review in the near future.