Features and Performance
The Revelation is a minimalist shell with few features. The only pockets are two zippered hand pockets. These pockets are big enough to easily fit a phone, multitool, energy bar, and wallet, and the jacket’s slim fit keeps them from swinging around.
The Revelation features four vents, one on each side and one on each wrist. These vents are another place where the Revelation stands head and shoulders above a ski shell pressed into service for biking. The wrist vents especially, allow significantly more airflow than the pit vents on most ski coats. This effectively allows the wrist vents to work as intake vents when riding and the air flows through and exhausts out the side vents. I stayed cooler on hot days in the Revelation Jacket than I have in any other shell. The material itself also breathes very well and while I did overheat a few times riding with the vents closed, I never got as moist and stanky as I usually do in other shells.
The side vents have dual-headed zippers with large pull loops and are situated so that you can access the back pockets of a cycling jersey through them. This is actually very practical, and allows you to get water, food, or tools out mid ride without compromising your rain protection. Unfortunately, if you ride with a hydration pack, the shoulder and waist straps interfere with the vents and make them hard to open or close—though they still stay open and vent well. I’m very anti-backpack unless I’m shooting photos, so this was never an issue for me.
I never ran into an issue with the Revelation allowing precipitation in, even on some very rainy days (full-on fall downpours) and poorly-timed puddle jumps. The Gore Pro fabric also breathes very well, combined with the vents I wore this shell over a T-Shirt on a few 60 degree days in the bike park and never overheated or got too sweaty.
My only gripe with the Revelation Jacket is that the hood snaps are not very strong, so if you grab the hood to take off or put on the coat, it often pulls off. This isn’t a big deal at all, and the tiny snaps definitely help shave weight and volume, but it can be a little frustrating. I’ve also found that if you happen to take a really muddy ride and get the front of the jacket muddy, the exposed zipper can become crusted up and harder to operate since it has no flap protecting it. This might have a long term impact on the durability of the zipper, so I’ll report back if it does.
The fabric is very light but feels pretty burly. I’ve run it through some branches and crashed into the bushes a few times, and haven’t suffered any problems. But only more time will really tell as far as durability.
Of course, this is an expensive shell, on par with the price of a similar ski-specific jacket. But bike clothing tends to lead a much harder life, and often doesn’t last as long. However, if you’re looking for premium performance and materials, the Revelation Jacket certainly delivers. And the more you’re biking in the rain (or get caught in downpours), the more sense a jacket like this probably makes.
7mesh’s Revelation Jacket is a very good bike-specific hard shell. Its fit and features combine to create a piece that makes riding in wet weather more pleasant, without adding that much weight or inconvenience. With a low weight (270g stated) and very small stuff size, it’s a no brainer to toss into your pack or jersey pocket if there is any hint of rain. While the price may seem a bit steep ($450), the Revelation Jacket packs an incredible amount of protection into a very small and functional package. I’ll continue to use it for more than just mountain biking, its light weight and slim fit make it perfect for hiking or even spring ski touring where I want just a little extra insurance in case of rain.
Check back on Saturday for reviews of 7mesh’s Strategy Jacket and Glidepath Shorts