The 7Mesh Glidepath are serviceable mountain bike shorts that deliver some nice features. These shorts are constructed with a water-resistant fabric that could come in handy in wet climates. The waist adjustment system is intuitive, and the ample pockets feature sleeves to house your cellular phone and keep it from flopping around. We acknowledge that these are baggy shorts with a longer, 15-inch inseam. That said, the fit just seems too loose. There is a substantial amount of excess material in unusual areas of the shorts. At $140, we hoped for a more well-crafted fit.
7Mesh Glidepath Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Water-resistant, quality of materials
Cons: Poor fit, excess material in some areas, poor design
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|Pros||Water-resistant, quality of materials||Functional slim fit, great features, SWAT bibs included, good value||Lightweight, ventilated, articulated fit, quality construction, thoughtful design||Stylish, functions well with knee pads, high-quality and reasonable price||Lightweight, comfortable, tailored fit, adjustable waist closure, quick drying|
|Cons||Poor fit, excess material in some areas, poor design||Not the best quality control||Expensive, short inseam||Minimal waistband adjustment, over-complicated closure system||Tailored fit may be too slim for some|
|Bottom Line||A baggy mountain bike short with quality materials but an ill-conceived design and fit.||The Specialized Enduro Pro shorts are fully featured with a functional high performance design and come with SWAT bibs.||They are expensive, but Kitsbow's quality construction, attention to detail, and high performance design can't be beat.||A dialed all-mountain/enduro short that ticks most of the boxes but has some major waistband issues||Patagonia's Dirt Roamer shorts are comfortable and lightweight with a minimalist design and performance oriented tailored fit.|
|Rating Categories||7Mesh Glidepath||Specialized Enduro Pro||Kitsbow Mescal Ventilated||100% Airmatic||Patagonia Dirt Roamer|
|Fit And Pedal Friendliness (20%)|
|Specs||7Mesh Glidepath||Specialized Enduro...||Kitsbow Mescal...||100% Airmatic||Patagonia Dirt...|
|Shell Fabric||Soma 2-Way Stretch Woven||Water-repellent VaporRize woven fabric||4-way stretch softshell, mesh vent panels||Polyester elastane stretch blend||4-way stretch 90 denier 87% recycled polyester/13% spandex with a DWR|
|Lining Main Fabric||None||Removeable SWAT liner chamois||None||CyTech Premium||None|
|Chamois||None||Body Geometry Mountain||None||Foam pad||None, but compatible with Endless Ride Chamois(sold separately)|
|Inseam Measurement (inches)||15 in||13.5 in||12.5 in||12 in||11.5 in|
|Number of pockets||2||2||2||2||1|
|Removable Inner Short?||No||Yes||No||No||No|
|Weight (ounces)||7.51 oz||9.73 oz||9.24 oz||8.76 oz||5.22 oz|
|Weight Liner||N/a||7.51 oz||N/a||N/a||N/a|
Our Analysis and Test Results
7Mesh was on the right track with the Glidepath shorts. The water-resistant two-way stretch fabric has a place in the world of mountain bike shorts. The pockets are huge, and the inner cell phone sleeve is a clever detail. The shorts are easy and quick to adjust. Unfortunately for 7Mesh, the poor fit seriously detracts from our overall impression of these shorts. If you are spending $140 on a pair of mountain bike shorts, you should be able to enjoy a well-crafted fit, something that 7Mesh doesn't deliver with the Glidepath.
Given the underwhelming fit, the Glidepath shorts are actually pretty comfortable. You have so much space when you are wearing them, that it is hard to call them uncomfortable. There is no restriction or points where the shorts feel like they are squeezing you. If you are worried about the more trim fitting shorts like the Fox Flexair or Troy Lee Designs Skyline feeling too restrictive, the Glidepath bear no resemblance to those shorts.
Fit and Pedal Friendliness
The fit and pedal friendliness was our biggest gripe with the Glidepath shorts. These shorts do have some redeeming characteristics, but the fit is certainly not one of them. Some shorts fit a specific body type better than others; we can't even say that about the 7Mesh shorts.
When standing up, the fit issues are apparent immediately. There is a balloon-like appearance near the top of the short between the waistband and crotch. There is so much excess material that you can pinch it with your fingers and easily pull the shorts 3-4-inches from your body. When you are sitting down, the balloon-like appearance is emphasized.
The mid to lower leg is also ill-fitting. There is a ton of excess material, and you feel like you are swimming in the shorts. Some baggy shorts have well-designed fits; the Glidepath don't. This would be difficult to measure, but the shorts seem to have more space at the thigh/quad region than they do at the knee. It doesn't make sense.
The poor fit heavily detracts from their pedal-friendliness. Every time you spin the pedals, the shorts bounce around on your leg to a noticeable extent. This is annoying and a little uncomfortable. Also, the water-resistant material has an audible swoosh when it rubs against itself. It sounds like an old pair of wind pants.
The Glidepath shorts are loaded with features. The majority of these features function very well. 7Mesh didn't try to reinvent the wheel with these shorts, but they did add some clever details. The pockets are quite large but feature an internal sleeve to keep your cell phone from bouncing around too much while pedaling.
These shorts are constructed with what 7Mesh calls a water-resistant 2-way stretch fabric. While they may not be as soft and comfortable as other shorts, this material is undoubtedly a nice touch. Riders in wetter climates where you are frequently splashing through puddles on the trail or often ride on misty mornings will appreciate the water-resistant construction. We tested this material with the mist feature on a garden hose. We stood downwind of the hose, not in its direct path. The misty water beaded up and didn't penetrate the material easily. If you're riding in a downpour, you will still get wet, but with the occasional shot of water from a puddle, stream crossing, or rain shower, they do their job well.
The Glidepath shorts have large pockets. They are located on the outside of each upper leg and use a burly zipper. The pockets offer loads of space and are by far the largest in our test. You can easily fit a sizeable peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the thickest of wallets, a wadded up rain shell or the largest cell phone. Speaking of cell phones, these pockets have smaller inner sleeves that hold your mobile phone in place. Think of it as a sub-pocket that keeps the phone from sliding and bouncing around when you are riding. It's a nice feature, and without these designated cell phone zones, the phone would flop around far too much.
The waistband adjustment system is simple and effective. The locking waist adjustment is easy to use on the fly, and while it isn't the most user-friendly, it is reliable and seems durable. Two plastic locking tabs clamp down on a piece of webbing that wraps through the waistband. Simply pull the fabric tighter, and clamp it down to tighten.
It is unclear to us exactly why these shorts feature belt loops. It seems unnecessary and redundant on a pair of shorts that has a functional waistband. One plausible explanation is that the belt loops are a backup retention system if you adjustable waistband should fail? Yes, it sounds like a stretch, but that's the best we could come up with.
The Glidepath shorts showed no signs of wear throughout our test period. All of the stitches and seams remained intact, and we saw no signs of them failing any time soon.
We observed only one area of concern in the design of the shorts. There is a seam that runs straight down the middle of the back of the short. When riding, you are sitting directly on this stitch. We have some concerns about how well this area would hold up after hundreds of hours in the saddle. As you ride, your seat wears the material on your shorts, it's inevitable. This seam would be a prime location to wear through or fail, given its direct contact with the saddle. Again, we didn't observe any problems, but we are using our experience to suggest this could be an issue down the line.
The Glidepath shorts have a simple and utilitarian style. These don't scream bike shorts like some other shorts that are littered with logos and prominent bike-specific features. The 7Mesh shorts could easily pass as a hiking short or just an everyday short. The front of the shorts has a clean look absent of obvious pockets or zippers. The seams are clean and tend to fly under the radar. The rear of the short is simple. The whole piece is one color, except for the adjustment straps. We tested the rust colored shorts which have a little bit of pop to them. Some of the more subtle colors have an excellent, understated appearance.The inclusion of belt loops is interesting. You might find belt loops on the occasional pair of bike shorts which is always a bit of a head-scratcher to us. We will discuss this more in the features section. In terms of the stylistic impact, we aren't crazy about how these loops look.
The Glidepath shorts have a 15-inch inseam with a baggy fit. Style-wise they look fine but the excess material in the legs isn't all that flattering. This isn't a baggy vs. less baggy stylistic argument. It is a matter of an imperfect fit somewhat ruining the overall aesthetic of these shorts.
The Glidepath shorts post a decent score for protection. These 7Mesh shorts don't have any overt protective features worked into the design. That said, they are certainly knee pad friendly, constructed from a robust material, and have some protection from the elements when mother nature gets nasty.
These shorts play well with knee pads. We wore these shorts with multiple pairs of knee pads of various styles. What do we mean by various styles? They work well with thin, sleeve-style knee pads that are conducive to trail riding. Also, they work with more robust enduro-style pads and larger downhill-inspired knee pads. The 15-inch inseam offers pretty of length to cover part of the knee pads and prevent the dreaded gap between the short and pad. Also, the opening in the knee provides ample space to allow plenty of clearance for the pads within the leg opening.
While this isn't a traditional element of protection in a pair of mountain bike shorts, the water-resistant fabric offers a barrier for the occasional interaction with moisture. They protect you from rain, puddles, and mud reasonably effectively. This can be important on a cold fall day where staying dry is very important.
You probably didn't need to read too closely to realize the Glidepath are not our favorite pair of shorts. That said, they might still make sense for specific types of riders.
These shorts are best for the rider who emphasizes a relaxed look and might not be in the saddle for hours on end. Given the knee-pad friendly fit, these would be a reasonable choice for the rider who does a good bit of shuttling or hits the bike park several times a year. Given its water-resistant fabric, the ideal buyer might live in the Pacific Northwest or New England. Does this sound like you? Do you typically ride in dry conditions? The 100% Airmatic shorts are similar but offer a better fit, and they cost about $50 less.
At $140 retail, these shorts are not a very good value. They are among the most expensive pairs of shorts in our test, and they deliver far and away the worst fit. If you are okay with the poor fit, they deliver decent practical features, and they may still work for you. That said, we think you would do better saving some cash and looking at some other shorts.
The 7Mesh Glidepath shorts are a serviceable pair of mountain bike shorts. They do have some nice characteristics. The major pros of these shorts are how well they play with any style of knee pad, the water-resistant material, and a clever cell phone sleeve within the pockets. The lowlight is primarily the serious fit issue. The shorts have excess material in odd locations. The poor fit heavily detracts from the pedal-friendliness of these shorts.
— Pat Donahue