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7Mesh Slab Shorts Review

A stylish, minimalistic, pedal-oriented short with a steep price tag
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7Mesh Slab Shorts Review
Credit: 7Mesh Industries
Price:  $140 List
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Manufacturer:   7Mesh
By Nick Miley ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 15, 2023
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 17
  • Comfort - 20% 8.0
  • Fit and Pedal Friendliness - 20% 7.5
  • Features - 20% 6.0
  • Durability - 20% 7.0
  • Style - 10% 8.0
  • Protection - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The 7Mesh Slab Shorts cost a lot for a little. The short boasts welded seams, a minimalistic waistband, and an athletic fit. Given the price, we expected a few more features on this model. The short is uncompromising in its simplicity, even foregoing vents at the inseams.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Minimalistic design
Comfortable
REASONS TO AVOID
Only one pocket
No vents
Average waist adjustment

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7Mesh Slab Shorts
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Price $140 List
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Bottom Line A pedal-oriented short that works hard to stay light and simpleWith a smart look, high-quality construction, and useful features, this model is the best we've testedThese minimalistic, well-ventilated shorts are a godsend for those heading out on big rides on hot daysComfortable and lightweight with a performance-oriented fit and minimalist designSimple and effective trail riding shorts that are comfortable and pedal-friendly
Rating Categories 7Mesh Slab Shorts Troy Lee Designs Sk... Pearl Izumi Summit... Patagonia Dirt Roamer Specialized Trail S...
Comfort (20%)
8.0
8.5
8.5
9.0
8.0
Fit and Pedal Friendliness (20%)
7.5
8.5
9.0
9.0
8.0
Features (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Durability (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Style (10%)
8.0
8.5
8.0
8.0
8.0
Protection (10%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Specs 7Mesh Slab Shorts Troy Lee Designs Sk... Pearl Izumi Summit... Patagonia Dirt Roamer Specialized Trail S...
Shell Fabric 85% nylon, 15% elastane, Bluesign approved, Okeo-Tex certified, PFC and PFAS-free 87% polyester and 13% spandex with 4-way stretch “Aero Tech” micro ripstop panels 87% recycled polyester, 13% spandex 4-way stretch 90 denier 86% recycled polyester/14% spandex with a DWR VaporRize woven fabric
Inseam Measurement (med or 32" waist) 14 13.5 12.5 12.5 13.5
Number of pockets 1 2 2 2 2
Weight (grams) 170 grams 291 grams 165 grams 164 grams 224 grams
Weight (ounces) 6 oz 10.25 oz 5.85 oz 5.8 oz 7.9 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

The 7Mesh Slab Short is proof that less is more. More money that is. This short is monk-like in its ascetic sacrifices. While we think the short is a bit over-priced, we got to hand it to 7Mesh for working hard to remove any feature that could cause discomfort or otherwise distract the rider from pumping his legs like pistons.

Performance Comparison


7mesh slab shorts - the slab short is a minimalistic, peddle-focused short that best...
The Slab Short is a minimalistic, peddle-focused short that best fits riders at the smaller end of the wast size.
Credit: Nick Miley

Comfort


The 7Mesh Slab Shorts are a lightweight option for those seeking a minimalist design. Although the fabric feels light and smooth, there is no ventilation offered. The athletic fit is snug, which could be uncomfortable for riders on the larger end of the sizing. The waistband is super simple with no grip strip, which is nice for long, vigorous rides. Unfortunately, the waist adjustment, which pulls from one side, did not impress our testers. That said, if the waist fits, these shorts all but disappear from the mind as they are stretchy, athletically cut, lightweight, and minimalist.

The Slab Shorts have an athletic, tight fit that may feel too tight in the legs for riders on the bigger side of the size. They have a 14" inseam and an 18 1/2" leg opening circumference, which can ride up on pads but works well for shorter, slimmer riders. The waist has 2 1/2" of adjustment, but the belt used to make adjustments only pulls from the right side and can bunch up when fully tightened. The shorts are made of a 4-way stretch smooth material, great for longer or more energetic rides. The shorts feature one small pocket that loads to the back of the thigh that exactly fits an iPhone 14 Pro. The tight fit of the shorts and the small pocket size keeps the phone pressed against the leg in a manner that may be annoying to some.

Features


Where features are concerned, the Slab Shorts are minimalistic to the extreme. They have just one pocket with a narrow-gauge zipper closure that barely fits an iPhone 14 Pro. The shorts have no vents. Additionally, the waistband is low-profile with a simple hook and loop belt adjustment at the front. The shorts are completely stitchless, using welded seams for an even smoother feel against the body.

Durability


Though lightweight and minimalistic, the Slab Shorts have good components that suggest longevity. The small pocket zipper is a heavy-duty YKK zipper that operates smoothly. The stiff snap closing the waist is backed up by a simple metal hook for waist adjustment. While the features are limited, the design reduces failure points. The seams are welded with no observed defects. The nylon-elastane blended construction material is lightweight but tough-feeling and stands up to stern discourse with branches and pebbles.

Style


The Slab Shorts's minimalistic design offers a clean, simple style suitable for off-trail use. However, the lack of hip pockets for everyday carry items like keys, and a wallet are detrimental for around-town use. Available in black, thyme, peet, and redwood, the shorts feature a lowkey logo at the right leg opening, making them less obvious as sporty shorts. Unfortunately, the fit of the shorts may cause pad gap for riders over 5'11", so it is important to consider the sizing carefully if such style points are a concern.

Protection


The Slab Shorts provide good thigh protection with a suitable length for average-sized riders. The leg opening circumference is slightly tighter at 18 1/2 inches, but it fits well for the average rider. The material weight is on the lighter side but is durable enough to withstand some hits.

Should I Buy the 7Mesh Slab Shorts?


The Slab Shorts are a great choice for riders favoring an ultra-pared-down design and an athletic cut. The fit and build of the shorts make them a better choice for those who ride sans knee pads, so some of the style issues may be moot. The short's cost will turn some off. However, as the saying goes: less is more.

What Other Mountain Bike Shorts Should I Consider?


If you're set on a simple, lightweight short for more demanding rides, consider the Pearl Izumi Summit Shell Short. This short speaks the same design language as the Slab Short but is more fluent. For one thing, it has extensive perforated vent holes along the inner thigh, and the waist adjustment system is more effective while remaining simple. Oh yeah, they're less expensive, too.

7mesh slab shorts - the slab short is great for those long, demanding days out on the...
The Slab Short is great for those long, demanding days out on the trail.
Credit: Nick Miley

Nick Miley