The 7mesh Ashlu Merino Jersey is a really versatile short-sleeved summer top that copes fantastically with 28˚C rides without overheating, yet stays warm when temperatures plummet and the rain arrives. The five pockets carry huge amounts comfortably, it's really well made and it's perfect for long or multiday rides. There's no denying that price makes it a serious investment, though.
Made from a superlight blend (89% merino / 11% nylon), the Ashlu features five pockets: two zippered, and three regular. They're larger than average and cope very well being stuffed with jackets, tubes, food, and phones thanks to a 'floating' design that's not tethered at the bottom.
The left-hand side zippered pocket is twice as large the right-hand, and can take stuff such as a six-inch Subway or an OS map... or both! The smaller zippered pocket is still large enough for a big phone in a Velopac case, too.
7mesh call the floating pocket the ‘Anything pocket,’ as it takes practically anything without it pulling uncomfortably on the rest of the jersey. The pockets are a polyester/elastane mix, and after four months of almost daily use they haven’t sagged at all.
One of the pluses of merino is its ability to air-dry and not stink, thanks to its natural antibacterial properties. The useability without constant washes is a good thing for the environment, and excellent for you and your friends on a multiday ride – although there's obviously a limit because sheep definitely smell... I can confirm the Ashlu is good for at least three days, however.
Merino is also naturally UV protective, and the UPF 50 rating is another bonus for long days in the saddle. It's worth noting that 7mesh only uses mulesing-free wool, which is a good thing for sheep welfare as mulesing essentially involves skinning the thing's bum.
The sizing is accurate and the fit is relaxed, with just enough stretch in the hem (and some silicone grippers) for it to stay in place. The collar is dropped at the front, which looks a little odd when you're standing, but it's is oh so comfortable in the saddle. The zip has a knotted pull which is easy to grip wearing gloves or not.
The sleeves are decently long for good sun protection and warmth when needed, and all the stitching is exceptionally neat – prolonged use produced no frayed ends or wear at all.
The Ashlu jersey is an absolutely brilliant piece of kit, but then it should be for £130. Happily its exquisite design, excellent quality and brilliant performance mean it's a worthwhile investment, especially if you ride long days either as one-offs or consecutively.
As a jersey for riding mile after mile in comfort with all sorts of stuff in the pockets, it’s the best I’ve used. It's very comfy, very well made and that capacious floating pocket is just brilliant.
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