The Mons Royale Redwood Wind Jersey combines a merino layer with a windproof front and is designed for longer rides. Whilst the fabric is warm and the windproof effective, the oversize cut coupled with a questionable amount of actual time you’d ride with it makes it a bit of a miss.
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Mons Royale Redwood Wind Jersey - Technical details
Using an ultra-lite Merino fabric dubbed ‘Air-Con’, the Redwood has decent temperature control and multi-day use with minimal pong if needed. It does have some stretch added to it as well.
Mons Royale has added a windproof front, like a gilet would cover on the jersey. Using ripstop fabric, the whole jersey is well constructed and finished. However, the cut and shape are questionable and seem out of proportion with its labelled size. The medium I tested was really big, with a lot of excess fabric. It does have a drop tail with a small head nod to bike fit, but not overly so. There is a silicone gripper on the inside of the back panel.
A full-length zip is handy for when it’s warmer and you want to vent. The collar is medium height, and there is a google wipe fabric patch on the inside, which is a decent size and soft for wiping out glasses or goggles. A small zip pocket on the back is handy for stashing small items, but not for anything large or harder as it would move around when riding due to the more relaxed fit.
Mons Royale Redwood Wind Jersey - How it rides
I wanted to like the Redwood Wind Jersey - I like the concept of it being two tops in one, but unfortunately, I feel like it compromises on both and lacks adaptability by not being one or the other.
My main gripe is the sizing and proportions. I have long arms, and even this felt long for me. Additionally, the amount of fabric on the side and torso, in particular, is quite excessive. When riding, it felt bunched at my sides with a pack on, and with a hip pack, it felt really parachute and flapped a fair bit. The windproof fabric added to this.
Whilst it was ok with a pack on - the merino only back helped regulate temperature well enough. Its sizing meant it felt odd on its own with no base layer. Sure, there was plenty of room to move around due to the sizing. Still, if you are making a lightweight jersey, then the cut would improve that weight also - it doesn't need to be athletic or very close. Still, it felt very casual rather than especially bike specific. To be fair, it is a very light feeling jersey.
You can easily achieve the same function with a merino base layer and a gilet - and also have use for them in various weathers and riding situations. The small pocket on the back wasn’t useful for anything much apart from cash or a gel or something light and unobtrusive. I never used it for anything.
When riding in wet weather, it maintains warmth fairly well, but the size again led to it feeling just not quite effective. With the windproof fabric and the large cut, it flaps around and reduces the windproof effectiveness.
Mons Royale Redwood Wind Jersey - final thoughts
For me, the Redwood Wind jersey is compromised and lacks enough useful function to be in my riding kit. Partly due to the sizing, and whilst I could size down, I don't feel that the benefits or rather times on the trail I would use a jersey of this style are very much. It's way more likely I would use a base layer and gilet or full windproof.
When I used it with a base layer, it still felt very big and flappy, and I felt like the small amount of windproofing had no real advantages over two separate items, which would perform better. Cost-wise, it has a pretty hefty tag, and you could pick up two separate pieces that would fit better, stow more stuff and be around the same price.
When compared to some baselayers like the Nukeproof Merino, which at £45 leaves plenty extra for a windproof gilet, it seems too much money for what it is. Perhaps if you ride in cooler temperatures, and when it's mainly dry, and you size the jersey down, you might be ok, but that seems a lot of compromises for a pretty expensive merino top, even with the windproof front. Style-wise, it's very toned down, with the black/blue with neon zip colour way tested or the all-black with Orange zipper available.
Jessica reviewed the women's Redwood Wind jersey and appeared to have much better luck with fit and function. You can read her full review here.
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