The Mons Royale Redwood Wind jersey is soft and comfortable, ideal as a standalone jersey or a second layer. The chest panel construction does wonders to keep the wind chill at bay, and the merino sleeves offer warmth, comfort and breathability.
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A brand forged by the mountains themselves, Mons Royale oozes adventure, rad times and the glistening outdoor lifestyle that one can only dream of. Primarily working with merino wool, the world's highest-performing natural fibre, Mons Royale pride themselves on using sustainable, natural and ethically sourced wool for their collection.
The tech details
The Redwood Wind jersey from Mons Royale is constructed from 83% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon, and 4% Elastane. The merino wool, or as Mons Royale calls it, "Merino Air-Con", weighs 140 g/m². For the most part, the long-sleeve jersey is made from merino wool. However, the front chest panel is lined with ripstop polyester to help protect you from wind chill.
At the back of the jersey is a drop hem for extra coverage, lined with a silicone band to help adhere to your bottoms and a soft lens wipe area also. There's a small zip stash pocket on the back right-hand side, and the full-length zip at the front finishes off at a low-rise collar.
The Redwood Wind jersey is available in sizes XS to XL, which caters for a chest size 32.5" to 41". I have a small size on test, suitable for a chest size of around 34.5" and waist of 28". Mons Royale state that this jersey has a standard fit, so it's not supposed to be skin-tight nor super baggy - useless that's what you prefer.
How it feels on the bike
Kicking things off with the fit. The Redwood Wind jersey is designed as a single or second layer, so with that in mind, it doesn't cling to your body. There's room underneath to comfortably wear a base-layer or jersey, which doesn't result in awkward bulges to stuff down unless you wear massive jerseys, of course. For me, the fit is great. It's long enough on the arms without the cuffs hiking up my forearms when riding. The dropped hem sufficiently covers my waist when I'm riding and does well to stay in place with help from the silicone grip.
The wind-repellent chest panel is lined with a ripstop polyester which is still pleasantly soft and thin to the touch. It's not a loud rustling piece of plastic-type material like some other windproof garments. This double-layer panel is quite effective at keeping the biting wind away from your chest. I especially found this noticeable when wearing the Redwood Wind jersey as a standalone layer. My arms and underarms were able to breathe through the merino sleeves while my front remained relatively comfortable. I wouldn't say this jersey will keep out strong or gale-force winds, but it certainly does well to reduce how chilly you can get on the descents and on breezy days. Saying that, however, if it was pretty windy, you can certainly wear an additional layer underneath for extra warmth and protection.
The sleeves and the back area are a single-layer of merino Air-Con fabric that breaths incredibly well while feeling soft against the skin. During my rides, I've been pretty fortunate to come out relatively unscathed by the overgrowth. However, I would be a little cautious of snagging the merino areas on rogue branches, velcro tabs and even against pokey items in the washing machine. After all, it'd be devastating to ruin the delightful illustrations patterned on the arms.
The zip pocket on the rear is great for lightweight and non-bulky items such as a folded facemask, single key or cash notes. The pouch isn't reinforced, so it's encased within the single-layer merino fabric giving it little structure or protection. This means that bulky or heavier items would weigh down that area and move against you as you rode, feeling especially noticeable on rough terrain.
When it comes to quality, there's little to fault. The seams are tidy and strong throughout the garment. After several wears, rides and wash cycles through the machine, it's still in great condition. Mons Royale recommends washing in the machine at 40-degrees and not tumble-dry because we all know what happens to wool in a dryer!
Value & verdict
Merino wool bike apparel isn't anything new, and yet, there are only a few brands that are doing it well. The Mons Royale Redwood Wind jersey retails for €130, which is around £110. Now, that's pretty fair for the level of quality and design you would find with similar merino wool-based garments. FINDRA's half-zip merino Iona top is £84 but doesn't feature the zip pocket or ripstop wind protection. Then there's the Alpkit Kepler Velo jersey at £65, which has a heavier merino fabric at 200gsm and rear pockets, but again, it lacks windproof properties. And just to throw the Patagonia merino bike jersey at £80 into the mix... this is a plain and simple merino wool t-shirt. So while there aren't directly comparable products to the Mons Royale Redwood Wind jersey, you can see that it's well priced amongst other merino wool garments, especially when you factor in the pocket and windproof chest panels.
Overall, I've been really pleased with the Mons Royale Redwood Wind jersey. Not only does it look great with wonderful illustrations in a forest-green colourway, but it performs really well too. The merino fabric allowed my back and arms to breathe really well on the bike while protecting my chest from the wind's chill. While I would be cautious about where you ride due to the delicate feel of the merino wool, I've yet to snag or tear the fabric.
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