Mons Royale Monsie
MSRP: $239.00 (USD)
Material: Mons Royale 100% Premium Merino 190 g/m2, cotton button down placket
Size Tested: Small
Fit: slim and long (size small = 90-97cm chest, 89-96cm hips)
Weight: ~400 grams
- Premium merino wool
- Button Down cotton placket
- Super soft Merino
- Vintage styling (full button Henley)
- 2-way rear zipper (Drop seat. Oh yeah)
- Waist adjustment draw cord
- Thumb Loops
- Full length + Hood
- Full coverage for ultimate warmth
- Ultra Breathable
- Long life span of anti-odor use
Reviewer: 5’10”, 165 lbs.
Days Tested: 5 months / 100+ days
There seems to have been a resurgence in “onesie” style clothing over the years, and onesie-style base layers have popping up on the market for various uses. I have used many of these products, and consider myself a onesie connoisseur.
My first onesie base layer was made by Kokatat out of Polartec Power Dry fleece. This is a super warm and cozy unit, but lacked an important onesie design element: the drop seat.
I then ventured into the realm of Dickies coveralls. I used these mostly for geologic field work and long river trips. The idea was that I could keep the sun off me, and if I got too hot, I could jump in the water and instantly be in my own self-contained evaporative cooling system.
I was even gifted with a cotton Looney Tunes Christmas onesie that has been great for cozy sleeping on cold nights.
While in New Zealand this past summer, our Blister crew developed a fascination with Mons Royale. There is a long story here, but let’s just say that it was Mons’ marketing that first got our attention. Driving from the Canterbury club fields down to Wanaka, the home base of Mons Royale, we saw a poster of a mountain man holding an axe, wearing a grey one-piece, with the look of survivalist success on his face. (See above.)
I was instantly captivated, and felt the Mons Royale Monsie needed a different hairy guy to test this unit out.
(For additional background on Mons Royale and their Merino products, see Dana Allen’s review of the Mons Royale Supa Tech LS.)
Fit / Sizing
I got the size small Monsie, and I’m glad I did. I am usually a solid medium in most products, but I figured that for a one-piece base layer, I would prefer to have it fit a little tighter, and the Medium looked like it would be too baggy.
The size Small fits me just right. It’s conforming to the entire body without feeling too snug or restrictive, and the buttons on the front placket are easily pulled together without stretch or strain.
The legs seem to be cut a little long, however, and the bottom cuff always seemed to have some scrunch. There was often extra material that I had to pull up on and focus the “bunch” of material closer to my knees. At first I thought the long legs and extra material was inconvenient, but I learned to love it when I got the Monsie on the mountain. I wear knee pads all of the time when I’m riding, and I’ve noticed with other base layers (and the Kokatat fleece Onesie) that when the fit is tight, the movement of bending and extending the knees can force the knee pads to move with the flex. With the Monsie and the extra material, I was able to concentrate the extra material under the knee pads, which in turn allowed more freedom of movement without friction and excess rubbing on the knee pads.
The upper and lower portions of the Monsie are separated with a waist band of double layered Merino that hosts the “drop seat” zipper and the waist band draw cord.
The draw cord allows me to tighten up around the waist, and eliminate the friction caused by the entire unit moving together.
The torso circumference and arm length seems just about right, too. There are thumb loops at the end of each sleeve that serve a similar purpose as the draw cord: keep the Monsie in place. The thumb loops are not too large, and they are unintrusive. They’re some of the most comfortable thumb loops I have used.
The upper portion of the Monsie felt comfortably snug. I was able to button all of the buttons with the hood on and not feel like I was being constricted. There is enough movement around the shoulders to take the hood on or off with all the buttons closed. And the hood has its own draw string to tighten or loosen to taste.
When the thumb loops, waist band, and hood are all tightened down, it feels like a 2nd skin, almost like a super hero outfit.
Waist Band (“Where the Magic Happens”)
The waist band is essentially the “crux” of the Monsie. This is where the magic happens, and the unit goes from two separate base layers to ONE. Have you ever cased it on a landing in snowy weather? In the Monsie, snow stays OUT and you stay DRY.
The fabric at the waist band is doubled up in thickness to accommodate the stretch that occurs with bending over, and to hold up against the friction from wearing pants over the Monsie.
In short, the draw cord allows this onesie to function like two separate pieces. The legs can move freely and don’t pull on the upper torso section. What I have found with other one-piece units is that when you bend over or extend out, the legs can creep up and the torso can feel restricted. Tightening the draw cord really helped to maintain a close fit without unnecessary movement.