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Mons Royale Monsie

Mons Royale Monsie review, Blister Gear Review

Mons Royale Monsie

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

Features

  • 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

Locations Tested: Taos Ski ValleyCanterbury Club Fields, Wanaka’s bar circuit, and Mt. Ruepehu, New Zealand; New Mexico back country; Green Sand Beach, Hawaii.

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.

Onesie base layer review, Blister Gear Review

*please suggest captions for this photo in the comments section below*

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.

Mons Royale Monsie review, Blister Gear Review

Mons Royale Monsie – drawcord and drop seat zipper

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.

7 Comments

  1. Roman January 21, 2014 Reply

    Guys, seriously? Nobody is buying a $240 onesie. Can we get more reviews of equipment people will actually use and less review of $240 onesies, $250 ski poles, etc?

  2. J Bobb January 21, 2014 Reply

    Hi Roman

    Thanks for the feedback. The truth is Merino costs a lot because of how its sourced and how well it functions over synthetics. Similar Merino products such as Patagonia’s midweight Merino layers run around $140 for a shirt and $115 for bottoms. Considering this covers both, it is comparable in price (actually cheaper) to other similar merino products. I agree though, its not a cheap piece of gear. We chose this as a review piece due to its unique styling and “out of the box” approach to base layering. I already know a few folks in the states that have been using the Monsie and can’t believe how well it functions and feels. Thanks for the comment. We certainly try to cover not only the practical side of gear, but also the unique side.

    Cheers

  3. Daniel Scott January 21, 2014 Reply

    I have the same one and feel the exact same way about it. This is well-written and truthful review. 2 thumb-holes up!

  4. Gene G January 22, 2014 Reply

    Great review! I have had this onesie since the start of the season and it is a total game changer! No wonder why its standard issue for the New Zealand Sochi team! Part of me wants to go a whole ski weekend without taking it off because its just that comfortable and looks stylish. Only thing I would add is that its kind of true to fit. I’m 6 ft 1.5 inches ~195lbs and a large fits me perfect. Gets a bit snug height wise after a few washes so I wouldnt go size down.

  5. Blister Member
    Andrew January 22, 2014 Reply

    Great article (as always) and the Monsie looks sweet. Wondering if you have any spine protector recommendations? How about other non-helmet protective gear? How many Blister writers use this stuff? I’ve never used it, but 14 years ago, I’d never skied with a helmet either and think one or two pieces probably make sense…

    Let me know please!

    Thank you,

    Andrew

  6. Marcel March 28, 2014 Reply

    Curious about how would the long legs behave as a ski base layer, I’ve no idea if you have to be picky about snowboard boots as one has for ski boots, but I don’t like anything other than socks and my feet inside the boots. I usually looks for 3/4, but have a patagonia merino bottom that’s easy enough to pull up above the boot cuffs. What would you say about pulling the monsie legs up above a ski boot?

  7. Michelle Duncan April 24, 2015 Reply

    I purchased two Monsies at Crankwork in Rotorua. One for my daughter also one for her boyfriend. She is currently based in Franz Josef and lives in hers. In fact she is purchasing another one this weekend on my credit card! Lol. They both love them!

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