Review: Mons Royale Redwood 3/4 Raglan T-Shirt

May 24, 2018
by Alex Evans  
Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans


Mons Royale's Redwood 3/4 raglan t-shirt is one of a host of designs offered by the New Zealand-based tech clothing company. Made from 83% Merino wool, this t-shirt is designed to keep you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold – even when you and the t-shirt are wet – all without looking out of place both on and off the bike. Merino wool comes from the Merino breed of sheep that are famed for their ability to withstand cold in the winter and heat in the summer thanks, mostly, to their highly-technical fleece. Not only does Merino wool regulate your temperature, its anti-bacterial properties help reduce pongy pits after you've given it plenty of effort on the trails.
Mons Royale Redwood T-Shirt
• Merino Air-Con fabric
• Drop tail
• Integrated sunglasses wipe
• Raglan sleeves
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Colours: red/blue, blue
• MSRP: €90 / $100 USD
eu.monsroyale.com

Merino's ability to keep you warm when it's cold is down to the material's crimps. These are like waves in the make-up of the material that trap air, which acts as a layer of insulation. Merino offers a lot of performance, so it comes as no surprise that clothing made from the material is expensive to buy, and this particular garment costs €90.

The Redwood t-shirt's raglan sleeves are baggy enough to be elbow pad-friendly but aren't too big that they inflate and flap around if you prefer going padless, and overall the t-shirt has a fairly relaxed fit. The drop tail helps to keep mud and spray off your back or from flying down your shorts if the trails are grotty. The thin mesh 100% Merino back panel does a great job of keeping your back cooler than a traditional synthetic riding top. It also comes with a handy sunglasses or goggle wipe stitched into the left-hand hip seam.


Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans
Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans
The drop tail keeps crud from going down your shorts.


Performance

By this point, I'm sure some of you are scoffing at the price tag, right? Fair enough, €90 is quite a lot of money for a t-shirt. But let's be entirely clear here, this isn't just any old t-shirt. Although it probably isn't going to make you 10-seconds faster on your favourite bit of trail and it probably won't give you the fitness of a cross-country marathon racer, this t-shirt does provide exceptional comfort, body-heat regulation and doesn't reek after hefty rides and prolonged use.

I've been testing it for the last few months during the UK's incredibly changeable (mostly variations of wet) spring. I've used it as a base-layer on cold and wet rides, a mid-layer beneath my waterproof jacket on sticky and mild missions and, more recently, as my only layer on hot and sunny day-long epics. Every time I've put the t-shirt on I've been confident knowing that no matter how sweaty, wet, cold or hot I or the weather becomes it'll still be doing its thing without any kind of protest. The fabric feels fantastic against your skin even when wet, and despite washing it without any fabric softener it hasn't lost its soft feel.


Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans
Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans
The goggle/glasses wipe is handy if you've steamed up.

The mesh backing is a godsend if you, like me, wear a backpack when you're out riding. Although your back still gets sweaty, because the t-shirt's fabric is thin and light the additional weight of the sweat is barely noticeable once your back is drenched. Without your bag on, it feels like the wind is whistling around your body.

On very hot and sunny days the best way to describe how it feels to don the t-shirt is like someone erecting an umbrella above your head, providing you with shaded respite from the pounding sun. There is something genuinely miraculous about Merino wool, and as soon as you put on a standard synthetic top the Mons Royal's Redwood t-shirt feels like pure luxury. Not only that, after you've owned the top for a while you'll also notice how it retains its 'fresh as a daisy' smell, no matter how much abuse your sweat glands can throw at it. I can't say the same for synthetic riding tops – to fully remove the smell of sweat from some garments I've had to perform multiple exorcisms.

The t-shirt's fit is on the casual side of tight but isn't slim enough to impede flow on the trail. My fairly-slim, athletic build (5' 10", 73kg), was the perfect match for Mons Royals' medium size. If you were looking to use the t-shirt exclusively as a base-layer then it might be wise to downsize by one size. Otherwise, I'd suggest going for the size that is recommended for your build. The t-shirt's drop tail isn't massive but did do the job – I didn't notice any splatters up my back or down my pants from the mucky trails whilst wearing it.

It is also worth pointing out that Mons Royale's Merino-based riding tops are exceptionally well-made and last the test of time when compared to other brands' offerings. I and other people who have owned Mons Royale riding kit for several years all attest to its ability to stand up to punishment, resisting fading, fraying or laddering of the fabric – something that not all premium brands can boldly claim.

Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans
Mons Royale Redwood 3 4 Raglan T-Shirt. Photo Alex Evans
The thin mesh back is a welcome feature on hot days.


Issues

The only issue I have with this particular t-shirt is the logo and slogan's design. But, taste is a matter of opinion and one man's ugly is another man's beautiful, so it would be unfair to criticize the Redwood for this. Mons Royale do offer plenty of designs that do appeal to me, so if I was purchasing a riding top it wouldn't be hard to find one that pleases.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesDespite the €90 price tag, this t-shirt ranks at the top of my go-to bits of riding gear. It is a genuine performer that makes riding in any conditions so much more comfortable and enjoyable which means you can ride for longer and have more fun. To anyone that still isn't convinced, you need to try out Merino wool before you're put off by the price tag.Alex Evans



91 Comments

  • + 32
 I ride exclusively in a shirt that consists of more hole than shirt accompanied by a pair of assless chaps. Seems to do the job pretty well.
  • + 32
 Your pb photo album let me down......
  • + 5
 All chaps are assless
  • + 29
 I have several of these, they are great 10/10 would recommend.

They come in as $30 odd bucks more than a riding jersey, however its similar to having a Carbon bar over an Alloy one, sure you don't need it, and it most certainly doesn't make you faster - but they just feel better.
  • + 1
 Xbionic shirt is cheaper and ultra effective. But ugly, yes.
  • + 4
 I came here to listen to WAKI defend himself. Go WAKI!
  • + 1
 Do you ride with a pack on? Any issues of pilling on the back fabric?
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal: Not riding, I've been hiking with a pack - don't really remember it bunching up under the pack - but that's not something I have/had issue with so I didn't really notice.
  • + 1
 @Clarkeh: I had an Icebreaker Tee do that last summer. First time it happened.
  • + 23
 I searched through their 3/4 shirts awhile back (mostly the ones from last year on sale) and gave up since I couldn't find one that didn't look like a MMOONNSS RROOYYAALLEE billboard. I'm not partial to the Dieter Bohlen look. Just in case someone from the company reads the comments. Also a reason for not buying stuff from this year's FFFOOOXXX collection. If they were paying me to wear their LLOOGGOOSS that would be one thing, but alas they're not (but that's OK, I don't blame them for that).
  • + 13
 Could not agree more, I will not buy a shirt with a brand name plastered across it. I'll leave that to the kids.
  • + 8
 Couldn't agree more. I get merino is expensive and they don't want to have a bunch SKUs, but I don't see why you can't have a logo color way and non logo (or small logo) colorway. If I am going to ride with a shirt that makes me look like I am advertising for the brand, you need to pay me to advertise the brand...
  • + 2
 Completely, they could stand to take a page out of Dakine or Mission Workshop's books. Just stick a logo on the chest corner and be done with it. Relying on flashy graphics (in this case, lame) should be the crutch for polyester apparel to rely on exclusively. You've already invested so much in the material.. why ruin it with graphics high-end customers would never be caught dead wearing?
  • + 4
 but how will anyone know i dropped $100 on a tee then?
  • + 18
 Before bagging the price, bear in mind merino wool is not just marketing hype - it makes a big difference in cool and damp climates; you don't get that 'I'm getting really cold really quick' feeling in the same manner as a damp cotton shirt or 'tech' fabrics - which if you're doing lots of all dayers out in the sticks is (at least for my skinny bones) important.

And it doesn't get to the same level of smelliness anywear near as quick as regular fabrics - which makes it awesome for bikepacking...
  • + 2
 And if someone wants a much cheaper merino wool shirt one can have a look at Adidas primeknit ones. Got couple of them and they are the best t-shirts I ever had. They can be bought for as low as 20euro on amazon.de or similar.
  • + 12
 @Archimonde: yeah and then let's whine on mass produced overpriced Specializeds and Intenses, but suddenly Cotic or Production Privee are fkng cool. Come on... there are more double standards on this site than standards in MTB industry
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: but cotic are cool, spesh arent ;-)
  • + 2
 I'll stick to woolx, 100 percent merino and doesn't have all that writing in it, cheaper too. A heavyweight long sleeve merino shirt paired with a lightweight rainshell or windbreaker can comfortably cover riding temps from 30-70 degrees out, perfect for the mountains.
  • + 4
 Smelliness is not an argument if 40% of the shirt (the back) is made of fast smelling polyester. And don't tell me you are not sweating on the back.
  • + 3
 @Archimonde: I can confirm this. Addidas has very fine shirts for riding and you can buy 5 of them with that price point of this. I can also say you can buy some cheap tshirts from aliexpress which are from spandex like material which are very nice to wear in cold days, because wind doesn't go through them, and keep you quite warm. And they cost like 10 euros. But addidas shirts are still legit
  • + 4
 Merino performs very well but without more durable fibres blended in, it wears out quickly. Pack straps are particularly rough. Its best worn under a jacket in the cold wet season. For the summer, cotton poly blend $5 tees are fine
  • + 2
 merino wool really is one of the most versatile and comfortable fabrics - for style and price, I'm a fan of icebreaker t-shirts
  • + 18
 People who whine on prices on Pinkbike are like the opposite of Lil-Tay. Bragging on how you can’t afford things, how you ain’t buying this and that, how yo fkng awesome for shopping similar stuff for nothing at shitty places, and calling people dentists, sheep, posers. Yo yo yo
  • + 7
 Give it to us WAKI, we like pain!
  • + 12
 @richierocket: two words: E-bike and Hitler. Whole North America is now offended, my work here is done.
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Sorry, there's something missing. Can't put my finger on it but maybe it's because I'm only a peasant...
  • + 6
 get a room
  • + 1
 Come on. It's seriously lazy journalism to write "expensive stuff is good" articles. Or, they're trolling the PB comment section with articles like this. Either way.
  • + 8
 A little pricey, but it is well made Merino.? Let's get to the real issues...IT LOOKS RIDICULOUS! Shred the dirt? Send it Randy, Shred brah, do you even drift bro?, EPIC, SICK, bikes and brew bro. Stupid AF.
  • + 1
 agreed. send it was funny the first time I saw Larry send it brah. Now that the expression has been dragged through the dirt for over two years, it just pisses me off when I hear it.
  • + 6
 Yeah, I'd much rather ride wearing cheap disposable plastic shite that most seem to enjoy riding in. Muppets. On sale, MR is well under $100NZD ($75USD). Wear it all day, every day. Hot or cold. It's basically 2-3 shirts on one. Again, not shitty plastic.
  • + 9
 Performance and detail, yes. That design, no. Looks like they put all of 30 seconds into the front Design
  • + 5
 I eagerly await the Mons Royale X Troy Lee collaboration :-)
  • + 2
 @Maxcommencemal: 'For the coldest riders in the world'
  • + 9
 is this the review of a f*ckin SHIRT ??????
  • + 4
 My thoughts exactly.
  • + 4
 I used to scoff at the price of mons royale too, until I realized that the long sleeve mons i have abused in the bikepark, on all day epics, downhill shuttles, days on end snowboarding and at the pub is still in pristine condition 5 years later! absolute top quality!!
  • + 2
 Absolutely, I have a short sleeve Mons Royale jersey and it's like magic. As a base layer in winter and autumn it's perfect, keeps the chill off initially then doesn't allow you to overheat. In summer I just wear it with no other layers on top and it somehow stays remarkably cool.

I do baulk at the price, and my intial reaction was £100 for a freaking LS jersey, but after remebering how good my SS jersey is I thought, yeah fair enough.
  • + 3
 Only thing no one ever mentions about merino wool tech garments, and this holds true for ALL of them that I own, from Icebreaker to Smartwool.
The wool does come out of the garment once you become addicted to wearing them far too often as opposed to other gear.
So eventually your wool garment "thins"
Socks & base layers I own have all done it.

But in fairness, it has something to do with me latching onto that one freaking wool baselayer and wearing it for just about everything, washing it all the time and throwing it on instead of anything else in the drawer.

Same with my Smartwool socks. "Oh look...they don't stink and I shall weareth thee for another fortnight or more"
  • + 2
 PB should review some Mons socks as well. Honestly the best socks my feet have ever been encased in!!! Best of all each time I use them (even after a full days riding @ Cardrona Bike Park + 2.5hrs driving each way) my feet are still fresh, comfortable & don't stink (& neither do the socks!!!).
  • + 1
 It's good stuff, but super flimsy material in a crash. I had a shop repair mine after my shoulder clipped a tree and it tore. Then an otb a few months later and it's irreparable. Nice stuff, more pub wear unless you can afford to replace/repair after most crashes.
  • + 5
 THEY ARE REVIEWING T SHIRTS. ALBEIT WITH SLEEVES THAT ARE TOO LONG
  • + 3
 you must be Albeit Ernstein
  • + 1
 Despite the price tag, I'm considering this to be a purchase in my future. Does it snag like almost all other jerseys? I find that the thread catches on one small thing, and pulls the thread, making a scrunch look. This had happened on a fox jersey, loose riders jersey, and others I have owned.
  • + 2
 Great we finally have some t-shirt review. I was a bit bored with all the bike, fork, brake, ... ones that boone cares about. I am in the look for some good socks, looking forward to the next review!
  • + 1
 I love merino and wear them all the time but they're much too hot for a European summer. Once it's 25ºC it's time to swap it out for some horrible plastic top. Surely there's a market for some lightweight non-plastic based fabric?
  • + 1
 Please realise that high price is not synonymous with high quality. Sure most of the time you get what you pay for but there's also the times you get ripped off. Hey people can spend their money on whatever they want. It's no one else's business. Me personally, I spend a little bit more time doing my homework to get the most bang for the buck. I mountain bike in Eddie Bauer clothes. I can hike, ski, and rock climb in it as well and can wear it in public without getting strange looks.( I'm talking to you lycra spandex crowd).It's high quality stuff, guaranteed for life and it cost less than North Face or Patagonia.
  • + 5
 I'm sure I've read this review before on the front page?
  • + 3
 Yes, a review. Of a jersey. Marketing is so marketing. Come on, a jersey should fit nice, look good and have well designed pockets.
  • + 1
 DO NOT BUY this shirt - mine ripped while taking it off literally after the second ware! ripped in the middle of the top back section. poorest quality piece of marino clothing i've ever purchased. Mons also refused to replace/refund despite obvious lack of quality. I suspect cost cutting practices are leading to lower quality products coming out from Mons. seriously doubt the brand after this one!
  • + 4
 ...and that historically, mountain bike clothes look like clothes people who mountain bike would only wear.
  • + 1
 I love merino and own lots of it, but one thing it’s terrible at is durability, especially the thin stuff. All my thin merino shirts have holes. My first crash in an Icebreaker shirt and the entire shoulder ripped out. Expensive mistake. @alexcgevans have you actually crash and rashed in this yet?
  • + 3
 "The mesh backing is a godsend if you, like me, wear a backpack when you're out riding." You clearly didn't go full enduro when reviewing this jersey.
  • + 3
 Before this company came along, ‘mons’ was something I learned in an anatomy book when I was 13.
  • + 1
 look at it upside down. they started just making ski base layers...
  • + 4
 Yeah I'm always looking forward to PB reviewing a T SHirt.
  • + 1
 Every time i try on a Merino Wool anything, it always feels kinda itchy/uncomfortable for me. Does that go away after the first wash?
  • + 1
 Yep, I have the same issue with wool - 1 wash and it was comfy.
  • + 2
 You hit the deck in it and it ain't gonna be just your body hurting, that wallet is taking a pounding too!
  • + 1
 Got 3 mons tops, if you know they have a stand at an event you can usually get a decent discount on them. Quality and purpose for uk riding is spot on.
  • + 4
 Why it is so ugly?
  • + 3
 mons pubis is more my thing.
  • + 1
 Had quite a few of these shirts now and they are brilliant. Use them for cycling & running in any condition and again very comfortable / also they don't smell!
  • + 0
 Hey bike industrie what about sizes for bigger and taller people than the average midget?! I wanna look fresh too and not wearing an old T-Shirt which I can wipe my ass off in the woods.
  • + 1
 @alexcgevans Also interested - I'd love to send in our new jersey for review! Smile
  • - 2
 dental decay was a leading cause of death in the middle ages. just saying.

merino is great. just saying.

also this is great...https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/03/ap_752560517524_wide-68a2d7674d2353a76d2b713e7f6fe4cf32a0ce79-s900-c85.jpg

but keep complaining about $100 t shirts while you ride a $5000 bike. i'll keep paying for dental insurance that pays for your surgery when you smash your teeth riding at the bike park like an idiot in your DMB concert t-shirt from 1995. i recognize that i'm the sucker in this case, but at least i have the intellectual high ground...right?
  • + 0
 Fair enough I get the price justification for using marino wool but only the front and sleeves are made from it so yeah I would say it is too expensive
  • + 4
 trust me when i say you wouldn't say that after using one
  • + 2
 @lobon - The shirt's back is full Merino wool. The front and sleeves are made from a blend of Merino, nylon and elastane.
  • + 1
 @alexcgevans: Ah fair one. Must have missed that part. That does make sense.
  • + 1
 and they only get thinner....
  • + 1
 @FerrisDH: no what? Merino wool garments get thinner with wear and the wool washes and/or abrades our of the garment over time.
  • + 1
 How much are Mons paying you to do this review and get it on your homepage? Asking for a mate.
  • + 12
 Nothing - all of Pinkbike's reviews are editorially led and totally impartial. If Pinkbike run an advertising feature or paid for content, it is badged up as such.
  • + 1
 @alexcgevans: legitimate question though... In that case, how on earth do you choose products to be reviewed? Is it based on whatever random packages show up on your doorstep asking to be reviewed? What kind of unpaid relationships or communication led to this detailed of an article on a jersey?

I feel like many users find it hard to believe that a wool t-shirt is the best use of Pinkbike's time to review against the masses of decision-worthy products that people would rather read an opinion on. If these choices genuinely have no bias, why not test a bunch of wool jerseys and educate us on the differences between them?
  • + 1
 My number one reason for mons royals stuff. Does chaff my nipples like the poly blends
  • + 1
 ah, a fellow masochist
  • + 1
 Any shrinking after laundry?
  • + 1
 Only if you use a dryer. Fast drying on a line, no shrink (or stretch, or sag).
  • + 2
 No, does not shrink, and the elastine and nylon blend is to make the wool stronger and to not get baggy when wet. 100% wool will stretch if wet. Make sure to wash it with a deterdigent made for wool, and it will outlast any tech or cotton shirt you own.
  • + 1
 Sheeeit. I'd be shredding if I had a hundred buck shirt.
  • + 0
 Expensive MTB clothing review. Now I'm waiting for the E-bike review. Wait... I didn't actually mean that!
  • - 2
 Gosh i din't know i could "ride longer and have more fun" according to the reviewer, just if i'm wearing the right t-shirt...
  • + 12
 If you're more comfortable, not cold and aren't hankering to get out of your wet riding kit then you can ride for longer and will have more fun.
  • - 2
 I wear Merino on late evening rides because I’m never too hot in it and then I can comfortably go and take a beer afterwards without feeling chilly outside of the pub.
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