Mons Royale Men’s & Women’s Mid Hoodie
Material: 100% Merino
Fit: Slim and Long (Women’s & Men’s)
- Warm 260g/m2 Merino
- Thumb Loops
- Long Length
- High Protective Neck
- Large Lined Hood
Women’s: Small; Men’s: Medium
5’6”, 125lbs (Julia); 5’10”, 180 lbs. (Jonathan)
200+ (Women’s); 120+ (Men’s)
Locations Tested: New Zealand Club Fields; All over Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Vermont
We discovered Mons Royale last August on our very first day in New Zealand. We were in Gnomes Alpine Sports in Darfield, NZ, a great ski shop that’s on the way to the Canterbury club fields, and there were these cool looking baselayers and hoodies from this company with a weird name that none of us had heard of. We were intrigued.
Founded in 2009, Mons Royale is based out of Wanaka, New Zealand, and several of us at Blister have been testing their products since last summer, and the response so far has been unanimous: we love them. (See Justin Bobb’s review of the Mons Royale Onesie, Jonathan Ellsworth’s take on their boxers and Dana Allen’s review of the Supa Tech LS.)
Where other Merino garments may feel itchy, fail to wick properly, or start to smell over time, Mons Royale wool has stood out in terms of performance and style.
Blister’s Editor-in-Chief, Jonathan Ellsworth, and I have been wearing the Mons Royale Mid Hoodie for nine months now, so we’re going to do a joint review of it here. (When you see the “JE” below, that’s Jonathan jumping in.)
Honestly, I’d probably have better luck counting the days I haven’t worn it rather than the days I have. That is to say, I wear it pretty much every day. From the moment I got the Mid Hoodie, it has become my go-to layer for every season and for almost every activity.
I absolutely love the way the Mid Hoodie feels—super soft and smooth. Compared to my grandma’s scratchy wool sweater that I break out on special occasions, all of my wool layers are relatively soft.
But, I’ve spent a good amount of time wearing different weights and brands of Merino wool, specifically the Ibex Woolies 150 Crew (100% Merino), the Icebreaker LS Siren Crewe (96% Merino, 4% Elastane), and the Smartwool Midweight 250 top (100% Merino). While the Ibex Woolies Crew feels great, it’s a little fuzzier than my other layers. The Icebreaker Siren Crewe has softened over time, but has just a touch of that elastic-y feel (and it stinks faster). And the Smartwool Midweight just feels a bit rougher. So, thus far, the Mons Mid Hoodie is the softest and most comfortable next-to-skin.
(JE: I’d agree with that last sentence. The Mons Royale Mid Hoodie is much softer than some Merino-blend sweaters I’ve used, and at least as soft and comfortable as any other Merino pieces I have.)
Fit / Sizing
At 5’6”, I generally wear a Small or Medium, and a Small Mid Hoodie definitely fit true to size and worked best for me. The women’s Mid Hoodie has a long fit in the torso, and it falls about nine inches below the waistline on my pants. Generally, it’s a bit too long to wear it with shorts. The Mid Hoodie also has a slim fit, and zips up snugly around my waist and hips.
In the past, I’ve often avoided longer zip-ups and shirts since I have wide hips; the combination doesn’t always work. Despite my previous aversion to taller hoodies, I’ve actually really liked how the Mid Hoodie fits me and my hips. It’s form-fitting, but not too tight. Occasionally, I pull up the bottom of the Hoodie so it’s a little shorter, and I’ve never found the extra material to be too bunchy.
(JE: I almost always wear a size Large, but I dropped down to a medium in the Mid Hoodie, because the length of the medium was great. The medium is a slim fit on me, and I’m sure I would be fine wearing a Large—it’d just be a looser fit. So you definitely don’t have to downsize this thing, it just depends on what sort of fit you’re after.)
The sleeves on the Mid Hoodie are also the perfect length for me and comfortably rest at the base of my fingers. The thumbholes are well positioned and I found myself using them more often than not.
Another feature I like is the high neckline, which rests just below my chin when fully zipped and adds a little extra warmth. The hood fits nicely on a bare head or with a hat, and never felt too bulky.