Brand Focus: Mons Royale
Tired of wearing "wooly undies", Mons Royale founder and former pro skier Hamish Acland decided it was time to create baselayers that you didn't want to hide under everything else.
Based out of Wanaka, New Zealand their choice of material was an easy one, and one that surrounded their town on all sides: merino wool. It had all the properties they wanted in their product, supported the local economy and was readily available. Sourcing non-mulesed (a painful technique used to prevent infection) 100% traceable wool they set about distributing their range to local snowboard stores and other retailers. Off the back off that success they increased their collection and began exporting to snow-heavy countries around the world.
Today they continue to refine their products, testing and developing with pro snowboarders, other mountain athletes and Wanaka locals. Ensuring their supply chain is ethically and environmentally friendly is just as important as the product. They take steps to make sure manufacturing partners use natural dyes, clean any chemicals from their water supply and staff enjoy good working conditions.
Products & Tech
Face Masks & Neck Warmers
Image source: Themistocles Lambrids
If it's windy, snowy, or just really cold, you'll want to wrap up any exposed skin to stay warm. Mons Royale's merino facemasks, balaclavas and neck warmers sit below your helmet and goggles protecting your head and neck from harsh conditions.
Their fine weave rests gently on your face, wicking away perspiration to keep you dry and toasty.
Base Layer Tops
Image source: Mark Bridgewater
Bringing the style to baselayers, Mons Royale tops look great in the après bar and kick-ass on the hill. Engineered to fit the contours of your body and not hinder your flow, the shirts also have a drop tail back to cover your behind. This attention to details continues into the sleeves - thumb loops stop the arms slipping back - keeping your forearms and wrists warm.
Again made from 100% merino wool the tops regulate your temperate, are naturally odour-resistant and soft against your skin.
Base Layer Pants
Thermals, long johns, base layer pants... whatever you call them, good insulation under your snowboard pants can really make a difference on icy days and long stints on the chairlift.
Made with snowsports in mind the pants naturally flex and stretch with your movement whilst offering support. Flatlock seams, a long length and no side seams ensure that the garments stay in place and don't rub.
You'd think wearing the same pair of pants all week long would cause them to smell, and you'd be right... unless they're made from merino wool. It naturally locks away odour molecules while it's breathable wicking properties mean sweat is quickly shifted to your outer layers and out to the big wide world.
- Soft and retains its shape
Merino fibres are slender in shape and size compared to other wools which is why they feel so good next to your skin. Like a spring, the fibres expand when stretched then snap back to their original configuration – maintaining the elasticity and fit.
Smell is kept to a minimum with merino wool. Sweat molecules are stashed away in the material preventing bacterial build-up and odours. When the garment is washed the sweat molecules come out of the product, ready for your next adventure.
- Temperature regulation
The fibres of the wool have a slight crimp (wavy structure) that traps little pockets of air insulating you in cold weather. It also wicks perspiration away from your skin, stopping you from getting chilled. In warm weather the fibre pattern allows warm air to escape preventing you from overheating.
Image source: Mons Royale
About the Author:
Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert
Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A few decades later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding, or making awful coffee.