A review by the Cyborg
I’m getting older. There you have it, I said it: I’m ageing. I’m the not the same whipper-snapper who used to walk barefoot through 40 miles of snow to get to school every day. After years of mistreatment, abuse, broken bones, and introduced materials, my body now feels the cold much more than it once did, taking the shine off many of my favourite activities. Fortunately, there are technological advances in clothing which are keeping pace with medical technology, so not only can we live longer, but we can live longer! Thanks to some excellent pieces of kit, I can continue doing the things I love to do, despite the frigid Canberra winter; I can ride to work and on arrival bounce the frost off myself without a care in the world.
Over the years I’ve managed to pick up some really cool Mont kit. And by cool, I mean, of course, hot. Well, not necessarily hot, just right, depending on what you’re doing. If you get my drift. No? That’s okay, because it confuses me too. The Mont gear I own keeps me warm and comfortable when I ride, when hike, when I do adventure races. But I don’t get too hot. It's just right.
I picked up a set of ear warmers at the last Mont factory clearance sale. They’re like a beanie that doesn’t cover the top of your head. Now, you may well ask, “Why would a bald man not want the top of his head covered in winter?” Well, because itâ€™s excellent for riding, of course! This little beauty can fit under my bike helmet, and it’s not in the least uncomfortable. Now when I get to work I can feel my ears! It has a few other benefits too, such as holding the earphones in my ears as I ride, so I can be pleasantly distracted by the music, not by trying to catch the buds and put them back in!
I also have two Mont Reactor tees, one long-sleeved and one short. I use them for riding every day; the long-sleeve tee serves me well on all but the darkest days of winter, I can ride just wearing that top and be quite comfortable; on the colder days I just add an outer layer to protect me from the cold air.
But they’re not just good for riding! I wear the long-sleeve top during our training runs around the lakes in winter, I’ve worn it climbing and paddling; it’s even been out on adventure races such as the Wild Endurance and AROC Lake Macquarie with me, and taken all of that punishment in it’s stride. It keeps me warm, wicks away sweat, and doesn’t get in the road. It even protects me (comfortably) from the harsh rays of the sun during summer (’cause you know, us old people have to worry about the leather that covers our bodies!) It just does the job, and does it well!
Slinx Polo Top
Don’t get my started on my Mont Slinx top! I can be outside in the freezing cold, exploring the hills with Mr Jack, wondering how come he gets to have fur all over him and be happy and warm, while I can’t feel my nose anymore, but my torso still feels like it’s at home, snuggled beneath the doonas on my bed. Its toasty warm, but not bulky, and doesn’t restrict my movements at all. Though, unlike the riding top, this one just gets warmer and warmer and warmer; it’s something nice to wear for walking, or maybe sitting around the camp on a cold night, but probably not something you want to run off and race in (unless it’s set in Antarctica!)
Space Junky Jacket
Finally, there’s my Mont jacket; I like to do my winter mountain biking and paddling wearing this top. It’s a nice, lightweight jacket with plenty of pockets; thin enough so that you don’t overheat when working hard, yet warm enough so you’re not phased about going for a paddle on Canberra’s lakes when it’s -1. What’s more, being thin, and a good fit, it doesn’t restrict any movement, which makes it an excellent choice for whatever adventure you might be up to next!
It’s the little things that make a difference, the things you don’t realise until you start using it. You can try on all sorts of clothes in stores, and not realise how good they are until you’re actually out and about. This jacket is like that; it has a chest pocket, which is great to carry my camera when I’m out, and a pocket on the left arm, which is the perfect position (and size) for my MP3 player of choice. These are fantastic features on their own, but even better is that the clever people at Mont thought to put long tags on the zippers for these pockets (well, on all the zips), so that even when you can’t really feel your hands, or they’re in gloves, you can still easily find, and undo the zips!
Yes, I know I said finally, but I forgot the most important pieces of Mont kit I have! How could I go past the coffee gear? I’ve been carrying around a stove-top percolator for camping, which works okay - if a bit messy, slow and heavy. Now I have a Mont plunger, which is quicker and easier! Even better is that it’s a cup as well, so I can drink straight from the plunger. But, when I’m feeling more civilised (or, you know, have to share), I use my Mont cup. Both are extremely sturdy, and have taken the beatings of several camps without fail.
No, I don’t own all the Mont gear (such things as dreams are made of...), so I can’t tell you about all of it; just what I have. And I would thoroughly recommend any of it. It’s great gear which just works well. Check out their website for the full range, and a list of stockists.
Go on, try some of their gear, and be comfortable in your adventures! You have more important things to worry about during a race than what to wear. And keep an eye out for their annual factory clearance sale, because the only thing better than Mont gear is cheap Mont gear!
* The TriHards would like to sincerely apologise for the quality of the models used in the photographs; the Cyborg is built for function, not form. Unlike Mont, he can’t seem to be good-looking and functional!