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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Monton Men's PRO Joes 3-in-1 Jacket has the versatility to give a good three seasons worth of use, thanks to it actually being an outer softshell style jacket with a removable, quilted gilet tucked away inside. The windproof material with its durable water repellent coating (DWR) can keep you warm and relatively dry in changeable weather, while the gilet on its own keeps the chill off on those early-morning spring/autumn rides. The PRO Joes could do with a bit more reflective stuff if you ask me, though.
While not cheap even at its reduced price of £120 (down from £200) on Monton's website, the PRO Joes design does mean you're getting a decent amount of kit for your money. As I mentioned, it includes both a jacket and gilet, which you can wear either together or independently.
At the start of the test period, back at the end of September, the weather was relatively mild (as it was throughout most of October too). This meant I spent a lot of time just wearing the outer jacket, which I found comfortable from around 12°C down to 5°C with just a baselayer beneath.
Below 12° I add the quilted gilet, and in the early morning frosts I've ridden so far, I've felt perfectly toasty.
The jacket's windproofing is impressive, with it blocking some quite strong winds, even those coming from the north with their icy chill. The outer doesn't have a huge amount of bulk to it either, something I was surprised about considering the warmth.
Most of the fabric has a kind of softshell feel to it, while under the arms and on the back it's thinner, presumably for breathability (you also get some vent holes under the arms). It's all fleece lined to keep you warm.
Considering its warmth the breathability is decent, even when riding hard on long climbs. The full-length zip runs smoothly and is easy to operate with gloves, so if you do need to let some heat out it's easy.
Monton has gone for a DWR coating which works well in light rain and drizzle, and it copes well with road spray too, either from passing traffic or when you're following a ride buddy's wheel.
It's by no means a waterproof though, and steady to heavy rain will soak through quite quickly. I didn't find the PRO Joes that quick at drying either. You do at least remain warm when wet, though.
When it comes to the design Monton have focused on the details well. It's well cut for bike use, with plenty of length in the arms and extended cuffs which close the gap between the jacket and your gloves.
You also get a dropped tail for decent coverage in a race position, and a good tall neck.
You also get pockets thrown in, if indeed you can throw a pocket. There's one zipped offering on the chest, and two more zipped 'hand' pockets like you'd find on a normal coat. I didn't really find much use for these if I'm honest, as any weight you put in them just makes the front of the jacket feel a bit heavy.
Monton says its sizing is aligned with the Asian market, which is one or two sizes smaller than US/EUR. Inside this jacket the label shows two sizes: China – XL and US – L. I wear medium in most brands, but Monton's size guide does indeed show the Chinese XL is recommended for my 70-80kg build. Stick with the Monton guide and you should be fine.
The overall quality is high, which it needs to be given the price. The finish is neat and tidy, and the low-profile seams are comfortable.
The gilet part is attached by a small loop at the top of the neck, which allows it to sit independently of the jacket when you're wearing both. Consequently you don't feel restricted, as they still move like two separate garments.
The black-only 'choice' isn't ideal for a winter jacket in my eyes, and it would be nice to see some brighter offerings for dreary day rides. The reflectives are lacking a bit too. There's a band on the left arm underneath the Monton logo, but with us in the UK riding on the left-hand side of the road, it's not exactly ideal.
There's also a little reflective logo on the rear, bottom right. It's tiny though.
The Monton is quite well-priced at its (officially) discounted £120, and not exactly outrageous at the full RRP of £200 when you consider you're getting a quality gilet too.
Steve was impressed with the Specialized's RBX Softshell jacket a couple of weeks back. He rated its warmth, breathability and windproofing, and it has a decent level of water resistance too. It'll set you back £150.
Rapha's Pro Winter Jacket is £180 and looks to be of a similar design to the Monton, including a DWR coating.
Both of these are cheaper than the Monton's full RRP which is what we always base value on, even if the kit will rarely cost that. Even at £200 though, the Monton isn't overpriced – especially if we get a very cold winter.
Some other colours and more reflectives would be nice for riding at night or on gloomy days, but when it comes to performance the Monton really delivers. Good weather protection, the addition of the gilet and the fact it is very well made all help to justify its chunky full price.
Good quality 'system' that copes with any temperature winter can throw at you, and gives some water resistance too
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Monton Men's PRO Joes 3-in-1 Thermal Winter Jacket
Size tested: L
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Monton says, "The PRO Joes 3-in-1-jacket is windproof, thermal and treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating to keep you warm, dry and comfortable on those cold and wet days. Brushed interior which provides excellent warmth and thermal insulation from the cold.
"The 3-in-1 jacket features a removable quilted gilet inner layer. The jacket can be worn on its own, together with the insulated inner gilet in colder conditions and the gilet can also be used as a windproof insulated external layer in milder weather conditions."
It's a versatile jacket temperature-wise and performs well in cold, dry weather.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
* Three layer windproof fabric with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment helps keep your working muscles warm and dry
* Removable inner quilted gilet
* 3-in-1 feature is extremely versatile
* Italian Miti Lombardia with DWR (durable water repellent) treatment helps keep your working muscles warm and dry
* A high cut fleece lined collar keeps your neck warm and the extended sleeve cuffs integrate seamlessly with your favourite gloves
* Italian made M.AR.C. Elastic waistband keeps the jersey in place during your ride, nice and tight
* Two front pockets
* Double layered sleeve cuffs seal out the cold
* Internal zipper flap with chin guard
* Reflective trim detail for better visibility in low light conditions
* Main: 50D Composite Fabric: 91% Polyester, 9% Elastane
* Italian Lombardia DWR (durable water repellency): 86% Polyamide, 14% Elastane
* 0°-8°C / 32°-46°F
Watch the sizing as it comes up small, although Monton says so itself; if you follow the instructions, the sizing is fine.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No issues with either jacket or gilet when putting them through the washing machine.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a quality jacket for a range of temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
Well cut for bike use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
Reflectives not that well positioned for the UK market.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's in the up there with the pricier jackets, as seen in the review, but you do get a gilet on the side as well.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This is a quality jacket and gilet combo that works really well across three seasons of the year. Get the sizing right and the fit is spot on too.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!