Mons Royale Virage Pants review – eco-friendly lightweight trail trousers

Merino master Mons Royale has always made high-end kit with genuine eco credentials, but how do its latest trail pants fair?

Man wearing Mons Royale Virage Pants with countryside backdrop
(Image: © Neal Hunt)

Bike Perfect Verdict

Great-fitting high-end trail pants with true eco credentials from the Merino expert Mons Royale, although slightly let down by the lack of waist adjustment. Overall a fantastically well-made product with a luxurious feel and a great cut for use in all but the most extreme hot or cold conditions.


  • +

    Use of recycled polyester and sustainably sourced Merino wool

  • +

    Good trail-friendly fit

  • +

    Subtle styling looks good on and off the bike

  • +

    Very light-feeling fabric

  • +

    Have shown no signs of wear


  • -

    No adjustability at the waist

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    Expensive comparatively

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The New Zealand-based brand Mons Royale has been producing high-end sustainable winter sports clothing since the company was started by Hannah and Hamish Acland back in 2009. Hamish was a pro skier, so they naturally started making ski and snowboard clothing to start with, but soon realized a lot of the material tech could be used in other outdoor sports like trail running and mountain biking. 

The brand specializes in high-end Merino wool and natural fiber products, all ethically and, where possible, locally sourced. Its kit is also designed to last with strong, hard-wearing materials and high-quality stitching and manufacturing methods. This helps reduce waste but is also great for riders. Hopefully, more Mons Royale kit will appear in our best MTB pants and best mountain bike jersey features in the future.

Rear view of man wearing Mons Royale Virage Pants with bike and grass backdrop

The standard fit worked well for me, getting the balance between loose and tight just right (Image credit: Neal Hunt)

Design and specification

The Virage Pant is a lightweight trail trouser made with Merino wool and recycled polyester that's created from PET plastic bottles and is designed for general trail use in mild conditions. The polyester and Merino blend is used to keep the weight down and increase durability, and Mons adds some elastane to give the material a degree of stretch to aid the fit and comfort whilst riding. A Merino power knit back panel is also used to help with fit. Power knit is a fabric technology we have seen used in footwear with shoes from brands like Giro and DMT's GK1. It has a four-way stretch, stays smell-free, and increases the natural wool's durability. Although not new technology, it is unusual to see it used in riding pants. 

Close up of waistband of Mons Royale Virage pants

The popper studs feature a velcro backing for a secure fit (Image credit: Neal Hunt)

Mons classes these as a standard fit, so not DH racer tight or walking trouser baggy [though they do look a tad MC Hammer – Ed]. They taper towards the elasticated ankle and have articulated knees with enough room for MTB knee pads. The waistband is elasticated with loops for a belt and uses a double-press button fitting with a handy velcro area around the poppers to ensure secure closure and a decent-length zip with a well-placed backing cover that helps stop catching anything with the zip.

Close up of pocket on Mons Royale Virage pants

They have two hand pockets and one zipped pocket big enough for your smartphone (Image credit: Neal Hunt)

Storage spaces are limited on the Virage in keeping with its lightweight intentions, with the only options being hand pockets and a pocket big enough for your phone with a lock-down zipper. Branding is subtle and gives the pants a classy look, with a small logo on the side of the calf area and a tab on the side of the waist. If you are a fan of the full factory Moto race look, then I'd suggest you look elsewhere, but the subtle style of these looks great, in my opinion, and worked well off the bike, too, whether walking the dog or frequenting a cafe.

Close up of lower half of rider's leg wearing Mons Royale Virage Pants

The elasticated ankle cuffs kept the pants in place with no flapping but without being restrictive (Image credit: Neal Hunt)


When I opened the packaging, I was immediately impressed with how light they felt, not just in terms of grams but also how tactile and thin the material felt. Despite feeling potentially fragile, they still managed to have a good amount of stretch and a robust feeling. I tested the black version, but I would say the color is more of a dark charcoal than I liked, with the polyester sections having a lighter tone than the knitted wool section.

I usually wear a 32” waist and leg and followed the size guide provided by Mons and went for a medium that fitted well, although I would have liked some form of adjustment in the waist area to fine-tune the fit mid-ride. They do have loops for a belt, but I find it too restrictive, especially if wearing a waist pack. The standard fit worked well for me – it was tight enough not to flap about and get caught but with no feeling of being restricted at all.

Close up of rear of waistband on Mons Royale Virage Pants

The Power knit section on the rear really helped with fit (Image credit: Neal Hunt)

The extra room in the knee area was welcome, and during testing, I used a variety of pads, from close-fitting trail versions to larger enduro options, and all fitted well with no bunching or tight spots in use. The Powerknit rear panels also really helped with the fit for me; I sometimes struggle with fit around the glutes, so the extra stretch here was appreciated.

Throughout of testing, they have been used in all the weather Yorkshire could throw at them and have been faultless with no signs of damage in high-wear areas like the crotch and knees. Despite plenty of mud, grit, occasional crashes, and machine washes they have kept their color and look as good as when they first arrived.

Close up of rider's leg on bike wearing Mons Royale Virage pants

The Virage pants have a slightly grey look to them and feature subtle logos (Image credit: Neal Hunt)


The Mons Royale Virage are well-made, top-quality pants with a great fit, that look good on and off the bike and have lasted very well throughout the test period. Although expensive, the materials used have a quality feel and should last many seasons, which offsets the high cost somewhat. My only criticism is the niggly lack of adjustability at the waist, but bar this, they are an excellent choice and some of the most comfortable trousers I've worn.

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Tech specs: Mons Royale Virage Pants

  • Price: $189.95 / £164.95 / €179.89
  • Colors: Black, Copper, Dark Sage, Undercover Camo
  • Weight: 137g
  • Materials: Recycled Polyester & Merino Wool
  • Blend: 81% Recycled Polyester, 14% Merino Wool, 5% Elastane
  • Sizes: Standard fit, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Neal Hunt
Freelance Writer

Neal has been riding bikes of all persuasions for over 20 years and has had a go at racing most of them to a pretty average level across the board. From town center criteriums to the Megavalanche and pretty much everything in between. Neal has worked in the bicycle industry his entire working life, from starting out as a Saturday lad at the local bike shop to working for global brands in a variety of roles; he has built an in-depth knowledge and love of all things tech. Based in Sheffield, UK, he can be found riding the incredible local trails on a wide variety of bikes whenever he can