Hands-on Gear Review

Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Review

Mountain Hardwear  Monkey Man  Fleece Jacket
Price:  $150 List | $89.59 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Very cozy, soft fuzz, athletic cut, excellent fit and finish.
Cons:  No recycled or natural materials, standard color scheme, attracts stickers, wrist elastic could be too tight.
Editors' Rating:   
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Type:  Midweight
Weight (oz.):  16
Main Material:  Polartec Thermal Pro
Manufacturer:   Mountain Hardwear

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Our Verdict

Discontinued
The Monkey Man has been discontinued. However, we have a complete review of fleece jackets that we regularly update.

The Mountain Hardware Monkey Man is one of our favorite fleeces due to its outrageous comfort and flattering cut coupled with solid construction and appealing fuzziness. A refreshing simplicity of construction distinguished the Monkey Man - every panel serves a purpose. The snug, athletic fit was a pleasant surprise to our tester, long accustomed to boxier outdoor wear.



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Our Analysis and Test Results


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Review by:
Kevin Swift

Last Updated:
Friday
May 17, 2013

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Likes


The Monkey Man offers excellent fit and finish with no loose threads or uneven seams. Attention to detail includes elastic in the collar a nice touch that keeps it from flopping too much a zipper garage to keep cold metal away from your chin and adequate pockets. The comfort and approachability was outstanding, making the Monkey Man one of two fleeces that had total strangers walking up just to touch the fuzzy fabric. The athletic cut is ideal for thinner body types and is a nice change from blockier designs. No drawstring at the waist was one less thing to fiddle with and didn't seem necessary.

Dislikes


As with most outdoor gear, the logo was a bit obtrusive. The wrist elastic could be tight on folks with larger arms. Don't set it down in the grass you'll never pick all the stickers out. Both the Monkey Man and the yellow Patagonia are poorly suited to foggy climates, making the North Face brown softshell a better bet that offers the same clean look for way less money.

Best Application


The Monkey Man is suitable for a wide range of applications. Climbing and bouldering, there's little to snag. Mountain biking or running, it breathes well. Lounging, you can't beat it. It would even work on the town, with random people wanting to touch you (if that's your thing). If you want a hood, check out the Mountain Hardwear Monkey Man Lite.

Stories


On a trip to the Northern California coast to harvest seaweed the fleece got damp from combing water out of the fog. I ended up with a micro-climate raining on my feet and wanted the Patagonia hooded softshell. I was dry and warm inside but on a longer day or trip it would have been a hassle.

Value


A worthwhile buy if it's all you can afford and need to get outside and play. May last a long time if cared for well.

Kevin Swift

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 17, 2013

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Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (4.0)

50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

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   Feb 9, 2013 - 06:39pm
koofnoon · Climber · wageningen

It is super comfortable and cozy and I love wearing it indoors. The zip is super burly and snag free and I dig the long arms.

However! when there is the slightest hint of wind or moisture(fog, dew) it must be protected by a layer since it is 100% non wind/moisture proof(on the up side, it is pretty breathable).

Of course fit is a personal thing but for me the bottom is too lose, but since it's already totally air permeable, you won't notice a bit of draft anyway.

Maybe it's a good piece for layering, but then they might as wel have sewn it into a shell since it's fairly useless without it. Unless you only want to use it indoors, but I prefer cheaper stuff for that.



Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.

So cozy!

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   Oct 18, 2012 - 09:07pm
Andrew B · Hiker · MA
So cozy!
So cozy!

I couldn't be happier. Excellent warm mid-layer, mild winter days don't stand a chance. Great build quality and construction however, the arms are about two inches too long (not a huge deal because of the Power Stretch cuffs).



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


Mar 10, 2011 - 07:56pm
 
TYeary · Climber · State of decay
I think the Monkey Man is the warmest fleece jacket I've tried so far. I've used it to 7000 meters( with a wind shell) as my main insulation. It is very warm for the weight and compresses down to a small bulk in the pack.
Cons: wind whistles through it like a freight train and it wears out quicker than other fleece.
I would give it 4 out of five stars.

TY




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