The Monton Lifestyle Mustang SS jersey is an excellent choice thanks to design, fit and construction befitting its £90 rrp – attributes which only impress more at the current reduced price of £50.
In Monton's ranges, 'Lifestyle' means a less skintight fit than the company's full-on race jerseys. It's a long way from baggy, however, with a nicely tailored stretch fit that leaves nothing to flap in the wind, and nothing to pull uncomfortably either.
The rear and side panels are meshed, while the front is a little more solid and does fine protecting from winds on warmish descents. The jersey is 100 per cent polyester and wicks very well for good cooling; even on long sunstruck climbs where sweat was running down my face, I never felt the need to unzip it more than a third, despite these not being the thinnest of materials.
The zip has a useful plastic grabber that's easy to use even in gloves, and the teeth are shielded from your skin. There's an extra suede-like flap protecting your neck as well, which is very comfy and adds a little wind protection.
I found the Mustang jersey worked down to about 12-14 degrees without a baselayer, thanks to the reasonably protective front and long-ish arms. At the other extreme, I never found it too hot or sweaty at all – not in the UK anyway.
Essentially, it's the sort of garment you forget you're wearing. The seams are flatlocked over the shoulders, around the arms and between the pockets, and overlocked everywhere else. The fabric is soft against your skin. Nothing rubs, constricts or digs in anywhere, and I found it entirely comfortable no matter how long I rode. The elasticated rear hem and sleeves stay solidly in place – the rear with the assistance of neat logo-shaped silicone grippers, and the arms without.
Sizing is accurate for a slim fit that's pleasingly aero and a good length both back and front, with six options available from Small to XXXL. It's worth mentioning that Monton offers a 30-day 'test ride' guarantee, which allows you to return garments if you don't like them, so long as you buy them via the firm's UK website.
Personally, I think the fade from navy blue to bold red and white is a great combination of coolly stylish and usefully visible, and it blends well with most other kit. If you don't like it, there are five other Lifestyle SS jerseys featuring different colours and patterns. Note there's no mention of UV protection from any of them.
The pockets may actually be more divisive than the looks. Though typical in design – three pockets topped with elastic – in execution their closings are fairly baggy, which had me faintly worried about losing my elderly phone or, worse, a gel. In reality I never had a single problem, even on some pretty rough roads, though some may still wish there was a zipped pocket for peace of mind. You may have more issues if you're stashing pumps or bottles, though spare clothing stays secure. A subtle 3D logo and a small reflective strip finish off the pocket area nicely.
Usefully (and unlike me) the Mustang SS copes with two or three rides before starting to smell. Monton says the inserts of 'Milk Silk' fabric in the armpits are antibacterial and antifungal, so it may be these are doing their job. When you do wash it, it comes up fragrant and bright and is yet to show any signs of ageing or distress. The neat stitching remains secure.
At rrp it's in good company: Sportful's three Bodyfit Pro jerseys we've tested this season are all £80 or £90, Craft's Monument is £85, and Castelli's Flusso FZ is £80, its Free AR 4.1 £95. At its current £50 the Monton is a bargain.
I'd suggest the Monton Lifestyle matches or beats them for performance, and arguably shades them all for style, colour choice and exclusivity.
Comfortable and stylish summer jersey with a great fit and excellent performance
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Monton Lifestyle Mustang SS jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Monton says the 2018 Lifestyle Mustang is "a lightweight, breathable and affordable cycling jersey that is perfect for your everyday rides."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Monton lists the features as:
Front panel, shoulder panel, sleeve and rear pockets constructed of 100% breathable moisture wicking polyester thermal transferred printed oval mesh fabric
Lightweight and breathable prismatic fabric on back and side panels
Milk silk fabric on underarm is antibacterial, anti-fungal, moisture wicking, soft, and durable
Full length zipper with micro-fibre cover tape to avoid friction between skin and zipper
No folding binding tape on inner collar
High visibility reflective piping
2018 Monton elastic waistband with gripper to hold jersey in place while riding
3 rear pockets
Intelligent mix of fabrics pieced together with solid, comfortable stitching.
Great fit and effective wicking make this a comfortable, dependable summer top.
Shows no sign of distress after many sunny miles and 6-8 washes.
Slim and close-fitting without being tight anywhere, stays in place and is very comfortable.
Recommended size was spot on for my chest measurement.
Pretty light at 130g in size medium.
Rarely thought about it on the bike – just how it should be.
An rrp of £90 isn't to be sneezed at, but it's high quality and comfortable and on par with others out there; at its current reduction to £50 it's a bit of a bargain.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Comes up like new at 30 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Manages heat and sweat very well even in uncommonly high (for the UK) temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent fit and stylish colours that blend subtlety with visibility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Beyond the spectacularly meaningless 'Fun Is Passion' slogan printed inside, nothing, although some might want a zipped pocket.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Lifestyle Mustang does everything you want – deals with heat, wicks sweat and gives a comfy, slim but not restrictive fit. At its discounted price of £50 I'd give it 9, but we score on rrp so at £90 it's an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: GT GTR Series 3 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: general fitness riding, mountain biking