Non-itchy Merino pullover, available in four different sizes, natural odor control, light support
Natural odor control; fun colors and design not usually seen in Merino
Too much logo; limited sizing; removable cups have to be repositioned post-washing
The Stella combines comfy Merino wool and all of its benefits like moisture transfer, with X-back elastic straps to create an ideal sports bra for cycling. All of our testers ranked it among their favorite bras.
VeloNews tested half a dozen Merino bras for this review, and the Stella X-Back from Mons Royale was every tester’s top choice. Made by a cycling company, this racerback pullover uses soft and stretchy triple-layer, itch-free Merino wool in a wide band around the body that extends up into straps at the front. Where the Merino band crosses under the arms, it turns into a very airy single layer for maximum breathability.
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The fabric looks delicate but it’s tough. To make it, Mons Royale spun super-fine, long-staple Merino around a nylon core, then added a touch of elastane for stretch and to help the Stella retain shape. The triple layer in front/single layer in back construction wicks moisture out of the wool and dried the bra quickly.
Stella’s look and feel
The Stella X-Back uses elastic shoulder straps that cross in the back and attach to an elastic bottom band. Mons slides synthetic molded cups between the Merino layers on front, and those cups provide shape and lift.
The Stella was also the lightest support bra that worked for all riders. The straps didn’t provide as much hold as the other bras we loved, but the chest band was structural enough that if the road was relatively smooth, or the jersey we wore over the bra was body-hugging, this bra was enough. While for our most buxom testers it was a close call, A-C cup testers said the light support was just right.
Flatlock stitching was non-chafing. Riders who ventured out in cooler temps liked the cozy feel of wool against their skin, though this bra felt just as good in the summer as in the winter.
Testers loved the contrasting colors that even earned a “cute top” comment from a fellow rider when we were suiting up in the parking lot. The back is striking, the front is nice enough, though it does tend towards uni-boob.
Merino wool is naturally odor-repellent, so this is another bra that we wore for days on end without washing.
If you’re a rider who prefers natural fibers to synthetics, and who likes light support, this eye-catching Merino bra is a great choice for smoother roads. It’s also a lot more durable than it looks. Pull out the cups and it also makes great sleepwear.