For Saga's first year venturing into a tech 3L coat, I'll have to give them credit. They did an amazing job on designing a tech jacket that matches many other companies that have been making tech jackets for years, and at a great price.
When choosing this coat, I was looking for something that was light, packable, and could withstand the all the elements of winter and the Rocky Mountains.
The jacket is light and packable, making it an ideal coat to take out touring, whether it's packed away, or being worn while hiking across windy ridges.
It's a full 20k/20k, 3L coat, and provided high water resistance, and optimal breathability.
It's clean design gave it ideal and spacious pocket placement. Chest pockets make for easy access of things like POV cams, and inside pockets are great for goggles and electronics.
The Monarch proved to be a durable coat as well. The taped seams held their ground. Waterproofing on the coat stayed true to itself. Although snow can get up your sleeves and freeze the cuffs if you don't keep them tight (user discretion). Zippers were a problem though. The Monarch uses plastic teeth, and that's something I'm not really fond of since plastic doesn't like to be abused in cold climates. Towards the end of last season I had my main zipper break on me. The teeth must have gotten smashed up and fell out. Saga addressed this issue though, and issued a full warranty on my coat (excellent customer service).
The fit was the only issue I really had a problem with, and the problem wasn't even a big one.
In terms of zipper length, I feel the gap between Large and XL is too big, but only by an inch.
In the end, the Monarch 3L proved itself an amazing coat, ideal for someone who is looking for a durable tech shell, but is not willing to fork over $500+. Keep in mind that this is just a shell, and remember to layer accordingly to stay warm.
Review for the Monarch 3L shell offering from Saga, in sz Large and Blackcomb color way.
I am almost 6ft, oscillate around 200 lbs, and have a big of a tumm. I prefer my Jiberish in size XL, and wear a 33/32 pant size. I live in WIsconsin, and can be found lapping the park or yelling at my wife to "fuckin turn" on groomers. I get the occasional week out west once every year, which saves me from losing it big time. I cant grab my ski on a 5 to save my life, and prefer to never learn a new rail trick for the rest of my life.
The design of this jacket is swell. Fits just how I would want. Slim profile, extends to cover my ass, sleeves show just the tips of my finger when my arms are relaxed. Hood fits over my giant melon head. When zipped all the way up, jacket easily covers my chin and some of my mouth. Have not used the jacket-pants interface. Sowwy. Obviously less storage capacity than the Anomie, but I found I never used all those damn pockets anyways. Sleeves are a large enough gauge to tuck your gloves in, which is nice. The only piece of micro fleece on this baby is right between the top of the zipper and yer chin, which is also nice.
As stated on the website, this is a shell. Its super light, and is a shell. A shell. Its a shell, so no liner. Glad I can clear that up for you. The "shell"ness of the jacket makes it super light, and very easy to pack. Similar weight to a heavy windbreaker. Zippers are smaller, thus decreasing weight (if only by a ounce or w/e)
Durability seems swell. No rips, tears, burns, or breaks yet. Ive had it for about a week, already lasted longer than my On Deck. Not lying. "Feel" of the material is similar to that of a tarp...or something. I dunno, the material is mad solid yo.
Style is chill. I work at a HS, I dont need a coat that goes mid-thigh. I wear this jacket into the clinic and school, and am comfortable being seen in it by my supervisors. May not be an issue for you, it is for me. The diagonal pockets are much more casual for me than the cargo pockets on the Anomie. All black everything (except for a bit of white on the zipper pulls) keeps me from being a walking (skiing) Saga billboard. Take that as you will.
Fit is spot on. Def slimmer than my On Deck or Anomie I had a few seasons back. Can easily fit a hoodie and flannel underneath. As I said, I am comfortable using this jacket as a piece of ski gear, or as something to wear to work or the bars.
When I got this jacket, I literally held my arm under a faucet. Seems to have some kinda water force field or something. Never had an issue with my Anomie, have never had an issue with this. The ultrawaterproofing keeps it super light to pack as well...if you hike with it or something.
However, when you sweat, you stay sweaty. Doesnt really wick away water, and the material is not super comfy against damp, sweaty bare skin. Issue could be solved by adding the webbing in the Anomie, but that would increase the weight, and decrease its "packability".
As far as warmth goes, it is a shell. If you dont layer, your gonna have a bad time. Why you wouldnt layer is beyond me. Just wear your favorite long sleeve underneath, adding a hoodie if its really chilly, or changing to a t shirt or cool nike quarter zip thing for spring days. If its warm out, your gonna be super warm, but the shell quality and waterproofing keeps it light, thus making it comfortable on a spring day.
Its a cool jacket. I swear to God, when you zip this thing, it will conjure mental images of airlocks closing. The velcro is thick, and one is able to cinch the bottom hem or around the face and hood to fit as desired.
Only gripe is the pit zips. They have pit zips, which is cool, but there is no webbing between the outside and your armpit if you open them. As I said, adding webbing would add weight and bulk, and I realize this is a shell, but I would digggg some webbing there, just to keep snow out on my more than occasional bail.
I dunno, thats my two cents. This is a great jacket. Maybe get it on sale, because 300 is too much for anything IMO haha, but I would def purchase again if this thing ever wears out, which, at this rate, may not happen.
The Saga Monarch 3L Jacket is a fantastic coat. It's a lightweight shell designed to be waterproof and so far has withstood some pretty lame rain events here on the east coast. The fit is pretty standard (not too baggy, not too fitted) though at 5'11" I sized up to an XL and I love the lengths. The jacket seems durable with about 35-40 days put on it and no real complaints. The fabric used on the zippers is piling is the only thing showing some sign of wear, but not terrible. Overall, fantastic jacket!