The Marmot Moblis was one of only three fully windproof models in our softshell review. This made it less breathable and a bit heavy, but if you're not working up a huge sweat and want to stay warm, this jacket will definitely do the trick.
While not quite as technical a jacket as others we tested, we appreciated the warmth and good fit of the Marmot Moblis.
When it came to wind, this jacket was a champ. One of only three fully windproof models in our whole review, the Moblis is a welcome friend for chilly adventures. However, this level of excellence did not extend to its water resistance. During our water test (which involved getting in the shower while wearing each jacket), the Moblis got soaked through next to the zipper and around the waist quickly. The material seemed to pull water in more than repel it.
The bonded ripstop nylon exterior of the Moblis seemed to suck water in more than repel it. You can see it soaked into the surface on the left, and bleeding through to the interior on the right.
Despite this issue, we still scored the Moblis generously because it provided excellent windproofing and warmth. When hiking on icy days with blowing snow and cycling in frigid temperatures we were able to stay comfortable and insulated. This just isn't the jacket to bring if rain is predicted, though it's easy enough to pack a hardshell if you're expecting any.
The Moblis did great on a very windy hike up to St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado.
The Moblis suffered in this category the same way our other windproof and fleece-lined models did. While thicker linings and windproofing tend to mean better weather protection, they also run the risk of impeding the jackets ability to breathe. In frigid temperatures, we didn't notice or care that the Moblis couldn't breathe very well. But as soon as we were in warmer sunnier situations, we felt noticeably stifled. Once we wore this jacket without a long sleeve under it and got sweaty. Our arms were stuck to the inner lining when we went to remove it! It's important to think about exactly what you need your softshell for before purchasing one because they are about as varied as the snowflakes we went tromping through during our tests.
In windy cold conditions, the Moblis was fantastic - but it wasn't the best for aerobic, sweat-inducing activities.
With a special "Angel-Wing" underarm design to increase mobility, the Moblis was a solid performer in this metric. However, it got bumped down a point due to a bit of tightness across the back. In general, we felt the mobility of this jacket was pretty good. There was easy movement through the arms, though their length was a bit short and we could feel them ride up with arms raised overhead. The testers with a climber's build also felt a little constriction through the shoulders, but it wasn't enough to be a deal breaker. Both of these issues were minor, and overall the Moblis got our seal of approval.
Except for a small bit of snugness across the shoulders (for climbers in particular), the mobility on the Moblis was excellent.
The Moblis, at 21.4 ounces, is on the heavier side of our tested models — only two other jackets weigh more. While we didn't find it cumbersome to wear, we did notice the extra mass when trying to squash this sucker into our packs — it's definitely on the bulky side compared to other models. In general, though, we feel that the warmth and windproofing of this layer is worth a little extra weight. That said, the Ascendant Hoody offers superior warmth and weather protection, and it only weighs 11.5 ounces, proof that warmth doesn't have to equal weight and bulk.
The Moblis was on the heavier end of all our contenders, but it kept the wind out and the warm in, so we mostly didn't mind.
This shell offers a decent amount of features for the price point. The Moblis has a two-way adjustable hood with brim (though it is not helmet compatible), a zippered chest pocket and arm pocket, an adjustable drawcord hem, adjustable cuffs, and a unique underarm design to increase mobility. It is one of only three windproof layers in our review, and the zippered hand pockets are accessible with a harness or backpack on. It also zips high up on the face, so if you're leaning over while biking or scrambling, your chin will stay covered. Finally, the pockets extend all the way up the front to aid in breathability (unfortunately the interior fabric wasn't nearly as breathable as the mesh lining on the similarly constructed Arc'teryx Gamma MX pockets).
The hood on the Moblis was a little snug and did not accommodate a helmet, but we loved how it didn't block our peripheral vision when biking and how much of our face it covered when fully zipped up.
The Moblis is a bit technical looking, but overall we feel that the cut is quite flattering and the color choices are fun.
The Moblis was nicely cut and ended up being a favorite of several of our testers.
Since the Moblis is warm and windproof but not the most breathable, we think it's best for colder outings where you will be moving but not sweating too much. Windy or snowy alpine hikes, chilly urban bike rides, and walks in the park come to mind. If the hood was more accommodating to a helmet, we would recommend it for skiing or ice climbing, but we found it to be too snug to allow proper head movements with a helmet. If you can squeeze a helmet under it, more power to you, but we don't think you'll be very comfortable. Overall we think this is a good introductory softshell for someone who plans to play outside but not get too technical.
A windy day of alpine hiking was the perfect setting for the Moblis.
This contender has some less than perfect aspects, but at the end of the day, we feel like the pros outweigh the cons — especially for the relatively low price of $185. The Moblis is a good jacket that can easily become a favorite layer for the right person. It protects from the wind, allows movement with relative ease, and adjusts in all the right places.
We like this basic softshell a lot and feel like it provides a good fit and some decent features for $185. It's disappointing that it doesn't have better breathability and that the hood isn't bigger, but its ability to combat wind and cold mostly made up for that. Overall we feel that this is a great jacket to invest in for cold weather activities that don't get too technical or sweaty.
We had a great time exploring the snowy backcountry in the comfy Moblis.