Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Moblis - Women's Review

The Moblis is a well-made windproof softshell with good mobility and a nice price point.
By: Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 26, 2017
Price:  $185 List  |  $129.46 at Backcountry - 30% Off
Pros:  Windproof, good mobility, soft inner liner, nice torso length, harness/backpack compatible pockets
Cons:  Hood is small, arms slightly short, water resistance not great, not very breathable
Manufacturer:   Marmot
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Weather Protection - 30% 7
  • Breathability - 30% 6
  • Mobility - 20% 7
  • Weight - 10% 6
  • Features - 5% 7
  • Style - 5% 7
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Best Buy Award

Our Verdict

The Marmot Moblis landed smack in the middle of our testing group, both in price and performance. It was decently feature-rich, well-fitting, easy to move in, and one of only two windproof models in our entire review. We feel this is a great introductory softshell if you're looking to purchase your first one but don't want to spend a fortune - which is why we honored it with our Best Buy award. For $185 the Moblis is still a commitment, but it's almost half the price of our Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody. And while heavier and not as breathable as the Gamma MX, this is a great jacket for a lot of applications. If you want something that will keep you cozy and protected for chilly adventures, the Moblis is a solid choice.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Marmot Moblis was one of only two fully windproof models in our softshell review, the other being The North Face Apex Flex GTX, a rain jacket/softshell hybrid. While the Apex Flex offered pit zips and a Gore-tex exterior, we found the fit and flexibility of the Moblis far superior. The excellent performance and approachable $185 price tag of this jacket made it a pretty clear choice for our Best Buy award.

Performance Comparison


While not quite as technical a jacket as others we tested  we appreciated the warmth and good fit of the Marmot Moblis.
While not quite as technical a jacket as others we tested, we appreciated the warmth and good fit of the Marmot Moblis.

Weather Protection


When it came to wind, this jacket was a champ. One of only two fully windproof models in our whole review, the Moblis was 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.
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 did great on a very windy hike up to St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado.

We had quite a few pieces in our review that performed well in this metric, among them our Top Pick for Warmth, the Ascendant Hoody, our Editors' Choice the Gamma MX Hoody, and the roomy well-pocketed Rab Upslope.

Breathability


The Moblis suffered in this category the same way our other windproof and fleece-lined models did (they represent the bottom four in the chart below). 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, only to discover that our arms were stuck to the inner lining when we went to remove it! If you need a softshell for highly aerobic activities in colder weather where you plan to sweat, we recommend reading about the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody or the OR Ascendant Hoody.

For more mild temperature ranges, the thin Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody, our Top Pick for Rock Climbing, or the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Crosstown Hoody, our Best Buy on a Tight Budget are both excellent options, with the Gamma LT being the more technical and feature-rich choice.

In windy cold conditions  the Moblis was fantastic - but it wasn't the best for aerobic  sweat-inducing activities.
In windy cold conditions, the Moblis was fantastic - but it wasn't the best for aerobic, sweat-inducing activities.

Mobility


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. The best mobility we saw in our test suite was the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol with its four-way stretch fabric. Not far behind was the excellent tailoring of both Arc'teryx models and the fun casual cut of both Outdoor Research pieces.

Except for a small bit of snugness across the shoulders (for climbers in particular)   the mobility on the Moblis was excellent.
Except for a small bit of snugness across the shoulders (for climbers in particular), the mobility on the Moblis was excellent.

Weight


The Moblis, at 21.4 ounces, was on the heavier side of our tested models.



Only three other jackets weighed more than the Moblis, but we didn't find it at all cumbersome to wear. We did, however, notice the extra mass when trying to squash this jacket into our packs - it's definitely on the bulky side compared to other models. In general, though, we felt that the warmth and windproofing of this layer was worth a little extra weight. That being said, the Ascendant Hoody offered superior warmth and weather protection, and it only weighed 11.5 ounces, proof that warmth doesn't have to equal weight and bulk. Our Editors' Choice Gamma MX Hoody was also quite weather protective, and it only weighed 17.1 ounces.

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.
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.

Features


One of the reasons we wanted to recognize this shell with our Best Buy award is because it offers a nice amount of features for the price point.


The Moblis has a two-way adjustable hood with brim (though it is not helmet compatible which bummed us out), a zippered chest pocket and arm pocket, an adjustable drawcord hem, adjustable cuffs, and a unique underarm design to increase mobility. It was one of only two windproof layers in our entire review (the other being The North Face Apex Flex GTX), 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 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 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.

Most of our top performing jackets had a similar list of features, though a few had some extra goodies. The Apex Flex GTX has pit zips, the Rab Upslope has six zippered pockets, and the Dawn Patrol provided the stretchiest fabric of any contender along with a generous hood - an excellent combo for climbing and skiing.

Style


The Moblis is a bit technical looking, but overall we felt that the cut was quite flattering and the color was fun.


Of the more technical-looking jackets we tested, the Moblis was one of our favorites. We also loved the clean lines and impeccable tailoring of the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody and the Gamma LT Hoody and the fun sweatshirt styling of the Ferrosi Crosstown.

The Moblis was nicely cut and ended up being a favorite of several of our testers.
The Moblis was nicely cut and ended up being a favorite of several of our testers.

Best Application


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 and 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. 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.
A windy day of alpine hiking was the perfect setting for the Moblis.

Value


This contender has some less than perfect aspects, but at the end of the day, we felt like the pros outweighed the cons - especially for the relatively low price of $185 - which is why this is our Best Buy winner. The Moblis is a good jacket that could 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.

Conclusion


We liked this basic softshell a lot and felt like it provided a good fit and a lot of features for $185 - everything we look for in a Best Buy winner. It was disappointing that the hood wasn't bigger and that it didn't have a bit better water resistance and breathability, but we loved its ability to combat wind and accommodate our movements. We also enjoyed the well-designed and placed pockets and the adjustable cuffs and hood, and 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.
We had a great time exploring the snowy backcountry in the comfy Moblis.

Penney Garrett

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Most recent review: December 26, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
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