Historic Range: $25.00-$89.99
The Molo Hybrid Jacket from High Sierra is a lightweight,…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Samples provided by High Sierra for testing and review)
The Molo Hybrid Jacket from High Sierra is a lightweight, wind resistant, water resistant jacket that withstands the rigors of the active lifestyle. Features include a special coating to help in water, oil and dirt resistance and a special fabric that allows for excellent venting and wicking.
- Warm for its weight
- Wicks well
- Not very stylish
- No inside or breast pockets
- Not very waterproof
At first glance the High Sierra Molo Hybrid Jacket is nothing special. It looks rather plain in its drab colors and lack of external features, but after wearing this jacket almost daily for over two and a half months, my first opinion has changed.
The Molo Hybrid gets its name from the “ArmaWick” polyester stretch fleece underarms and side panels, which runs from the cuffs, up to the arm pits, then down to the waist. It is about five or six inches wide and will stretch another two or three inches, depending on where the fabric is located. This fabric, according to the manufacturer, will “wick perspiration away from the body, leaving the shell dry and comfortable.” I found this to be 100 percent true.
The Molo Hybrid Jacket is finished with High Sierra’s “ArmaRepel” technology, which claims to be water, oil, and dirt resistant. While I did not use the jacket in any great downpour of rain, I did wear it outside for short periods of time in a light rain and it did not soak through.
Appearance: The jacket looks a lot like a puffy jacket, but not quite as puffy. It is filled with “100g of synthetic insulation throughout.” No other information was given as to exactly what the insulation is, however. The jacket closes with a standard front zipper and has two zippered external hand warmer pockets. There is no hood, breast pocket, inside pockets, or drawstring closure at the waist.
Weight: The High Sierra Molo Hybrid Jacket weighs in at 15.2 ounces / 432 grams.
Daily Use: I’ve worn this jacket almost daily since receiving it as a sample. Obviously, most of its use has been just out-and-about; running errands, keeping warm in my too-cold house, working outside in the yard, even doing a repair on my Jeep. In all these situations the jacket has worked perfectly. It’s comfortable, not overly warm or too bulky, and has stood up well to rigorous activity. It shows almost no sign of wear — or is even very dirty — despite laying on the driveway, doing maintenance to the Jeep, or being stuffed inside a backpack when not needed.
Outdoor Use: The Molo Hybrid Jacket has worked equally as well for outdoor activities. I used the jacket on several long day hikes and geocaching adventures. Temperatures ranged from a low of about 30 degrees to highs in the lower 50s. Terrain was hilly—often steep.
I’m not an overly fast hiker, but do get the heart rate going enough that my body creates plenty of heat and sweat. I was more than comfortable at all times. Underneath, I most often wear a cotton tee shirt and a log sleeve cotton tee shirt. I find that those two layers, along with a shell or light jacket, like the Molo Hybrid, is sufficient. As mentioned, a light rain did not soak through.
When I received the jacket, I was a bit concerned the wind might blow through the polyester fleece sections, but this proved to be an unfounded concern. Also as mentioned, I found the ArmaWick fleece to work exactly as advertised. It provides plenty of wicking action which kept me mostly dry from sweat, while at the same time, offers plenty of stretch and freedom of movement.
Most of my use active has been on extended geocaching hikes in the Laguna Mountains of San Diego County, California. When looking for a geocache you often have to scramble up and over big rocks, crawl under bushes, even climb trees. While the fit of the Molo Hybrid jacket may not look overly spacious, at no time did I feel movement restricted. The stretch fabric allowed plenty of give, even when reaching way back into a crevice to retrieve that well-hidden geocache.
Sizing: According to High Sierra’s fit guide, I needed a size large (though just barely). I found it way too big for me and returned if for a medium, which fits my 42” chest well enough. Being on the cusp, the medium could be a tad bigger, but I was swimming in a large.
Chest sizes from the website are as follows:
- S 36-38 in
- M 39-41 in
- L 42-44 in
- XL 45-48 in
- XXL 49-52 in
Value: The Molo Hybrid Jacket has a suggested retail of $89.99. In today’s market of ever increasing prices, this may seem a bargain—and perhaps it is. And while I don’t have any real complaints as to the function of the jacket, it just doesn’t have the look of a garment worthy of this price. I’d expect to see something like this at, say, Target in the $50 price range.
Likes: Pretty comfortable. The jacket isn’t too bulky for its warmth—and it’s sufficiently warm down to the mid-30s with light layers, yet wasn’t too warm when the temperature hit 50 degrees. The hybrid design works perfectly, keeping me dry while hiking and scrambling. The stretch fabric offers plenty of movement, while at the same time offers all the wicking ability I needed.
Dislikes: 1. The jacket is rather plain-looking and falls down in the stylish department. 2. No inside pockets. While inside pockets would have to be small, due to the location of the stretch fleece panels, there is still room for one large enough to accommodate a wallet or a pair of sunglasses. 3. Cuffs. I’m not a fan of fabric cuffs. While they do provide some warmth and a seal at the wrists to help keep out wind or snow, I just don’t like them. Perhaps it’s just my activity style, but I always seem to get them wet—and once wet, they stay wet (and uncomfortable) for some time.
Conclusion: The High Sierra Molo Hybrid Jacket is a pretty nice jacket overall. It does not have all the features of a much costlier jacket, but for what it is, it does rather well. It’s a nice three-season jacket that offers wicking, flexibility of movement, and is water, dirt, and oil resistant due to the company’s ArmaWick and ArmaRepel technologies. It’s plenty warm in temperatures down to freezing, and would make an excellent mid-layer under a wind or rain shell.
Recommendations: While water-resistant, I would not recommend this jacket as your primary rainwear. It will eventually soak through.
However, the Molo Hybrid Jacket is a nice jacket for anyone who is looking for three-season or shoulder-season warmth, whether hiking in the backcountry or just around town, and is not too concerned about style or the few nitpicks of no hood or inside pockets.