High Sierra Molo Hybrid ReviewMay 10, 2016
- Breathable side panels
- Poor hand feel
- Poor compressibility
- Awkward fit
While the High Sierra Molo Hybrid consistently under ranks all the other mid layers tested, it still functions well as a simple outdoor jacket for the price conscious buyer. Its best features are its breathable fleece side and arm panels and its ability to compress down into a stuff sack. Unfortunately it doesn't have much of a selection of sizes or as fitted a style as the other garments that were tested.
This layer features partial fleece in both the sleeves and body so that it uses minimal insulation in the other parts of the jacket. As a result, this layer isn’t as warm as most other mid weight garments since the fleece doesn’t provide much for warmth. However, it still provides enough warmth to use a layering piece as long as you don’t plan to use it on the bitterly cold days and can be a nice outer shell for sunny winter days.
The Molo Hybrid only comes in three sizes: small, medium and large compared to all the other brands, which also offered extra small and extra large. The small wasn’t as fitted as other comparable jackets for smaller testers and meant that the jacket was baggy in the sleeves and torso. However, there was good mobility in the arms and it’s long enough that it doesn’t ride up when stretching out. Compared to some of the other jackets like the Nano Air, the inside nylon material is not as comfortable against skin when wearing a short sleeve layer underneath.
The Molo Hybrid doesn’t have the capability to pack down into its own pocket or sleeve like all other mid layers. However, if you supply your own stuff sack it can compress down fairly well into one about the size of a 1 liter water bottle. It also doesn’t compact down as much as the other jackets in this category, most of which also have hoods and are therefore bulkier.
The Molo Hybrid is noticeably lacking in any extra features and even some standard ones. While some features like a chest pocket are an added benefit, having elastic on the bottom of the jacket to prevent a draft was common with most other jackets in the test. However, it is the only layer to feature thumb holes in the wrist cuffs though this mostly serves to make the sleeve length awkwardly longer than necessary. The zippers have a cheap feel to them and seem more likely to fail sooner than then the other jackets in this test.
The main redeeming quality of this garment is that it features fleece side and arm panels making it a breathable layer. It doesn’t quite compare to the Nano Air but it still a good layer to use if doing aerobic activities like cross country skiing where its likely to still be fairly cold out.
While the Molo Hybrid has a nice athletic look, its poor fit takes away from its style. The nylon material is a bit shiny and doesn’t feature as appealing a pattern as the Thermoball quilted design or the Mountain Hardwear diamond pattern. The collar is made out of a soft material for your neck but unfortunately it is rather stiff so that it sits awkwardly in the way when the jacket is not zipped up all the way.