So it’s not really winter anymore, but it’s not quite spring, either; it’s one of those transitional times when it could be frigid and balmy on the exact same day.  It’s also when the trails are beginning to call you – so if you’re heading out to answer them, you’d better have a versatile shell like Merrell’s Moab Spring Softshell with you.

Merrell Moab Spring Jacket Features:

  • Fabric: 90% polyester / 10% elastene
  • Aeroblock technology for wind-resistance and breathability
  • Weight 1.3 lbs (590g)
  • Durable water repellant (DWR) finish
  • 30” center back length (size large)
  • Heathered double-weave fabric
  • Water-resistant, zip-secure chest and hand pockets
  • adjustable hook and loop cuffs
  • No shoulder seams
  • Three color options
  • MSRP $119

Merrell Moab Spring Softshell Review

Like television shows, apparel spinoffs aren’t always a sure thing: sometimes you’ll get a Frasier, other times you’ll get a Joey (What? You forgot that one?)  And it seems that the more popular the original is, the harder it is for the spinoff to impress.

That’s the challenge Merrell faces with the Moab Spring jacket, a spinoff of their popular and extremely versatileMoabsoft shell.  The Spring version keeps the same cut and styling, but drops a bit of thickness and insulation by removing the thermal fleece lining.

Single layer fabric construction – no interior lining

Whether or not the change is an improvement depends on your individual preference.  Personally, I like a thin fleece interior, especially in the sleeve area where the fabric frequently rests against bare skin.  By comparison, the Spring version of theMoabfeels coarse, and has slightly more resistance when trying to slide a long sleeve (whether dress shirt or tech fabric) all the way to the cuff.

Styling of the Spring version is basically the same as the original, which is a good thing.  It has a classic look that’s equally suitable for backcountry use or a night out to dinner.  Color options are a little more subtle than the bolderMoabvarieties, thanks to heathered weaving of lighter fibers.  The only quibble I have is that the sleeve length on the Moab Spring shell feels longer than I’m accustomed to on other jackets.

Exterior surface repels water with ease

The Spring jacket remains highly functional as well.  Merrell’s Aeroblock technology is highly effective at blocking wind, and the shell sheds water very easily.  Elastene fabric construction (10%) gives the jacket a nice stretchiness for optimal range of motion, and the material is extremely durable for gathering firewood or bushwhacking off-trail.   The area above the shoulders is seamless for comfort underneath a backpack, and the decreased bulk of the Spring version makes it easy to stuff in that same backpack once the storms pass and the day turns warm.

Good Moab Spring Shell

  • Rugged exterior
  • Strong wind and water resistance
  • Great warmth to thickness ratio

Bad Moab Spring Shell

  • Coarse interior surface
  • Sleeves cut slightly long

Bottom Line: Moab Spring Softshell

As spinoffs go, this one’s not so bad.  If you liked the Moab but want something a little lighter and leaner, the Merrell’s Moab Spring Softshell is a great alternative.  If you prefer the extra warmth and feel of fleece, stick to the original.

Buy Now: Merrell Moab Spring Softshell

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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