Tested: Mosko Moto Surveyor softshell jacket review

See also:
Adventure Spec Linesman
Mosko Moto

It’s hot

In a line
Lightweight and stylish, warm-weather (or high output) jacket.

€238 for an XL (remember: US ‘XL’ like this = XXL in European sizes/brands)

Where tested
Three weeks in Morocco in March/April

802g (1.76 lbs).

What they say
When temperatures drop sometimes a hardshell is too much and a jersey doesn’t quite cut it. The Surveyor Jacket fills that gap. Wind resistant and highly breathable, the Surveyor Jacket is built for high-output riding in cooler temps.
Made from durable 4-way stretch Cordura® for increased abrasion and snag resistance with enhanced comfort and mobility on the bike. Cut for a close-to-body over-armor fit, the Surveyor Jacket can be worn with or without armor making it a solid choice on the trail and at camp.
The Surveyor Jacket is right at home in the woods on long rides as the days grow shorter or chasing a receding snow line as the season gets underway. DWR water protection and wind resistance keep you comfortable in mild weather.
Two oversized mesh-lined hand pockets double as vents with flow-through venting. With one external and one internal chest pocket to keep essentials close at hand. Inspired by road and mountain biking bibs, the lumbar game pocket features three internal pockets for on-body storage. These pockets sit low enough to be compatible with our Wildcat Backpacks. Load them up for added storage on big days or ditch the pack and pair with a Reckless 10L.

Surveyor jacket supplied free for review by Mosko Moto


• Lightweight spandex fabric feels barely noticeable
• Looks good in Woodland green plus many nice touches
• Vertical back vents double up as a game pocket
• Will probably hold back a rain shower or two
• Wouldn’t look out of place on other outdoor activities like MTB-ing


• You’ll need separate armour if you expect to crash
• Would like an Aerostich-style big Napoleon pocket in or outside
• Miss some mesh drop pockets inside, too
• My jacket’s body colour doesn’t match online imagery (but is fine)

With temperatures rising up to the low 30s once over the Atlas, I decided my chunky, membrane Mosko Basilisk would be too warm and heavy for my spring tours, even with some showers forecast on the Marrakech side of the mountains. If it did rain it would be pleasant warm rain. Responding to my needs, Mosko sent me their softshell Surveyor to review. They say it’s built for high-output riding in cooler temps – but out here we’re mostly doing low output riding in warmer temps.

I know people go on about layering like it’s rocket science, and southern Morocco’s deserts and mountains may require that, but I prefer to just dress for the day and deal with a bit of temperature variation with the front zip, if needed. Give it an hour and things will change.
Underneath, most days I wore a long-sleeved Klim Aggressor base layer to keep the inside of the Surveyor clean, and some cooler days added an REI fleece gilet – one of my all-time outdoorsing favourites.

It was notable that when the other riders in various outfits de-jacketed, many were sweaty while I was as balmy and dry as a deodorant advert and never clammy or chilled. The thin and stretchy four-way Cordura Spandex fabric doesn’t look very breathable and the water-repelling DWR coating can’t help, but I never got over-hot riding up to the low 30s. I didn’t get rained on but wonder if the Surveyor would hold back a light shower quite well, and certainly dry off quickly afterwards.
The light olive green body has a surface texture and a slightly lower gsm rating than the smoother, darker green shoulders and arms fabric, a polyester/Cordura mix that’s presumably more resistant to abrasion, though neither feel as tough as regular jacket Cordura. Both have a bit of Spandex and the cut is bulky to accommodate separate armour which I don’t wear. Like the similar Adventure Spec Linesman, crashing hard in a softshell like this without armour will be painful.

I like the ‘Woodland’ colour scheme contrasted with orange Mosko Moto logos, though as you can see my jacket’s body was not sandy tan and a tad more green all round than official Mosko imagery. As it happens, I see now my Basilisk was the same. Don’t know if my colours were an experimental one off but light colours absorb less heat radiation. Inside a partial orange mesh lining also houses the pockets.
Not claiming to be waterproof, all zips flowed smoothly. I find zips get jammy in desert dust, but a quick wipe with a wet rag sorts that out. Fit adjustments add up to a pair of side cinch cords along the hem and velcro tabs at the cuffs. I’d have liked another inch in cuff circumference so the sleeves could be pushed up, Miami Vice style, when doing messy jobs.

Pockets and venting
Though I usually end up wearing a daypack most of the time, I do like a jacket with pockets for stuff you want to have on you at all times. Many times I forget my backpack at roadside stops and on this trip I ditched the pack to allow the jacket to vent better. I kept a bottle of water in the tank bag.

The Surveyor has two vertical side pockets which inside are about a foot in height so will take a big paper map or foot-long Subway. Running these pockets open will aid through-venting but of course means anything inside is not so secure. I kept them closed.
The chest pocket is bigger than the zip suggests – I kept my camera here for quick access. Inside the jacket is a small zipped pocket that’ll take a phone and a passport. I’d have preferred this one to be an inch or so wider to securely stash a dirham-packed wallet which will stay put even if you forget to zip up. Zipper pulls were skimpy bits of knotted cord; I added some plastic pullers on the ends to make them easier to grab with gloves on.

Like the AS Linesman there’s a game pocket at the back: two vertical venting zips into the orange lining (left). The mesh lining has pouches sewn inside, like road cycling shirts, to stash an energy snack or similar. You could probably put a bladder in there and you can operate these rear vent zips with the jacket on. There are additional rear vents where a flap of the green shoulder fabric overlaps the body fabric below which might help a little more with airflow.

The second week-long tour I did was quite a lot warmer and where the Surveyor came into its own. Road riding up up to 100kph and trail riding at a third of that speed, the vents became useful. I am conscious that when it gets very warm, too much venting exacerbates water transpiration; ie you lose a lot more fluid than you would zipped up and which can see dehydration creep up on you. The Surveyor kept me comfortable and didn’t see me need much water through the day while reducing the feeling of wearing motorcycle clobber. You’d want another jacket for regular all-weather riding, but for somewhere like Morocco in springtime the Surveyor was just right.

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