Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant - Women's Review
Cons: Longer short length, convertible zippers are uncomfortable, waistband stretches
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lobo's feature an abrasion-resistant 94% Nylon / 6% Elastane blend treated with a DWR coating. The material is UPF 50, quick-drying, and while there is only one inseam option (32"), they convert to 24" capris and 9" shorts. They come in sizes 2-14 and a variety of colors.
Comfort & Mobility
These pants rated about average in this metric. The elastane adds some stretch and suppleness to the material, softening the nylon, which is not typically a comfortable material to wear. The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant is a great choice for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and adventuring if you have a wider waist and thinner thighs. Our thin-waisted tester has an athletic build and found that these pants didn't fit quite right. The thighs were too tight, while the waist stretched an entire size.
The inner fleece waistband is a nice touch, giving you a cushion over your hipbones and helping to prevent chafing when wearing a hip belt. The Lobo's also sit at a perfect place on our hips — not so low so that a hip belt pushes them down as we hike, but not too high either to avoid having extra material at the waist that bunches and pinches. The diamond-shaped gusset keeps any concern of pant-splitting at bay, and these pants move freely no matter what outdoor activity you are doing.
The convertible zippers do bring this model's comfort rating down a touch. The pants have a slightly tapered fit and convert into a Bermuda-length short, so the zipper sits just above the knee, and there is not that much gap between the pants and our legs. As such, we could feel the zipper area with every step (the zipper is enclosed in the material, so it's not the actual zipper against our skin, just the bulky conversion area as a whole). While we started getting used to it while walking, it was so annoying while sitting and driving from the trailhead that we had to stop and zip the legs off before finishing an hour drive home. Maybe this is just us being overly sensitive, or our legs being a little large in the lower thigh. but we did not experience the same issues with other convertible pairs in this review.
As for mobility, the elastane mentioned above helps the material stretch in any direction, and when scrambling, squatting, and high-stepping, we felt no resistance. Although this certainly helps over rough terrain, the material doesn't bounce back to its original shape. After 20 minutes of walking uphill, the pants began to fall off. Without a drawstring, this became a significant issue while testing.
These pants scored above average for versatility, not only because of their convertible design but also their water resistance. If you want something that works equally well for a quick paddle and a day hike, then these pants are hard to beat. The only thing they don't do well is running.
The Lobo's convert quickly, and their stretchy material slips over boots and shoes well. We love the hook and loop system on these pants to convert them to capris.
The abrasion-resistant nylon proved its worth for the longevity of these pants. We scrambled in rough terrain and climbed on sharp limestone, and nothing made a dent in the material. We also noticed no pilling between the legs or wear on the seat. However, we knocked the Lobo's a bit for their inability to hold their shape on a long day out. When we washed the pant, they did return to their original size, but the waistband stretch problem continued to happen day after day.
The Lobo's have DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, which helps water bead off the pants instead of saturating through, keeping you dry. In our water test, no amount of spraying with the water bottle would cause the material to get wet, and it held big puddles on the surface for a long time. By rubbing the water in (as would happen if you were hiking in the rain and your legs were brushing against each other), the material did finally get wet, but we feel confident wearing these pants in light rain without needing to put on a pair of rain pants.
We wore them for a day in a canoe, and the constant back and forth of the paddle across our legs should have left us soaked, but we were completely dry at the end because the water just rolled right off. When we soaked the pants through and wrung them out, they dried within 30 minutes in full sun.
As for other types of weather, this model has a UPF 50+ rating, meaning it will protect your legs from even the sunniest day. While they do okay, these pants don't block the wind as much as thicker pants in this review.
The Marmot Lobo's have plenty of features, most of which we like, though we do have a few quibbles. The loop button closure for the crop conversion is cute and low profile, and they also quickly convert to shorts, as long as you are not wearing hiking boots.
As with many of the pants we tested, the pockets leave a lot to be desired. The two front hand pockets are almost big enough to get our hands into them all the way, but they don't hold a phone well. The one side zippered pocket is great for small items like a lip balm, keys, or ID, but not much else.
The soft lining on the waistband is another plus, but there is no internal drawstring, which we ended up wishing for when testing. There are external belt loops in case you need to make them tighter, but that is less ideal if wearing a backpack with a hip belt. We do like the way the pants convert to a cropped length — there is a small bungee cord that loops over a button on either side of each leg — which is a simple system that eliminates the hanging material that most other hiking pants have for securing a rolled-up pant leg.
The Marmot Convertible Pants are breathable enough to accommodate your active lifestyle. The material is thin and lightweight, which naturally makes them more breathable. We wore these pants while hiking in warm desert environments and never once felt overly sweaty in them. The crop option is an easy way to add ventilation when it's not too hot. Nothing beats switching to shorts when it does get warm though. To be able to remove the bottoms on hot days is a great feature, and the mid-thigh conversion zipper can even double as a half-zipped vent for increased airflow to the legs.
These are not the most expensive pair of hiking pants on the market, and they have a great value considering the option to convert them to shorts.
The Marmot Lobo's is a strong pair of pants. The technical features of the Lobo's keep us dry, well-ventilated, and comfortable while hiking, but the fit just doesn't quite stand up to rigorous physical activity. They do convert quickly and provide plenty of mobility. If you are not expecting a deluge, you could probably leave your rain pants behind if you're wearing these.
— Meg Atteberry & Cam McKenzie Ring