The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant - Women's Review

A versatile pair of convertible pants that work well for almost all outdoor activities.
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List | $79.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Versatile, stretchy, lightweight, feminine fit
Cons:  Longer short length, convertible zippers are uncomfortable
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 15, 2016
  • Share this article:
85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 13
  • Comfort/Mobility - 30% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 10
  • Durability - 15% 8
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 9
  • Features/Conveniences - 15% 8
  • Breathability - 10% 8

The Skinny

The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant wins our Editors' Choice award for incredible versatility and water resistance while remaining comfortable and easy to move in. They can be worn as full-length pants, rolled-up capris, or shorts, and come in a slim fitting design that is flattering. We love the feminine details on the stitch work and roll-up cuffs on the pant legs, as well as the soft inner waistband that prevents chaffing. We took these pants hiking and climbing in the desert and the mountains, and they excelled in a variety of weather conditions and resisted abrasive rock. These pants wear well with shoes, boots, and sandals, adding to their versatility. Their only downside (in our opinion), is the convertible zippers, which tended to feel a bit annoying against our legs. But other than that, if we were only going to wear one hiking pant for all of our outdoor adventures, these are the one! If you don't want zip-off legs, check out the Marmot Lobo's Pant which is $10 less expensive.

Color Updates

While the precise shade we tested is no longer available, the Lobo's Convertible Pant is still available in 3 different neutral colors: Crocodile, New Desert Khaki, and Dark Steel (shown above). No technical aspects of the pant have changed.

October 2018


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant is an excellent choice for hiking, backpacking, climbing, and adventuring. They are made with 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 Black, Dark Steele, Stone Green, and Desert Khaki colors.

Performance Comparison


Our Editors' Choice winner is a slim fitting and flattering pant with great technical details for the mountains.
Our Editors' Choice winner is a slim fitting and flattering pant with great technical details for the mountains.

Comfort & Mobility


These pants rated high for this category. The added elastane gives some stretch and suppleness to the material, softening the nylon, which is not typically a comfortable material to wear.


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. They 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 soft inner waistband is a nice feature  particularly in that area  where your backpack's hipbelt may cause chaffing.
The soft inner waistband is a nice feature, particularly in that area, where your backpack's hipbelt may cause chaffing.

The convertible zippers did bring this model's comfort rating down a little though. 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, as we did experience the same issue with the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible as well. On the other hand, the zipper on The North Face Paramount 2.0 pant sits much higher on our legs, more mid-thigh length, and it didn't bother us as much there.

The tapered legs are flattering  but it means that there is not much gap between the convertible zipper area and our legs. This felt annoying and uncomfortable at times.
The tapered legs are flattering, but it means that there is not much gap between the convertible zipper area and our legs. This felt annoying and uncomfortable at times.

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. The diamond-shaped gusset kept any concern of pant-splitting at bay, and these pants move freely no matter what outdoor activity you are doing. If you are looking for something specifically for bouldering or rock climbing, we did prefer the much stretchier Prana Halle for those applications. And, if you need a pair that works as well hiking as for lounging on the couch at the end of the day, check out the Mountain Hardwear Dynama, our Top Pick for Comfort.

The added stretch let us scramble over this tree with ease. These pants move with you and never hindered our motion no matter how "lost" we got looking for the crag.
The added stretch let us scramble over this tree with ease. These pants move with you and never hindered our motion no matter how "lost" we got looking for the crag.

Versatility


These pants also scored at the top of the pack 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, so if you are looking for something for trail runs or fastpacking, check out The North Face Progressor Hybrid Tights, our Top Pick for Trail Running.

This model converts to a crop and a Bermuda short  giving you plenty of versatility depending on the weather or environment.
This model converts to a crop and a Bermuda short, giving you plenty of versatility depending on the weather or environment.

The advantage of a convertible pant over a traditional one is that you can tailor them to suit the changing weather of the day. If you start out at 6 am and the day is chilly, you'll naturally want long pants. But as the day warms up, you can unzip the pant legs and quickly convert to shorts, and then change them back once you reach the summit and temps cool back down.

Breathability


The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant are breathable enough to accommodate your active lifestyle. The material is thin and lightweight, which naturally makes them more breathable than the heavier Kuhl Splash Roll Up Pant.


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. Better 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 pants kept us warm on cool days in the mountains  yet still breathed well when hiking in the desert on hot ones.
These pants kept us warm on cool days in the mountains, yet still breathed well when hiking in the desert on hot ones.

Durability


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, unlike The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 and Mountain Hardwear Dynama pants.

The abrasion resistant nylon held up well and didn't catch on spiky tree branches or desert cacti.
The abrasion resistant nylon held up well and didn't catch on spiky tree branches or desert cacti.

Weather Resistance


The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant have a 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'd feel confident wearing these pants in a 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 20 minutes in full sun, which, along with The North Face Paramount 2.0 pants, was the fastest of all the models in this review. The Paramount 2.0 pants were not as water resistant though. The Lobo's are a better choice for a long thru-hike where you want something that is water resistant and quick-drying. We did like the Arc'teryx Gamma LT better for really drizzly and cold days though, and gave it our Top Pick for Wet Weather award.

Thanks to the DWR treatment  water puddled up on the surface of these pants without soaking through. They were also quick to dry after.
Thanks to the DWR treatment, water puddled up on the surface of these pants without soaking through. They were also quick to dry after.

As for other types of weather, this model has a UPF 50+ rating, meaning it will protect your legs from even the strongest sunny day. This pant didn't block the wind as much as the thicker Gamma LT or Kuhl Splash Roll Up.

Features


Unfortunately the pockets are not very deep - we could put our hands in them but not comfortably for walking.
Unfortunately the pockets are not very deep - we could put our hands in them but not comfortably for walking.

The Marmot Lobo's have plenty of features, most of which we like, though we do have a few quibbles. The 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 full hiking boots.


The two back pockets are stitched into the interior of the pant, adding to the comfort of the pants when sitting, biking, or climbing with empty pockets, leaving no excess fabric. The two front hand pockets are almost big enough to actually get our hands into all the way, but they do accommodate a phone or camera securely. The one side zippered pocket is great for small items like a ChapStick or ID, but not much else.

The side zippered pocket is great for small items like keys or a GU  doesn't hold your phone or camera.
The side zippered pocket is great for small items like keys or a GU, doesn't hold your phone or camera.

The soft lining on the waistband is another plus, but there is no internal drawstring, which the previous version of this pant had. There are external belt loops in case you need to make them tighter, but that is never ideal if wearing a backpack with a hip belt. We did 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.

We liked the way these pants converted to a cropped length  and the colorful band is a nice touch.
We liked the way these pants converted to a cropped length, and the colorful band is a nice touch.

Best Applications


These pants are great for a wide range of outdoor recreation activities. They are perfect for hiking, biking, traveling, and backpacking. Rolled up or converted into shorts, these pants are also great for water activities like kayaking, rafting, or stand-up paddleboarding.

Whether hiking or getting ready for a paddle  our Editors' Choice winner is great for a variety of outdoor activities.
Whether hiking or getting ready for a paddle, our Editors' Choice winner is great for a variety of outdoor activities.

Value


At $80, 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.

Conclusion


The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant is a standout among the competition and a repeat winner of our Editors' Choice award. While The North Face Paramount 2.0 came close to this model, ultimately we preferred the water resistance of the Lobo's. The technical features kept us dry, well-ventilated, and comfortable while hiking, and the fit is flattering. They pair well with a backpack and are light enough to pack along on any trip, and if you are not expecting a deluge you could probably leave your rain pants behind if you're wearing these ones.


Cam McKenzie Ring