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Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant - Women's Review

A versatile pair of convertible pants that work well for most outdoor activities.
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Price:  $80 List | $49.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Versatile, stretchy, lightweight
Cons:  Longer short length, convertible zippers are uncomfortable, waistband stretches
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Meg Atteberry & Cam McKenzie Ring  ⋅  May 16, 2019
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#8 of 12
  • Comfort/Mobility - 30% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Durability - 15% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 8
  • Features/Conveniences - 15% 6
  • Breathability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant offers a range of versatility and superior 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 for some body types. We love the 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. The only downsides (in our opinion), are the convertible zippers, which tended to feel a bit annoying against our legs. The waistband stretches almost an entire pant size, but there is no drawstring, meaning you might need a belt to keep them on.

Compare to Similar Products

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.

Performance Comparison

The Lobo's performed well on cold  windy days  and we were pretty excited about it.
The Lobo's performed well on cold, windy days, and we were pretty excited about it.

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.

After only 30 minutes of wear  the Lobo's stretched an entire pant size.
After only 30 minutes of wear, the Lobo's stretched an entire pant size.

The convertible zippers did 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 our Editors' Choice Winner Outdoor Research Ferrosi's. On the other hand, the zipper on The North Face Paramount pant sits much higher on our legs, more mid-thigh length, and it didn't bother us as much there.

The Lobo's in short mode offers a cozy fit that isn't too short or too long. The zippers are also protected so they don't rub  but the tighter fit on the legs did bug us on our way to the trailhead.
The Lobo's in short mode offers a cozy fit that isn't too short or too long. The zippers are also protected so they don't rub, but the tighter fit on the legs did bug us on our way to the trailhead.

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.

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, check out the Mountain Hardwear Dynama.


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 loved the hook and loop system on these pants to convert them to capris. It was simple to use, and you didn't even need to sit down as you do with the Colombia Saturday Trail Stretch Pants.

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 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.


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. 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.

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.

Weather Resistance

The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant has 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 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, which just was a hair slower than both the Colombia Saturday Trail Stretch and the REI Co-op Sahara's. 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.

The Ferossi (left) and the Lobo's (right) getting soaked for some of our weather resistance testing. The Lobo's performed quite well and almost all of the water simply spilled right off the pant.
The Ferossi (left) and the Lobo's (right) getting soaked for some of our weather resistance testing. The Lobo's performed quite well and almost all of the water simply spilled right off the pant.

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


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 most 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.

We found the side stash pocket of the Lobos to be too small to be very useful beyond holding lip balm.
We found the side stash pocket of the Lobos to be too small to be very useful beyond holding lip balm.

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 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.

This hook-and-loop design saves weight and time with the Lobo's.
This hook-and-loop design saves weight and time with the Lobo's.


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 Spire 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. 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 performed surprisingly well in windy  cold conditions.
These pants performed surprisingly well in windy, cold conditions.

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.


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.


The Marmot Lobo's Convertible Pant is a strong contender, but they didn't out-perform the Outdoor Research Ferrosi. While Ferrosi isn't lightyears ahead of this model, ultimately we preferred the fit and function of the Ferrosi's. The technical features of the Lobos kept us dry, well-ventilated, and comfortable while hiking, and but the fit couldn't stand up to rigorous physical activity. But they 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