Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Skyline Insulated Review

Marmot Women's Skyline Insulated
Best Buy Award
Price:  $165 List
Pros:  Warm, stylish, comfortable
Cons:  No ventilation, minimal pockets
Bottom line:  The Skyline is the warmest pant we tested; it offers great fit with stylish pockets.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

The Marmot Skyline is an award winning, reliable, insulated ski pant that will get the job done right while also looking good. It's one of the warmest pants we tested, so if you are planning to go big this season in low temps, you should be wearing this pant. It has a regular fit with plenty of room to move, wear your base layers, and stay comfortable. Its durable MemBrain waterproof technology and exceptionally soft tricot inner lining keep you skiing all day without a wardrobe malfunction worry. All this for the bargain price of $165, which is what won this pant our Best Buy award.

Update - September 2017
We just learned that the Marmot Skyline Insulated pant is being discontinued. For the time being, it is still available from major retailers, and from the manufacturer at a discounted price (mega bargain).


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Ski Pants for Women of 2018

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Polly Dacus

Last Updated:
Tuesday
January 24, 2017

Share:

Performance Comparison


The Marmot Skyline  keeping us warm wherever we go  scoring the highest in the Warmth metric.
The Marmot Skyline, keeping us warm wherever we go, scoring the highest in the Warmth metric.

Comfort & Fit


This contender has a low rise, full knee, and slightly flared leg cuff which lends itself to all body shapes and sizes. We found we didn't want to wear under layers, as the inner lining of polyester brushed tricot is exceptionally soft and silky. The regular fit of this pant allows for freedom of movement and room for layers with a bit more room through the hip and thigh. Part of the waist band is fleece lined, though we found the velcro pull tabs to be somewhat irritating on the skin.

Too warm for uphill travel  the Skyline is best for resort skiing.
Too warm for uphill travel, the Skyline is best for resort skiing.

This isn't a deal breaker as long as you can keep your shirt tucked in. We loved the relaxed yet slimming look of this pant, and appreciated the room to move. We tested a small which fit women size 4-6 well, but was too large for women sized 0-2. We also found the pants to run long for shorter people, but that didn't get in any one's way once the ski boots were on.


The exterior material is soft to touch and yet held up well to our toughest uses on the mountain. If you like a slightly slouchier fit with a little less warmth, look into The North Face Freedom LRBC or the Patagonia Snowbelle Pants. If looking for a trim fit but a contender that is not as warm, check out the Best in Class pant, the Salomon Iceglory.


Weather Resistance


The Skyline has fully taped seams and the exterior is made of waterproof MemBrain 10, Marmot's own waterproof material. Their proprietary waterproof breathable fabric has a PU membrane which features excellent weather resistance performance at reasonable prices. If you want more bombproof weather resistance, you'll have to pay considerably more for the Arc'teryx Sentinel Pant contender with Gore-Tex or the Salomon Iceglory's AdvancedSkin Dry. The Skyline pants held up well in driving snow and windy conditions, feeling much warmer than the Spyder Winner pants. We had no problem staying warm while riding the chair lifts or fussing with our boot fit at the top of the run.

Staying warm and dry and in style on the lifts with the Skyline.
Staying warm and dry and in style on the lifts with the Skyline.

Warmth


The Marmot Skyline uses 60 grams of ThermalR insulation and proved to be the warmest pant we tested. It is a fairly heavy pant when compared to all other pants we tested, and we felt that the weight was keeping us warm while skiing the coldest days. If you run cold, this is the pant for you. Marmot uses its own Thermal R insulation which is comprised of multi-channel and hollow fibers. It maximizes warmth, while minimizing internal condensation and moisture. The hollow fibers are lofty and light for an excellent weight to warmth ratio.

The athletic fit allows for layering so you can be extra toasty on frigid winter days. We used mid weight underlayers when wearing the Skyline on our cold December test days, and found the pants to keep our bums and thighs warm, even while riding the chair lifts. The brushed flannel interior felt like a dream against our skin and provided extra warmth. When used for more athletic endeavors such as hiking uphill or backcountry travel, these pants were too warm and caused us to overheat. However, their insulation was perfect for inbounds skiing.

These pants are a different ball game compared to other similarly insulated pants such as the Spyder Winner or the Patagonia Snowbelle. The Skyline was just all around warmer. The wind never got through the exterior fabric, which kept us even warmer. One of the few downsides to this pant is a lack of ventilation, which means this pant is too warm for melting spring temps. However, there are no inner thigh zips to catch on each other or let in any drafty air. This pant is like skiing with an oven on your legs.


Ventilation


Unfortunately, the Skyline doesn't offer any ventilation options. This simply means this pant is good for the coldest temps. Most of our testers run cold and were very glad to have a pair of warm pants to fall back on. So, while these pants do not have vents and neither are they very breathable, they will keep you the warmest when the temps are the coldest. The Flylow Gear Nina scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in this metric, offering the highest level of ventilation out of our entire fleet. Following closely behind, scoring an 8 out of 10, the Arc'teryx Sentinel Pants offered a high level of ventilation, featuring two exterior thigh vents.

Cruising the backcountry in the Skyline.
Cruising the backcountry in the Skyline.

Features


Hand pockets
Hand pockets

Marmot offers a manufacturer's lifetime warranty on all their gear, so you can be sure to have support if something goes awry. Like most ski pants, the Skyline has interior adjustable waist tabs. However, we found the velcro to be somewhat stiff and irritating on the skin, unlike the Salomon Iceglory which has exterior pull tabs or the Spyder Winner which offers softer velcro. There are two small but securely zippered front hand pockets which will hold small essentials, but they're difficult to access on the chair lift. There is also a small velcro closure boot cuff pocket we weren't sure what to do with. The Skyline ranks highly in all other metrics, which makes the lack of stand-out features on this pant unimportant. The Arc'teryx Sentinel and Flylow Gear Nina both scored a near perfect 9 out of 10 in this metric, offering the wearer a supreme amount of features.

We weren't sure what to use this small calf pocket for  but it held an ear warmer headband well.
We weren't sure what to use this small calf pocket for, but it held an ear warmer headband well.

Style


Marmot gave thought to both form and function with the Skyline. They've captured "comfortable yet stylish" with these pants. There's plenty of insulation without bulk, roominess sans slouch, slimming yet flexible, and comfort with ease. Two back button-closure pockets add a touch of style to your backside and the rivets are a nice nod to your favorite pair of jeans. The leg opening is just cut enough to fit over boots without looking too disco, like the Burton Society. Overall, these pants are relaxed enough to move without thinking but fitted enough to make you look good while ripping up the resort.

The rear pockets add style to the Skyline
The rear pockets add style to the Skyline

Best Applications


The Marmot Skyline is a warm, durable pant made for the coldest resort mountain conditions. If you are prone to being cold (and who isn't?!), this pant is for you. While it will be too hot for your warm spring days, use this pant if you plan on skiing anytime before April.

Making turns happily wearing the Skyline.
Making turns happily wearing the Skyline.

Value


We have awarded the Skyline the Best Buy award given its rave reviews from all testers and bargain price of $165. This is similar in price to the Spyder Winner, $179, and Burton Society, $150, but outperforms both contenders in the warmth, weather resistance, style, comfort, and fit categories. The timeless fit and the durable exterior will make this a pant you will use season after season.

Conclusion


The Marmot Skyline offers exceptional warmth and performance fit in one small and very reasonably priced package. This pant is for the coldest resort days and the harshest chair lift rides. The fit is attractive on all body types, and Marmot offers many different colors. The Skyline is our Best Buy award winner.
Polly Dacus


You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 24, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...