We loved that our Editors' Choice winner pairs a moderate amount of insulation with long, mesh-less vents along the outer thighs. We found that the open vents offered quick relief from built up heat when needed, while the insulation recovered heat just as quickly when zipped back up. Our snowboarder testers especially appreciated this pant's Reversed Brushed Tricot Seat (a reinforced water resistant layer) while chillin' on their backsides. This is also a great feature for newbie boarders, as you may spend some time with your rear in the snow. Although it's fairly pricey, if you plan to keep hitting the slopes for years to come, it's a sensible investment. Its colors are bright and stylish without being too trendy and the fit is both casual and refined. Overall, this garment features quality design and superior materials/construction; our multifaceted Editors' Choice award winner will be your go to for every type of weather at the resort.
Marmot Women's Freerider ReviewPrice: $380 List Pros: Insulated and well-vented, Gore-Tex waterproofing, All pockets are zippered pockets
Cons: More expensive, No Recco, Somewhat heavy
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Marmot Women's Freerider insulated ski pant is an essential piece of gear for ski resort enthusiasts looking for a highly functional and stylish piece of gear that will last with hardcore use for many seasons. As our Editors' Choice award winner, this pant comes highly recommended. It uses high-quality GORE-TEX materials and comes fitted a wide array of useful features…hello, five zippered pockets?? We're in love.
Comfort & Fit
Our testers were super happy with the level of comfort and the easy fit of the Marmot Women's Freerider. We tested a size small, which fit comfortably on women size 6-8, but were distinctly larger on our size 4 tester. If you're a size 4 and want a relaxed fit, you can still adjust the waist band with the exterior velcro tabs, but you may want to also try on an extra small. Overall, the Freerider has a looser, but stylish fit that definitely does not leave you looking like a terrain park rat with your waist band at your knees.
This ski pant has lots of comfy features ranging from fleece-lined hand and butt pockets to articulated knee stitching for added mobility. Our testers agreed that the feel of the outer fabric is surprisingly soft on these pants; even though it is the outside layer, this added element made this garment feel extra cozy. Additionally, this piece has ankle zips that allow the pant to easily fit over large ski or snowboard boots, and it has a full zip powder skirt that attaches to the pants and Marmot jackets. This adds an extra degree of warmth and comfort that only bibs or a one-piece design can offer. All in all, the Freerider pant is high on the comfort and convenience scale while being technically sound for all weather conditions at the resort.
Because this ski pant is constructed with GORE-TEX 2L (a lightweight version of GORE-TEX technology) it is superior in waterproofing to products that only have a water resistance finish. The makers of GORE-TEX are extremely strict with manufacturing protocols, design, and testing each piece of gear that uses their technology. Time and time again, GORE-TEX has proven to last over other basic laminates such as DWRs (Durable Water Repellant) which tend to wear off over time.
In our shower test, the Freerider protected better than the Patagonia Snowbelle or the Spyder Traveler. In the field, we rode wet chairlifts and loved the reinforced seat laminate, skied on hot spring days with the vents wide open, and stayed warm with the 40 g Thermal R Insulation on long frosty resort days. All the zippers on this pant have zipper garages to help keep moisture out and it has gaiters with tightly fitting elastic to keep snow out of your boots.
Although the Freerider ski pant is not as insulated as the Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle which has 60 grams of insulation, it was warmer than either of these competitors. The Freerider uses 40 grams of Thermal R insulation sandwiched between a polyester shell with a GORE-TEX membrane and a comfy polyester lining. Combine this insulation with the pant's large mesh-less vents, and the Freerider is an adaptable pant that can be worn comfortably without long underwear and vented on warm days or worn in extreme cold with layers underneath. Either way, this model is versatile and comfortable enough to wear in varying weather conditions.
Take a deep breath for this one… five fleecy, zippered pockets; belt loops; adjustable waist; articulated knees; zippered powder skirt that attaches to the Freerider and Dawn Patrol Jackets; fully seam taped; ankle zips; and fabulous color options. The Marmot Women's Freerider pant certainly impressed us with its array of top-of-the-line features. Add all this to a waterproof GORE-TEX shell layer and a stellar venting system and you've got an Editors' Choice winner. As we mentioned above, this pant also has a Reversed Brushed Tricot Seat and thighs for added water protection where it matters most. One of the other unique features that this garment offers is its full zip powder skirt. Where the other pants only have a loop to attach a jacket, the Freerider pant essentially creates a one piece, in style. Finally, all the zippers on this garment are beefy with easy-to-pull tabs.
The Marmot Women's Freerider ski pant earned top marks in our warmth metric, which would have affected its versatility in the warmer months were it not for this product's great ventilation system. Unlike many other pieces we tested, which have mesh-lined vents on the inner thighs, this pant has mesh-less vents on the outer thigh. Although the open air design could be an issue for more modest consumers when they aren't wearing long underwear (remember though, the vents are on the outer thighs), the lack of mesh also allows the vents to open wider and provide more airflow. These zippered slits are 10 inches long and can be more than five inches wide.
With such vibrant colors, how could you go wrong? This ski pant features a duo rather than monochrome color scheme, which makes it unique among the models we tested. The complementary colors in this pant add interest and style, while the cut is designed to keep you carving down the slopes or relaxing in style during apres ski.
A technical resort pant with style, the Marmot Women's Freerider held up to our many tests including remote backcountry missions and damp, cold resort days. We stayed comfortable, warm, and dry while sporting the bright and stylish colors of our Editors' Choice winner.
The second most expensive pant in this test, the Marmot Freerider pant has an MSRP of $380. However, if you have the money to spend, we definitely think our Editors' Choice winner is worth the investment. This garment is well made, highly weather proof, and has countless features. Rest assured this pant will satisfy your every need on the resort slopes. Marmot does not have a full lifetime warranty, although they guarantee their products and will repair manufacturer defects. If their gear does not hold up to excessively aggressive use, they still offer reasonably priced repairs through the company. "Marmot For Life" is their appropriate and proven slogan.
Our testers agreed, the Marmot Women's Freerider offers near effortless wearing experience. Combine its comfort and features with its versatile insulation and ventilation and its GORE-TEX construction and you have our Editors' Choice award winner. This stylish and durable pant will last for season after season of wear and tear. All in all, this pant is a great choice for full-time resort skiers, occasional backcountry excursions, and will be worth the investment.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: May 6, 2014
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