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

Marmot Discovery Bib Review

These bibs miss the mark due to some poor features and a baggy, confining fit.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $275 List | $274.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good bib design, warm
Cons:  Poorly designed features, baggy, compromised weather resistance
Manufacturer:   Marmot
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 10, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
46
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 4
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 4
  • Ventilation - 20% 6
  • Warmth - 10% 7
  • Features - 10% 3
  • Style - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Marmot Discovery Bib is a warm and budget bib pant that has some critical design flaws. The pant fabric is waterproof, but both the front and back pockets all have no zipper opening and are designed just like casual pant pockets. This means that any water or snow that gets in them will sit there and that anything you place in them could fall out while skiing. Otherwise, the cut is a bit boxy, and the crotch is baggy and inhibits movement. We do not recommend these pants for anyone besides the very occasional skier, and even then, there are better options. While we loved the 2018-'19 version of these bibs (with zippered pockets), we aren't able to get behind the latest version.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $274.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$499.00 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$299.00 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$299.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$224.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
46
100
0
74
100
0
70
100
0
68
100
0
67
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good bib design, warmImmaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy liningFashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protectionWarm, comfy, weather resistantStretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathable
Cons Poorly designed features, baggy, compromised weather resistanceExpensive, light on featuresMesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistlesSmall vents, snug fit, racer styleNot waterproof, thin material, climbing style
Bottom Line These bibs miss the mark due to some poor features and a baggy, confining fit.These pants are the best of the best, at a price.Excellent, all-around ski pants suitable for almost all users.The top insulated ski pants for those who need them.Durable softshell backcountry skiing pants for most days on the skin track.
Rating Categories Marmot Discovery Bib Arc'teryx Sabre AR Pant Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Spyder Dare GTX Trailbreaker II
Weather Resistance (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
3
Fit And Comfort (25%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
9
Ventilation (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
10
Warmth (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
5
Features (10%)
10
0
3
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
Style (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
4
Specs Marmot Discovery Bib Arc'teryx Sabre AR... Patagonia Powder... Spyder Dare GTX Trailbreaker II
Main fabric 100% Nylon 2L N80p-X Gore-Tex with Cordura Nylon 3L cuff fabric 4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L Polyester plain weave 2L 87% nylon, 13% spandex
Insulation Hanging fleece lining Laminated fleecy lining Hanging mesh lining 40 g Primaloft Silver Eco synthetic None
Waterproofing Membrain 2-Layer N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer) Gore-Tex w/ DWR finish (2-layer) Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer) Pertex Shield+ (partial)
Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?) Bibs Snaps. Built-in elastic belt Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders Snaps. Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops
Weight (in pounds) 1.94 lbs 1.32 lbs 1.67 lbs 1.79 lbs 1.69 lbs
Weight (in grams) 880 g 599 g 756 g 812 g 767 g
# of Pockets 6 3 4 5 5
Vents? Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, no mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh Inner thigh zips, with mesh Exterior thigh zips, with mesh
Ski-specific features Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, bibs Key/pass clip inside pocket, touring cuff, scuff guards Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, attach to matching jacket's powder cuff Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, cuff zipper beacon clip and sleeve, scuff guards, touring cuffs, cuff zipper
Recco? Yes Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

These pants are warm and well-ventilated. The fit, style, and weather resistance leave something to be desired, and the pockets design makes them almost unusable.

Performance Comparison


A Teton powder day in the Discovery Bibs.
A Teton powder day in the Discovery Bibs.

Weather Resistance


The Discovery Bibs feature Marmot's proprietary and waterproof "MemBrain" fabric. This fabric does a good job of keeping out liquid water. There is only one waterproof zipper, but it is small, and it is located inconveniently on the side of the lower thigh. Otherwise, the pockets have no closure system, so water and snow easily penetrate them and pile up. To us, this makes no sense. You choose a bib for its weather resistance, and yet these bibs offer no protection to anything that you put in your pockets.

The open pocket design is a big flaw in the Discovery Bibs' weather resistance.
The open pocket design is a big flaw in the Discovery Bibs' weather resistance.

Fit and Comfort


The bib of the Discovery is well cut and doesn't inhibit movement. We like the feel of the fleece liner, which is comfortable against the skin. The cut of the crotch, however, is too baggy and loose, to the point of inhibiting motion. Despite that, the fabric is stretchy, and the rest of the leg moves decently. The Discovery tends to run large, so if you are debating which size to choose, size down.

The crotch is fairly baggy  which limits mobility  but at least the fabric is stretchy.
The crotch is fairly baggy, which limits mobility, but at least the fabric is stretchy.

Ventilation


Ventilation in the Marmot Discovery is provided by two vents along the inside thighs, with no mesh backing. These move air well enough, though we wish they were along the outside of the thigh for increased air motion. Bibs are less ventilating than pants, because there is more fabric covering the torso, meaning warm air can get trapped more easily. Other bibs in our review have both inside and outside thigh vents, making up for the lack of torso ventilation inherent in bib design.

Short vents without mesh backing on the inner thighs provide some ventilation.
Short vents without mesh backing on the inner thighs provide some ventilation.

Warmth


Most downhill skiing pants and bibs these days are either uninsulated, shell-only pants, or slightly insulated. This bib has a thin hanging fleece liner that adds enough warmth to keep the user happy for most days at the ski hill. It's not as warm as some more insulated pants in our review, which are better choices for the coldest days at the ski area.

A soft hanging fleece lining provides most of the Discovery Bibs' warmth.
A soft hanging fleece lining provides most of the Discovery Bibs' warmth.

Features


This bib features six pockets, including two handwarmer pockets, two rear pockets, a thigh pocket, and a chest pocket. Amazingly, the front handwarmer pockets and rear pockets have no zippers, velcro, buttons, or any other closure mechanism. That means the pockets are open to the outside world, all the time, like pockets on a pair of jeans. This is a major oversight that renders these pockets useless for downhill skiing. Anything you put in them will fall out or get wet when the pocket fills with water or snow. For any conditions other than sunny days and low-exertion skiing, this is a deal-breaker.

A closer look at the pocket design. Pictured are the thigh cargo pocket  front hip pocket  and rear pocket.
A closer look at the pocket design. Pictured are the thigh cargo pocket, front hip pocket, and rear pocket.

There is a zippered chest pocket on the bib itself, but it is barely big enough to hold a smartphone. There is also a zippered pocket on the lower left thigh, but it is uncomfortable to put anything in this pocket because of its proximity to the knee.

A frontal look at the features of the Discovery Bibs.
A frontal look at the features of the Discovery Bibs.

Style


The Discovery Bib is pretty neutral in styling, but a bit on the looser side. Pant design seems to be moving towards more snug-fitting styles, but the Discovery doesn't follow this trend. Overall, the style feels unrefined, and the cut is not as tailored as other options. The color options all look good but are limited in number.

We didn't fall in love with the looser style of the Discovery Bibs  but you decide for yourself.
We didn't fall in love with the looser style of the Discovery Bibs, but you decide for yourself.

Value


These aren't as expensive as many other options in our review, but they aren't cheap either. The construction of the bib seems good, but the fabric is soft and might wear out faster than other options. In general, we would not consider these bibs a good value, mostly because of their limited versatility (due to the pocket design).

Conclusion


Bibs aren't for everyone, and for those that like them, there are better options in our comparison. Overall, the Marmot Discovery Bibs are ok for occasional skiers, but we wouldn't recommend them to most.


Jeff Dobronyi