Marmot Discovery Bib Review
Cons: Poorly designed features, baggy, compromised weather resistance
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Marmot Discovery Bib
|Price||$274.95 at Backcountry||$549.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Good bib design, warm||Immaculate weather protection, excellent fit, fleecy lining||Good weather resistance, fits great, plenty of ventilation||Fashionable, carefully tailored, excellent weather protection||Warm, comfy, weather resistant|
|Cons||Poorly designed features, baggy, compromised weather resistance||Expensive, light on features||Shell pants provide little warmth, short on features, muted style||Mesh-backed vents, doesn’t have all the bells and whistles||Small vents, snug fit, racer style|
|Bottom Line||Not the best choice for weather resistance||Excellent ski pants in every regard, and you'll pay for it||Not the most stylish bibs, but they are very comfortable and keep weather out||Great ski pants for a variety of applications and a wide range of skiers and riders||If warmth is a primary concern, check out these ski pants|
|Rating Categories||Marmot Discovery Bib||Arc'teryx Sabre AR Pant||Outdoor Research Carbide Bib||Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants||Spyder Dare GTX|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Fit And Comfort (25%)|
|Specs||Marmot Discovery Bib||Arc'teryx Sabre AR...||Outdoor Research...||Patagonia Powder...||Spyder Dare GTX|
|Main fabric||100% Nylon 2L||N80p-X Gore-Tex with Cordura Nylon 3L cuff fabric||100% nylon 40D||4.6-oz 150-denier 100% recycled polyester 2L||Polyester plain weave 2L|
|Insulation||Hanging fleece lining||Laminated fleecy lining||None||Hanging mesh lining||40 g Primaloft Silver Eco synthetic|
|Waterproofing||Membrain 2-Layer||N80p-X Gore-Tex (3-layer)||Pertex Shield 3L||Gore-Tex w/ DWR finish (2-layer)||Gore-Tex laminate and PFCecFree DWR (2-layer)|
|Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?)||Bibs||Snaps. Built-in elastic belt||Bibs||Snap/zipper fly with adjustable tabs||Snap/zipper fly with internal adjustment and removable suspenders|
|Weight (in pounds)||1.94 lbs||1.32 lbs||1.64 lbs||1.67 lbs||1.79 lbs|
|Weight (in grams)||880 g||599 g||744 g||756 g||812 g|
|# of Pockets||6||3||3||4||5|
|Vents?||Exterior thigh zips, with mesh||Exterior thigh zips, no mesh||Exterior thigh||Exterior thigh zips, with mesh||Inner thigh zips, with mesh|
|Ski-specific features||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, bibs||Key/pass clip inside pocket, touring cuff, scuff guards||Bibs, power strap-compatible cuffs, beacon pocket, scuff guards||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, attach to matching jacket's powder cuff||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, cuff zipper|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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