Ski bibs are my preferred ski pant style due to their comfort and added protection from the snow. The Marmot Discovery Bib is a decent option that has an affordable price compared to other options out there. That said, they aren’t the best bib you can find. However, they are extremely affordable, especially if you find them on sale.
- Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, Backcountry
- Best for: This is an affordable bib option that delivers decent performance and warmth while offering great comfort. Good for anyone on a budget who wants bib-style pants.
- Pros: Extremely affordable. They have a comfortable fit, and are warm as well.
- Cons: Not the most durable or functional bib out there. Doesn’t keep out moisture as well as other high-end options. A few pockets don’t come with zippers.
- Alternatives: Mountain Hardwear Boundary Ridge GORE-TEX 3L Bibs, Armada Vision Stretch Pants, DC Revival Bibs
Why Trust Me
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I’ve thoroughly researched the Marmot Discovery Bib. Below you will find my detailed review.
The Marmot Discovery Bib is a decent budget option that gives you the comfort and extra protection bib style ski pants allow. It is affordable but doesn’t provide you with high-end performance as a result. That makes it a good option for anyone looking to save some cash or who spends most of their time skiing within the resort. It offers standard performance but can wear down after heavy use.
The Discovery Bib does a good job of keeping you dry and warm while you ski. In general, bibs provide you with a little extra protection as they sit up above your waist and on your chest. They have a higher than average fit, and that adds a little extra protection when you find yourself in deep snow or inclement weather.
There’s a pretty big flaw with the Discovery bib, however. It has a few pockets that don’t have a zipper. That means snow can get inside of the pockets and melt against your body. I’m not sure why Marmot made this bib without zippered pockets, but they should reconsider on the next version. An open pocket is impractical and you will notice it during a storm or in powder conditions.
Other than that one main critique, the bib holds up pretty well across the board. It isn’t the warmest around, but if you layer up properly, you’ll enjoy plenty of comfort and stay dry. It stays in place all day long and is easy to adjust if you need to fix anything on the fly. The fit is a little restrictive around the waist, but that doesn’t really impact your ability to ski.
Warmth and Weather Resistance
A bib design works to block out snow, wind, and cold more than a regular ski pant design. The Marmot Discover Bib holds true to all other options in the category and does a good job of keeping wind and moisture away from your body (just remember the issue with the pockets I mentioned above). In fact, the bib’s high length makes them great in deep powder or when the snow is coming down.
A key aspect of the weather resistance provided by the bib is the Marmot MemBrain fabric. This fabric uses a specially designed polyurethane film laminate that makes the bib fully waterproof and allows for breathability. It also supposedly reduces condensation from sweat build-up to help keep you warmer for longer periods of time.
The bib is not insulated, so you’ll need to be sure to layer up when it gets cold. If you have a decent base layer on, you’re sure to stay warm. I actually prefer a bib or ski pant with less insulation because it gives you more control over cooling down when you are skiing hard and building up a sweat. If you want a warm option for severe conditions, or because you get cold easily, you might want to explore another model.
Fit and Function
The Discovery Bib has a fairly standard fit that’s a bit tighter than I generally prefer. I like the freedom and flexibility of a loose-fitting bib, and while the Discovery isn’t tight, it isn’t baggy either. If you’re a larger skier, you might want to go a size up from your normal pant size just to make sure you have enough room to wiggle and move your way down the mountain.
There are two vents in either thigh, which is a feature that I really like. If you get too warm, you can quickly open up these vents for a little extra airflow. Just be sure to zip things back up when the weather turns or you find yourself in deep snow. The shoulder straps are easy to adjust and stay in place. That’s great because I’ve had problems with other bibs getting loose after skiing for a while.
The Discovery comes with six pockets. That extra storage is another reason I like bibs over traditional pants. The chest pocket and thigh pocket come in handy for storing an extra beanie, your cell phone, or a sandwich. The other pockets aren’t zippered, so you’ll want to be careful with what you put in there.
Price and Value
The price is certainly right on these bibs. My favorite pairs easily cost double what these run. While I’ll often pay a little extra to get my hands on gear that I know will perform well and last for years, the much more affordable price tag on the Discovery bibs makes them quite approachable. You can’t find bibs on the market that are much cheaper than these without losing a lot of performance.
What I Like
I like bibs, and I like the Marmot Discovery. They have a reliable look and feel, and give you everything you want out of a ski pant. The Moroccan blue color is also cool and looks great set against a fresh powder backdrop. Looks aren’t everything, and these bibs also provide plenty of warmth, even though they don’t come with added insulation. The MemBrain fabric does a great job of keeping moisture out as well.
Two design features that I really like about these bibs are the higher-than-average chest height and the thigh ventilation. The chest height almost comes up to your neck, providing you some awesome protection against the elements. The two thigh vents are easy to access and allow you to get a little extra airflow when you need it.
I also like the fact that these bibs aren’t insulated. That may sound weird if you don’t like the cold, but I find that heavily insulated pants often have too much material and end up being uncomfortable when the temperature isn’t extremely cold. You can always balance the lack of insulation with a couple of layers.
The price of these bibs is an obvious plus as well. They are extremely affordable, which makes them a great for skiers trying to save some money.
What I Dislike
My main gripe with these bibs is that the pockets don’t have zippers. It seems like a design flaw that someone forgot about. The oversight makes those pockets practically unusable on heavy snow days or when you’re skiing in powder. If you have anything that you don’t want to get wet, I wouldn’t put them in those pockets.
I also don’t like the bib’s fit compared to similar options. I’m a larger skier, but I would recommend getting a size up if you want a bit more freedom of movement or flexibility. They aren’t a tight fitting bib, but I do think they are a little restrictive around the waist. That’s especially noticeable when you’re trying to move or turn on a dime. I like my bibs big and baggy. These don’t hit that mark.
The Discovery isn’t the most durable bib out there. While it’s affordable, that lower price comes at a cost in terms of durability. If you don’t ski a lot that won’t be a big deal, but if you’re an avid skier who pushes hard you’ll be lucky to get two seasons. That’s another disadvantage of using less material to keep the cost down.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Marmot Discovery, check out the recommended options below. Each one offers similar performance at a similar budget price.
- Mountain Hardware Boundary Ridge GORE-TEX 3L Bibs – These bibs are a bit more heavy-duty and warmer than the Marmot Discovery. They are still relatively affordable in the world of ski bibs and are great for anyone looking for an option that can hold up better in colder weather. They are also great for skiers who run cold and want extra insulation.
- Armada Vision Stretch Pants – This is another great option that’s comparable in price to the Discovery. They are comfortable and come with excellent waterproofness as well. The stretch fabric is awesome and goes a long way to keep you flowing no matter how or where you like to ski. They come in some great colors as well.
- DC Revival Bibs – Another recommended alternative to the Marmot Discovery is the DC Revival Bibs. This is another option that comes in at an affordable price and delivers quality performance across the board. These have a baggier fit, which I personally enjoy, and feature some large pockets on the chest and legs where you can stash extra gear.
Should I use regular snow pants or bibs?
That comes down to personal choice. I prefer bibs because they offer a little more protection from snow and tend to be more comfortable. However, they are often more expensive than pants.
Why aren’t the Marmot Discovery Bibs insulated?
If you layer up properly, you don’t always need extra insulation in your ski pants. The bibs aren’t insulated to cut down on material costs and keep them at a lower price point.
Is the Marmot Discovery Bib durable?
To an extent, but it’s not the most durable option around. It has extra fabric around the cuffs, but the budget build makes the pant not as strong and durable as other, more expensive options.
If you’re searching for a decent set of ski bibs at an affordable price, it’s hard to do better than the Marmot Discovery Bib. It provides you with the basic requirements you need and is both comfortable and warm. It doesn’t have the insulation and runs a little small, but if money is your main concern, they make for a great choice. Just remember to not put anything in those open pockets!
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.