The price of these Scree trousers is great. Marmot’s best-selling soft shell pants are very stretchy, light (411g) and arguably serve as well on UK and Alpine walks, scrambles and climbs as the TNF and ME equivalents at £30-40 more. Having said this, Marmot uses its most breathable soft shell material –for high aerobic use in mild conditions – so you may need thermals sooner for cold weather. I like their simplicity: only the necessary features remain, in the right places. The two zipped and stormflapped side pockets are offset from the hipbone to avoid the nightmare of hipbelt rub. Pockets aren’t mesh-lined for venting but as a thinner trouser this may work okay. The ankle adjustment is good; for warm weather and sweat-inducing climbs you can vent with the mid-calf zip and popper at the hem, and the elastic hem drawcord is unobtrusive. But a more secure zip rather than the bulky flap that covers the mid-thigh Velcro pocket would be better (Marmot is working on this for spring 09). Mesh venting in the pockets might be a good addition. Side-pocket stormflaps allow easy access but won’t repel rain running down the pant.
Material Quartz N-630S
Sizes women’s XS-XL; men’s S-XXL
Made in China
Stores in the UK 20
Verdict: Marmot Screes are excellent-value, simple pants for all-season UK and Alpine adventures. They were awarded ‘Best Value’ in our test.