Marmot Tents Review

Marmot makes 36 varieties of tents with capacities of one to eight people and designs focused on group comfort, outdoor adventure or ultralight carrying. Marmot tents have user-friendly features like color-coded poles, interior gear pockets, taped seams and flexible rain flies. With a large selection of size, technology, and weight, campers of all budgets can find a tent that fits their needs. Our best tents page lays out how Marmot’s top products compare to other brands in the market.

Marmot Tents Review


  • Long-lasting use
  • Lightweight, cross pole design
  • More length and headroom


  • The rain fly is smaller than the footprint of the tent
  • closeIt leaks if the corners get wet

What Makes Marmot Tents Unique

Marmot Club was founded by two University of California Santa Cruz students in 1971. Who focused on products that maximized the temperature ratings of down-filled kit. In 1974, Marmot Mountain Works had a chance meeting with an executive of W.L. Gore & Associates. Subsequently became an early adopter of Gore-Tex fabric. Since 1974, it has expanded into other adventure markets, including tents. Marmot stands by its continued commitment to high-quality performance products catering to outdoor enthusiasts. Especially those operating in harsh climates.

In addition to entry-level starter tents, Marmot offers high-end models designed for inclement weather. Especially low temperatures and heavy winds. Many tents are lightweight and pack well. So they are also a good option for backpackers who need to carry their shelter with them. Some tents feature Marmot’s kneed tent poles. Which help create vertical walls at the base.

Value Marmot Tents

Catalyst – This line offers lightweight and roomy tents that are a reliable choice for camping and backpacking trips. That requires shedding weight at a reasonable price. These three-season tents on the lower range of Marmot’s offerings come in two and three-person sizes. Catalyst tents are designed for first-time backpackers not looking to make a significant investment.

Tungsten – The popular Tungsten line of tents is designed for backpackers and comes in single, two, three and four-person options. These lightweight tents with included footprint are a good option for beginning trailblazers looking to balance space, weight, and cost.

Mantis – The three-season Mantis tent features a one-piece aluminum pole design. That allows quick setup of this freestanding unit. The Mantis is available for two or three occupants.

Mid-Level Marmot Tents

  • Fortress

Built with features similar to the popular Tungsten line. These tents add a full fabric canopy and added guy outs. To help campers shelter from extreme weather with limited condensation.

  • Midpines

This spacious three-season tent boasts an ultra-wide front door. Allowing you to easily set up the interior of your temporary living space. Pitching a roomy four or six-person Midpines tent is straightforward. Making this a good option for families.

  • Tungsten UL

The Tungsten UL is a lighter weight version of the regular Tungsten tent. Coming in almost two pounds less than its heavier cousin. Available in the same size options, the Tungsten UL has the same square footage and overall dimensions. But requires the footprint to be purchased separately.

  • Limelight

This tent provides roomy comfort, with walls that are almost vertical and an ample ceiling. Available for two or three occupants. The three-season Limelight has an oversized front door to let nature in on fair weather days.

  • Colfax

The Colfax’s unique design allows it to convert from a tent to a sunshade. The three-season shelter is available for two, three or four people, and is very versatile.

  • Fortress

Marmot’s Fortress brand is designed to take on foul weather. With a full fabric canopy that prevents condensation. Extra guy-outs help this three to four-season tent hold its ground in heavy winds.

Performance Marmot Tents

  • EOS

The most expensive single-person tent in Marmot’s collection, EOS is also the lightest, maxing out at just over two pounds. Although it packs down smaller than the Tungsten, it is slightly larger with inches more length and headroom. Like the Tungsten UL, it does not include a footprint.

  • Bolt

The Bolt series is the lightest weight tent Marmot offers in two and three-person sizes. Adventurers facing rugged terrain or inclement weather will want this tent in their packs when they take overnight trips from base camp.

  • Thor

The Thor offers robust construction and ample living space in an easy-to-pitch tent with an internal guy system that makes it appropriate for hardcore mountaineers needing a two or three-person tent.

  • Limestone

Families and groups seeking comfort and ease of use will appreciate the size and durable construction of these four, six or eight-person tents. The built-in mudroom protects gear, while the tall ceilings and near-vertical walls create a spacious camping experience.

  • Halo

Available as a four or six-person tent, the Halo features double doors and a double vestibule allowing for interior storage of backpacks and other large gear.

  • Orbit

The four or six-person Orbit has a large front porch with a removable awning and vestibule. This home away from home makes sure unexpected weather does not ruin the trip.

  • Lair

The Lair is a one-of-a-kind dome tent designed to withstand a Himalayan adventure. This ten pole, eight-person tent features a large vestibule for gear and a removable floor. Ample vents allow heat, condensation and cooking smells to leave the shelter. The Lair is a serious home base for spirited adventurers.

Marmot’s Reputation

Marmot is a well-respected tent brand with an excellent reputation for quality and durability. Certain tents are better liked than others, but overall, adventurers who choose mid to upper-level offerings are happy with their choice and tend to become repeat customers. The construction process of taped seams and durable stitching is known to be long lasting and keeps out bugs and the elements.

Taller clients appreciate the company’s commitment to creating headroom with innovations like its lightweight, cross-pole design. Marmot’s history of researching ways to combat cold-weather mountaineering conditions with down, synthetic fabrics and evolving construction techniques elevates their reputation among explorers facing extreme weather.

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How Marmot Tents Compares

There are many tent manufacturers, each with a different focus and value proposition. Knowing how you will use your tent will help narrow down which brand is right for you. Here are other tent companies and their overall brand positioning. For a full review of how tent brands stack up to each other, see our best of tent list.

  • REI

Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI, was founded in 1938 to supply high-quality climbing gear to outdoor enthusiasts. The company has built a strong reputation among adventure travelers, having been in the camping and trekking business since the 1970s. REI offers tent prices slightly lower than Marmot. They are considered to be good value for users seeking reasonable quality and premium features in the middle to upper price range.

  • The North Face

The North Face is a well-known and trusted brand in outdoor and cold weather gear that sells outerwear, fleece, footwear, backpacks, sleeping bags and tents. Started in 1966 to sell climbing gear, the company added camping equipment to its product line in the 1980s. Their current tents, which range in capacity from one to six people, have a variety of price points, offering something for everyone’s budget.

As you might expect, tents on the higher end of their product line provide superior quality of materials and construction, as well as premium features like dividers and spacious interiors. Considered strong competitors, Marmot and North Face are very comparable in terms of quality, price and weather preparedness.

  • Big Agnes

Started 18 years ago, Big Agnes strives to make better camping gear that incorporates new ideas such as sleeping bags with integrated pads. The company also sells camping furniture, apparel, duffel bags, and tents. Their tents house from one to eight people and they have designs for backpacking, car camping, and mountaineering.

Like Marmot, their tents are high quality and good in all weather. Both companies are priced similarly, though Big Agnes’s least expensive offering is priced lower than Marmot’s. Although both carry tents of floor area, most agree that Big Agnes tents have lower ceilings than Marmot, a consideration for taller campers.

  • Coleman

Founded in 1900, Coleman was initially known for its gasoline lanterns. Throughout the company’s history, they have focused on camping equipment for recreational markets, selling camp stoves, coolers, sleeping bags, generators, backpacks, and tents. Coleman offers more than 60 tent options that range in price from inexpensive to mid-range. Although they provide more types of tent configurations than Marmot, Coleman is considered best for infrequent users due to the lower quality materials and construction that help keep prices low.

  • Kelty

In the camping business since 1952, Kelty manufactures backpacks, sleeping bags, kids’ gear, and tents. They are considered a mid-range tent-maker offering a range of reasonably priced tents that will last for several seasons of two or three camping trips per season.

Camping experts agree that Kelty has useful overall designs with a variety of options for single campers and families. They provide tents sleeping up to six people. Kelty keeps prices reasonable by using slightly lower quality materials and build techniques compared to Marmot. Differences in construction are one reason Marmot’s tents are thought to be more weatherproof than Kelty’s products.

  • Eureka

Eureka is an American brand that sells sleeping bags, camp furniture, outdoor shelters, and tents. The company began selling awnings in 1895, and that business developed first into canvas tents, then camping equipment. Because of its long history in the market, Eureka is a respected brand known for reasonable quality and good value. Their tents stand up to rain and wind well; however, some note that the floors are a little flimsy, recommending the use of an additional tarp underfoot. Eureka tents also tend to be heavier than Marmot’s, so if you need to carry your shelter on the trails, Marmot may have a lighter option.

  • Nemo

Founded in 2002, relative newcomer Nemo Equipment makes outdoor equipment, shelters, and tents, including specially designed backpacking and mountaineering tents. Its founder is an industrial designer, so shelters tend to have strong design elements, including the use of pressure air beams instead of traditional aluminum poles.

Well-built and similarly priced to Marmot, Nemo tents are an excellent hybrid alternative to purchase when your trip has you doing a combination of hiking and driving to campsites.

What We Think of Marmot Tents

Serious year-round campers and backpackers logging many miles on the trail can’t go wrong with most Marmot tents. Frequent users appreciate the brand’s high quality. Which compensates for the slightly higher price point. Because of Marmot’s commitment to conquering cold weather. The brand is also a good choice for campers venturing on extreme cold weather expeditions.

Occasional campers planning to drive their cars right up to the campsite may not need the lightweight bells and whistles Marmot offers. When weight and hardcore durability are not a consideration. Casual adventurers do not benefit from the additional investment a Marmot tent requires. Fair-weather campers who go out a few times a year can opt for one of Marmot’s cheaper models. Or go with a less expensive brand altogether.

Your adventure awaits. Check out our best tents to learn more about which is best for you.

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