I am looking to update some older heavy gear. And am looking at a tent,(just recently replaced my pack). I have joined the local REI co-op and they have alot of choices. How are peoples experience with Marmot tents? I am looking at a Limelight 2 from Marmot, and it includes a free footprint and gear loft. It fits the budget and the weight I would like to carry. Plus I can get 20% off right now through their current promotion for members. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I just bought the REI Half Dome 2 plus. It is a little heavier than what I would like but it is larger than most 2 person tents. The only time I will end up taking it is when my gf goes with me. If she is happy then I will be happy
Look at the dimensions of the tents, nowdays if you really want a real two person tent you better order a 3 person model. Most all current two person models are really only suitable for two very-very close friends
We have the Limelight 2P and we like it, it's a pretty nice tent and the two vestibules are nice. It's not terribly light but if you have an extra sack (or not) you can split it up between two people and it's reasonable. It is not a cramped 2P tent. The shape is a little oddball but it really sheds the wind well and it has good ventilation.
Some annoyances - plan on ditching the stakes. And for some reason, Marmot keeps insisting on using a cord-lock instead of a small plastic toggle for the door and fly stays. I appreciate the thought but I haven't needed 4 extra cord-locks on a trip yet. It's hard to secure the fly or door back with those cord-locks when you're wearing gloves. I need to replace them. Finally, the gear loft is a not a selling point. I mean, it's there, but it reduces the headroom by 6 inches right in the center of the tent. You eat it every time you sit up. I moved the attachment points down to the foot end of the tent to make it more of an "attic" over my legs and feet. Much better.
The only traditional tents I have direct experience with are the REI Halfdome & something old by Eureka. My wife and I cut back the weight last year by upgrading from the Halfdome to a Tarptent brand Double Rainbow, but it took a tiny bit of getting used to - it's a single wall, non-freestanding tent, and as such it sometimes gets a little bit of condensation inside. Not so much as to create an issue, though. It's rated as a 3-season tent but I upped its windworthiness more by adding a long spectra guyline to each of the two loops on the center ridge, sort of like a Hilleberg Akto.
If I did the whole gear purchase over again I would've skipped the double-wall and gone straight to a tent by Tarptent or Six Moon Designs. I'd still recommend a double-wall for cold weather or car camping, though.
I hope this helps. It pays to at look at a tent in person before buying, but it's harder to do with some of the more obscure brands.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Welcome! If you haven't already found them, there are lots of excellent articles on lightening your pack and on gear selection listed in the left-hand column of http://www.backpacking.net/, the home page of this site.
Another good site for gear selection is Mark Verber's website. Lots of ideas for gear, from the latest technology to ultra-low-budget alternatives, which is frequently updated (I don't know how Mark does it!). Also tons of links to reviews and other sites.
You will often find better and lighter gear choices if you do considerable research outside retail stores. Unfortunately many outdoor stores (especially the big chains like REI, whose idea of "ultralight" is half again as heavy as I'd ever want to carry) are mostly interested in loading you down with heavy high-priced gear and lightening your wallet! The above sites will help you get started on your research.
I personally prefer a single-wall tent with plenty of ventilation--Tarptent's Squall 2 or Double Rainbow are good places to start, and have a lot more floor space than most 2-person double-wall tents. If you must have a double-wall tent, consider Tarptent's Scarp 2, roomier and lighter than most 2-person double-wall tents and, most important, you can pitch the waterproof fly first and the inner tent underneath so the latter doesn't get wet. Forget tent footprints, too--that's another sales gimmick--they are extremely heavy. I don't use a footprint at all but just make sure stones and sticks are removed from my tent site (something you want to do anyway). If you feel that you must use a footprint, and if you'll be camping on muddy sites it's probably a good idea, cut a piece of plastic painter's dropcloth to the shape of your tent floor but about 2" less on each side (you don't want water running down the side of your tent to get onto the plastic underneath and make puddles under your floor). You can buy many years' worth of these for the price of a commercial footprint. The gear loft is another item you'll undoubtedly never use--again, it adds weight and more important, takes away your head room! Gear not needed in the tent can be stored in the vestibule, and of course anything with food or cosmetics needs to be hung (or in a bear canister if required) well away from the tent.
Most of the best and innovative gear these days is made by small "cottage" manufacturers and sold on the internet. You do have to be prepared to pay return shipping cost if the item isn't what you want, but you're still liable to spend less than you would at the big stores. I frankly buy at REI only if it's a spendy item that I'm a bit dubious about and think I might have to return.
Edited by OregonMouse (04/15/1009:35 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
I have to agree with what everyone else has said thus far. But in regards to Marmot's quality, if that's what you're asking about, I've never regretted buying any of the Marmot gear I own. Not the lightest stuff out there, but good quality fabrics, construction, etc. But if you're looking for the lightest stuff out there, check into Tarptent models or the Big Agnes Fly Creek 2.
I also recommend the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2. I love mine. Pretty darn light, very roomy for one person, sets up in about 4 minutes (that's from the sack to full set up), and stands up to the Colorado winds.