Marmot Tents: Are They Worth the Exorbitant Price Tag?

yellow tent

A high-quality tent can mean the difference between a successful camping trip and a campground horror story. Marmot tents are not your ordinary pop-up sleeping arrangements. They are designed to withstand anything from torrential downpours to harsh snowfalls. These canopy shelters are sturdy, durable, and best of all: easy to assemble.

If you’ve never had the displeasure of sleeping in a damp tent, consider yourself lucky. When the winds are howling, and your rainfly threatens to give out, the only barrier between you and Mother Nature is your tent. Investing in a quality shelter to protect yourself from the elements is critical — especially if you’re outdoors for several days or even weeks.

Before heading out into the wilderness, research your equipment and make an educated decision. And if you're considering a Marmot tent, our guide will make selecting the right tent for your party size and environmental needs quick and easy.

Marmot: About the Company​

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the company itself, we asked: what is a marmot anyway? A marmot is a large squirrel resembling a groundhog. While they make look similar, they live on opposite sides of the country.

Marmots live in the mountainous regions of the western United States while groundhogs live around the Rocky Mountains in the east. Marmots typically live in burrows high in the mountains, often over 6,500 feet or higher.

In 1971, company founders Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntley visited Alaska’s Juneau Icefield as students in the University of California Santa Cruz. The two decided to create an exclusive club called the Marmot Club. To become a member, you had to climb a peak with another member (not unlike actual marmots). The two began creating their own product prototype, and the Marmot company followed in the Spring if 1974.

Today, Marmot sells a variety of outdoor gear including men’s and women’s jackets, flannel shirts, ski pants, gloves, and mitts. They also create and sell camping equipment such as backpacks, day packs, luggage, sleeping bags, and tents.

How Much Do Marmot Tents Cost?

Marmot tents are on the pricey side. For instance, while prices range depending on shelter size, their one-person tents start at $$ to $$$. Meanwhile, their larger tents which hold six or more people cost upwards of $$$. One of their most expensive tents is a $$$$$ tent with 675 square feet of floor space.

Other brands offer tents with similar square footage tents for a lower price. However, unlike Marmot tents, they may not be as well equipped to handle harsh weather conditions. In this guide, we’ll look at Marmot tents as well as a couple of other brands and discuss their pros, cons, and price tags.

How We Reviewed

We looked at product specs from a variety of different manufacturers. Then we factored in customer reviews and ratings, to find out what actual purchasers thought of each of the tents in our survey.

Do Marmot tents live up to their high-end reputation? And how do they stack up against the competition?

Marmot Tents: By Size

We’ve divided marmot tents by size to best describe their pros and cons. It's important to remember that some of these tents come with a footprint while others do not include one or do not require one. Make sure to read the fine print to ensure you packed with everything you need.

One-person models


Marmot sells three one-person tent models. Their most cost-effective model is the Tungsten 1P. It is available in Blaze/Steel orange as well as Green Shadow/Moss green and weighs three pounds. The Tungsten UL 1P is available in Dark Citron/Citronelle yellow. Their priciest one-person tent is the Eos 1P (also available in yellow). Both the Tungsten UL 1P and the Eos 1P weigh the least: a mere two pounds.

Travelers who need to pack light will love any one of these three one-person tents. They all feature D-shaped doors and come equipped with a rainfly and footprint to protect your shelter from wear and tear.

The Marmot Eos 1P boasts 21 square feet of interior space while their other two models offer 20 square feet each. The Tungsten 1P has 16 customer reviews on Marmot’s website for an average of 4.5 stars out of a total 5. Most customers praise these Marmot tents for their spacious interiors and being lightweight. Their only downfall, as described by a customer who purchased the Eos 1P is their durability. Some customers say their poles were not sturdy enough or the poles would rip the fabric surrounding them after a dozen uses.

Two-person models


Sale
Marmot Limelight 2 Person Camping Tent w/Footprint
  • Marmot Zone Construction Provides more Livable Space
  • Footprint Included
  • One Super-Sized Double Door and Rear D Shaped Door with Two Vestibules

Marmot sells eight very different two-person tents. They also sell the Colfax 2P porch, which attaches to any one of their two-person tent models.

Their Catalyst 2P two-person tent is the most cost-effective of the bunch. This bright red tent weighs five pounds, spans 32.5 square feet, and garnered 3.4 stars out of 5 on the manufacturer’s website.

Also available in the same color scheme is the Limelight 2P. Not unlike other models, the Limelight 2P also includes color-coded “easy pitch” clips, poles, and a pocket to hold your lamp shade. It weighs the same as the Catalyst 2P but has slightly more ground coverage: a whole 33 square feet of interior space.

Rated 4.2 stars out of 5 on Marmot’s website, the Limelight 2P’s rating is significantly better than the Catalyst 2P. While customers love its ease of use and quick setup, many buyers complain about lack of ventilation. Consequently, moisture builds up inside the tent and causes it to be damp.

We won’t delve too deep into all of their two-person tent models. But we will take a look at their most costly two-person marmot tents: the Thor 2P. This shelter weighs ten pounds, and boasts 38 square feet of interior space. This model boasts two D-shaped doors, a poled vestibule, as well as a field repair kit in case of emergencies.

All three reviewers gave the Thor 2P a rating of 5 stars out of 5. Customers braved great amounts of rainfall and snowfall with the Thor 2P with no issues save for a slight buildup of condensation. Its only downfall is not being roomy enough for two people, and some customers had minor difficulties setting up with harsh weather conditions (such as snow).

feet on morning camping

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Three-person Marmot tents


Sale
Marmot Limelight 3 Person Camping Tent w/Footprint
  • Limelight 3 Person Tent - Stuff Sack - Footprint - Marmot Lifetime Limited Warranty
  • Zone Pre-Bend Construction Creates Vertical Walls, More Roomy Sleeping Area and Greater Head Room
  • One Super-Sized Double Door and Rear D Shaped Door with Two Vestibules

There are eight kinds of three-person marmot tents. Most of them are the three-person versions of their smaller tents (such as the Tungsten and Limelight). We’ll look at two models we have yet to cover in the one- or two-person section: the Mantis and the Fortress.

The Mantis 3P Plus is shaped very differently than traditional tents. Available one Macaw Green/Deep Teal, this model weighs seven pounds and has 56.3 square feet of interior space.

The front of the tent is tall and slopes downwards towards the back of the tent. This smart design nearly eliminates the need for a rainfly. However, because of its mesh super-sized double door, a weatherproof fly with top vents protect campers from the elements.

Three customers rated the Fortress 3P Marmot tent 4 stars of 5 on the manufacturer’s website.

Available in Tangelo/Grey Storm, the Fortress 3P weighs six pounds and uses up 41.5 square feet of floor space. Buyers state that the tent high-quality fabric and design withstands plenty of rainfall without getting campers wet. Customers also give Marmot a thumbs up when it comes to covering their products within warranty.

Its only downfall seems to be with size; according to some, this tent is a tight squeeze for three adults and their gear. Most agree that the Fortress 3P is perfect for two people and their equipment.

Four-person Marmot tents


Marmot Limelight 4 Persons Tent
  • Gear Loft and Footprint Included
  • DAC Press-Fit Poles
  • Full Coverage Fly

Marmot sells seven four-person tent models. Their eighth product in this lineup is their Colfax porch equipped for any of their four-people tents. We will focus on two of their seven tents: the Colfax 4P (not to be confused with their Colfax Porch 4P) and the Halo 4P.

Marmot makes their Colfax model in several sizes such as two-person models, three-person models, and this four-person model. At 64 inches high, the Colfax 4P is taller than most of their models. However, weighing in at nine pounds, it's also heavier.

Included in the pack is a footprint, full-coverage rainfly, and jingle-free nylon zipper pulls. Being able to stand upright in this tent is a definite bonus that has not gone unnoticed by customers. The only con is the lack of window shade on the front door, which makes the rainfly an absolute necessity for privacy purposes. 

The Halo 4P is the smallest in the Halo lineup, as Marmot also sells a 6-person version. It has a square base with 64 square feet of interior space and weighs 13 pounds. The Halo 4P comes in Tangelo/ Rusted Orange and grey. Five customers rated this tent 4.4 stars out of 5 on the manufacturer’s website. They enjoyed taking this tent car camping and complimented Marmot on their excellent customer service when a replacement part was needed.

couple sitting beside tent

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Six-person tents


Marmot Lair 8-Persons Tent, Orange, One
  • DAC Poles
  • Poled Vestibule
  • Removable Floor

There are five models of six-person Marmot tents. They include versions of the Halo and the Limestone. These models were elongated to include a larger footprint and more interior space. We’ll also be looking at the Orbit 6P and the Lair 8P.

The Orbit 6P is a larger version of Marmot’s Orbit 4P. which is available in Orange Spice/Arona red. The Orbit 6P weighs a hefty 23 pounds but offers 77.5 square feet of interior space. This model features a wide double door, full-coverage rainfly, and a long porch so you can read a book under the awning. It is highly rated on both the manufacturer's website and on Amazon. Customers love the quick set-up and how roomy it is inside. Its only downfall is its weight and that the door doesn't have a cover to provide privacy and warmth.

The Lair 8P is the Rolls Royce of Marmot tents. Its 165 square feet of interior space is enough room for a party of eight. It boasts two D-shaped doors on either end, a full-coverage fly with vents, and a removable floor.

According to Marmot’s website, the Lair 8P can withstand Himalayan weather, and one look at purchaser reviews verifies their advertisement. Customers posted photos of their Lair 8P braving against subzero temperatures and harsh, snowy conditions with no problem.

Buyers rated this tent 4.3 stars out of 5 on the manufacture’s website and 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Some customers recommend not using a footprint for this tent, as the rain would pool and become trapped between the footprint and the tent. Another customer had some trouble using the removable floor, but otherwise, this mammoth tent is highly regarded.

Marmot accessories

Some Marmot tents do not come with their footprint. Should your selected shelter need a footprint, Marmot sells a variety of sizes on their website.

Besides their porches and footprints, Marmot also sells three different kinds of inflatable camping pillows. Their small blue Strato Pillow sells for $ while the larger Cirrus Down Pillow costs $. Customers rated the duck-down filled pillow 5 stars out of 5 and deemed the perfect pillow for traveling. Lastly, Marmot also sells the Cumulus Pillow. It is only available in an army green color and filled with polyester insulation. All three pillows include a stuff sack for easy transport.

Comparable Brands

person sitting facing body of water

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We’ve researched a couple of competitor brands to find out if Marmot is worth their substantially higher prices.

Wakeman Outdoors


Sale
Coleman 4-Person Cabin Tent with Instant Setup | Cabin Tent for...
  • Instant tent sets up in just 1 minute; Spacious interior has room for 1 queen airbed
  • WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
  • Rugged Polyguard 2X double thick fabric for reliable, long lasting use; Pre attached poles for quicker, simpler setup -...

Coleman has a long lineup of tents -- too long, in fact, to go through every single one. However, Coleman does not sell one-person tents like Marmot. Their collection of shelters begin with four models of their two-person tents.

Coleman has two three-person tents (the Sundome and the Hooligan) and nine models of their four-person tents. Coleman also sells one five-person tent, ten different models of their six-person tent, one seven-person tent, and five eight-person tents from.

Unlike Marmot, Coleman does not sell separate tent porches. Their porches are only available with specific tents. For example, Coleman’s Cold Springs Four-person Dome Tent comes with a porch, but customers cannot purchase the porch separately for any other four-person tent.

The most significant advantage Coleman offers is their “instant” and “fast-pitch” tents. These shelters promise to be much faster (or near instantaneous) to build and put away. While their prices are more reasonable than Marmot, they are not without their problems. Customers complain that some of their tents are very heavy, difficult to set up, and are made to handle extreme winds.

Pros

  • More affordable than Marmot
  • Instant and fast-pitch tents
  • 5- and 7-person tents

Cons

  • Porches are not available for all tent sizes
  • Not as well-built as Marmot
  • Difficult to build

Coleman


Those who like to shop in-store have probably seen Wakeman Outdoors tents in the aisles of their favorite stores. The Home Depot, Walmart, and even Staples offer Wakeman Outdoors products. However, they are also available on Amazon, Wayfair, and Zulily.

This company offers several tent models, although not all of them appear on the manufacturer’s website. We found several two-, four-, and six-person tents available on Wayfair. We will hone in on two models (one large and one small) and highlight its pros and cons.

Wakeman’s Pop Up 2 Person Tent is rain-resistant thanks to its taped seams. This tent is advertised for three-season use and has 39.2 square feet of interior floor space. While it includes a storage bag, rainfly, and tent stakes, it does not come with a footprint. Unfortunately, this tent does not have any customer ratings but promises plenty of space for two people.

Customers rate the Wakeman 6-Person Dome Tent 4 stars out of 5 on Wayfair’s website. Compared to Marmot tents, it is much more budget-friendly. This polyester tent weighs 11.5 pounds, stands 72 inches high, and is rated for three seasons. Customers rated this tent 4 stars out of 5 on Wayfair’s website. Buyers who love their purchase enjoyed the tent’s height, ease of setup, and fast delivery times. One buyer complained that the 6-Person Dome Tent was not waterproof. However, after a full refund, that same customer thanked Wakeman for their quality customer service.

Pros

  • Fast delivery
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good customer service

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Low-quality material

Are Marmot Tents Worth It?

camping tents in forest

Image via Pexels

The one question you need to ask yourself is: are you going camping or on an adventure? If this is a family summer getaway camping trip, chances are you won’t need a high-end tent. However, if you’re planning a one- or two-week journey somewhere where Mother Nature is sure to be brutal, buy a Marmot tent. Marmot tents are sturdy, waterproof, and will brave anything nature throws at them. While they are expensive, your warm, dry future self will definitely thank you.

Featured Image via Pexels

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