Camping Equipment Reviews

Camping gear reviews and commentary on today's latest and greatest camping gear!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Marmot Limelight 3P Tent

Marmot Limelight 3P Tent
A tent purchase is not something you'll do very often. Not every year. Hopefully not every ten years. But when you do need to get one, it's usually because you've been pushed into it. My story starts a year earlier. My friend, Troy, invited me on a week-long fishing trip on the upper Snake river.

I then had to do a quick mental inventory of my gear. Luckily, Troy was providing all the food and cooking provisions, so that left me with just basic needs such as sleeping bag and tent. I'll review my sleeping bag issues in another post, but the tent I figured I had covered. I owned a Eureka Sunrise 4 person tent that was probably 15 years old. It had served me well, but it hadn't been through any serious tests (read: weather) in many years. 

The first night of the trip was uneventful. Clear skies and warm weather for October. However, the second and third nights were another story. Heavy rains and some moderately high winds came careening up the Snake, hitting our unprotected campsite. Initially, I didn't think anything about it. I'd been in rains before and felt comfortably in knowing that my tent would hold up. I fell asleep despite the goings-on outside. My sleep only lasted a couple of hours however.  I woke up to my elbow sitting in a puddle of water in the corner of my tent. The fly was doing its job, but the floor was not. And I didn't have a good ground tarp either. I vowed then and there to get a new tent.

Fast forward a year and prior to the next Snake River trip I needed to get a tent that would keep me dry. And since I was in the market, I wanted to meet some other needs. The Eureka didn't have a vestibule, and as anyone with a similar tent knows, that means you're storing all your gear inside the tent, which makes for a very cramped space, even with just one person, nevermind two or three. I also wanted to get a tent that was light enough to do some backpacking. 

As I began my search, I started asking fellow camping enthusiasts what they recommended. A friend suggested I look into the Marmot Limelight. I immediately liked it. It had not one, but two vestibules and it came with a footprint fitted perfectly to its dimensions. My friend had done plenty of backpacking and said that while I may be drawn to the 2 person, the 3 person would provide a lot more room, and could still be managed on a pack.

The tent comes with a gear loft, and has two D Shaped Doors. It's got DAC Press-Fit Poles and color-coded "Easy Pitch" clips that make lining up the fly a snap. There are nice details such as jingle-free zipper pulls and light reflective guy line points and a welded, UV-resistant teardrop window on the fly. The floor has a catenary cut to keep the seam off the ground (no water in your tent!) The size is 46" x 66" x 93" and weighs in at 6 lb 11 oz, or 5 lb 15 oz with just poles, body, and fly. You can get the Marmot Limelight 3P in either Hatch/Dark Cedar, or Alpenglow (orange/yellow--the one I got.)

Needless to say, the Snake river trip was dry and comfortable thanks to my new tent.

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