- Lots of internal space
- Easy to set up
- Water drips into tent when vestibule is open
The Marmot Tungsten is a great tent for the casual camper—easy to set up with many convenient features. It is not packable or weatherproof enough for serious camping or extended use.
A couple extra inches in width (54 inches compared to the typical 52) make this 32 square foot tent feel roomier than we expected. The bends in the poles help shoot the walls towards vertical, adding to the livable space. The two vestibules combined add 15 square feet of storage space.
The tent weighs in at a respectable 5 pounds, but it looks pudgy. The heavy gauge fabric and burly clips pack down to 22 by 10 inches—resembling the pack down size of a four person tent. In testing we definitely noticed the loss of space in our pack.
The two pole set up—a hubbed double pole and a second pole to add elbow room—is simple to set up (the poles, clips, and fly are color coded). Howeverin testing, attaching the second pole into the folds of webbing in the fly, was frustratingly finicky.
The hybrid style tent mostly uses a long fly for weatherproofing—except at one end of the tent where the body is waterproof. Overlap ensures that the tent body remains dry when the fly is zipped tight. However, with the fly door open, the tent interior is exposed to drips off the fly and rain falling directly into the tent. A few extra inches of overlap would ideally solve this problem.
There are plenty of nice touches to this tent. A lamp pocket in the roof uses light from a headlamp to cast a glow around the whole tent. The pockets are well placed, doors are large, and zippers easy to use. In testing, we especially liked the tent’s waterproof wall: on breezy nights it provided extra protection and on warmer nights we slept facing the other way and the mesh body helped vent excess heat and moisture. Our only complaint is the pegs. They're big and bulky, making them hard to bang into the ground and heavy to carry.
The price of this tent is comparable to the REI Half Dome, which we feel is a better value. However the features of this tent make it a great value for casual and first time campers.
How We Tested It
The tents is this test were used in a variety of conditions, from the Vancouver Island rainforest to uninhabited islands in Baja. In total, more than 50 nights were logged in the five tents. At home we set them up in the yard, timing how long it took, sprayed them relentlessly with hoses, and left them set up during a 60 mile per hour wind and rain storm.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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