The Marmot Limelight tent series is a common choice for budget-conscious campers who are looking for more space to stretch out and store their gear. Some confuse the Marmot Limestone for this Limelight line, but they both have unique designs and features that suit different kinds of campers.
Available in a rusted orange or forest green, these are a versatile line of tents that are made for summer camping with family or friends, kayak or canoe camping, and camping with your motorcycle or bike.
Since these are somewhat advertised as “ultralight” camping models, we’re interested in finding out how they stack up against other ultralight tents we’ve seen. We’re exploring each and every element of these tents, so keep reading to discover the differences between each size, and how all the features can benefit your next adventure.
Introduction on Marmot Limestone Tents
Immediately we can tell that these are warm-weather tents, as the amount of mesh on the roof reaches almost halfway down the walls.
After reviewing many other Marmot tents, we’ve noted that they are big fans of providing a full-coverage rainfly, which is something we definitely appreciate. Full-coverage means you’re more open with deciding where to travel, as you get way more protection from rain and wind than you would with a mid-coverage fly.
We’ve heard a lot about the massive amount of space you get inside, which you can’t immediately tell when looking at them from the outside. We’re excited to find out just how big they are, and whether that sacrifices the weight.
Ranging from $260 to over $400, we believe these are reasonably priced models when you consider the brand, sizes, and construction.
Marmot Limelight 2 Person Tent
Starting off with the smallest size, this is intended for two people, but can be used by a lone camper if they’re looking for more space to stretch. That being said, with a maximum weight of 5.10lbs we think it’s going to be a little difficult to carry on your own – it’s going to take up more space in your pack than some other ultralight models.
- Comfortable Floor Area of 33sq ft
- Pre-Bend Poles Widen Space
- Enormous Double Doors
Marmot Limelight 3 Person Tent
This size is extremely similar to the previous one. There’s just an obvious difference in square footage and overall interior space, since it is made to fit 3 average adult sleeping bags instead of 2. We like that it’s got a rapid set up as well as the same wall-sized doors that make it so much easier to get in and out.
- Increased Floor Area of 42.5sq ft
- Double Storage Space with Dual Vestibules
- Taller Peak Height Enhances Comfort
Marmot Limelight 4 Person Tent
Lastly is the 4p, which is versatile enough to use with 2 people, 3, or at full capacity. We recommend it for 2 people though, as it leaves you with heaps of additional livable space. The base features are all the same as the previous models, but of course it is larger. At 8.8lbs we suggest splitting the load between a few people, and only for shorter trips if you’re backpacking or hiking.
- Floor Area Increased to 51.8sq ft
- Wider Doors for Easier Entry/Exit
- More Internal Mesh Storage
What We Love – Our Top 3 Features
GOLD QUALITY – Spaciousness
There’s no doubt that this has to be our first favorite quality of these tents, as this is what makes this line so unique. While many Marmot models feature their signature pre-bend framework, it’s done so well with this line of tents.
They’ve considered that 2, 3 and 4 person tents can often feel quite cramped, so they’ve managed to broaden the space without adding tons of extra weight. We love the careful positioning of each pole, yet you still don’t have a majorly complicated set up as there are only 3 poles in the 2p and 3p, and 4 poles in the largest size.
Having more room is especially useful for getting a better sleep as you can stretch out, changing your clothes without straining your back, or spending all day inside when the weather takes a turn.
SILVER FEATURE – Doors
The vast door sizes seem to be a running feature throughout this series of tents. It’s a standout for us because people often expect larger doors on larger models. Though, that’s not always the best way to go as smaller tents with big doors offer more practicality.
We appreciate that they’ve considered the size and shapes of the doors, which opens up the tent significantly more than with just a single, smaller door.
While there are less people using small capacity tents, the size of the door can affect the overall experience. With broader entry/exit ways, you’ll never feel confined, and you can configure them to suit your needs. For example, you can get in and out from either side without disturbing others.
BRONZE HIGHLIGHT – Rainfly Coverage
If you’ve read any of our other Marmot reviews, it’s no secret that we’re big fans of their rainflies. An all-coverage fly allows you to camp in areas with rougher weather, so you’re not limited in where you want to travel.
We love how these are reasonably-priced tents and you’re stilling getting the benefit of a full-coverage rainfly. We do wish they could have a few more vents near the ground, but you can roll back the vestibules to let more air in if needed.
Tent Overview and Functions
There’s more than meets the eye with these models. As well as pitching them as regular tents, you can stake down the footprint and assemble the rainfly above. This is very useful for days when you don’t want or need to set up the entire tent, like if you’re out on a picnic and need a quick shelter, plus you can use this method when it’s extremely hot. The only drawback of this configuration is that you get less protection from bugs.
Another element of versatility is the fact that you can use these models in wet and dry conditions. They had an old Limelight version with more mesh panels near the ground. It was a smart move to eliminate these panels in relation to privacy and keeping warm, as the newer half-wall polyester-taffeta panels give more coverage.
Designed with their Easy Pitch system, each of these tents can be set up in 15-30 minutes, or even shorter depending on your experience with assembling. Color coded poles clearly signify where everything needs to go, plus the clips that attach the canopy to the frame are more solid to increase stability. When using the footprint with the whole tent, it seamlessly attaches to the bottom of the framework.
Not only does 100% polyester taffeta keep you dry, but it actually has a longer lifespan and doesn’t need to be retightened after getting wet. We must say that the waterproof rating isn’t the highest we’ve seen (1500mm for the fly and 2000mm for the floor), but it’s decent enough to shield you during moderate rainfall over a period of days.
Compared to 150D polyester oxford that’s used for the flooring of the Limestone, it falls a little short. However, these are budget-friendly models, and 68D 190T polyester taffeta is still thicker than the polyester used for the rest of the canopy. This means you’re getting higher protection on the ground, which reduces the risk of cuts or leakage.
Thanks to the entire mesh roof, the level of air circulation is heightened. It also comes down halfway on each wall which lets more light in during the day as well. When you’ve got the fly on, the two sources of airflow come from the bottom gaps of the vestibules, as well as a vent at the top. There could definitely be more vents on the fly, since it is full coverage and you need that airflow to prevent stuffiness. We do like how the vents have kickstands though, because they let you control how much air comes in.
DAC poles are a favorite of Marmot, and here they’ve used the DAC Press-Fit velocity aluminum 7000 ridge poles. According to their website, these poles solve the problem of glue failure in the connector tubes which can lead to sharp ends and a ripped tent. DAC’s solution was to “master a technically demanding interference fit between the connector tube and the main poles – requiring no glue – and to use a more ductile alloy, a Japanese variation on 7001.”
This resulted in a stronger framework that can last much longer than regular aluminum poles. Along with these high-quality poles, you’ve got a specially designed frame that is made to withstand strong winds. The cross-sectioning not only pushes out the walls, but also improves stability and strength in intense winds.
Bonus Interior Features
There are some smaller features inside each tent that are definitely worth mentioning. As each size increases, you get more mesh pockets to accommodate to more people. These pockets also have middle dividers for double the organization.
This brand’s signature lamp shade pockets are in full force here – they disperse consistent light throughout the interior which gives you hands-free illumination. This makes it so much easier to organize things, get ready for bed, get changed, play cards, eat, and so on. In addition to these pockets, you get a traditional roof lantern hook.
Most Asked Questions
Is there a gear loft included?
There is no mesh gear loft included with this tent, but remember that you are getting a free footprint. These tents can accommodate a roof loft, as you’ll find 4 clips in the corners of the ceiling that let you attach a loft with ease.
Can I use it in the snow?
This line is not intended for 4-season use, so pitching in snow may not be the best idea. That being said, you could use it in single-digit weather if you sealed off the edges of the fly to block icy air from flowing up and into your sleeping area. If you do this, don’t forget to change your sleep system to accommodate the colder temps, as the tent still won’t retain as much heat as a 4-season extreme weather model.
What does it come with?
You get all the poles and clips needed for setting up this tent. You also receive stakes which aren’t heavy-duty, so you’ll need to bring heavier ones along if you’re planning to stay in windy weather. As mentioned in our review, a footprint also comes with each size. You can use the footprint with the tent, or with only the rainfly.
Today we review the Marmot Limelight tents, due to their popularity and top quality features they fast became a best selling backpacking tent.
Conclusion on Marmot Limelight Tents
It’s safe to say the Marmot Limelight tents are one of the best budget-friendly options out there, made from a reliable brand with a solid construction, and features that accommodate to our creature-comforts.
Keep in mind that while these are publicized as ultralight tents, they aren’t as light as others you can find on the market. That’s why we think they are ideal for car, boat, bike, or motorcycle camping where you don’t need to carry it on your back. Perhaps if you’re going on a short trip, though, hiking and sharing the load with someone may work.
We’re definitely pleased with the level of versatility – thanks to the ability to fast-pitch without the inner canopy – as well as the vast amount of space. Oh, and the price is a huge thumbs-up from us.