Mountaineering, winter camping and backcountry camping generally promise two things: gorgeous views and harsh-as-hell conditions. In order to prepare for the latter, campers typically look for a tent that will keep them safe no matter what the weather throws at them.
A large livable space and decent storage room are important aspects as well, seeing as you could be stuck inside during blizzards or other intense conditions.
That’s why today we’re reviewing the Marmot Thor range, which consists of 2 person and 3 person models. Aimed at experienced adventurers who need high levels of protection, the Marmot Thor tents are built for prolonged expeditions in alpine conditions, and considered the most robust and best marmot tents for extreme conditions.
We’re uncovering all their features, obvious and hidden, to find out whether this line is worth the immense price.
Marmot Thor 2 Person
Unlike some other 2p models we’ve seen, we believe this tent is the ideal size to fit 2 people. Sound confusing? Well, it’s widely recommended to accommodate half the amount of people to what the capacity indicates (for example, an 8p tent usually works best with 4 campers).
We don’t think that’s the case for this model, as the interior space is generous enough to comfortably fit 2 people without feeling cramped. Another reason we say this is because we don’t suggest using this as a solo camper, as the set up looks quite tricky.
- Roomy 36.9sq feet of Space
- Thick 100% Nylon 10,000mm Waterproof Floor
- All-Coverage Fly with Dual Vestibules
- Pack Size 9” x 28.5”
- Dimensions 7.38ft x 5ft x 3.7ft [L x W x H]
- Weight 5.3lbs
Marmot Thor 3 Person
There aren’t really any differences between these two capacities aside from the overall size. Obviously this 3p is larger in terms of floor space, delivering almost 11sq feet extra than the 2p. One slight difference we can see at first glance is the size of the doors – they are somewhat wider than the smaller capacity. We appreciate this since you are accommodating for the size of one other person.
- Large Floor Area of 47.8sq Feet
- Wider Teardrop-Shape Doors
- Pack Size 9.5” x 28.5”
- Dimensions 7.75ft x 6.17ft x 4.08ft [L x W x H]
- Weight 11.4lbs
Marmot Thor Footprint
The footprint is available for both 2 person and 3 person models of the Thor tent and is recommended if you are pushing it to the limits and taking it on an intensive camping trip through winter and hiking mountains, like in our featured images. However, if you are just using it for casual camping, you could go without and you may not feel the difference too much.
First Impressions on Marmot Thor Tents
It’s clear to see that this line is geared towards those who are enthusiastic about winter camping, mountaineering, and remote or backcountry camping. For those looking for a highly durable tent to use on casual trips, we don’t see this being the right choice, because this line is more designed for snow, or heavy rain and winds over a long period of time.
The price tag is hefty, but you’ve got to take into account the construction quality, high-grade materials, and additional features. We like the shape (which is the same for both sizes) as it’s reminiscent of a dome with a tunnel tent twist – this makes it look more modern
Based on the cost and intended use, we can tell that these are reliable tents that were precisely designed for severe winter conditions.
What We Love – Our Top 3 Features
GOLD QUALITY – Structure
Here we’re referring to two aspects in terms of the structure: The durability and the dome shape. First, the durability of these tents is what you would expect from a 4-season model that needs to withstand extreme conditions. They definitely haven’t skimped out on the quality of the materials, which is so important for these kinds of tents in order to keep the user safe and warm.
Next is the dome shape, which stands out for us in this line because of how well-done it is. Rather than a traditional dome, it has hoop sections on the roof, which are useful because they optimize headspace without creating too much room. You don’t want heaps of unused space in winter tents because then it’s much harder to retain heat, so we love how they’ve given you enough living space without going overboard.
SILVER FEATURE – Gear Storage
There are countless obvious differences between cold and warm weather camping, but one of the biggest ones is how much more gear you need to pack for cold conditions. You need to take many bulky items, like a camping pad, heavy-duty sleeping bag, a camping blanket, layers of clothes, and so on.
That’s why the amount of gear storage space comes in as our second Favorite Feature, because we love how much room there is to keep all this bulky gear. Even at full capacity for either size, there is still enough leftover room at your feet or heads to stack equipment. What’s more, you’ve got two vestibules that are protected by the fly and base flaps.
BRONZE HIGHLIGHT – Window Design
This may seem like such a minimal feature, but it’s definitely a highlight for us. On each of the two side windows (on both sizes) you’ll spot a tiny zipper that opens up to make a small gap. Reach your hand through this gap when snow starts to build up, tap a few times, and the roof is instantly free of heavy snow to prevent sagging and help retain more heat.
Another unique part of this feature is that the gaps are lined up with the scoop vents on the fly, which lets you quickly reach through to adjust them with only one hand.
Tent Overview – Breaking Down Every Detail
What Comes in the Pack
For the high prices of these tents, we’re pleased that you get some accessories included within the carry bag. You get several guylines (which are neon orange to reflect at night), aluminum unbendable stakes, one regular aluminum peg, and additional fabric. This extra fabric is for on-the-go patch ups – super important for winter camping since the shelter needs to trap in as much heat as possible.
Any holes need to be patched up, otherwise heat gets out and cold air gets in. Two stretchy loops included work by attaching to the poles to lengthen the distance and stake out the guylines further, in case you’re surrounded by some rocks and you need to move the peg out a little to get it into the ground.
On both capacities there are 5 poles that make up the whole frame. These are secured by mesh sleeves and clips, which are sturdier than standard clips for 2 or 3-season tents. We’ve spoken about DAC poles before, and we’re happy to see them back in these models. Here you’ll find DAC Featherlite NSL poles that are designed to increase performance without being excessive with the weight. They also bend easier than regular aluminum, allowing the roof the form a rounder shape for more headspace. In case any do happen to break, you’re supplied with a pole splint.
Admittedly we’ve found that the set up for these models is a little difficult. Even for an experienced camper, this could pose a problem if you’re forced to pitch it in rough weather. For that reason, we highly recommend bringing someone along to set it up with you.
Also, you definitely need to practice before heading off on your trip. Practice a few times at least, so by the time it’s the real-deal, you’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature has to throw at you.
Bathtub flooring comes up really high on these tents – almost halfway, in fact. This significantly enhances the floor’s waterproofing abilities, as it’s much harder for melted snow or splashes of water to seep through the stitching. Furthermore, the floor has a massive waterproof rating of 10,000mm, with a 3000mm rating for the fly.
Reduced mesh paneling further decreases the risk of leaks. You’ve still got enough for decent breathability, but not so much that icy air can easily flow through.
Comfort & Warmth
Without a doubt these models have thicker and tougher materials than you’d find in, say, a backpacking 3-season tent. That’s great news for winter campers, but not so much if you’re planning to use this in warm weather. Hence the 4-season rating pertains to winter camping more than it does all-year-round trips.
Since the materials are more robust, these models hold heat inside at a faster and longer rate, keeping you comfortable all night long (with the right gear, of course.) Comfort also refers to the spaciousness, which you’re getting a fair amount of thanks to the hoop roof design. It optimizes space without adding unnecessary weight.
Glowing like a beacon of light, the rainfly has a bright orange design that is helpful for visibility in the snow. It’s full coverage, which means it comes down at each corner to provide a high level of protection and heat retention. In addition to the vibrant orange, we like the range of reflective hits across the whole body for even better visibility.
Black flaps at the base area keep snow away from the body, but they also play a part in anchoring the tent down when snow builds on top of them.
Door-style vestibules are created with the flysheet. Storm flaps hug the zippers with a firm Velcro grip, and the front vestibule has a ridge pole for added headroom.
Entry & Exit
Two vast teardrop-shaped doors make these models feel more airy and generously sized – we can imagine leaving part of a vestibule open with the door flap rolled back, basking in the scenery while remaining sheltered.
Each door is mesh with an inner panel that zips away to let you modify airflow. Both the mesh and nylon panel can be rolled and tied away with dual attachment points, giving you the control for how much air you want coming through. These are actually quad zipper doors, meaning you’ll always find a zipper instead of fumbling around to reach one.
Most Popular Questions
How many windows are there?
Within each size, you’ll find four mesh panels which can be classified as windows. Two of them are on the sides, and the other two are found on the doors. The front door has a much larger mesh area than the back one, which is purposely done to retain as much heat as possible. It’s extremely useful having the option to roll away the flaps, as you can control how much air comes in.
Is there enough storage inside?
Both sizes include two triangular mesh pouches, tons of little attachment points on the roof to string headlamps for aerial lighting or a gear loft, and a small roof pocket. Since the inner area is symmetrical, five side pouches on one side are also found on the other, so that’s 10 pockets in total for 2 or 3 campers.
Does it get humid inside?
Without the fly you can effortlessly achieve a large amount of ventilation, as you’ve got four mesh windows to let air through. With the fly on there are two upper scoop vents which can be controlled using the built-in kickstands. Using these vents you can get decent air circulation that prevents stuffiness inside.
Conclusion on Marmot Thor Tents
Overall we’re thoroughly satisfied with the Marmot Thor tents. We know there’s a steep price tag for both the 2p and 3p sizes, but we think it’s worth it if you’re serious about winter or backcountry camping. When you’re travelling in remote areas with unpredictable weather, you need a shelter that will keep you safe, and that’s definitely worth the money in our opinion. With this line, you’re getting premium features packed in a hybrid dome-tunnel structure with enhanced wind resistance and roomy interior space.