The Marmot Tungsten line is a series of lightweight tents designed to maximize space, without compromising on weight. This line also comes in the Tungsten Ultralight tents and the Tungsten Hatchback tents, but today we’ll be mainly focusing on the original line, with a brief touch on UL series.
These freestanding tents are well-loved by backpackers, hikers, and ultralight campers, but we’ve also seen them used by those who love a bit of backcountry camping or kayak/canoe and bike trips. Available in 1 person, 2 person, 3 person, and 4 person sizes, this is a well-ranged line that covers multiple types of campers.
Seeing as these are so popular for lightweight hikes and camping trips, we want to get to the bottom of it all to find out whether these are all they’re cracked up to be. Continue reading for our deep dive into one of the top marmot tents available right now, the Tungsten line.
Marmot Tungsten 1 Person
The smallest capacity in the line, this comes in either a green shadow moss color or a red-orange blaze steel. At just under $200 it’s fairly priced when you consider the increased amount of space you’re getting and all-coverage rainfly. The vertical walls are a huge standout for us, as they make things feel way roomier than some other 1p models we’ve seen.
- Pre-Bend Framework Enlarges Space
- Easy-Entrance D-Shaped Door
- Super Rapid Set Up with 2 Poles
Marmot Tungsten 2 Person
Compared to 20sq feet of floor space in the previous size, this model amps things up by a substantial 10sq feet, reaching just over 30sq feet in floor area. This appears to give just enough room for two adults in average sized sleeping bags, but we think it could work really well as a 1 person tent. If used by a solo camper, there’s more leftover interior space for gear aside from the rainfly vestibules.
- Double Large Teardrop Doors Accommodate 2 Campers
- Small Gear Interior Storage Pockets
- Pre-Bend Pole Construction Increases Space
Marmot Tungsten 3 Person
Now we’re onto the 3p, which is pretty much the exact same as the 2p apart from an obvious increase in room. It looks like the doors are also slightly slimmer (only very slightly) but they still look spacious enough to comfortably fit through. With an increase in price of under $100 compared to the 2p, you’re getting an added 11sq foot of ground space. We believe it’s ideal for two people, but again could be used by one person if they’re looking for more room.
- Speedy 3 Pole Set Up
- 3sq feet Plus Stretched-Out Walls Add Room
- Big Dual Teardrop Doors
Marmot Tungsten 4 Person
The largest model in the series follows the same base features as the previous models, though there is obviously another decent upsurge in floor area. It also has a taller peak height, which we like as it gives you more room to move and stretch. While 5 poles in the frame may seem like a lot compared to the other sizes, it’s still quite minimal in relation to the capacity.
- Largest Floor Area of 53sq feet
- 5-Pole Pre-Bend Framework
- Wide D-Shaped Doors
Marmot Tungsten UL – Ultralight
Sizes: 1p, 2p, 3p, 4p
Colors: Wasabi, Dark Citron/Citronelle
Ranging from 2.9 to 5.9 lbs in weight for the 1-4 person models, its clear to see why these are called the UL (Ultralight) series, they are feather light and easily carried inside their carry bags, that come with the purchase.
For an ultralight tent, they do not suffer any drawbacks in the weatherproofing department, thankfully, they still retain a 1500mm water rating. This is well above average, but we would expect this given the quality of the build (and equally the price), so it will serve you well out on the trail and in remote camping situations.
Unlike the hatchback UL, this is much easier to set up, and has a color coded guidance system to aid you in your first pitch, once practiced a few times you wont need it so much, but it does come in handy for the initial camp.
Spacious too, with 2 apses or recesses, there is ample room to store your gear as well as slotting in a nice sleeping arrangement, whether it be a sleeping pad, mattress or cot, you’ll find all options can fit in nicely. The double access doors are great too, with a large D shaped design, you’ll have no hassle squeezing in and out at the same time as your campmate, an attractive feature in the 3 and 4 person model especially.
- 1500mm Water Rating
- Minimalistic Weight from 1-4 person tent
- Spacious Interior with Gear Space
Marmot Tungsten UL Hatchback
Sizes: 2p, 3p
Colors: Dark Citron/Citronelle, Wasabi
From the get-go you will notice the aerodynamic design on the hatchback is second to none, especially when positioned correctly with the tail end facing oncoming winds, they will fly right over the low profile rear with ease. Of course always try and find a natural obstruction for winds generally speaking, especially when remote camping, but we would be less fearful parking this ones end to the wind.
With the 2 person weighing just 2lbs 12.5oz (1265g) and the 3 person mode weighing in at 2lbs 14.5oz (1312g) its clear to see they are truly ultralight, even with the elongated design, they’ve managed to keep the weight right down.
Like the UL series it also has the 2 D shaped doors to allow for simple entry and exit routes, there is also an apse internally that has a removable door. So some level of customisation is possible in terms of the storage. Speaking of storage there are multiple storage pockets fitted inside, one at low and one at mid range height. Easily reached from a seated and laying position.
It also has the color coded setup for simplicity and a lantern or headlamp attachment, whichever you prefer. Given that its an UL tent, a lightweight headlamp would probably be wiser, as not to stress the framework, although it could probably hold a decently sized camping lantern, nothing too major though.
- Wind Canopy
- Multiple Storage Options
- 1265g-1312g in Weight for the 2 Sizes
First Impressions on Marmot Tungsten Tents
We think these look like your ultimate lightweight companion – they’re specifically designed for campers that carry everything on their backs. While we’ve already seen vertical walls from Marmot, we find it impressive that they’ve managed to achieve the same design in such small-capacity tents.
They seem to cater towards warm weather, since there is so much mesh involved. With full-coverage flies, though, we’re interested to see how they could hold up in cooler temps.
In terms of the price range, these models aren’t on the cheapest end of the spectrum, but they’re also not the most expensive you can find. Coming from such a trusted brand like Marmot, we’re intrigued by the quality of materials and construction, as they typically come out on top when looking at value.
Now it’s time to get into our first thoughts on each individual size in the range.
What We Love – Our Top 3 Features
GOLD QUALITY – Roominess
Our absolute favorite part about this line of tents is how spacious they are without adding to the weight. It can be difficult to find 1 to 3 person tents that don’t feel like you’re confined to a miniature space, so we really appreciate how they’ve thought about the construction to optimize the area.
We love the pre-bend framework because it gives you more room to get changed, move about, arrange your gear, and stretch in the mornings after waking up. While these aren’t the lightest ultralight tents on the market, they give you an added level of comfort that we think is worth the extra couple of pounds.
SILVER FEATURE – Simplicity
Coming in at our second favorite feature is the simplicity of the overall design. While these models look almost geometric without the fly on, they are extremely simple in structure. This stands out to us because a simpler design means an easier set up – and that’s always handy when you’re a solo camper or with one other person.
Even in the largest size, there are only 5 poles to assemble. What’s more, we love the “Easy Pitch” design that is especially useful for streamlining the installation process. With just a few extras (which we’ll talk about further down) you’re getting a stable structure, without all the complicated frills.
BRONZE HIGHLIGHT – Rainfly
We’ve touched on our appreciation for Marmot rainflies before, but we’re going to do it again. The fact that you get a full-coverage fly with this line is a massive bonus. An all-coverage fly is important for us because it widens your options with where and when you can camp.
While the waterproof rating isn’t overly high for the flooring or fly, the fact that it covers all the way to the ground increases the protection by a mile. Along with protection, we’re pleased with the fly because it also produces more storage space. From the 2p onwards, you get double the storage area just from putting the fly on.
Tent Overview – Breaking Down Every Detail
Let’s start with the bones of the tent: the frame. Each size has 7000 Series aluminum poles, a combination of 9mm HD Velocity ones, and some that are 8.5mm velocity. It was a smart move to make them aluminum, because they don’t add heaps of weight. This makes them much easier to carry while travelling.
As the capacity increases, so do the amount of poles. This boosts the structural integrity, as you need the tent to be more stable as the size moves up. An X-shaped design makes up the framework on each size.
On the 1p model there are only two poles, but they are positioned in a way to stretch out the roof and side walls as much as possible for more room.
2p and 3p models are the same with an added third pole on the roof – this really helps with pulling out the side walls for a taller peak height and spacious feel. You may even be able to fit a small cot and push it up against the wall. The 4p has two extra poles on the roof instead of one to make way for 4 campers, as well as to strengthen the overall form.
In order to stick with the ultralight theme, the weight had to be taken into consideration when choosing the materials for these tents. That’s why it appears polyester taffeta was used, since it’s not only lightweight, but has other properties that make it ideal for outdoor conditions.
Polyester taffeta is naturally resistant to UV rays, retains moisture at a low level, and can dry very quickly. Also, it cannot be easily stretched, which means you don’t need to worry about a saggy tent after it rains.
Let’s take a look at each section of the tent and how the materials come into play:
The main part of the tent is made up of 40D polyester mesh and 68D polyester taffeta. We appreciate that the mesh is a no-see-um variety, which basically means it repels mosquitos and other insects from getting inside.
On the smallest size, the mesh reaches all the way down to the floor on all walls. That’s an interesting difference compared to the other sizes, which have polyester panels diagonally placed up the front and back walls and covering one side wall.
We think they’ve designed the 1p with the most mesh to give it an even more roomy and airy feel. That comes with another advantage of more airflow, making it ultra-suitable for summer camping.
Here you’ll find 68D 190T polyester taffeta, which is a little thicker than the poly-taffeta used for the canopy and fly. There’s less of a chance of scratches or tears, plus it performs well in moderate wet weather with a waterproof rating of 2000mm. You do get a free footprint included which comes in handy for heavier rainfall.
The fly has the same construction as the floor (68D 190T polyester taffeta), but has a slightly lower water column of 1500mm. Again, it’s ideal for moderate wet conditions, but won’t hold up in torrential rains as it’s not made for that. Note that the vestibules are shaped with a slant so that rain droplets can roll off quicker, thus raising your level of protection.
This type of pitch patented by Marmot says it all in the name: Easy Pitch. It’s designed to be user-friendly, allowing first-time campers to learn how to set up at a fast pace with hassle-free instructions. Don’t forget that these are freestanding, so you can pick them up and move them to your desired place without de-installing.
Each pole is color-coded, meaning you can attach the clips, frame, and fly effortlessly – no fumbling around with a bunch of poles wondering where everything goes. Equipped with strategically-located clips, the walls are pulled away from the interior space without much effort at all. We’ve found that the clips attach smoothly and quickly, making the process even faster.
The seasonal rating of these tents also ties in with comfort – how comfortable will you feel in different kinds of weather?
Since there is quite a bit of mesh on all sizes, we classify these as 3 season tents. You can leave the rainfly off in hot weather whilst staying protected from bugs, before swiftly clipping it on when it rains or there are some cool winds.
The reason we wouldn’t recommend this for winter camping is because of the vast level of mesh. While the rainfly provides full coverage, there is a slight gap underneath the vestibule areas. This means that cold air will get sucked through the gap and into your tent, so you’d either need to block it with a tarp, or just take a tent specifically designed for winter.
There’s no doubt that you get plenty of ventilation without the fly on; broad panels of mesh allow tons of air to flow through to prevent stuffiness or humidity.
On the fly there are some vents on the vestibules (only one on the 1p) which can be open or closed with a kickstand Velcro piece. These do help a lot with ventilation, plus you’re getting airflow from the gap under the vestibules, but we do wish there were a few more vents on these models.
While some may think multiple doors should be reserved for larger tents, these models show us how beneficial they can be for smaller tents. We’ve seen several user reviews praising the inclusion of a second door on the 2p and 3p, as it can be difficult to find tents at these capacities with two doors.
Ranging from D-shaped to teardrop-shaped, the doors on each model are super wide to give you the easiest entry and exit. They zip almost all the way around and feature nylon zippers that don’t make noise when it’s windy.
Most Popular Questions
What is the storage like in the Tungsten?
You’ll find multiple storage pockets throughout each model, the most pockets obviously in the largest capacity (4p). Each one is also equipped with this brand’s signature lamp loft pouch, which disperses light from your lantern or headlight. The largest storage area comes from the vestibules – from 1p to 3p they are V-shaped, while the 4p has a D-shaped entrance to one of the vestibules.
Are the Tungsten tents gender-specific?
No, these tents are all classified as unisex. This means they are designed to fit an average adult, no matter their gender. There is also no gender-specific coloring, like pinks or blues.
Do Tungsten tents fair well in heavy rain?
Rather than bathtub style floors, this line uses catenary cut. This means that the seams are tighter which has two advantages: the floor area is maximized, and the canopy is tauter which prevents damage from winds. Catenary cut still keeps you dry inside, but we suggest using the included footprint underneath when it’s raining heavily.
Conclusion on Marmot Tungsten Tents
For mid-range price tents with high-quality materials and construction, the Marmot Tungsten line has exceeded our expectations. These are perfect for summer camping, give you a great deal of protection in mild rain and wind, and optimize the space in a way that many small capacity tents aren’t able to do. While they’re not the lightest we’ve seen, you’re getting great quality craftmanship with an increased amount of space that we think are worth the extra couple of pounds.