The Marmot Tungsten UL2 is a decent tent that has a lot to like at a reasonable price point. Its pole structure creates the most volume from its dimensions and the large doors are really accommodating for taller folks as well. It's not the flashiest tent around — some of the plastic components and stakes definitely show their sub-premium quality — but it will get the job done at a weight comparable to some top contenders. We do take some issue with the fly geometry, but for the more patient among us, or for those who just camp where rain is less of a factor, this tent is a solid option.
Marmot Tungsten UL2 Review
Cons: Difficult to tension fly properly, asymmetrical fly with small vestibule, cheaper-feeling materials
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Marmot Tungsten UL2
|Price||$298.95 at Backcountry||$292.46 at Backcountry|
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|$299.59 at Amazon|
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|$333.90 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Roomy for its weight, inexpensive||Excellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibules||Two large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of space and weight||Lightweight, good lateral headroom, large side doors, large overhead pocket||Lightweight, can be pitched in freestanding mode, large 'rainy day' entryway|
|Cons||Difficult to tension fly properly, asymmetrical fly with small vestibule, cheaper-feeling materials||Tapered foot, pockets are high up||Delicate fabrics require special treatment, expensive||small vestibules, tapered footprint reduces interior space||Low condensation resistance, small doors, tricky learn setup|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable, multi-purpose tent whose fly could use a little bit of help.||A superior tent that balances light weight with excellent features.||Our favorite tent for all your backpacking needs.||A comfortable, lightweight tent great for a weekend or a week.||A good choice for all your light and fast backpacking trips for two.|
|Rating Categories||Marmot Tungsten UL2||NEMO Dragonfly 2||Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2||Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3||Tarptent Double Rainbow|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (10%)|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||Marmot Tungsten UL2||NEMO Dragonfly 2||Big Agnes Copper...||Big Agnes Copper...||Tarptent Double...|
|Packaged Weight||3.70 lbs||3.16 lbs||3.06 lbs||3.81 lbs||2.60 lbs|
|Floor Area||32 sq ft||29 sq ft||29 sq ft||41 sq ft||30.5 sq ft|
|Packed Size||18 x 7 in||19.5 x 4.5 in||19.5 x 4 in||20 x 4.5 in||18 x 4 in|
|Dimensions||88 x 54 x 42 in||88 x 50 x 41 in||88 x 52 x 42 in||90 x 70 x 43 in||88 x 52 x 42 in|
|Vestibule Area (Total)||9.8 + 5.2 sq ft||20 sq ft||18 sq ft||18 sq ft||15 sq ft|
|Peak Height||42 in||41 in||42 in||43 in||42 in|
|Number of Doors||2||2||2||2||2|
|Number of Poles||3||3||2||3||2|
|Pole Diameter||Not provided||8.7 mm||8.7 mm||8.7mm||8.6 mm|
|Number of Pockets||2 + small light pocket||3||2||5||2|
|Gear Loft||No||No||Sold separately||Sold separately||No|
|Pole Material||DAC Pressfit||DAC Featherlite NFL||DAC Featherlite NFL and NSL||Aluminum||Easton 7075 E9 Aluminum|
|Rain Fly Material||20D Ripstop nylon||20D Nylon Ripstop||Silicone-treated patterned double ripstop nylon with waterproof polyurethane coating||proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating||1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon|
|Inner Tent Material||15D Nylon ripstop mesh, 20D Nylon ripstop||15D Nylon Ripstop||[Body] Patterned double ripstop nylon/polyester mesh
[Floor] Silicone-treated patterned double ripstop nylon with waterproof polyurethane coating
|proprietary patterned random rip-stop nylon with 1200mm waterproof polyurethane coating||1.0 oz/yd2 (34 g/m2) no-see-um mesh|
|Type||Two Door freestanding||Two Door freestanding||Two Door||Two Door||Two Door|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This tent offers really nice comfort for sleepers and stargazers alike. It struggles a bit with its weather resistance and despite its name, you shouldn't expect a true ultralight shelter. All in all, we like this model, there are just a couple of key components holding it back.
The Marmot Tungsten UL2 fares well in a couple of important metrics, placing it solidly amongst some of the more highly rated tents in this review.
We were pleasantly surprised by the space and comfort afforded by the Tungsten UL2. Its length is a fairly common 88" but the pre-bent poles really make the most out of every inch. Combine with a generous 54" width and this tent offers room to sit up and spread out.
We wish that it came with more pockets. It's limited to two relatively small ones, one on each side.
Ease of Setup
The tent itself is easy enough to pitch. It has two standard poles that intersect at a hub with a cross-pole that expands interior headroom.
However, the fly is a little trickier. There are red color-coded tabs at the corners to ensure it is oriented correctly, but staking it out properly takes a little more time. The fly geometry is a little wonky and we found that getting good tension was challenging.
Because of the issue with the fly, this tent struggles a little bit with weather resistance. If it's not good and taut, the wind can really whip it around noisily. Similarly, though the polyester fly doesn't expand when wet, if it's saggy to begin with, water will still weigh it down and bring it in contact with the mesh sidewall.
There is one large vent at the top that does a good job of dumping moisture and the vestibules can be opened up in a few different configurations to facilitate a good cross breeze.
The Tungsten offers solid durability. Its 30D nylon floor will stand up to regular use. Though its clips and hooks look and feel like they are sub-premium plastic, we still think that this tent can take a good beating. Its stakes are fine until they're not. If you are trying to drive them into hard-packed dirt, they will bend very quickly.
Weight and Packed Size
This tent has the label ultralight but we are hesitant to call it that. It has a measured packed weight of 3 pounds, 11 ounces; still a reasonable load for a lot of uses, but UL it is not. Its packed size of 18"x7" is just about what you would expect for its weight. The polyester fly doesn't stuff down quite as much as its nylon counterparts.
This tent offers fair value. Issues with the fly might make it a risky proposition for those that do a lot of wet weather camping, but the materials and construction are otherwise on par with what we would expect from a tent in this price range.
The Marmot Tungsten UL2 is a roomy tent at a reasonable price. It has a nice set of double side doors and space for two. We need to have a little more confidence in the fly before we can consider it a real contender, but for those who prioritize livability, this one is worth a look.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch