Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Limestone 6 Review

Marmot Limestone 6p
Price:  $489 List | $391.16 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Roomy and tall, multifaceted vestibule, simple design
Cons:  Fly gets caught up on obtrusive poles, top pole sleeve is strangely tight, vestibule could be larger
Bottom line:  A great, if basic tent. Many features of higher-rated tents in a more simple package.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Seasons:  3-season
Weight:  17 lb 13 oz
Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

The Marmot Limestone 6P is the kind of tent you can rely on. It's going to get the job done, It's not as fancy as some of its counterparts, but it's not a junky, poor quality, throw away either. As far as tents go, the Limestone won't leave you wanting. There are some genuine similarities to the Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6 and The North Face Wawona — the Limestone just offers a more pared-down, simple version of many shared features. We love the roominess (much enhanced by the steep walls) and the double zippered front door and front vestibule. The added zippers make the Limestone so much more versatile than many tents in this category. Overall, you won't be disappointed in the Marmot Limestone 6P, but it doesn't quite, match the competition.



RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Tents of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Wes Berkshire

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 16, 2018

Share:

Performance Comparison


The Marmot Limestone 6P hunkered down for the night.
The Marmot Limestone 6P hunkered down for the night.

Comfort


Like many tents in this category, the Limestone 6P would probably be a bit tight with six full-grown people inside. Three or four though would find it plenty spacious. At 83.3 square feet, the Limestone does come in a little smaller than the Wawona (86.6 square feet) and the Tensleep (90 square feet). This really isn't a big deal unless, again, you're trying to squeeze six or more fully grown adults into it.

The Limestone 6P has a good amount of room. It's not enormous  but with four people or less  you'll have plenty of elbow room.
The Limestone 6P has a good amount of room. It's not enormous, but with four people or less, you'll have plenty of elbow room.

Gear pockets are intelligently spread throughout the Limestone, with one in each bottom corner, one under each door, and a couple more in opposite corners up high.

Moderate-sized storage pouches are scattered conveniently in every corner and under the doors (plus a couple more in the upper corners).
Moderate-sized storage pouches are scattered conveniently in every corner and under the doors (plus a couple more in the upper corners).

The ceiling and the upper walls are full mesh, giving you the option to air things out, get a good sky view, or just let in more light.

There is plenty of mesh around the top of the Limestone for when you need to cool things down.
There is plenty of mesh around the top of the Limestone for when you need to cool things down.

We were also intrigued by the quad-zippered front door. Marmot has basically put two zippers on each side of the door going around to meet the others. What this allows you to do is make a double entrance, or, by stringing up a divider across the middle, a double room; kids on one side, adults on the other.

Four zippers on the front door give you many options for how to arrange both the entrance to your tent as well as the layout inside.
Four zippers on the front door give you many options for how to arrange both the entrance to your tent as well as the layout inside.

Very similar to the Tensleep, the Limestone has a double zippered front vestibule that opens things up for you to be creative with that space. You can use it as a standard vestibule, a storage space for shoes and gear out of the rain and other elements. You can roll up the front panel, but keep the sides down to enjoy the view while still protected from the wind.

The dual zippers on the vestibule give you many options in how to arrange the front of your tent. For one example  you can roll the front section up to keep your view  while leaving the sides to block the wind.
The dual zippers on the vestibule give you many options in how to arrange the front of your tent. For one example, you can roll the front section up to keep your view, while leaving the sides to block the wind.

With the help of some hiking poles and a couple guy lines, you can even pull the rectangular front portion out vertical to create a sun-shaded veranda. The biggest difference in the Limestone's veranda (as compared to the Tensleep), is that the Limestone's is noticeably smaller. There isn't a pole that extends out into that front veranda to add more space and room. Furthermore, the size of that front, rectangular portion of the vestibule isn't as wide as the Tensleep and as such, doesn't offer nearly the coverage. It's still a super nice feature and one that you'll get a ton of use out of, it just isn't quite as spacious as the Tensleep.

Your own personal veranda to get out of the sun. It does  however  need to be guy-lined and staked  and hiking poles are not included.
Your own personal veranda to get out of the sun. It does, however, need to be guy-lined and staked, and hiking poles are not included.

Weather Resistance


The Limestone's rain fly gives impressive coverage. The sides go basically to the ground, and it can be tightened where it connects to the poles to keep everything taut and efficient on the outside, leaving you dry on the inside. You also have a nice vestibule to keep anything dirty or muddy out of the main tent, while also keeping it out of the elements.

The Limestone's rain fly offers full coverage  all the way to the ground  making sure you stay dry and comfortable when those dark clouds roll in.
The Limestone's rain fly offers full coverage, all the way to the ground, making sure you stay dry and comfortable when those dark clouds roll in.

The vestibule could be bigger. It goes out about three feet, but slants down from the top of the door, meaning it's great for storing gear, but probably won't add to your personal lounging space. Again, like so many other features of the Limestone, it's not that the vestibule is tiny or inadequate, it's just not palatial. It's effective. It does what it's meant to do. You're just not going to be inviting your neighbors over to hang out in it when the weather turns nasty.

From the inside  the vestibule is a good size  just not the full atrium size of the top tents in this category.
From the inside, the vestibule is a good size, just not the full atrium size of the top tents in this category.

As for heat, the Limestone has large sections of mesh both on the front of the tent and over the entire ceiling. With the rain fly on, Marmot has added velcro vents that van easily be popped up to allow geat to get out the top of the tent. Keeping things cool and airy will not be a problem.

Ceiling vents in the rain fly are easily pulled out and velcroed to offer an escape route for heat without jeopardizing any waterproofing.
Ceiling vents in the rain fly are easily pulled out and velcroed to offer an escape route for heat without jeopardizing any waterproofing.

Finally, with a multitude of loops for added guy lines, securing the Limestone in the wind won't be an issue either.

Ease of Setup


With a similar cross-pole set-up to the Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6 and The North Face Wawona, along with two smaller poles that pull the side walls out to a more tensioned, near-vertical, the Limestone is super easy to set up.

The crisscrossed poles have three hooks on either side coming up from the ground  then a relatively short sleeve that covers the ceiling area or the tent.
The crisscrossed poles have three hooks on either side coming up from the ground, then a relatively short sleeve that covers the ceiling area or the tent.

It shouldn't take more than 7-10 minutes from car to completion. We did have a slight issue with the fly. The ends of the two side-wall poles stick out away from the main body of the tent and the fly has a tendency to get hung up on them, making stretching it over the tent potentially frustrating.

The side poles do a good job of pulling the tent out to give you more room  but the way the ends stick out can make getting the rain fly over the tent tricky.
The side poles do a good job of pulling the tent out to give you more room, but the way the ends stick out can make getting the rain fly over the tent tricky.

It's not a big issue, and if you have a second person to help you pull the fly over the top of the tent it shouldn't be a problem. It just wasn't as smooth as some of the other, similar tents in this category.

Packed Size


The Limestone comes with a fairly standard, open-ended, tube-style storage bag. What that means is that you'll have to be a little careful in folding and rolling it up so it will all fit back in the bag. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker, and Marmot did at least make the bag generous enough size-wise that you shouldn't have to be a type-A, methodical master to make it fit. Nor should you be jumping up and down on it like an overstuffed suitcase at the end of a trip.

The Limestone's tube-style bag isn't ideal for getting the tent back in for the trip home.
The Limestone's tube-style bag isn't ideal for getting the tent back in for the trip home.

It's not terrible, but it's not great either. Certainly, other companies likeBig Agnes and Eureka have more innovative and user-friendly packing designs, but the Limestone is adequate.


Workmanship


The Limestone is a well-built, quality tent, that should last you many nights and many seasons. It's fully seam-taped, all stitching is uniform, the catenary floor is of a substantially thicker and more durable nylon than the walls, and all zippers are designed not to get caught on any of the door fabric or mesh. The mesh that covers a fair bit of the walls and all of the ceiling is reinforced at the seams with nylon, which should keep everything intact and rip/tear-free.

The poles are burly and will keep everything upright and in position when the wind gusts up. Our only concern was the intersection of the pole sleeves at the peak of the tent. The sleeve for the top pole cinches down, right at the crux, to the point that you really have to push it through.

The fit at the crux of the upper sleeve is oddly tight. Our fear is that over time it will stress  and eventually rip out  the seams.
The fit at the crux of the upper sleeve is oddly tight. Our fear is that over time it will stress, and eventually rip out, the seams.

It certainly has the potential to stress the stitching and tear out either through repeated use or impatient set-up/tear down. It's possible that the fabric loosens up with repeated use, but in setting it up and taking it down repeatedly during our testing, we didn't find that to be the case.

Value


The Marmot Limestone 6P balances price and quality well. It's not cheaply made, but it's not the absolute top of the line either. It isn't priced at full-store liquidation levels, nor is it going to require you to take out a second mortgage just to get a little outdoor time. Its price fits its quality and function very well. You won't be disappointed with it, you won't find yourself making excuses for it, and you won't feel like you paid too much for it. That's good value.

The Marmot Limestone 6P is a solid  fairly basic  tent.
The Marmot Limestone 6P is a solid, fairly basic, tent.

Best Applications


The Limestone is perfect for serious campers who want a simple, well-made tent. It would be a great introduction to the big box crowd looking to step up the quality of their camping game.

Conclusion


The Marmot Limestone 6P is a great tent. It has all the features you want, without out any excessive bells and whistles. It's a basic, yet high-end tent.

Wes Berkshire

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: May 16, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Camper

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 9, 2017 - 03:59pm
SteveB · Camper · Portland, OR

I just returned from my second spring camping trip on the Oregon coast with this tent, and I really can't argue with anything in this review, although I would give it a higher rating because it fits my priorities: a)enough height to stand up (I'm tall and have a bad back,) b) able to routinely withstand 20-30mph winds and rain, and c) small enough footprint to fit in sites with limited tent location options.

Like the reviewers, I found that putting the rainfly on is awkward, and really requires two people, although its quirks were inconsequential by the third time I'd pitched the tent. I also was not thrilled that Marmot included so few stakes, given that a tent that's designed to withstand strong wind is going to need to be fully staked out (I have to use two guylines at each corner to withstand coastal winds.) It would be nice if tent manufacturers would include reflective guylines, but Marmot isn't alone there.

Unlike the reviewers, I find the ventilation to be excellent, with not a trace of condensation after a night's sleep. It never got above 70 degrees during either trip, however, so I wasn't able to test the greenhouse effect. I can see that it could get hot in warmer climates, although experienced campers won't have difficulty altering how the rainfly is installed to improve air circulation somewhat. In theory, it would be nice if there were more options to adjust the ventilation without leaving the tent, but again, my priority is weather resistance.

I also find the vestibule to be roomy- not sure what else I need it for besides storing my boots. I still haven't figured out how the doormat is useful in any way- it doesn't trap dirt, mud, or pine needles from your feet, and it collects water.

Unlike the reviewers, I think the side poles are a critical part of the tent design- they hold the walls of the tent more upright, so that it's easier to get in and out of the tent. If you have a back that doesn't like to bend, that's a big deal.

I do agree that the stuff sack is too small- a larger, duffle bag style storage sack would be greatly preferred.

So, in short, if you prioritize wind and rain resistance over hot-weather performance, this is a superb tent. The build quality is excellent, and the height and upright doors are great for tall guys with bad backs. I see it on sale regularly, so it can be a great value, too.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...