Marmot Limestone 6 Review
Cons: Fly gets caught up on obtrusive poles, top pole sleeve is strangely tight, vestibule could be larger
Our Analysis and Test Results
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). This really isn't a big deal unless, again, you're trying to squeeze six or more fully grown adults into it.
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.
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.
We were also intrigued by the quad-zippered front door. Marmot has 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.
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.
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 Limestone's veranda is fairly small. 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 very wide and doesn't offer a ton of coverage, but we think it's still a super nice feature and one that you'll get a ton of use out of.
The Limestone's rain fly gives impressive coverage. The sides go 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 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.
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 can 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 have to push it through.
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.
The Limestone 6P balances price and quality well. It's not cheaply made, but it's not the absolute top of the line either. 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 Limestone 6P is a great tent. It has all the features you want, without any unnecessary bells and whistles.
— Wes Berkshire