≪ Go to our review of Camping Tents

Hands-on Gear Review

Marmot Limestone 6 Review

Marmot Limestone 6p
Price:   $489 List | $415.61 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Two doors with vestibules, strong and durable design, tall inside.
Cons:  Few pockets, poor ventilation with doors and vestibules closed, small vestibules, lots of poles for simple design, fly snags on two small poles while trying to put it on.
Bottom line:  A very well made tent, sturdy and dependable in a storm, but low on ventilation and vestibule space.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   Marmot

Our Verdict

The Limestone 6 tent has a pedigree of quality and well-rounded performance. Its burly construction keeps it sturdy in bad weather and if it weren’t for a few glitches in the design, it would have been a stronger contender in the race for an award. The pesky glitches are as follows: the two top poles protrude, making it difficult to install the fly, there is little ventilation, and the vestibules are quite small. Otherwise, the manufacturing is admirable. This is a great tent for camping in cooler, temperamental climates. And it will long outlast many other tents on the market.

Update - September 2017


For 2017, the Limestone 6 enters the market with some updated features. Continue reading to learn more about the latest version of this product which is pictured above.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Tents for Groups and Families


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Lyra Pierotti
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Friday
September 22, 2017

Share:

New Limestone 6 vs. The Old Version


Marmot updates the Limestone 6 with some intriguing adjustments for 2017. The new prototype is decked out with a fully opening front entrance (as opposed to the D-shape door featured in the previous model). The pole structure was also augmented, increasing the volume of the tent ever so slightly (.3 square feet). The color options are still green and orange but the exact shades are a little different; last year, the green tent color was Hatch/Dark Cedar, this year it's Green Shadow/Moss and the orange from last year is updated to Orange Spice/Arone. Other than that, everything else has stayed the same, including the weight and price.

See the side-by-side comparison below, with the latest version of the Limestone 6 pictured on the left and the older version shown on the right.
Marmot Limestone 6p
Marmot Limestone 6 - new
 


Here's a summary of the key differences between the latest Limestone 6 and the previous version:
  • New Pole Design — The modified pole structure adds a tiny bit more space.
  • Shape — Judging from the comparison photos above, the new model looks slightly more flat on the top of the tent.
  • New Colors — The most current color schemes for the Limestone are Green Shadow/Moss and Orange Spice/Arone.
  • Fully Opening Front Door — The 2017 model features a fully opening front door versus the D-shape door in the previous model.

Though the modifications are slight, we feel that they could increase the overall performance of this product. Until we test this theory ourselves with a full hands-on review, the text below refers to the previous year's model.

Hands-On Review of the Original Marmot Limestone 6


The Limestone 6 seems at first to be very similar to the Mountain Hardwear Optic 6 or the Eureka Midori, but there are a few notable differences.

The Limestone 6 seems at first to be very similar to the Mountain Hardwear Optic 6 or the Eureka Midori, but there are a few notable differences.

Marmot Limestone 6
Marmot Limestone 6

Comfort


The overall size and shape of the Limestone are very similar to the other dome style tents in this review: The Optic 6, the Midori 6, and the Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6. The specs on each of these may help you discern which one fits your needs, with the right combination of height, weatherproofness, and overall comfort.

Tall and spacious  the Marmot Limestone 6 is comfortable to move around in.
Tall and spacious, the Marmot Limestone 6 is comfortable to move around in.

This is not, however, a tent that we would want to be cooped up in for a long, rainy day — not because of any issues with weather resistance, but because it is very well sealed from the elements. This is great if you often camp in inclement weather — in fact, it reminded some of our testers of some much more rugged basecamp tents they had used on expeditions, where protection from the elements is a priority over comfort and user features.

A few issues we encountered: The vestibules are a little small; the vents in the fly are small, making it hot inside when the sun is shining. For a tent that will keep you much cooler in the hot sun, check out the Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6 or the Kodiak Canvas 6-Person Flex-Bow.

The Marmot Limestone 6 has small vents  limiting air flow when the fly is zipped up.
The Marmot Limestone 6 has small vents, limiting air flow when the fly is zipped up.

Weather Resistance


This is a strong and weatherproof shelter that is at home in the mountain environment. It seals tight against storms and anchors strong with guy lines attached high on the fly. The vents prop open with Velcro which will stay open through strong winds but are small and carefully angled such that they will still keep you dry in sideways rain.

The full vestibule provides excellent coverage for inclement weather, and the sturdy, free-standing, dome-shaped pole design makes it an excellent blend of livability (tall and roomy inside) and streamlined wind-resistance.


On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, however, this tent was a relatively poor performer. The small vents and full vestibule coverage, while excellent for bad weather, amount to a pretty high cost for warm and sunny weather — this tent gets hot in the sun. Even with both vestibules unzipped, this tent suffered from a more significant greenhouse effect than several others in this review, most notably the Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6.

The Marmot Limestone 6 is pretty well sealed from weather  even when the doors are opened. This makes for limited air flow  but great resilience in storms. Also  we loved the entry ground cloth.
The Marmot Limestone 6 is pretty well sealed from weather, even when the doors are opened. This makes for limited air flow, but great resilience in storms. Also, we loved the entry ground cloth.

Overall, this is a very strong tent that will withstand some burly weekends in the great outdoors, but you'll be less psyched if you're headed to warm, sunny destinations.

Ease of Setup


The Limestone should be easier to set up for the relative simplicity of the dome design. It is basically a dome style tent, with two crossing poles of the same size, and two much shorter poles that slide through sleeves in the roof of the tent and fix into grommets sewn high on the tent. Figuring out when during the setup process it is easiest to attach these poles is a matter of personal opinion — or perhaps height — but it does not make the process smooth or fast.

Very nice stitching and overall sturdy tent construction on the Marmot Limestone 6.
Very nice stitching and overall sturdy tent construction on the Marmot Limestone 6.

The other problem with these poles is that you then have four points high on the tent (at eye-poking level, for some) which make it much more difficult to get the fly up and over (see photo series below), especially if you're setting it up solo; the fly tends to get caught up on those protruding poles. Overall, we are not sure the gain in stability from these two extra poles is worth the hassle created during setup.

Getting the fly on the Marmot Limestone 6 solo was no small feat: the two short poles on top snagged the fly  and the height made it difficult to sail it over in one attempt.
Getting the fly on the Marmot Limestone 6 solo was no small feat: the two short poles on top snagged the fly, and the height made it difficult to sail it over in one attempt.

It is also necessary to set this tent up ahead of time to sort out your preferred guyline setup. The plastic tensioners are not pre-strung onto the guy line as with other tents in this review, so if you like to use those (and they can be awesome), you have to figure out how to string them, then fix the lines to the tent.

Marmot did not pre-rig the guy line tensioners; a minor detail  but our reviewers found it annoying to string them. It would be easier to remove them if users don't want them than it is to install them.
Marmot did not pre-rig the guy line tensioners; a minor detail, but our reviewers found it annoying to string them. It would be easier to remove them if users don't want them than it is to install them.

The vents on the fly have a handy and simple strut that Velcros to the fly and props the vent open. However, note that you cannot open these vents from inside the tent. This is another tradeoff for the high weather resistance of the Limestone 6.

Workmanship


The Limestone 6-person tent is a meticulously crafted, mountain-inspired tent — but which seems to have at least one pole too many. The dome design is similar to the Mountain Hardwear Optic 6, with two additional poles around the top, presumably for added stability. This, among other things, comes at a cost: the Limestone is more than two pounds heavier than the Optic 6.

The materials and details of this tent are no exceptions to Marmot's excellent track record for quality outdoor gear. Seams, clips, buckles, zippers, materials, directionally reinforced guy line attachments, etc. all inspire confidence that this tent will be long-lasting and strong-standing through most things the outdoors can throw your way. The dual vestibules, though both quite small, do allow for some user flexibility.

The one exception to quality is with the tent accessories; Marmot includes only the bare minimum number of stakes you would need to anchor each guy line and tent loop (so don't lose any if you're far from a camping store!), and the guy lines do not come pre-strung with the plastic tensioners, adding a step to your setup.

If this tent suits your camping needs, you will be very pleased with its high-quality workmanship.

Packed Size


Marmot keeps with its mountain-inspired design from start to finish with the Limestone. It stuffs easily into the simple, tubular stuff sack, which then cinches closed with a drawstring. It's a little tight, but not difficult to stuff back into the bag — an appropriate blend of ease of packing and small and tidy package. It is one of the tidier packed-up tents in this review, easy to toss in the trunk for your car camping trip.

With a handy carrying loop and reasonable weight (it's the third lightest in the review), it's also an easy tent to carry to your favorite walk-in campsite. As such, it is a pretty versatile camping tent overall.

Eureka Midori 6 and Marmot Limestone 6 packed up for side-by-side comparison.
Eureka Midori 6 and Marmot Limestone 6 packed up for side-by-side comparison.

Best Applications


This is a tent that will let you push the limits of your car camping experience, whether that means higher in the mountains or further into the shoulder seasons. Marmot calls it a 3-season tent, and it's not one we would take into the snowy backcountry, but we would call it more like 3-season-plus. That said, the Limestone is not your best option for warmer, sunnier destinations.

It is well suited to campers who want a blend of comfort and space without having to lug around a gigantic duffle-sized tent in their car or carry some massive, heavy tent several hundred feet to your favorite camp spot by the river.

Value


The Limestone is another mid-priced tent at $450. It is very well built, and if it suits your needs, this tent will withstand years of use and abuse. A great value for a sturdy and dependable tent.

Conclusion


The Limestone 6 by Marmot is a solidly built tent with a few limitations in ventilation and vestibule space that take away from its overall versatility. This is a great tent for inclement weather, but it'll be on the warmer side in hot and sunny climates. The setup is more complicated than it needs to be but it will do well in winds.

Other Versions & Accessories


Limestone 6P Footprint, $60

Marmot Limestone 4p
Limestone 4p
  • 4 person version of the Limestone tent series
  • Slightly smaller in dimensions but still deluxe
  • 61" Head height (compared to 76" on the 6p), kneeling height only
  • 86" Width (compared to 100")
  • Color coded poles, weather-resistant fabrics, seam-taped full fly
  • $339
Lyra Pierotti

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 22, 2017
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)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Jun 9, 2017 - 11:59am
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.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


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

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $415.61  -  15% off!
Amazon $474.35  -  3% off!
REI $489.00
Compare prices at 3 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us


Unbiased.