While sleeping while looking at the stars can be an amazing experience, real campers know that you need a shelter when you are out in the wilderness. The unpredictable weather, pesky insects, and itchy ground will definitely keep you up at night.
A tent is an essential gear that you need in your backpack whenever you are planning overnight camping outdoors. However, choosing the best tent is an act of balance. You will want an option that can withstand any weather conditions and protect you from the elements. On the other hand, you also want to choose a tent that’s easy to pack and lightweight.
Fortunately, both Marmot Limelight and Marmot Tungsten provide the best livable conditions without unnecessary weight. These two Marmot products are the most popular options in the market for outdoor enthusiasts.
But how will you know which one is best for you? In this article, we will compare the strengths and weaknesses of the two tents. We will also take a closer look at each one to help you pick the right tent for your next trip.
Marmot Limelight vs. Tungsten Comparison
Both collections include 2-person, 3-person, and 4-person options. The main difference between Marmot Limelight 3P and Marmot Tungsten 3P compared to their 2-person versions is obviously their sizes. In this review, we will be focusing on the versions for two people.
The specification overviews are laid out in the table below. We are highlighting the trail weight, pack size, floor area, and peak height of the tents. Additionally, these are the basic features that you should be considering when shopping for a tent.
|Marmot Limelight 2P||Marmot Tungsten 2P|
|Min. Trail Weight||5 lbs. 2 oz. (2.32 kg)||4 lbs. 13 oz. (2.18 kg)|
|Packed Size||7 x 18 inches (17.8 x 45.7 cm)||7 x 21 inches (17.8 x 53.3 cm)|
|Floor Area||33 sq. feet (3.06 sq meters) + 16 sq. feet (1.48 sq meters) vestibules||32 sq. feet (2.98 sq. meter) + over 18 sq. feet (1.67 sq. meter)|
|Peak Height||43 inches (109.22 cm)||42 inches (106.68 cm)|
|See prices at Amazon||See prices at Amazon|
Indeed, there are significant differences between Marmot Limelight 2P and Marmot Tungsten 2P. However, the comparison above does not show the obvious best option. Let’s take a look at each of the tents below.
Marmot Limelight 2P is a popular choice among backpackers due to its durability. It was designed to be a three-season camping and backpacking tent, and it does not disappoint. The roomy floor plan also makes it a perfect tent when you are going out with your friends.
Aside from the big interior space, it comes with dual doors for easy access and weather protection. Its rainfly has two roomy vestibules where you can store your gear and other things. Whether it’s rain or light snow, you and your bags will always stay dry. If you want more secure storage, you can use the internal mesh pockets.
Three DAC Press-fit aluminum poles support the Marmot Limelight. The corners are pre-bent to ensure that the sidewalls are always as vertical as possible. The aluminum poles are lightweight without sacrificing strength.
Here are some more of Marmot Limelight’s benefits:
Tent Set-Up and Packing
Combined with the pre-bent pole, the integrated clip system makes it easy to set-up Limelight. Because it is a freestanding design, you can move it around your campsite to find the best spot.
The poles press-fit together to create a brow pole. Just clip the seams to the pole after laying them out in an “X” shape. You can also easily fit the ends into the corner grommets. Then, put the brow pole over the two main poles where they easily clip in place.
Match up the color-coded tapes to their corresponding pitch clips. Then, stake it down to finally create the vestibules over the doors. The entire set-up will only take one person around 10 minutes to set-up the Limelight.
Just like the set-up, packing up the tent is also just as easy. You can quickly remove the vestibule and corner stakes, then take the poles out. Finally, just unhook the tent clips, break the poles down, and you are done.
The Marmot Limelight includes a bag that fits the tent perfectly. The poles also come with their own bags for easy storage in your backpack. Just roll the tent with the pole bag and the rainfly tucked inside.
Livability and Comfort
With about 33 square feet of space inside, Marmot Limelight comfortably fits two people and can even fit three for sleeping. The smart design includes a spacious headroom where you can attach a lantern up top. As mentioned, the D-shaped doors let you enjoy the scenery while camping. While it weighs like a solo tent, it is big enough for you and your friends to enjoy the sunset and sunrise.
Aside from the internal floor space, the maximum headroom of the Limelight creates a large overall livable area. It ensures that you have enough airflow inside so you will never feel cramped even with more than two people inside.
The outer layer of the tent will effectively protect you from the elements. With the rainfly included, you can sleep peacefully without worrying about rain or bugs. However, most tents with such protection often have terrible circulation. Luckily, the mesh panels in the ceilings and the walls minimize the moisture while maintaining air circulation.
The strong and weatherproof floor also ensures that you do not have to worry about rocks, wet ground, sharp objects, and even mud. The floor’s custom-fit footprint also seals all the sides for consistent protection.
Strength and Durability
The Marmot Limelight was designed to withstand summer, spring, and autumn. The rainfly and the flooring materials are waterproof. Along with the tightly taped seams and durable fabric, the tent effectively keeps all water and elements out. Furthermore, the tent is constructed with a u-shaped wall to floor design. Combined with the free footprint, this adds another layer of protection.
Additionally, the aluminum build of the poles provides a strong foundation for the tent. When installed correctly, the stakes and the corner guy lines can withstand heavy winds, even during a storm.
Marmot Tungsten 2P was also designed for maximum livability and versatility. Just like its sibling, Limelight, it includes a storage space in the form of the front vestibule, which provides about 10 feet of weather-resistant protection. There’s also a secondary vestibule that is about 8 square feet if you have more gear in tow.
It also features a freestanding design that makes it easy to move around during set-up. However, instead of the typical DAC Press-Fit aluminum, the Marmot Tungsten is made of HD Velocity 7000 Series poles. This offers better durability and less weight.
While it is originally advertised as a tent for two people, many experts consider it a versatile camping gear as it can fit more people if needed. It can house three or four people if you find yourself with no other shelter during a storm or similar weather. It may be a tight fit, but Marmot Tungsten will keep you, your friends, and your camping gear dry.
Tent Set-Up and Packing
Much like Marmot Limelight, the Tungsten was designed to be set-up and packed with ease. The poles press-fit together along with a tension cord inside to create a durable structure. The pre-bent corners are also color-coded to their corresponding clips and tent body.
By crossing the longest poles over the tent in an “X” shape, you can easily clip the tent. You can then place the brow pole in the grommets on the canopy. The similar clip system also secures the rainfly along with the guy lines to the ground. The entire set-up is kept taut by the poles to ensure interior space.
Packing the Marmot Tungsten is fast as well. Remove the stakes from the ground along with the guy line. Then, fold the rainfly up. Remove the poles and disengage by pulling the sections to loosen the cord. Fold the tent with the same length as the bag. Roll along with the accessories, then compress the tent. The entire pack will fit into the included drawstring bag.
For a tent that can fit two or more people, the Tungsten packs down to an incredibly compact form, which makes it a great choice compared to other tents. You will barely feel the weight in your backpack, which makes your overall camping experience much better.
Livability and Comfort
The Marmot Tungsten has almost a similar design with the Marmot Limelight. As such, the freestanding structure can be set-up and moved around the camping site, so you always have the best position. Tents are usually difficult to reposition, so this is surely a huge advantage.
Limelight is made of 100 percent waterproof rainfly that ensures you are always dry whether you are camping in a rainforest or other humid locations. The floor that secures all sides from water and wet ground. The custom footprint adds another protection from mud, sharp objects, and groundwater.
The usual problem of condensation is solved by Marmot Tungsten using vents in the rainfly to increase the airflow. Additionally, the high percentage of mesh compared to the Limelight prevents the build-up of condensation even when the tent is closed.
The Tungsten comes with two large-sized, D-shaped doors that both open from the sides. These two doors also include vestibules that extend your livable space inside the tent. The walls are almost vertical to provide maximum air circulation and internal space. If you have no choice but to go camping on hard ground, the U-shaped floor was developed to keep the water and other elements out.
Strength and Durability
As mentioned above, Tungsten is made of HD Velocity 7000 Series aluminum poles, which are relatively lighter than those used in Limelight. These strong poles pull the tent taut to maximize the usable space and increase livability.
Additionally, the nylon floor and tent fabrics are treated to ensure durability. They are water-resistant and fire retardant to ensure protection from the elements outside and to minimize fire disasters. The clip system was designed to be strong and tough as well. The color-coding system makes it quick to attach and secure to the poles.
Additionally, the rainfly was treated for maximum waterproof qualities. It is made of polyester to ensure that it will not stretch and sag over time. The entire tent, including the rainfly and footprint, can be cleaned using a sponge and warm water. To remove any dirt, use a mild detergent and allow the Tungsten to air dry.
The Verdict: Marmot Limelight vs.Tungsten
So, which Marmot tent should you bring on your next camping trip? While the Marmot Limelight vs. Marmot Tungsten comparison is a relatively close fight, their small and subtle differences in design, build, and overall quality makes one better than the other for specific outdoor activities.
If you are looking for an all-around trekking or camping tent and the slightly more expensive price tag is not an issue, then Limelight is for you. With its slightly bigger floor plan and easy set-up, it becomes an essential part of your traveling gear.
However, if you are looking to find a much economical option, Tungsten fits the bill. The overall build is close to Limelight, so you know that quality is not sacrificed even if it is cheaper. Additionally, the larger vestibule area makes up for the relatively smaller internal floor space.
Choosing the perfect camping gear, especially tents, will never be easy or straightforward. Keep in mind the common features that you should consider when shopping for an option. Additionally, consider how much space the tent will need in your backpack. This is especially important when you need a flight to your destination as extra baggage weight is known to be very expensive.