New Gear: Marmot Limelight 3 Tent

Every year in April one of our favorite stores, Camper’s Village, runs an amazing tent and gear sale.  Mike and I had been planning and waiting for months, and when the announcement finally plunked into my e-mail, there were many delighted girlish squeals of glee (mostly from Mike).

We’ve been debating the purchase of a second tent for some time, as we found our beloved Toad is a bit heavy for the two of us to take backpacking.  We were also interested in trying a different brand of tent, because I have the terrible habit of becoming ridiculously attached to a specific brand of product (such as The North Face) and then never straying from their product line.

Shopping for tents can be a challenge.  Mike is rather tall (around 6’4) which means that tiny, ultralight tents are usually out of the question.  The trade off between carrying extra weight and sleeping comfortably is a no-brainer.  I would rather lug an extra pound or two up a mountain and then actually get a restful sleep (so that I can hike on with lots of energy the following morning) than skimp on weight at the cost of comfort.  Mike feels similarly, and so while we were hoping to shave a pound or two off of the pack weight, we wanted to make sure our new tent would provide adequate room for ourselves and gear.

After quite a lot of browsing, and crawling in and out of several tents, we decided to pick up the Marmot Limelight 3P.  We chose it based on it’s floor size, which is big enough to accommodate our monster sleeping mats (like I said, we don’t sacrifice much on comfort) and Mike can lay down without touching at either end.  Although the maximum weight comes in at around 6.5 lbs, we should be able to easily shave that down to 5.5 lbs by excluding the individual fabric bags that keep the tent, poles, and stakes separate, and replacing the standard pegs with ultralight aluminum (only $1/each at MEC).  That’s almost three pounds lighter than the Toad, which is awesome.

Marmot 1

Marmot 2

We also really liked that the Limelight 3 tent body features more fabric than mesh, which means it has potential to be used in weather that might be too cold for the Toad.  Yes, I am referring to winter camping!  Hopefully next winter I will actually manage it.

The vestibule seems adequate, and I like that it opens only on one side, which will allow one to use the unopened side as a wind shelter for cooking if necessary.  The fly goes right to the ground, which is a vital feature of any tent, as far as I am concerned.  Also, it’s orange, which is my favorite color!

The only thing I am not a fan of, is the window, which just seems… unnecessary, and a potential weak point.

We picked this tent up for a steal, and I am looking forward to testing it out once the weather warms up.

As an aside, my best friend Ronnie, and her boyfriend Bill, also hit up the gear sale that weekend (separately from us).  Wouldn’t you know it, they bought the Marmot Limelight 2P.  We had a pretty good chuckle over the coincidence when we were discussing our respective purchases a day or two later.

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