Expert Review: Marmot Tungsten 3P TentPublished on 03/06/2023 · 8 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the tent which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
Camping in West Glacier, MT. All photos courtesy of Allison K.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tent which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
The Marmot Tungsten 3P is a solid, affordable tent option for getting into backpacking and is well-suited for car camping adventures as well. It keeps me dry (and thus, warm), secure, and sleeping well on all my adventures, and is a purchase I have never once regretted.
About the tent I own
- Product Model: 2022 Marmot Tungsten 3P Tent
- Size: 3 person
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 145 lbs
- Experience: 11 years of camping/backpacking
- When I bought the tent: May 2022
- Days tested: 8 days
- Number of occupants: 2–3
- Pack: Osprey Aura 65
- Sleeping pad: Klymit Static V Insulated
- Sleeping bag: Nemo Disco 15 Women’s Regular
- Total pack weight: 45 lbs (with gear)
- Used for: Car camping, backpacking
- Where I’ve used it: Clearwater National Forest, ID; Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Lolo National Forest, MT
- Seasons I’ve used it in: Spring, summer
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was ready to upgrade my tent to something slightly roomier in the summer of 2022, and I wanted the same tent in a larger version. I was using the Tungsten 2P for years as a solo backpacking/car camping tent. As I now share a tent with my partner, we wanted more interior room when in the mountains and at car camping sites. I still wanted something for backpacking that was affordable, durable, and waterproof.
Why I chose this gear
The Marmot Tungsten 3P was one of the most affordable options I could find in a backpacking tent that was still tough enough for car camping and tons of use. I wanted a relatively lightweight tent with good waterproofing, interior pockets, two vestibules, and an included footprint. I did consider some other lightweight tent options, but those were double the price, so I couldn’t justify it just to shed a couple of pounds. I ultimately chose the Tungsten 3P for the features and quality at that price point.
What I love about it
- Ease of setup: This tent takes about 2–5 minutes to set up, depending on the weather. I have done it in as little as two minutes if caught in inclement weather (like in the backcountry). The strategic clip placement and easy pitch clips to secure the tent poles help make sense of the setup in record time. The easy setup will save you time!
- Breakdown speed: This tent generally takes 1–2 minutes to break down. It’s pretty easy to repack—just make sure to get those tent poles in first!
- Performance in rain: This tent is bombproof in the rain! I’ve been rained, hailed, and snowed on in the Tungsten and have stayed dry the entire time with its full-coverage fly and exceptional weather resistance, even in a heavy downpour. The full-coverage rainfly and footprint (no tarp needed) don’t allow any moisture to get through with the seam-taped fabric and materials, and any condensation dries quickly so I can pack up the tent, nice and dry. This tent does fantastic in bad weather and even in heavy winds (especially with the included cord to tie down if need be).
- Performance in snow: This tent does well in snow as far as moisture repellence. It is only a three-season tent, so is not insulated against the colder temperatures and elements, but with the right sleeping bag/pad, I can stay warm enough to sleep comfortably on the occasional colder-weather trip. I have always been plenty warm in this tent during snow storms!
- Performance in heat: This tent is made from very breathable material (including a lot of mesh which breathes, keeps out bugs, and allows for ambient light), with excellent ventilation and airflow, allowing a breeze to move through, so it facilitates easy air circulation. It is not insulated to keep heat out or in, but it performs exactly as it should.
- Performance in desert areas with no trees: I have only used this tent in the desert once, and it performed really well. The rain fly keeps the sun out more than if I wasn’t using it and allows me to sleep until a regular waking hour.
- Performance in wooded areas with lots of trees: I primarily use this tent in the forest with lots of trees and shade. This is my favorite terrain to camp in. It does extremely well in forested areas; the waterproof footprint and rain fly keep dew and moisture off the inhabitant.
- Performance when camping with a partner or group: This roomy tent is large enough to sleep three comfortably with great headroom and room for extra gear inside due to its Zone Pre-Bend construction, creating vertical interior walls, and large interior space and floor area to ensure a big sleeping area. It has two large vestibules and two easy entry D-shaped doors (double doors), so each person has their own entry and covered outdoor storage space. You could use this as a two-person tent for even more human and gear storage space while car camping, and I've even used it as a four-person tent for one backpacking trip (to save on weight for our crew), and it was still doable with its roominess, just a bit cozier.
- Special features: I love the interior pockets on each side (two on each side = four total), which are great for small items. The clip installed in the tent ceiling (in lieu of a lampshade pocket) is the perfect place to hang my headlamp or a lantern at night. The zippers don’t snag and are perfectly placed to get in and out easily. The color-coded footprint, tent, rainfly, and series aluminum poles make it super easy to set up, even in low light. Its big vestibules provide lots of room, so you can keep more gear outside, giving you maximum room inside the tent and more comfortable sleep.
- Stability: This tent has stayed upright in the wind and all the elements I’ve camped in. The integrated tent pole design and vertical wall design stretch the tent material exactly where it needs to in order to improve stability. It comes with stakes, paracord tie downs, etc., to keep it as secure as possible.
- Durability: This tent is incredibly durable. It does not come with a repair kit, but the material is strong, yet lightweight, and would not tear easily. I’ve owned the 2P for many years and mostly used it on the trail, and it has stayed in near-perfect shape after many trips with its durable fabric; I anticipate the 3P doing the same. So far, I have not had any rips, tears, or seam separation. This tent could withstand snags from trees and bushes with no issues, and the extra ounces (compared to an ultralight version) is worth it for the increased durability, and its livable design also works well for car camping.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Weight: This tent is about middle-of-the-road for weight (5 lbs 13.5 oz, minimum trail weight; 6 lbs 4.5 oz packaged weight). It’s not as ultralight as the tungsten ultralight 2-person tent, but I would still consider it fairly low weight. It’s a reasonable amount of weight to carry if I am sharing the tent with another person (and splitting the carry load between two packs). I’m definitely satisfied with the weight vs. features ratio.
- Performance in wind: This tent does flap around with very high winds, but I do not know a tent that would be any different. When staked down properly, though, it stays upright in the wind and feels secure. The poles are strong enough to withstand large gusts.
- Other: The only thing I can think of to add to this tent would be glow-in-the-dark zippers to find them more easily in the dark.
Favorite moment with this gear
This is the first tent my partner and I have shared together, so it has immediately been special to us. We recently went on a trip to a remote alpine lake and had a wonderful day. We ran into no other people and enjoyed watching a meteor shower and so many bright stars through the tent ceiling as we drifted off to sleep; we decided to leave the rain fly off since it was a perfect summer day with no chance of rain. This tent is always our comfort at the end of a perfect day in the mountains.
Value for the money vs. other options
Marmot's Tungsten tent is absolutely worth every penny. It is truly waterproof and does not require any upkeep. The tent poles are strong and lightweight, and I can’t imagine how I would bend or break them. Cheaper options won’t give me the high-quality features and durable design that this tent will, and more expensive options might be overkill considering the comprehensive features this tent has to offer. Car campers, overnight hikers, and multi-day backpackers alike will enjoy this tent for years to come! You can also expect free shipping at checkout since this item is over $50!
The Marmot Tungsten 3P tent is one of THE best outdoor gear investments I’ve made. Owning the 2P model for years, I know this 3P will stay in amazing shape through many years of use and adventures. Make the same investment I did, and get ready for years of comfort and durability in the great outdoors!