User Review: Marmot Aura 2P
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $120
A solid two-person tent with great ventilation, copious head space, two doors, and two large vestibules to store all of your gear.
- Two doors/two vestibules
- Superior ventilation
- Difficult to get a taut pitch
- Fly zippers catch
- Stake tape incompatible with MSR GroundHogs
The Aura 2P uses a single hubbed pole (one long pole and two hubs with shorter poles attached) to create an interesting canopy shape with overhanging points at the door which create mostly dry-entry doors. The 'Knees', or bends in the poles near the end combined with these overhanging points create vertical sections along all four walls for great interior head space.
I'm glad I set up the tent at home first, because it is less than intuitive. After reading the instructions and doing it a couple of times, though, it's very simple. I wish the hubs were metal, like the MSR hubs, instead of plastic. I'm hoping they will be durable long-term.
Ventilation is great thanks to the all mesh upper. On cool, humid Arkansas mornings and chilly Oklahoma nights, condensation was never an issue. There are two side pockets on the interior at opposing corners. My partner and I are both 5'8" and we had plenty of room at our feet and heads to stow extra blankets, layers, and water bottles after the pockets filled up. I bought the separate gear loft as well after our last trip for a bit more storage (we bring lots of little things into the tent). I purchased the footprint as well, and it has kept the floor looking brand new.
The stake tape Marmot uses is a novel idea and allows for great adjustability. I was disappointed because the slits in the tape are narrow and don't open very wide. The MSR GroundHog is my go-to stake, but it is a struggle to get through the slits and I was afraid I might split the webbing. I have an MSR Hubba from which I took the included Mini GroundHogs and they work fine in the holes.
The fly and body both have jingle-free, acc. cord pulls. The fly zippers tend to snag unless pulled at the perfect angle. The weather flaps over the zipper are nylon with acc. cord running through for ridgidity, but after a few weeks in its storage bag, the fabric folds over and won't lay flat until it's lost its starch. I've slept through light rain and brief downpour, and the fly is weatherproof!
The fly, like many tents with all-mesh uppers, looked like it might be a hair short allowing splash up or winds to creep in, but even in the storms, my partner and I stayed dry and happy inside. The vestibules are big! I'm excited to take it on the trail and have plenty of room for our packs and boots.
The guy points are reflective and easily visible at night. The setup comes with guylines and tensioners (plastic unfortunately). I've found it somewhat difficult to get a solid, taut pitch on this tent. Even with all corners, the vestibules, and the short-side guylines, the "hem" of the fly it taut, but the upper fly still lacks tension. I think I will try a different point on the stake tape and even adding the corner guylines next time I setup, but I'm concerned about taking the tent into much higher winds.
Overall, I'm very happy with this tent. I see a long, usable life for it, but it is not my end all solution.
*I am an employee at Whole Earth Provision Co. in Dallas. My views do not necessarily represent the views of Whole Earth Provision Co. or its employees. I pride myself in providing unbiased reviews of products I purchase for my personal use.