Marmot Earlylight 2P

8 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   2
3-star:   1
2-star:   3
1-star:   0

Specs

Maximum Weight 5 lb 5 oz / 2.4 kg
Minimum Weight 4 lb 12 oz / 2.2 kg
Dimensions 39 x 54 x 88 in / 99 x 137 x 224 cm
Packed Size 7 x 18 in / 18 x 46 cm
Vestibule Area 11.5 sq ft / 1.1 sq m
Tent Poles 2 / DAC Press-Fit 9.0mm
Floor Area 30 sq ft / 2.8 sq m
Tent floor Material 70d 100% Nylon PU 3000 mm W/R, F/R
Tent canopy Material 68d 100% Polyester Ripstop, F/R
Tent fly Material 68d 100% Polyester Ripstop 1800 mm, W/R, F/R

Reviews

1

High expectations, disappointing results. I have been…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Cannot remember

Summary

High expectations, disappointing results.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Nice roof vents can be opened from the interior
  • Color and windows add brightness to tent interior
  • Cost

Cons

  • No headroom
  • Sagging interior walls
  • Poor workmanship
  • Zippers do not pull smoothly
  • Interior doors do not open wide enough
  • Unable to control airflow

I have been canoe tripping and wilderness hiking for 33 years and needed a new reasonably lightweight two-person tent. When I purchased the Marmot Earlylight I was expecting a better quality tent. It certainly is a higher quality tent than a Kelty or a Eureka brand, but that isn't saying much.

After a little practice this tent is easy to set up. The fly doesn't extend too far from the main body, which makes it easy to set up in tight wilderness locations. The vestibules are adequate for my needs, since I hang my covered pack on a tree during the night, and can fit my boots and several small items underneath.

I found the design and the fit of the fly to be excellent; water is shed far from the tent and the height of the fly is just the right distance above the ground when staked out.

My most serious criticism of this tent is the design and workmanship of the main tent body. After several camping trips, and many nights of claustrophobia, I had my seamstress wife cut and resew the walls so that they would not hang on my face during the night (even when fully staked out).

I am only 5 ft 10 inches in height, and my sleeping bag only 6 feet long, so the advertised 88 inch length should have been adequate for my frame without any adjustment at all. My wife ended up taking 4+ inches (!!!!) out of the head-wall. It still sags over my head, but at least it isn't laying on my forehead any longer. The foot of my sleeping bag still gets damp from rubbing against the drooping end wall.

The tent is advertised as 44" (feet) and 54" (shoulders) wide yet the walls slope in so steeply to the apex that two people cannot sit up at the same time without one of them getting knocked out of the tent. With the tapered tent design there isn't any possibility to sleep head-to-toe and avert the head-room problems.

During the three trips I have used this tent with another person we had to take turns prepping for bed and getting into our sleeping bags. The same routine is necessary for the mornings, but in reverse. Additionally, there is barely enough floor room, when using lightweight air mattresses, for the screen netting to clear the edges of the sleeping bags as it tapers to the ceiling.

I would hate to be trapped in this tent with another person during inclement weather. Essentially, this is a 1-person tent, and borders on being a heavy tent for 1 person to carry.

The airflow through the Earlylight is terrible. I expected much better with the great roof vents. With only one bottom vent along the base of the door and limited upper netting on the main body this tent gets hot and stuffy on summer nights, even under the forest canopy and with opposing vestibule doors pulled wide open. I get better venting with my winter tent than I do this one.

The lower vents cannot be closed in any way, which means that in colder weather (early spring, late autumn) all incoming air flows across ones face and upper torso, which makes for some chilly drafts. This tent has poor venting options resulting in a tent that is comfortable in only a very small range of temperatures.

I purchased a Big Agnes Jack Rabbit SL2 for my son as a graduation present about the same time I purchased the cheaper Earlylight for me. My experience in using both is that the Jack Rabbit is a superior tent and it weighs less than the Earlylight. I wish that I had purchased two of them rather than wasting my money on the Earlylight.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, ADK HillyMan. Thanks for sharing your Earlylight review with us. Sorry it didn't work out for you though. Any chance you can add some pictures highlighting some of the tent's issues?


5 days ago
1

I live in the UK and bought this tent in June 2010.

Rating: rated 2.5 of 5 stars
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: no good in moderate to strong wind
Weight: light
Price Paid: £148

I live in the UK and bought this tent in June 2010. I have just returned from a few weeks in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and had to move into a simple hostel after just seven days because the tent was not stable/wind/rain proof.

It was pitched in an exposed position on a remote island because I wanted to test it out to the max. It was quite tricky to erect in a moderate wind and once up would not stay 'square'. When the wind increased, along with rain, the side of the fly pressed against the inner and the fly-vent lifted, allowing rain through to the inside - and onto my four-season down-filled sleeping bag!

Sorry, Marmot, but this is a lowland tent suitable only for low low wind conditions. I've had £40 Blacks/Millets tents much more weatherproof than this. If I'd known, I would have bought a more expensive/weatherproof tent -- but the dealers obviously aren't aware of this tent's limitations.

1

Inner tent end walls sag and eat up space. Fly end…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars

Inner tent end walls sag and eat up space. Fly end walls also won't pitch tight. Don't take this tent in a sandy windy environment. Needs simple toggles and cords to hold open doors, has weird bungee/cordlock deals that aren't neat or simple. Zippers aren't readily usable one-handed.

1

I like Marmot products and I bought this tent so I…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Design: three season free standing
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Easy to set up even in the rain.
Weight: Light enough for one to carry.
Price Paid: $189

I like Marmot products and I bought this tent so I didn't have to take my 4 season tent to North Dakota in September. It's a nice little weekend tent if you're near the car, or home but not for back country. I saved money and weight but that was the extent of it.

I spent 4 days on lake Sakakawea in central ND and it collapsed on me in a bad rainstorm. Additionally, the zippers are light and get stuck. Rule #1: It's OK to save weight but not money.

0

I am an experienced camper, older in age, and with…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $159

I am an experienced camper, older in age, and with all experience in the U.S. This is a fine quality tent. The materials used in all parts and components as well as workmanship are above average. 

I have several Kelty and Eureka tents of varying sizes. This Marmot ranks above these products. The clips on the tent beat sleeves and the poles are super light and sturdy. And the since the tent is not "square" in floor plan, the fly must be put on one way only. After the first time you pitch this tent, you will see the pattern on the fly that corresponds to the layout of the tent. this is no big deal. Other reviewers make a negative out of this.

The price is right for a 2P that will accommodate taller persons. Two doors and lots of room under fly for gear. The tent has high and low mesh for good vertical airflow, even with the fly on, since the fly has two vents in it.

Have pitched in the hot and raining. Good ventilation with fly open and no leaks when fly zipped closed. Even though other have comments on zippers, while smaller have no problem with zippers. Light weight and packs small size.

For the price this is a great tent.

0

I really like this tent. I have used it for three…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Design: Three season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Easy
Price Paid: $190

I really like this tent. I have used it for three seasons now and in at least three rain storms.

It held up very well for me in the Adirondacks in one storm. I never once had the impression that it was going to fold. During a stronger wind, it would make its way through the mesh, so using this tent when it is cold out would not be the best idea.

Overall, I have enjoyed spending many summer and fall nights in this tent.

0

I was looking for a 2 person backpacking tent that…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: 3 season freestanding 2 person dome
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: very easy, except the rainfly takes a second to figure out what direction if goes
Weight: 5 pounds fully packed
Price Paid: $159

I was looking for a 2 person backpacking tent that wouldn't break the bank. I stumbled across the Earlylight and was impressed with the space/weight ratio. I'm 6'3" and fit comfortably in this tent. It has enough height a accommodate sitting up, and the dual vestibules are nice for my gear.

After a couple nights out in Florida on some cold nights, I was sold. I stayed 100% dry in this tent. Other friends of mine had some condensation built up in their tent, but the Earlylight stayed very, very dry. The 2 vents in the rainfly do a great job of ventilating the tent. It does well in wind also.

The one drawback I've found so far, is that the guylines are not reflective, which is kinda tricky in the dark when walking around the tent. Other than that though, I have no complaints.

0

The good news is that this tent is lightweight and…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: 3 season freestanding dome
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Fast, Simple
Price Paid: 140

The good news is that this tent is lightweight and well-ventilated..... the bad is that this tent is lightweight and ventilated.

So, it rolls up small, feels like a feather in your pack, and sets up in a flash. In warm weather you'll stay cool and dry. The sun makes this thing literally glow.

But as soon as the weather turns, things get less fun. The multitude of screens means that chilly breezes enter unimpeded. There are screens parallel to where your body is when prone, meaning the winter pours straight into your sleeping bag. If it rains, you'll find that even with all the lines staked down, the rain fly is about 2 inches short on both ends.

The plastic sunroof is a cool idea, but ultimately pointless and at times uncomfortable. There is no way to close the window, meaning that at any time, anyone can just walk over and look into your tent. If it's sunny, the tent is bright enough. At night, for star-gazing, the view is muddied by the screen and plastic - just go outside!

If you want something cheap and light but still high-quality, and you'll be camping in good weather, go for it.