Marmot Area 51

rated 3.5 of 5 stars (5)

The Area 51 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best three-season tents for 2020.


Price Reviewers Paid: $120.00-$199.00


I use it mainly for kayak camping, when I can afford to carry bulkier stuff. Wouldn't use it for backpacking unless I was hiking with someone else. Very roomy inside, easy to set up, good built in vestibule, good ventilation, nice colors, light for its size. Good in some applications...

Design: 3-season, non free standing
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: no problem, but must be staked
Weight: ~5

Cool looking tent, nice color and interesting design. Much room for two tall individuals + gear. Pros: light weight for size. Ease of set up. Reasonable vestibule size.

Cons: terrible condensation problem. If it is moist or misty outside and the temperature gradient between interior and exterior is not great, then you will get a coating of condensation throughout the tent, worse near your head (i.e. from the vapor departing your mouth) when you sleep. Gently touch the tent wall and it will start to drip inside the tent along the spot you touched. The no-see-um mesh vent is located along the entire bottom edge of the tent. This venting location allows dirt and particulate matter to accumulate within the tent whenever a strong breeze occurs. Because moisture and heat tends to rise this floor venting system does little to clear the condensation problem nor allow heat to escape in warmer climates. The two small window vents located near the top of the tent are really too small to accomplish much.

Staking out the tent requires several readjustments to get it "just right." Because this tents requires more stakes to properly stabilize, it requires more time and a consideration of the type of soil one is staking into.

Design: three season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: Easy, accept that one needs to find a large, flat space with soft enough ground to stake out ALL necessary stakes
Weight: 5-6 lbs.
Price Paid: $120 (2000 year model)

Great tent for any sport (I mainly use it for backpacking). Only complaint would be that it is hard to set up on hard ground because you have to stake it down no matter what. Otherwise, this tent has plenty of room for 2 very large men and a vestible to fit gear.

Design: 3 season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: takes less than 2min. with soft ground
Weight: 5 lbs.
Price Paid: $150- on sale

Great tent. Got caught in a storm in Adirondacks. Did not get wet. Aesthetically pleasing. Easy to set up. No complaints about this tent.

Design: 3 Season
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: 1pole, 6 stakes
Weight: 5 lbs plus
Price Paid: $199 USD (on sale cheaper)

I should've stopped here before buying my Marmot Area 51. Otherwise, I would have bought the Walrus Terramoto. Unfortunately, I fell for the salesguy's pitch and, much to my chagrin, got soaked in a Marmot tent on the first night I set it up in my backyard. The tent looks cool, but when it rains outside, it rains inside too. Don't believe the hype, and read a lot of consumer reviews before purchasing is the lesson to be learned here.

Design: 3 season backpacker
Sleeps: 2
Ease of Setup: one pole, six stakes
Weight: 6lbs ish
Price Paid: 329 canadian (w/o tax)

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