Review: Marmot Area 51 [ 2-man, 3-season tent ]

Review: Marmot Area 51 [ 2-man, 3-season tent ]
Retail: $200, MBstores.com is offering this tent for only $149.95. (Limit time offer, expire soon.)

Product Description
We don't know if the practical design of the Marmot Area 51 came from another planet, but there's no doubt that it is made by a sophisticated and highly evolved species. At 6.4 lbs. packed weight, (you can reduce the minimum weight to 5 lbs and still inc

Floor Area 49 sq. ft.
Floor Dimensions 88 x 88 in.
Minimum Price 100 To 200 199
Packed Dimensions 5 x 18 in.
Peak Height 42 in.

Retail: $199


Reviewed by: Doug Decloux, a Climber from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: 6/12/2002 8:56:23 AM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
OK so I like to X Files and the name of this tent appealed to me. Plus it looks like an alien spacecraft... Regardless I bought it because it appeared easy to set up and given the fact is has one pole and no fly I thought it would be light. And it is. The inside of this tent is HUGE. For a 2 person tent you could sleep 4 people in there. I didn't see the issue some people had with a hole letting bugs in either, perhaps it's been fixed. There a 2 slick vents on the roof and you can fold back the fly on the end of the tent to let air in around the base of the tent. Air comes in the bottom, rises to the top and voila goes out the vents. I think how you set it up relative to the way the wind blows is important. I feel condensation would be minimized this way. It goes up faster than any tent I have ever owned. 5 minutes tops. Even that is a stretch. I also think that some people expect too much from a single wall tent when it comes to waterproofing. Single wall tents are designed to be used at high altitudes where it doesn't rain. It snows. Ergo waterproof doesn't really apply. Bottom line for me is I am happy as all get out for what cost me 200 bucks. It's a steal in my books and this tent will be my main squeeze. 4 seasons too.

Customer Service:
Marmot is good.

Similar Products Tried:
North Face single wall (I forget the model name)
 

 
  Reviewed by: David, a Backpacker from Portland, Oregon
Date Reviewed: 4/1/2002 5:38:10 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
2002 marks the second year for this tarp-like tent that attempts to provide maximum floor space for the least weight using a single walled, floored bug/rain-proof shelter. The SD clip-3 is the only rival that I am aware of. Both weight 5 lbs and 8 oz for 44 sq ft of floor space (REI scales: tent, poles and rainfly for the clip 3).
See marmot web site and reviews at outside online and backpackermag.com. Note that the back vent adjustments are now accessible from the inside via one foot long zippers in the 2002 model and the small hole at the top/front is now closed.
I have only set up the 51 in my house. It provides palatial floor space for two, has a nice sized vestibule, though slanted side walls for minimal cornerspace. Persons will likely sit somewhat front/back in the tent instead of side by side.
My impression is that taunt tent staking with preferrably a flat surface is crucial for proper venting to prevent condensation. Given this criteria, I see no reason why the 51 would not be a very roomy, stable, light shelter. It definitely deserves a 4 to 5 rating.

Customer Service:
None, though I love Marmot gear.
 

 
  Reviewed by: chris arnold, a Backpacker from marietta, GA
Date Reviewed: 3/20/2002 11:25:22 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I purchased this tent mainly for backpacking and it has worked extremely well. It dries fast and is also lightweight considering all of the space it offers. The only problem I have found is a condensation problem on the inside of the tent. although I have not yet tried it yet, waterproofing may help. As to the hole where insects get in, simply stuff the hole with tissue

 

 
  Reviewed by: John V, a Paddler from Raleigh, NC, USA
Date Reviewed: 1/22/2002 4:35:25 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I'll agree with several reviewers. When it rains hard, you get misted inside due to the single wall. I don't know if a DWR treatment would help, but I'm planning on trying. The hole at the top of the front door does let in bugs, big oversight for Marmot, but you can sew in a little piece of no-seeum screen, problem solved. Overall I really like the tent though. It's very light, it dries in no time at all, no fly to mess with and carry, one pole!, slider tension buckles built in, I mean it's got the features...Hopefully Marmot will fix the little things that would make this tent nearly perfect.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Brian, a Backpacker from West Falls, NY, USA
Date Reviewed: 8/7/2001 5:46:27 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
As mentioned, this tent is a breeze to set up - even one person with just a bit of hopping from one side to the other and back. Once staked out it is a rigid shelter with a surprisingly huge floor. The fly flaps hang out far enough to keep splashes from getting in the mesh that runs the perimeter between the floor and the fly, even though the sides of the bathtub are a bit short. Slick sticks to keep the roof vents open, and great tension adjustability. However, there is a terrible oversight in the construction. There is a 1" square opening above the main door where two panels don't quite meet, and every little bug that finds it's way into the fly will also find it's way in that hole, covering the ceiling with bugs if you are in a buggy area. No fun at all. A simple repair would be so sew some no-see-um over that hole. Even if it puckers, it'll keep out the critters.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Greg Jordan, a Backpacker from Houston,Texas USA
Date Reviewed: 7/18/2001 6:58:09 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
Marmot has always produced top of the line gear,however,I purchased the Area 51 and had the worst interior condensation problem I've ever had,it was returned to the local gearshop for a refund.

Similar Products Tried:
Northface Slickrock,Mountain Hardwear Thr-hiker.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Mark Wells, a Backpacker from Edmonton Alberta Canada
Date Reviewed: 7/3/2001 10:54:22 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
The Area 51 looks cool but I would keep it out of heavy rain. If it rains hard inside, it rains lightly inside. If you like getting wet, buy this tent!

Customer Service:
sent a couple emails to Marmot and have received zero replies.
 

 
  Reviewed by: J Oakley, a Backpacker from Columbia, SC, USA
Date Reviewed: 4/7/2001 4:05:54 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
The Area 51 apparently derives its name from the total area covered by the tent - 44 and 7 square feet apiece for the canopy and vestibule, respectively. The packaged weight of the tent is approximately 6 pounds including pole, stuff sacks, and repair kit. I purchased the Area 51 after doing extensive research which included calculating the price and weight per square foot for tents from various "expedition" companies - this tent definitely comes out on top in those measurements. The tent's design is a reworking of the old pup tent - with a few ultramodern twists. The Area 51 uses only one pole, which is threaded through a central pole sleeve to provide a 42" center height with an 88" x 88" square floor plan. All stakeout points (except for those housing the pole grommets) are adjustable and provide tension for the floor as well as the fly/canopy. The tent body is single-walled 75 denier polyester ripstop with a mesh door, two (closeable) mesh canopy vents and a mesh strip running between the floor and the canopy. Setup is a breeze, even for a single user; and the interior is well ventilated enough for all but the most sweltering weather. The vestibule, though small, is well-shaped (and the interior is large enough for two large backpackers and gear). I haven't had the Area 51 out in wet weather yet, but windy conditions (up to 40 mph gusts) have not been a problem for this tent. Condensation may be a problem in weather colder than the 30-40 overnight temperatures in which I've used the tent, but the fly/canopy fabric is very quick-drying. Since this is a new design, I'll keep you posted on any defects that surface. For now, though, I must say that I'm very impressed with the way this tent works - and even happier with the price...

Similar Products Tried:
Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight CD - I still use it for solo trips.


Click Here to learn How to buy a tent.


Retail: $200, MBstores.com is offering this tent for only $149.95. (Limit time offer, expire soon.)



All items offered by MBstores.com are guaranteed: 100% Geniune, Original, Authentic and Brand New.
Order with confidence. E-mail help@MBstores.com for questions.

              


The trademarks, logos, and service marks listed on this site are property of their respective owners and are shown for descriptive purposes only. Images are for illustrative purposes only. MBstores is not responsible for typographical errors.