Review: Marmot Eclipse [ 1-man, 3-season tent ]

Review: Marmot Eclipse [ 1-man, 3-season tent ]
Product Description
Habitability Unique pole sleeve and clip combo for: Optimal headroom Dual stake out vestibule, 2 pole with brow pole Window, Large D door for easy access, Window in fly, Large netting ceiling panels for ventilation and star gazing Jingle-free nylon zipper pulls; promotes undisturbed sleep, Pleasing colors even on dreary days


Retail: $199



Reviewed by: Jeremy Padgett, a Backpacker from Montgomery, AL, USA
Date Reviewed: 2/18/2002 11:46:42 AM
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I began my 2000 northbound thruhike of the Appalachian Trail with this tent. I decided to take this tent instead of the Clip Flashlight because it had more headroom, mesh in better places to view the stars, a smaller footprint (fits in smaller places), and a polyester fly (no-stretching in the middle of a rainstorm). What I found was that this tent performs remarkably well in the situations that it was designed for: weather at or above the freezing mark, star-viewing on clear nights, and long-extended periods of calm rain. I applaud Marmot on their excellent seam-sealing job. I opted not to re-seal them, and they held tight amongst weeks of continuous rain. I also love the colors. Besides the fact that the tan-colored rainfly blends in well with most forests, the warm color really helps to make the inside of the tent more light-and-airy-happy in times that you are tentbound in rain storms for days at a time. I also found the vestibule to be big-enough for most of my gear. It is by no means roomy, but large enough to house boots and an empty pack containing a stove and extra clothes.

The Eclipse is a three-season tent. At best it only adds about 5 degrees of warmth, and because the mesh goes so low, a breeze is constantly ripping through the tent, kidnapping any warmth that was already inside and chilling your spine. In temperatures of 20*F, you can expect your water to freeze solid, even in an insulated bladder. In temperatures near 0*F, it is very very cold inside.

The Eclipse also has big trouble in windy situations. Because wind changes directions throughout the night, there is no way to set the tent up in an optimum direction. I gave up trying to do so 200 miles north on the AT. Iíve had the tent totally collapse, the brow-pole do loopty-loops, and the entire tent rip out of the ground, even when completely staked and guyed. Believe me, it doesnít take long to figure out that your tent is lying sideways. When wind really picked up, I found that taking the poles out and sleeping in the tent laying on my face as a bivy sac really helped me sleep better (assuming no rain). Why does this tent perform so poorly in windy situations? Look at the shape; it is tall and skinny. The entire tent becomes a sail in the wind, and thereís nothing you can do to stop it. Guying sometimes doesnít even help. But then again, this could be my fault for sleeping atop those gorgeous southern balds such as Siler, Wayah, Wesser, Big Butt, and Big Bald; which are prone to be windy.

These are the biggest drawbacks to this tent. There are ways to get around them, and they arenít major; but they do need to be represented. If you go backpacking in an area prone to extended rain-storms in warm months of the year, I highly recommend this tent. It would also be a good choice for extended bike or kayak touring. However, if you backpack during colder months, or like to sleep on exposed areas, think about a bivy sac or a stronger and warmer tent. As I said, I found this tent performs remarkably well in the situations that it was designed for: weather at or above the freezing mark, star-viewing on clear nights, and long-extended periods of calm rain. I have given it a value rating of 4 in comparison to other competing 1+ person 3 season backpacking tents.

Customer Service:
Marmot generaly has excelent customer service. They are receptive to ideas and try earnestly to help outdoor enthusiasts perdicaments.

Similar Products Tried:
Various Eureka tents, SD Clip Flashlight (For anyone looking for a tent to complete a thruhike of the AT, or conditions such as what you would find on the AT, I recomend the Sierra Designs Clip-Flashlight or similar design), OR bivies, and my personal all-time favorite; the Integral Designs Sil-Shelter. I hiked the northern 1400 miles of the AT with this goody and loved every minute of my tarp-boundness. If you use a tarp, this is the be-all end-all of tarps...get one!

Hungry Howie & The New Sushi Ga-mE 2000
 

 
  Reviewed by: Tim, a Backpacker from Chicago
Date Reviewed: 6/1/2001 10:03:36 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I just returned from a five night trip to Zion National Park, where I used the tent every night. We had one night of rain and the tent held up great, no water inside at all. The vestibule is somewhat small but it holds boots and a cookset with no problem, I also didn't have a problem storing my pack inside, I store it sideways and I have just enough room to stretch out, (I'm 5'10"). I do not however like the burrito stuffsack, I think it is way too bulky, so I stuff the tent into an OR stuff sack and it gets much smaller.

Customer Service:
I actually called Marmot, yesterday b/c I left the brow pole at campsite 2 in the park, I know that is not leaving no trace. Anyway, the warrenty people are sending me a free replacement pole, with no problems or hassle.

Similar Products Tried:
I also have a Eureka Apex 2, two person tent, I like it but the Marmot is much smaller, lighter, and seems to be higher quality
 

 
  Reviewed by: Andy Baker, a Backpacker from Kailua, Hawaii, USA
Date Reviewed: 4/21/2001 8:34:13 PM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I've used the Eclipse several times in the Alakai Wilderness of Waimea Canyon. Since this is the wettest spot on Earth, (400 inches per year) you need a tent that will keep you dry. The Eclipse has not let me down. Sets up real easy and offers a lot of room for one. Plan on stuffing your gear inside, since the 4 square foot vestibule doesn't protect a lot. The weight is okay, (lighter is always better!!!)
The stuff sack can become bulky if you include the poles. I suggest storing those elsewhere in your pack.

Customer Service:
Haven't needed

Similar Products Tried:
Peak 1, The Northface
 

 
  Reviewed by: Jeff Duckworth, a Backpacker from Kennesaw Ga US
Date Reviewed: 4/19/2000 9:51:11 AM
 
 

Overall Rating:
ValueRating:

Summary:
I`ve used the Eclipse at least 35-40 nights, including a 7 day section hike on the AT, which it had rained for 4 of the 7 days. This tent, is strong, goes up fast, and can go anywhere because of the small footprint. Have never had a leakage problem, but I did seamseal the velcro tab that attaches the fly to the small pole above the door. Rain can splash the inner walls, but have never had any come inside. Small vestibule, as you will be cooking inside the tent if its raining and your hungry. A little heavy, as I`ve weighed it-being 4lb13 oz. with stakes, but I bought it for those windy thunderstorms in the southern Appallacian mountain. I am going to add velcro to tie the guyouts to the poles. Good tent, Jeff.

Customer Service:
Have used they`re customer service several times and have NEVER let me down. Even when it was my fault.

Similar Products Tried:
I own six tents, but none this size, except maybe the Walrus Arch Rival


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