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

Review: Marmot Equinox [ 2-man, 3-season tent ]
Product Description
Habitability Unique pole sleeve and clip combo for: Optimal headroom, 2 pole self-supporting structure with poled vestibule, Large D door for easy access, 2 Windows 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: $299


Reviewed by: chare, a Backpacker from wilmington, nc
Date Reviewed: 4/16/2002 12:46:38 PM
 

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Summary:
After much searching i settled on the marmot equinox. there are several points that led me to this tent: the two D-doors, the fact that you do not have to climb over your gear in the vestibule to exit the tent, the door that provides access to your gear in the vestibule, plenty of mesh for warm days, windows in the fly for checking out the weather and the polyester fly for no-stretch rain days.
i have not had any problems w/ ventilation in the tent, the fly has not touched the side of the tent even in downpours, but then again, i always stake out the sides of the fly. there is plenty of room for two people and good head space for sitting up if you do become tent bound during a rain storm. i highly recommend this tent.

the one down side is that it is made in china! go figure.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Mike Austin, a Backpacker from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date Reviewed: 2/18/2002 2:40:58 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I bought this tent after owning a Marmot Bastille for several years. I was impressed with Marmot quality and customer service. I was planning to spend more than a month in the grasslands of southern Venezuela and Guyana, and I needed a strong tent with room for me and all my gear in case I was trapped in a tropical storm for days on end. It also had to have excellent ventilation. The Equinox turned out to be exactly what I needed. Not only that, but I could set it up in less than 3 minutes. It was absolutely waterproof in the most horrendous conditions. If any of you have been caught in a tropical downpour while backpacking you will know how important this is. As mentioned below the rainfly does indeed need to be staked out away from the tent body or it touches it, although I did not experience any condensation. The 3 doors are a bit of overkill, however, and are a bit small. The vestibule was adequate for my needs, but since I solo I place most of my gear inside the tent. It is indeed difficult to enter or leave the tent after a hard rain and not get some water in the tent from the fly. The 2 windows were a nice touch. The rainfly became soiled from some tree I hung it on to dry, and I cannot remove the stains---not that it matters, but it is not as pretty any more! I always used the tent with its groundsheet and had no tearing either on the sheet or anywhere on the tent even after setting it up upon very difficult ground. The huge amount of netting allowed fantastic stargazing on many a jungle night. This is one strong and reliable tent. I am taking it with me this July to hike the Oregon part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Customer Service:
I wrote to Marmot several times and always received a response the next day. The company even put me in contact with its distributor here in Argentina---a nice, human touch.

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TNF Cumulous; Sierra Designs Comet CD
 

 
  Reviewed by: Mike, a Backpacker from Sacramento,Ca
Date Reviewed: 1/2/2002 10:03:11 PM
 
 

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Summary:
After spending a weekend in SanFrancisco's Point Reyes.Were the nights are typicaly very wendy&damp my Equinox was very comfortable,it kept a constint tempiture all night enabling me to get a great night's sleep!
 

 
  Reviewed by: Craig Houliston, a Car Camper from Shoreview, MN, USA
Date Reviewed: 10/27/2001 1:41:15 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I was a little disappointed in the Sierra Designs Meteor Light I bought (didn't like the doors that flop into/outside the tent) so I took it back and decided on the Marmot Equinox. I love this tent: ample mesh for ventilation and star-gazing, easy-to-open-with-one-hand D-style doors, easy set up, plenty of room for two people and some gear, and quality construction. I also appreciate the emergency pole splint and fabric rip repair (matching colors no less!) items that came standard with the tent. I have only used it sparingly so far, but it has performed to my expectations and expect many years of enjoyable camping use.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Samuel David Zivin, a Paddler from Evanston, IL , USA
Date Reviewed: 10/12/2001 2:20:02 PM
 
 

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Summary:
This is a tight tent, it looks raw, and it is very rugged. It is also very roomy for two and the vestibule fits 2 packs very snuggely. It has always kept me dry and it packs fairly small too, ovarall i'm very satisfied, however the only other tents i've owned is the Eurekea Timberline and the REI Traildome.
 

 
  Reviewed by: Tent reviewer, a Backpacker from Georgia
Date Reviewed: 7/21/2001 2:46:02 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I just returned from a 6 week trip where I used this tent virtually every night in a variety of weather conditions. Some of my comments are reduntant with other reviews, but I experienced my own unique problems with this tent. My Equinox was always used with the fly attached and staked out.

Pros: 1) Tent was roomy enough for two people, fly and tent doors were sufficiently wide to allow easy entry 2) Durability was excellent. It survived a serious stomping by a black bear in Yellowstone. A minor tear in the fly near the base of the vestibule, but no bent poles or other damage other than some dirty paw prints. 3) Lightweight, but not what Marmot would have you believe. As stated before ~7-7.5 lbs. 4) Gear loft and footprint were terrific in both functionality and size.

Cons: 1) Vestibule was too small. Particularly irritating was the low height. I struggled to squeeze two nearly empty packs and two pairs of boots under it. 2) The fly and tent base demonstrated excellent water repellency HOWEVER, during rains the fly (even though staked out) drooped between the two support poles and the brow pole resulting in hefty water accumulation. I would consider this a most serious design flaw and it made for quite a mess when drained down the side of the tent and splashed into the mud 3) "Burrito" bag was useless. It was impossible to stuff both the fly and the tent back in this thing after originally removing them after the initial purchase. My girlfriend referred to the stuffing process as a "pain in the a$$" and I agree. Furthermore, the dimensions of the "burrito" would not permit me to get it in my pack even if we could fold it up. I ended up buying a separate bag to alleve my frustrations.

Overall a satisfactory tent. However, nothing really spectacular about it that sets it apart from its peers except for, perhaps, bear proof durability.

Customer Service:
I emailed with a few questions only to have to wait 3 days for, what I'd consider, an inadequate response. I ended up calling them to resolve these issues

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Mountain Hardware Room with a View
Sierra Designs Clip CD
 

 
  Reviewed by: CW, a Backpacker from Seattle
Date Reviewed: 7/4/2001 4:04:34 PM
 
 

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Summary:
I agree with a lot of what Greg W said in the previous review. My biggest problem with the tent is that the fly is quite close to the mesh on the sides of the tent only. If you just stake out the fly, you have a good chance of condesation forming on the mesh as the fly droops onto it.
I also agree that the doors are a bit small. It takes a little contortion to get out of the tent.
Those two things aside. This is a great tent. The quality is excellent and I love the size to weight ratio. If you split it up, the weight is about 3-3.5 pounds (depending on what you take). That is completely acceptable to me for a tent this well manufactured.
I think the footprint is great. Perfect width and length. Two men of average size can easily fit and not get near each other during the night. For a man and a woman, the tent is a mansion. I also like the extra room at the head of the tent. You can fit a bunch of stuff in this extra area.
I originally thought that the vestibule was too small, but I've changed my opinion. The vestible is just right. Two packs just fit into it (why have more space than that?) and you don't have to fill in the area by the doors thereby making it easy to get in and out. The window looking into the vestibule is a plus also because there is a zipper on it allowing you easy access to this area. BIG plus!
The tent also holds up to rain very well.
My complaints at the beginning are an issue to me, but I'm happy overall with this tent.

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  Reviewed by: Greg W., a Backpacker from Green Bay, WI
Date Reviewed: 6/30/2001 1:09:29 PM
 
 

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Summary:
Well, I think its fair to review this tent now that I've used it in many conditions. I researched tents for a long time, and picked this one for its weight (as advertised), capacity, dual doors, and ventilation. Set up is pretty easy, although you have to guy out the fly, which takes a bit longer. I like the tent, although there are a number of things I dislike about the tent that should be noted in my opinion.

First, the vestibule is WAY too small. You can barely cram 2 packs in it. Second, its nice to have two doors, but they are too small. If your fly is wet, and you crawl out the door, you will also get wet, because the doors are pretty small to get in and out, so your back will inevitably rub on the fly (even if youp fold it back).

I think they could have made the tent wider, and cut off a little more length, because its pretty snug w/2 people, although there seems to be wasted space near the doors that could be better utilized by widening the floor space a bit.

When I went on my first trip, I actually thought I had a defective fly, because it seems too small for the tent, and if you don't stake it out with guyline, you will have massive condensation, because the fly sits extremely close to the mesh.

The quality of the tent is excellent, although its definitely not 5 lbs. like Marmot advertised. Its well over 7 lbs with poles and stakes.

The tent withstood a constant rain at 9,530 feet in the Rockies, without a leak.
My final complaint is that the fly seems to take hours for it to dry off, even after sitting in the sun, the water drops never dry up. I'm not sure if this is normal for all tent flies, but its a pain when you want to pack up camp.

Customer Service:
I emailed them about a few questions I had about the fly and they called me twice (first one I wasn't available), and offered excellent customer service.

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  Reviewed by: Steve, a Climber from Auburn
Date Reviewed: 5/14/2001 1:01:01 PM
 
 

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Summary:
This tent is awesome! I bought it last summer and have slept many a night in it. The doors on either side make it easy for two people to get in and out with out crawling all over each other. Of course, the rain fly is the best made. I went on a three backpacking/ fishing trip out west with this tent and put it through everything: wind, snow, rain. It never leaked a bit. Very sturdy too. It is a bit heavy though. Oh well, I think the extra weight is worth it. I recomend this tent to anyone who wants a sturdy rain proof tent. It is expensive, but you get what you pay for.

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  Reviewed by: bryan , a Backpacker from mobile, al, usa
Date Reviewed: 4/11/2001 12:16:56 AM
 
 

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Summary:
WELL I WAS WAITING FOR OUTDOOR REVIEW TO PUT THIS TENT ON THE LIST SO I COULD REVIEW IT. I RECEIVED IT FOR Christmas AND I LOVE IT SO FAR. IT'S BEEN IN 20-30 DEGREE CONDITIONS OVER THE HOLIDAYS AND IT STAYED WARM ALL NIGHT. MY TENTS BEEN IN TWO THUNDERSTORMS WITH ABSOLUTELY NO SIGNS OF WEATHERING, IT WAS ALSO GREAT FOR A NICE AFTERNOON TRAIL NAP WITHOUT THE RAIN FLY. ITS LIGHT, COMPACTS NICELY, A BREEZE TO SET UP AND ROOMY ENOUGH FOR TWO PEOPLE WITH HEAVY TO MODERATE GEAR. DEPENDS ON THE SIZE OF THE CAMPERS, HOW MUCH THEY HAVE, AND HOW WELL THEY CAN TOLERATE EACH OTHER. I THINK IT WILL SERVE ME WELL. GREAT FOR SOUTHEASTERN WEATHER CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HOW IT PERFORMS ELSEWHERE.

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