Marmot Tungsten UL – Your Go-To Shelter for Lightweight Adventures

Discover the Marmot Tungsten UL tent’s ultralight design, spacious interior, and excellent weather resistance, perfect for serious backpackers and campers.
Marmot Tungsten UL

Marmot Tungsten UL

Stay Comfortable and Dry in Any Weather with the Marmot Tungsten UL
The Marmot Tungsten UL offers an excellent blend of lightweight design, spacious interior, and superior weather resistance, making it a top choice for serious backpackers.


Weather Resistance
Space & Livability
Weight & Packability
Durability & Build Quality
Ventilation & Condensation Management


  • Lightweight design
  • Spacious interior
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Easy setup
  • Dual doors and vestibules


  • Limited space for two
  • Fragile materials
  • Higher price point


Brief Overview

The Marmot Tungsten UL is a top-tier ultralight tent designed to cater to avid backpackers and campers who prioritize both weight savings and durability. Crafted to support a variety of outdoor adventures, this tent stands out for its impressive blend of lightweight materials and robust construction. The Tungsten UL is particularly well-suited for activities like long-distance hiking, multi-day treks, and backcountry camping, where minimizing pack weight is essential without compromising on comfort and protection.

Initial Impressions and Context of Testing

First Impressions

Unboxing the Marmot Tungsten UL immediately reveals a tent that balances form and function. The materials feel high-quality yet remarkably light, hinting at the careful design choices made to ensure both performance and portability. The thoughtful packaging and included accessories, such as stakes and guy lines, suggest a product ready for the trail right out of the box.

Testing Conditions

To provide a comprehensive review, I tested the Tungsten UL in a range of environments:

  • Mountainous Terrain: Exposed to high winds and uneven ground.
  • Forest Camping: Evaluated for ease of setup under tree cover and amidst foliage.
  • Rainy Conditions: Assessed waterproof capabilities during continuous rainfall.
  • Hot Weather: Monitored breathability and ventilation on warm, sunny days.

These varied conditions allowed me to thoroughly examine the tent’s performance across different scenarios, ensuring a well-rounded evaluation. From initial setup to extended use, the Marmot Tungsten UL demonstrated key features that cater to the needs of serious outdoor enthusiasts.

Technical Specifications

Key Features and Technology

The Marmot Tungsten UL is packed with innovative technologies and features designed to enhance the user experience. These include:

  • Zone Pre-Bend Construction: This technology increases the tent’s interior space, providing more headroom and a roomier feel.
  • Ultralight Materials: The use of high-quality, lightweight fabrics reduces the tent’s overall weight without compromising durability.
  • DAC Featherlite NSL Poles: These poles are both strong and lightweight, contributing to the tent’s stability and ease of setup.
  • Dual Doors and Vestibules: For easy access and additional storage space, the tent features two doors and vestibules.
  • No-See-Um Mesh: Provides excellent ventilation while keeping even the smallest insects out.

Design and Materials

Design Philosophy

Marmot designed the Tungsten UL with a focus on maximizing interior space and minimizing weight. The tent’s architecture is carefully thought out to offer a balance between livability and packability, making it an ideal choice for long-distance hikers and lightweight backpackers.

Materials Used

  • Fabric: The tent body is made from 20D polyester mesh and 30D ripstop nylon, providing a good combination of breathability and durability.
  • Fly: The rainfly is crafted from 20D ripstop nylon with a silicone/polyurethane coating for superior waterproofing.
  • Floor: The tent floor uses 30D ripstop nylon with a similar coating to ensure protection from ground moisture.

Sustainable Practices

Marmot has made efforts to incorporate sustainable materials and practices in the Tungsten UL’s production:

  • Bluesign® Approved Fabrics: These fabrics meet stringent environmental and safety standards.
  • PFC-Free DWR: The durable water repellent coating on the tent is free from perfluorinated chemicals, which are harmful to the environment.

Practical Features

The Tungsten UL also boasts several practical features that enhance its usability in the field:

  • Pockets and Storage: Interior pockets and gear lofts offer convenient storage for small items and gear organization.
  • Color-Coded Setup: The poles and clips are color-coded, making the setup process straightforward and quick.
  • Lightweight Stakes: Included stakes are lightweight yet durable, ensuring the tent stays securely anchored.

The Marmot Tungsten UL’s thoughtful design and high-quality materials make it a standout choice for anyone seeking a reliable, lightweight tent for their outdoor adventures. Whether you’re tackling a multi-day trek or setting up camp in the backcountry, this tent is equipped to handle a variety of conditions with ease.

Performance Evaluation

Fabric Performance


The Marmot Tungsten UL excels in managing moisture and ventilation. The use of 20D polyester mesh on the tent body ensures excellent airflow, which is crucial during warm nights. The mesh not only facilitates cross-ventilation but also reduces condensation build-up inside the tent, keeping the interior dry and comfortable.


The Tungsten UL is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. The 20D ripstop nylon rainfly with silicone/polyurethane coating offers superior waterproofing. During testing in continuous rainfall, the tent performed admirably, with no water seepage or leaks observed. The factory-taped seams further enhance the tent’s ability to stay dry, ensuring a comfortable sleep even in heavy rain.


The combination of 30D ripstop nylon for the tent floor and 20D ripstop nylon for the fly contributes to the tent’s robust durability. Despite being ultralight, the materials are resistant to tears and abrasions. Over multiple uses in rocky and uneven terrains, the Tungsten UL showed minimal signs of wear, proving its resilience in challenging environments.

Weather Resistance

The Marmot Tungsten UL is built to handle a variety of weather conditions:

  • Wind Resistance: The DAC Featherlite NSL poles provide strong structural support, allowing the tent to withstand high winds without collapsing.
  • UV Resistance: The fabric offers good UV resistance, protecting it from sun damage over prolonged exposure.
  • Temperature Management: The excellent ventilation system helps regulate the interior temperature, making it comfortable in both warm and cool conditions.

Practical Features

Interior Space

The Zone Pre-Bend Construction significantly enhances the interior space, providing more headroom and a roomier feel. This design is particularly beneficial during extended trips where spending time inside the tent is necessary.

Storage Solutions

  • Dual Doors and Vestibules: The two doors and vestibules provide easy access and additional storage space for gear, helping to keep the interior organized and clutter-free.
  • Interior Pockets and Gear Lofts: Strategically placed pockets and gear lofts offer convenient storage for smaller items, ensuring essentials are always within reach.

Setup and Takedown

The Marmot Tungsten UL is designed for easy and quick setup. The color-coded clips and poles simplify the assembly process, allowing it to be pitched in just a few minutes. This feature is particularly useful after a long day of hiking when setting up camp efficiently is a priority.

Weight and Packability

One of the standout features of the Tungsten UL is its ultralight weight. Weighing in at just under 3 pounds, it’s easy to carry without adding significant bulk to your pack. When packed, the tent compresses into a small, manageable size, making it ideal for backpacking and long-distance hiking where space and weight are critical considerations.

In summary, the Marmot Tungsten UL impresses with its performance across various metrics, from breathability and waterproofing to durability and practical features. Its thoughtful design and high-quality materials ensure it can handle the demands of serious outdoor enthusiasts, making it a reliable companion for a range of outdoor activities.

Fit and Comfort

Sizing and Fit

Interior Space

The Marmot Tungsten UL is designed with a keen focus on maximizing interior space while maintaining a lightweight profile. The Zone Pre-Bend Construction is a standout feature that provides extra headroom and a more spacious feel compared to other ultralight tents. This design allows for more comfortable movement inside the tent, especially during extended stays.

  • Single Person Setup: Perfectly fits one person with ample space for gear.
  • Double Occupancy: Accommodates two people snugly but comfortably, with enough room to avoid feeling cramped.

Comfort During Various Activities

Sleeping Arrangements

During my testing, I found the tent’s layout conducive to a good night’s sleep. The increased headroom and width provided by the pre-bend construction meant that I could move around without brushing against the tent walls, reducing the risk of condensation transfer. The floor space is ample enough to fit two sleeping pads side by side without overlap.

Ventilation and Climate Control

The no-see-um mesh on the tent body ensures excellent ventilation, which is crucial during warm nights. The dual-vestibule design allows for improved airflow, especially when the doors are opened partially. On cooler nights, the tight weave of the mesh helps retain heat, providing a balance between ventilation and warmth retention.

Ease of Use

Setup and Takedown

The tent’s intuitive design with color-coded clips and poles makes setup straightforward, even for those new to ultralight tents. The process can be completed quickly, which is particularly appreciated after a long day of hiking. The easy setup does not compromise the tent’s stability, making it a reliable shelter in varying conditions.

Entry and Exit

The dual-door design is a significant advantage, especially for two occupants. It allows each person to enter and exit the tent without disturbing the other, enhancing overall comfort and convenience. The doors are large enough to facilitate easy entry and exit, even with gear.

Additional Comfort Features

  • Interior Pockets: Conveniently placed pockets inside the tent provide storage for small items like headlamps, phones, and snacks, keeping them within easy reach and off the ground.
  • Gear Lofts: The included gear loft adds an extra layer of storage, ideal for keeping larger items organized and out of the way.

Personal Anecdotes

During a multi-day trek, the Marmot Tungsten UL’s comfort features became particularly apparent. On a particularly humid night, the excellent ventilation provided by the mesh walls and dual vestibules made a significant difference in maintaining a comfortable sleeping environment. Additionally, the ease of setup after a long day of hiking was a welcome relief, highlighting the practical design of this tent.

Overall, the Marmot Tungsten UL excels in providing a comfortable and spacious living area, crucial for extended outdoor adventures. Its thoughtful design features cater to the needs of backpackers and campers, ensuring a pleasant experience in various weather conditions and terrains.

Pros and Cons


Lightweight Design

One of the most significant advantages of the Marmot Tungsten UL is its ultralight design. Weighing just under 3 pounds, it’s an ideal choice for backpackers and long-distance hikers who need to minimize pack weight without sacrificing comfort and durability.

Spacious Interior

Thanks to the Zone Pre-Bend Construction, the tent offers more headroom and interior space compared to other ultralight tents. This design feature enhances livability, making it more comfortable for extended stays in the wilderness.

Excellent Ventilation

The extensive use of no-see-um mesh on the tent body provides exceptional ventilation, reducing condensation and keeping the interior dry. This is particularly beneficial in warm and humid conditions, ensuring a comfortable sleeping environment.

Easy Setup

The color-coded clips and poles make the setup process straightforward and quick, even for those new to ultralight tents. This feature is especially useful after a long day of hiking when ease of setup is paramount.

Dual Doors and Vestibules

The dual-door design allows for easy entry and exit, while the vestibules provide additional storage space for gear. This is a significant advantage for two occupants, offering convenience and enhancing overall comfort.


Limited Space for Two

While the tent is marketed as a two-person tent, the interior space can feel a bit snug for two people, especially with gear. It’s best suited for solo use with ample space or for two people willing to pack lightly and compromise on personal space.

Fragile Materials

The lightweight materials, while durable for their weight, require careful handling. The 20D and 30D nylon fabrics are more susceptible to punctures and tears compared to heavier-duty materials, necessitating extra caution during setup and takedown.

Price Point

The high-quality materials and advanced design features come at a premium price. The Marmot Tungsten UL is an investment, which might be a drawback for budget-conscious campers. However, for serious backpackers prioritizing weight and performance, the cost is justified.

In summary, the Marmot Tungsten UL offers a blend of lightweight construction, spacious design, and practical features that cater to the needs of avid backpackers and campers. While there are some limitations, such as the snug fit for two people and the need for careful handling, the overall advantages make it a worthy investment for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a reliable ultralight tent.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the Marmot Tungsten UL with other popular ultralight tents like the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 and the NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2, several distinct differences and similarities emerge, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Marmot Tungsten UL vs. Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3

The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 is another highly-regarded ultralight tent known for its spacious interior and durability. Compared to the Tungsten UL, the Copper Spur HV UL3 offers more interior space, making it a better option for those who prioritize roominess. The Copper Spur also features dual vestibules and a similar easy setup process with color-coded poles. However, it is slightly heavier than the Tungsten UL, which may be a consideration for weight-conscious backpackers. The price point for the Copper Spur is higher, reflecting its enhanced features and additional space. For those needing extra room and willing to carry a bit more weight, the Copper Spur is a compelling alternative.

Marmot Tungsten UL vs. NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2

The NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2 is another competitor in the ultralight category, offering excellent weight savings and innovative design features. The Dragonfly Osmo 2 is lighter than the Tungsten UL, making it a preferred choice for ultralight enthusiasts. It also boasts excellent ventilation and a durable construction with its Osmo fabric. However, the Tungsten UL edges out the Dragonfly in terms of interior space and headroom due to its Zone Pre-Bend Construction. Additionally, the Tungsten UL’s dual-door design provides easier access compared to the single-door configuration of the Dragonfly Osmo 2. The price of the Dragonfly is comparable to the Tungsten UL, but it offers a more minimalist approach, which may appeal to those prioritizing weight over space.

In conclusion, while the Marmot Tungsten UL offers a balanced mix of weight, space, and durability, tents like the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 and the NEMO Dragonfly Osmo 2 provide alternative options catering to specific needs such as extra space or ultralight performance.


The Marmot Tungsten UL stands out as a reliable and versatile ultralight tent, ideal for backpackers and campers seeking a balance between weight savings and interior space. Its innovative Zone Pre-Bend Construction maximizes headroom and livability, making it comfortable for extended stays in the backcountry. The tent’s excellent ventilation, robust waterproofing, and easy setup further enhance its appeal, ensuring it performs well in various weather conditions. While it may feel a bit snug for two occupants with gear and requires careful handling due to its lightweight materials, these are minor trade-offs for its overall performance.

Priced competitively within the ultralight category, the Tungsten UL offers good value for its features and durability. It is best suited for solo adventurers or pairs willing to compromise on space for a lightweight and reliable shelter. For those prioritizing a blend of comfort, weight, and practicality, the Marmot Tungsten UL is an excellent choice.

Further reading