View Full Version : Marmot Traillight vs earlylight 2 person tents.

03-31-2014, 01:01
Anyone have any experience from any of these tents? If so would you kindly give a recommendation or review? Sharing pictures would be very helpful.


the primary use is for car camping with a backpacking possibility.

i'm just having a hard time which marmot to go with, also thought about the kelty trail ridge... so many options. basically looking for the best coolest looking car camping/backpacking tent in the $200 range.

03-31-2014, 07:59
"coolest looking"? Shakes his head.


03-31-2014, 08:36
I can't comment on the coolness factor, as its really up to personal taste but I will say that the coolness factor should be last on the list of selection criteria. I own two Marmot tents (Pulsar 1P, Pulsar 2P) and have been very happy with each. I'm 6'2" and the pole design on the Pulsars makes the end walls near vertical, so there's more useable length.

The Trailllight and Earlylight are running at just under about 5.5 pounds which is fine for car camping but heavy for backpacking. For comparison, the Pulsar 2P comes in at 3 pounds 14 ounces, but runs $350. You'll find that shedding weight = shedding cash.

A tent to look at is the LL Bean Microlight FS 2 (http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/80579?feat=microlight-SR0&page=microlight-fs-2-person-tent&attrValue_0=Yellow%20Citron&productId=1337511) which runs $239 (but you get a $10 gift card making it $229 net) and comes in at 4 pounds, 6 ounces. I tried one last year and was really impressed - I think its one of the best values out there. In the interest of full disclosure, I did return it as it wasn't quite long enough to fit me. If it had fit, I would have been a happy camper - literally. LL Bean did some redesign this year to make it truly freestanding and to pack smaller. They also changed the color to gray and citron yellow - which I admit I think is cool looking - and have a full lifetime no questions asked return policy (better than REI).

03-31-2014, 09:20
I bought an earlier version of the earlylight (then called firstlight) in 2005 for bicycle touring when I was on a budget and needed something in that price range. It's been used, maybe... 150-180 nights or so. One pole broke last summer (easily fixable with a tent pole repair kit), but after being used that much (sometimes by people other than me who may or may not have been particularly gentle with it), I'd still buy the tent again if I was on that budget and didn't care much about weight. The only major cons are the weight and the fact that if you set it up in heavy rain, you'll get some misting in the tent because you set up the body before putting the fly on. Pros: Never an issue with condensation, decent ventilation through the lower mesh areas and the vents on top of the tent, nice for star-gazing if you leave the fly off, tons of space for one person + all your gear, enough space to feel comfortable hanging out in the tent if you get stuck in bad rain, lots of vestibule space.

My husband uses this as his solo tent on his bike trips. He's 6'2" and has to sleep at a bit of an angle so his head isn't against the tent wall. I don't think we could comfortably sleep in it together because of his height, but it's palatial for one person.

IMO, this tent is good for about everything BUT backpacking because of the weight. If you're doing much backpacking, though, I'd think about something lighter.