Review: Marmot Tungsten UL 1 Person Backpacking Tent

An ultralight, easy-to-use tent for solo adventures when every kilogram counts

Feature type Review

Read time 5 mins

Published Dec 12, 2023

Francesco Guerra
Francesco Guerra Adventure-driven outdoor photographer, born and raised in a Southern Italy city, Francesco discovered the mountains and the outdoor life only in his 20s, making his thirst for the outdoors and adventures unquenchable.

A one-person ultralight tent for your solo adventures, when every kilogram counts.

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Weight 1.93 kg
Dimensions 214 cm x 96 cm, 74 cm x 97 cm
Features Free-standing design, seam-taped, full-coverage 1200mm fly, colour-coded ‘easy pitch’ clips and poles

Pros

  • Lot of space inside for a 1-person tent
  • Free-standing design
  • Seam-taped bathtub floor to resist to downpours and pooling
  • Lightweight for the space you get

Cons

  • Not extremely packable, measuring 47 x 97cm packed

WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR

When I’m out on solo trips, whether it is in the mountains, on rugged coastlines or by some lake, I always plan to sleep out in nature, and I like to do it self-supported. So it is crucial to me to have a packable, lightweight, and waterproof tent to rely on.

Even if I’m solo-tripping, I am, for sure, going to have my camera gear with me, and I want it to be near me all the time, possibly safer than I am, so having some more space to put it inside a tent is a very valuable feature for me.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

At first glance, the Marmot Tungsten UL (which stands for Ultra Light) 1 Person tent seems to be very well built. As stated by Marmot, the main fabric is 20D 100% Polyester Ripstop, and that means that the main material is of prime, durable quality. The poles are very light but feel sturdy when handled.

When assembled, the tent looks way bigger than what you’d expect from a 1-person tent, both in height and length. The rain-shield comes with straps and adjustable hooks to ensure that it remain attached to the frame of the tent.

The only downside I can immediately see is the tent’s length when packed, almost one meter, but that is a minor problem if you like to be a spartan backpacker.

 

the main fabric is 20D 100% Polyester Ripstop, and that means that the main material is of prime, durable quality

THE TEST

I have been using the tent for three months now, testing it in a variety of environments and weathers. First of all, I hiked the Translagorai trail with it, a 70Km hike in the Eastern Italian Alps. For the occasion, I packed it inside my 60L backpack, and I never felt the tent was pulling away space for other stuff, standing nicely in its own little place. About the weight, I cannot really judge since I was carrying around 7kg of camera gear, but I felt that the tent wasn’t adding much weight more than when I had refilled my hydration bladder. I also used it in Sardinia during the trek of Selvaggio Blu and on the Amalfi Coast, on a climbing and shooting mission.

Pitching the tent is super easy thanks to the colour coded clips and poles, and fast. Once you clip the tent to the poles, you already have a free-standing structure that you can use for those dry summer nights out, as I did for a while on Amalfi Coast (I had to put the rain-shield on during the night due to the brightness of the full moon). On the inside, the Marmot Tungsten has a very liveable space for one person: sitting upright, I had extra space above my head and around me, allowing me to move around with ease. When lying down, I have to do a distinction: during the Translagorai thru-hike, I could store my 60L backpack at my feet, still having a bit of space for my head. During the other hikes where I was carrying with me a small 25L pack, I could store it at my side without any significant loss of liveable space.

During my hike in Sardinia, one night I experienced strong winds and rain. I was kept dry all the time by the rain-shield, and the tent did well also resisting the strong winds.

WHO IS THIS TENT FOR?

Being an ultralight tent designed for one person, it goes without saying that the Marmot Tungsten UL 1P is designed for those people that are looking for a reliable and lightweight 3 season tent to use when they are camping alone. Being lightweight, it can easily be a good choice for backpackers and bikepackers, even if it’s not designed specifically for cycle tourism.

WHAT STANDS OUT?

Living Space

For a one person tent, the Tungsten is huge, meaning more liveable space and more comfort. The zoned pre-bend construction creates vertical walls that translate into plenty of space to sleep and a lot of head room.

 

Waterproof

The main construction material of the tent is 20 denier polyester ripstop, that combined with a 1200mm fly sheet water column and a seam-taped bathtub floor means remaining dry when it rains, which is a huge deal when camping outdoors.

 

Lightweight

I have to admit: this is my very first lightweight item. I am not really used to lightweight goods, and I can’t even say why – maybe as a photographer I just like to suffer.

Packed, the Tungsten weighs just 1.176 kg. Maybe not the lightest on the market, but we are talking about few grams less, and in all honesty I don’t think that 100-200 grams less would be a deal-breaker here.

 

Easy to pitch

The Marmot Tungsten is built to be intuitive and fast to pitch. Thanks also to the red coloured clips, poles and fly, you can mount the whole tent in minutes!

VALUE FOR MONEY

With an RRP of €540, this tent is not cheap, but seeing the cost of other competitor tents, the price is definitely fair. Sure, you pay more to have less material, but that’s due to the use of high-quality nylon and its increased market demand.

As I have seen online and when shopping around, when it comes to ultralight gear, it’s never going to be cheap. So if you are looking for a good 3-season 1-person tent, that is spacious, lightweight and that keeps you dry, the Marmot Tungsten UL could be the perfect choice.

BASE BOTTOM LINE

As I mentioned before, when I’m out on solo hikes, I need a tent that is packable, lightweight, and waterproof. This tent excels in almost all of that, and has a feature that I wasn’t expecting. The Marmot Tungsten has an impressive amount of liveable space: it has almost the same amount of space of a two-person tent that I have! Even though it’s not a vital feature for me to have, it turned out quite nice to have it, even if that meant less packability, mostly for the length of the poles.

I would recommend this tent to anyone who is looking for a reliable ultralight 1 person tent, and I will certainly be using it a lot for future trips and hikes.

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