Backcountry Access Stash bc Pack

Review of Marmot Den
By Matt Smith

About a two years ago we did a review of several family tents. During one of the review trips, an unexpected windstorm thrashed the camp. Lying inside one of the larger tents, I wasn't sure it was going to hold together. In the last several months while field testing the Marmot Den, I experienced many similar gusts of wind. But this time I had nothing to worry about.

The Den sports four aluminum poles which criss-cross the den from corner to corner, and also side so side. A pre-bent fifth pole reinforces the roomy front vestibule. The end result is not only a very rigid body, but also a very roomy interior. Marmot specifications list the Den as a 2-3 man tent. On a serious mountaineering trip or winter camp, this would be true. With all your gear either inside, or in one of the two very usable vestibules, there is plenty of room for three to sleep comfortably. If you happen to be on a shorter trip, where gear can be stored outside the tent, four adults can easily fit inside, without the need for spooning.

Marmot spared no consideration on the Den. Both the stake loops on the tent, and the tethers on the fly are fully adjustable, which means you can snug even a used rain fly tight to reduce flapping in strong winds. The available throng of guy lines provide any additional stability with ease. There are large mesh pockets along both sides of the tent, and a gear loft in the ceiling. A small window in the fly allows monitoring of weather conditions, and the warm yellow fabric helps lift the spirit while waiting out a storm.

Ceiling vents in the fly are accessible from inside the tent, and can be propped open to increase ventilation. The basin style floor of the tent is heavily coated to ensure you and your gear stay dry in even the worst weather. Two doors in the front, and one door in the back of the tent provide options for entering the tent as the winds shift, reducing how much snow and rain blows through the door.

The no-see-um mesh on the windows is spectacular. Even with the tent pitched within feet of a marshy stream, all but one annoying fly were unable to get inside the tent. The zippers on the door are smooth, and I didn't experience any problems with snagging on the trim.

Really the only thing about the Den I didn't like was the weight, which is comparable to similarly sized expedition tents. All the quality and attention to detail comes at a cost: weighing in at a hefty 11 lbs, the Den can fill up your pack in a hurry.

The taco style tent bag is unique among tents I have tested, and I found it to be very functional. The need to roll the tent is totally eliminated, and the poles and stakes are tucked neatly away in their own pocket. Folded, the tent is roughly 12" x 16" x 4". The Den comes with a very useful repair kit for patching both the tent and the fly, and also a sleeve for mending broken poles.

Summary: If you are looking for a tent that is at home from the desert to wind swept glaciers, the Marmot Den might be the choice for you. Offering high quality, attention to detail, and brute strength, the Den can be had for around $450.

For more information contact Marmot Mountain Ltd. 2321 Circadian Way Santa Rosa, CA 95407 Phone: (707) 544-4590 Fax: (707) 544-1344 info@marmot.com

For more information contact:
Marmot Mountain Ltd.
2321 Circadian Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Phone: (707) 544-4590
Fax: (707) 544-1344

Matt Smith is the canyoneering specialist at GearReview.com.

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