Marmot Limelight 3P Tent Review

The Marmot Limelight 3P tent is a freestanding backpacking tent designed for a family or group of 2-3 people.  It boasts a large living space and head room through its pre-bent pole design.  Most other tent walls angle inward starting from the floor to reach the peak of the tent, which reduces the living area.  The Tungsten series has resolved that issue by bending the poles such that they go straight up, then angle toward the peak.  Doors and vestibules on both ends of the tent permit easy access and provide a vast amount of storage.  These features and others provide a balance of comfort and function in this 3-season backpacking tent.


The aluminum pre-bent main poles and horizontal cross poles maximize space.



The Marmot Limelight 3P tent weighs 7 pounds 3.4 ounces (minus stakes).  It weighs 7 pounds 9.2 ounces with everything included (tent, rain fly, footprint, stakes, guy-lines, and stuff sack).  The footprint that comes with the tent is 10.4 ounces.  For a 3-person tent, this is a good backpacking choice for those looking for a lightweight tent and still want a two-door, two-vestibule, large living space, and dual vents on the fly for a comfortable sleep without condensation buildup.   The Limelight 3p delivers all of these features.


The manufacturer claims the minimum trail weight is 6 lbs 0.5 ounces. Based on my scale, it is 6 lbs 7.2 ounces (this is minus the footprint, stakes, and stuff sack).


Interior Space

The Limelight 3P has a floor dimension of 68 X 90 inches, making sleeping comfortable in whichever direction you decide to lay.  This tent maximizes room through its pre-bent poles, creating nearly vertical walls and more living space.  This design also increases the head space with a peak height of  48 inches, which is useful when changing clothes or packing up your gear and just adds to your overall comfort.


With a peak height of  48 inches, it provides plenty of room for kneeling.


The Limelight 3P has outstanding ventilation.  The mesh venting on the upper part of the walls and ceiling allows for plenty of airflow.  The gap between the walls and outer cover promotes breathability.  When the vents, located on each side of the tent fly, are opened, this helps to further reduce condensation buildup on the interior of the tent.  The vent can be accessed from the inside or outside.  On the sides of the tent, solid material goes up to a little over halfway the wall.  This helps to increase privacy and serves to block any cool breezes coming in from the sides.  The interior tent doors have convenient, two-way, jingle-free zippers.  Also, if you decide to leave the fly off, the mesh canopy is transparent enough for gazing at the stars.

The vents located on each side of the tent fly help reduce condensation buildup on the interior of the tent.


The mesh venting on the upper part of the walls and ceiling allows for plenty of airflow.


Outer Protection

The Limelight 3P provides a durable, completely waterproof, full-coverage fly, that offers excellent protection from the rain and wind.  The fly fabric is 68-denier polyester taffeta.  The color-coated fly easily snaps in place on each of the four corners of the tent.  Each vestibule is staked with one stake at the reinforced strap on each flap bottom.  Since this is a free-standing tent, you really only need stakes for the vestibules.  Staking the other parts of the tent is not necessary.  The two vestibules provide a large area for storing backpacks, shoes, and other gear.  Like the interior doors, the exterior tent doors have convenient, two-way, jingle-free zippers.  Two vents, one on each side of the tent, can be accessed from the inside or outside, allowing for increased ventilation even when it’s raining.  A custom-fit footprint comes with the tent to provide additional protection from sharp objects and water on the ground.


The Limelight 3P fly material is made of 68-denier polyester fabric.


Setup and Take Down

Setup of the Limelight 3P is very easy and can quickly be done by one person.  The color-coded corners make setup especially simple with Easy Pitch clips for the fly.  Just match the two orange tabs of the inner tent’s Jake’s feet to the two orange tabs on the two corners of the fly, clip it in, and cinch it up.  The lightweight but durable aluminum main poles are all connected as one piece and swivel like helicopter propellers.  The pole ends have grooved pegs that easily fit into the grommets on each corner.  The grooves help keep the pole in place while you set the opposite corner.  Once the tent is set up, the freestanding design allows you to pick up the tent and move it around as desired.  The included footprint can be used, if needed.  Take down is also easy and fast.  Just take up the vestibule stakes and corner stakes, if used.  Then, remove the poles, unhook the tent clips, and breakdown the poles.  The tent can then be folded to the width of the bag and rolled up with the pole bag and fly inside.  It compresses very well and will easily fit back into its bag.


The freestanding design allows you to pick up the tent and move it around.


Overall Rating

It has performed well in heavy rain and moderate winds.  Even during the rain, there was very little condensation buildup inside the tent.  It is easy to setup and easy to breakdown and put up.  One negative I have for this tent is when the tent is bagged up, it is a little bulky due to the pre-bent poles.  For this size tent, it is relatively lightweight.  If you are looking for an affordable, well made, lightweight, 3-season backpacking tent, the Marmot Limelight 3P is a great choice.



Specifications (Per the Manufacturer)

Seasons: 3

Capacity: 3

Number of doors: 2

Number of vestibules: 2

Minimum weight: 6 lb 0.5 oz / 2730 g

Maximum weight: 6 lb 11 oz / 2985 g

Floor area: 42.5 sq ft / 4 sq m

Length: 90 in / 229 cm

Width: 68 in / 173 cm

Height: 48 in / 122 cm

Packed diameter: 8 in / 20.3 cm

Packed Length: 22 in / 56 cm

Price: $299



Disclosure: This tent was purchased by the author using his own funds.


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