The Marmot Swallow Tent works great for summer climbing and spring or fall backpacking trips.
Share your thoughts
Best all-around tent?
I have an older version of this tent and used it in full-on snow conditions and it held up very well! The featherlite poles are amazing. Its a little on the heavier side, but well worth the weight. The entry is also wonderful- nice and WIDE! I've also used it in the summer where the nights get a little nippier. Who says you cant have the best of both worlds?
Love this tent. Very east to set up and i like all the different ways you can set this up. Last time I used it, I was in Yosemite, and it rained 4 out of the 5 days i used it and not a single drop got inside. the fly vents are great and wouldn't want another tent unless they had em. Overall great tent just wished it was a couple lbs lighter.
Heavy on features...and weight
I have the 2003 version of this tent and have gotten lots of use out of it over the years. The tent body and especially the fly are very durable and versatile, with plenty of storage space and ventilation options. If you are not expecting rain, the relatively light tent body is plenty to cut wind and keep you warm. The bathtub floors, heavy fly and stake-down options make the Swallow a true 3+ season tent. It was quite comfortable and warm when I brought it snow camping and the vestibule space easily accommodated all our gear and boots. I also like how each side's sizable vestibules allow you to shelter your gear on one side while cooking or from the other in a storm. They also prevent you from crawling over everyone else in the tent during those middle of the night forays into the woods.
The two biggest downsides of this tent are that at almost 9lbs it's quite heavy and becomes hard to pack into the "burrito cover" Marmot gives you when out in the field. On the flip side, if you are looking for a durable, comfortable, well-designed tent to use year-round and you are more concerned with durability and comfort than weight, this is a great option. By far one of the most well-designed tents I have used. I prefer my Mountain Hardware Skyledge for summer and in more temperate conditions.
Most recently I used this tent for a month long climbing trip in the High Andes and Aconcagua and it performed like a champ. It withstood 70-90km/hr winds without the poles bending as well as heavy hail and snow up to 5,900m (19,000ft). The Swallow's performance was a pleasant surprise considering it's a 3+ season tent rather than a 4-season or mountaineering-specific model. I had my doubts about taking the Swallow to Aconcagua but I was quickly sold. This tent does not shine on 2-3 night trips due to its weight, but I truly realized its value while living out of it for the better part of a month. For trips where you will encounter highly variable conditions, this tent can do it all.
Also can be used in wintery conditions
I know I bought this tent because it is durable enough for some winter conditions if it is staked and guy wired down. A friend of mine used this on an expedition to Baffin Island, and they had nothing but success. If you plan to be in full winter conditions with high winds, you prolly want the Thor, but if it's just cold with winds below Hurricane force, I've been very pleased with this tent.
Also there is enough room to squeeze in three people in a pinch (pun intended).
The one downside is this sucker is really if you plan to do backpacking. Even after we split this thing up for a backpacking trip, we feel the weight. But then again, if you do carry it you get tons of space for relaxing at the end of the day, and furthermore backpacking is not what this thing is designed for.
Finally, I really like all the little things in this tent that are done right. Hard to explain exactly, but as you use it, you realize how much your actions and needs were anticipated by the engineers
I like this tent. Is this available now?...
I like this tent. Is this available now?
Or I need a backorder?
There are plenty available right now (5/19/08). Grab one up!This is a great car camping tent.