Marmot is most of the backpackers’ favorite brand, it strikes the perfect balance between durability, interior volume, and weight. In this article, I’ll compare two of the finest tents in its line, Marmot Tungsten and Marmot Fortress.
Firstly, both tents have two-person and three-person versions. In this buying guide, I will be comparing two-person versions of the tents, but the idea is the same, even if you’re looking for a three-person tent you can use this guide. The only thing that changes between two-person and three-person versions is the dimensions.
In summary, the main difference is their season type, Marmot Tungsten is a 3-seasons tent which has a high mesh ratio. It offers better breathability, allows you to stargaze during the night, and it’s lighter, therefore, it’s the better option for summer camping. Marmot Fortress, on the other hand, is a more robust tent that has a full fabric canopy to keep you warm in the winter, therefore it’s heavier. Another big difference is, Marmot Tungsten comes with a footprint, but Marmot Fortress doesn’t, you need to buy the footprint separately.
Go straight to the detailed comparison.
Marmot Tungsten Review
Marmot Tungsten is a 3-pole structured, three-season tent that has two-person and three-person versions. It has a great mesh ratio, therefore, it offers excellent breathability.
It’s a bit heavier and bulkier compared to its alternatives such as Nemo Hornet and Big Agnes Copper Spur, but it’s much durable. Its canopy and floor are made of 68D polyester (much higher than its alternatives).
Tungsten has two doors and two vestibules for each person, it offers enough floor and vestibule area for two people, and it has pre-bent poles that increase the interior volume.
One thing I like about Marmot Tungsten is the footprint comes with the tent, you don’t need to purchase it separately.
Lastly, it features two decent size pockets for each person to keep their belongings, and it has two light-diffusing pockets to use your headlamp as a lantern at nights.
Check out the latest price of Marmot Tungsten.
Marmot Fortress Review
Marmot Fortress is a 4-season, 3-pole structured tent that has a full fabric canopy to provide protection against cold, it has two-person and three-person versions.
Fortress features pre-bent poles that offer great interior volume. It has two doors that have mesh so you can open them without thinking about bugs coming in. Each door has vestibules so you can keep your gear outside to have more space inside.
The tent has two vents to get a nice breeze rolling through on sunny days. Just like the doors, the lower vent also has a mesh but the upper vent doesn’t.
Note: I don’t recommend this tent if you generally camp in sunny weather, Marmot Tungsten or Marmot Limelight is a better option in that case.
It has two big storage pockets to hold your gear and it features two transparent corner pockets to lighten the tent with your headlamp at nights.
Check out the latest price of Marmot Fortress.
Marmot Tungsten 2P vs Fortress 2P
|Marmot Tungsten||Marmot Fortress|
|Minimum Weight||4lbs 13oz (2182g)||5lbs 9oz (2520g)|
|Packed Weight||5lbs 4oz (2381g)||5lbs 15.5oz (2710g)|
|Pack Size||Ø7.5" x 21" / Ø17.8 x 53.3cm||Ø7.5" x 21" / Ø17.8 x 53.3cm|
|Floor Dimensions||88" x 54" (Head Side) x 46" (Feet Side) / 137/117 x 224cm||88" x 54" (Head Side) x 46" (Feet Side) / 137/117 x 224cm|
|Height||42" / 107 cm||42" / 107 cm|
|Floor Area||30.6 ft² / 2.8m²||30.6 ft² / 2.8m²|
|Vestibule Area||9.8 ft² + 7.8 ft²||9.8 ft² + 7.8 ft²|
|Pole Diameter||9/8.5 millimeters||9 millimeters|
|Canopy Fabric||40d 100% Polyester No-See-Um Mesh F/R | 68d 100% Polyester Taffeta F/R||40d 100% Polyester No-See-Um Mesh F/R | 68d 100% Polyester Taffeta F/R|
|Fly Fabric||68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 1500mm F/R||68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 1500mm F/R|
|Floor Fabric||68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 2000mm F/R||68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 2000mm F/R|
Detailed Comparison of Tungsten vs Fortress
The big difference between the two tents is their season types. Marmot Tungsten is a 3-season tent it has a canopy with a mesh top. It provides great breathability, and clear stargazing at summer nights.
Marmot Fortress, on the other hand, is a 4-season tent that has a full fabric canopy that provides weather protection for winter camping.
Both tents have the same design and dimensions, the floor area of the tents is 30.6 sq ft (slightly over average). The vestibule areas of the tents are 17.6 sq ft (9.8 sq ft at the front door, 7.8 sq ft at the back door) which is also not below as average. Below you can see the dimensions of the tents.
And lastly, the peak heights of the tents are 42″ which is above average compare to the alternatives.
Below, you can compare Marmot Tungsten & Fortress to their alternatives on the market.
|Floor Area||Vestibule Area||Peak Height|
|Marmot Tungsten & Fortress 2P||30.6 ft²||17.6||42″|
|Nemo Hornet 2||27.5 ft²||14.2 ft²||39″||Read Review|
|Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2||29 ft²||18 ft²||40″||Read Review|
|MSR Hubba Hubba Nx 2||29 ft²||17.5 ft²||39″||Read Review|
Durability & Waterproofness
Just like the interior volume, Marmot Tungsten and Fortress are nearly the same when it comes to durability. They’re both made of high denier fabric (68d 100% Polyester Taffeta F/R) and mesh (40d 100% Polyester No-See-Um Mesh) to offer better durability than other alternatives at the market.
A tent’s waterproofness is measured by a test called Hydrostatic Head, and the results are in mm metrics, the higher the hydrostatic head result (mm) the greater the waterproofness.
With that being said, the fly and the floor of the tents respectively made of 1500mm and 2000mm fabrics (which are good enough to keep you dry).
|Canopy Fabric||Floor Fabric||Fly Fabric|
|Marmot Tungsten & Fortress 2P||40d No-See-Um Mesh 68d Polyester Taffeta||68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 2000mm||68d Polyester Taffeta 190T 1500mm|
|Nemo Hornet 2||10D Nylon Ripstop/ No-See-Um Mesh||30D ripstop nylon 3000mm||20D ripstop nylon 1200mm||Review|
|MSR Freelite 2||10D polyester micro-mesh||15D ripstop nylon 1200mm||15D ripstop nylon 1200mm||Review|
|Nemo Dagger 2||15D Nylon Ripstop/ No-See-Um Mesh||30D PeU Nylon Ripstop (3000 mm)||15D Sil/PeU Nylon Ripstop (1200 mm)||Review|
|MSR Hubba Hubba Nx 2||15D nylon micromesh||30D ripstop nylon 3000mm||20D ripstop nylon 1200mm||Review|
For the durability comparison of Marmot Tungsten vs Fortress:
Although the specs are the same, I must say that Marmot Fortress is the better option for longevity and durability. Since it has a full fabric canopy it’s more likely not to be ripped in the long term.
Also, Marmot Tungsten comes with a footprint but Marmot Fortress doesn’t, you need to buy it separately. You can always camp without the footprint as well but for your tent’s longevity, I strongly recommend a footprint.
Weight & Packed Size
For the higher durability and interior volume compared to alternatives on the market the trade-off here is that they’re a bit heavier and bulkier.
Verdict: Tungsten or Fortress
They both are highly durable and roomy tents. But If you’re a fellow who likes to camp during winter, I’d recommend Marmot Tungsten, it is a 3-season tent, it’s lighter and has a higher mesh ratio, therefore, it offers better ventilation. But if you’re into cold weather camping, I’d recommend Marmot Fortress, it is a 4-season tent that has a full fabric canopy to provide better weather protection and durability.