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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2011

Gear Review: Marmot Boreas 3P Tent

A freestanding, three-person tent that has super ventilation.

by: Kelly Bastone

Marmot Boreas 3 (BP Photo Department)
Marmot Boreas 3 (BP Photo Department)

[best ventilation]
“Like sleeping beneath a ceiling fan.” That’s how one tester described the airflow of the freestanding Boreas, which kept him and his tentmates comfortable and dry through rainy, 80°F nights on Utah’s Green River. Why the superior ventilation? Two large vents at the head and foot of the fly enhance airflow, and an all-mesh tent body—separated from the fly by a gap of several inches—promotes excellent air movement. Condensation? Forget about it. Summer campers in the humid Northeast and Southeast will love it. And despite the airy design, the taut pitch effectively repelled strong (30-mph) desert winds in Utah.

The weight-to-space ratio makes the Boreas an ultralight (though somewhat cramped) shelter for three, or a castle for two. Headroom is generous, thanks to a hubbed pole that places the 45-inch peak asymmetrically over the tent’s head instead of the middle, and the length accommodates campers up to 6’4”. Two 10-square-foot vestibules over the side doors are positioned to keep gear from cluttering the entrances (though they’re too shallow to accommodate all of a trio’s gear), and the design kept rain from dripping inside during wet exits.

Yet unlike some lightweight, three-season shelters, the Boreas features durable materials (such as a 40-denier* floor) that resisted abrasion when pitched on rough slabs in Rocky Mountain National Park. Minor gripe: Testers wished the poles and corner tabs were color-coded for easier setup. $369; 5 lbs.

*Denier A unit of measurement for the thickness (and therefore durability) of individual threads used in making cloth. Higher numbers denote heavier, more durable fabric.

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