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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Marmot Pulsar 2 Tent

A long drip line and spacious headroom let's you enjoy the inside, and the outside, no matter the elements.

by: Kelly Bastone

Marmot Pulsar 2 (Andrew Bydlon)
Marmot Pulsar 2 (Andrew Bydlon)

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[sheltered view]
Like to sit under cover and see more than nylon walls? During windless rain in Vermont’s Green Mountains, one tester rolled back the Pulsar’s vestibule and stayed dry while enjoying a pleasant river view, thanks to a drip line that extends well beyond the tent’s single side door. In bigger weather, just batten down the hatches and it’s “bombproof,” as one tester declared after an unusually stormy week in California’s Eastern Sierras. Assaulted by icy rain with temps in the mid-30s, he found this freestanding double-wall to be a dry, stable refuge with sufficient elbow room.

Although the 53-inch width isn’t overly generous, steep walls provide spacious headroom. Even the corners feel roomy (which testers appreciated when lying down), thanks to poles that push the walls to near-vertical. The 8-square-foot vestibule just fits two packs. Ventilation is good—no condensation collected during soggy nights—thanks to all-mesh walls. But testers griped about setup, which is fussier than most: Color-coding guides the orientation of the poles, but a bevy of fly connectors makes achieving a taut pitch a tedious process. $349; 3 lbs. 6 oz.; marmot.com

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