The Limelight 3 ($359) is the largest three-person tent in our test, and it’s full of features that make gear-heavy journeys a breeze. An update for 2022 adds two square feet of interior real estate for a total of 44, and 1.5 square feet of exterior vestibule space for a total of 13(6.5 on each side).
What’s more: It pushes the envelope on what we’ve come to expect from interior storage and vestibule design. In addition to the traditional exterior vestibules, the double-walled Limelight introduces two unique interior storage cubbies that jut out on each side and serve as internal vestibules. “Imagine you are laying down in the tent and there are two wing-like caverns on either side,” said a tester. “Each can fit a small daypack or dry sack and get everything out of the sleeping area, so that you don’t have any gear between you or at your head, and they are accessible without opening a door or pulling a zipper.”
An interior clothesline, gear loft, and four low pockets ensure that nothing needs to be stashed at your head, feet, or side. Pre-bent poles produce a pitch with near-vertical walls, which, combined with a best-in-class peak height of 45 inches, maximizes interior space and headroom for easy costume changes.
These features make for prime livability, and you can also count on the Limelight in bad weather. Designers upgraded the fly fabric to 50-denier ripstop polyester, which, along with the included groundsheet and bathtub floors, improves its durability and performance. “We camped atop rocks and gritty sandstone and saw no concerns with durability,” one tester reported from Moab, Utah. Down in Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, the tent warded off heavy rains and 25-mile-per-hour wind gusts. “Vents on the fly and a half-mesh tent body kept the air moving, resulting in no condensation,” a tester said. And setting up the tent is easy thanks to a color-coded system on the poles, fly, and body.
Be warned that though the update shaves 1.6 ounces, the Limelight is still bulky and heavy, coming in just north of six pound . Split the poles and tent body between multiple packs, or let the Limelight become your new favorite car camping tent.