No matter what the weather forecast says, a regular camper in the UK knows that it could rain just as they are unpacking their tent or just as they are about to strike camp after a dry night. It’s this ‘interesting weather’ that makes outer-pitched-first tents ideal for British conditions, while a healthy dose of stability comes in useful too when the predicted calm weather turns into a storm during the night.
Most tents that arrive on our shores from the States are designed for weather that is so predictable that you can book your days off around it. However, US brand Marmot has realised that what works on one side of the pond does not always work on the opposite shoreline, so they have designed the Grid specifically for UK and European backpacking conditions.
Like many popular tents in the UK the Marmot Grid pitches outer-first, to protect the inner from rainfall. Three poles slip effortlessly through sleeves that extend around the outer of the tent. One is black and clearly preformed to provide spacious headroom at the porch. The other two poles are precurved at one end to raise the tail of the tent a little for extra venting and foot space inside.
I found the Grid easy to pitch, and I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the pegs are soft on the hands too. A selection of ladder locking webbing adjusters around the base further improve tensioning, while plenty of guy lines add extra stability.
Once erected you get a very stable three-pole geodesic design that compares well with other designs on the market. Nice touches include vents at the foot and porch.
There’s one entrance, and this is at the front. However, Marmot has clearly thought about this as the entrance can be opened in numerous ways. The most obvious method is to open the middle section to the top, but you can also open this middle section to the bottom or side. If the wind changes you can open the side sections instead so there is really no reason to end up cooking into the wind with this porch design. The inner doors too are well-designed with a separate midge net that can be exposed as needed.
This is a great tent and it’s a welcome addition to the UK backpacking market, as its well-considered design is capable of withstanding our changeable climate and competing with similar tents. At 2.5kg it’s ideal for backpackers and at £250 it compares well with other quality tents. The Marmot Grid is definitely ideal for the UK backpacking market. What will the Yanks give us next? Predictable weather?#
Design three-pole geodesic
Poles shock-corded alloy
Materials outer: 30D nylon ripstop, 3500mm hydrostatic head; ground sheet: 70D nylon 8000mm hydrostatic head; inner: 40D polyester
Internal dimensions length 230cm; width 120cm; height 105cm
Packed size 56x19cm
Weight manufacturer’s stated weight: 2500g; Trail’s tested weight: 2680g
Made in China
A superb new backpacking tent that is ideal for the UK market and once again proves that the Yanks know a thing or two about backpacking … even in British weather!