Marmot Grid 2 2010

USA brand Marmot has realised that what works on that side of the pond does not always work over here, so they have designed the Grid specifically for UK and European conditions. It’s pitched outer-first so you can keep the inner dry when pitching or striking the tent in the rain.

What sets the Marmot Grid 2 apart from most tents from the USA and indeed all the other tents in this test is the outer pitch first design. There are pros and cons to this system, but in the UK where rain is a non-negotiable part of the camping experience this design is a real benefit, because you can keep the inner dry more easily. Equally when striking the tent you can pack away the inner before taking down the outer, which will keep your gear drier. To facilitate the outer-pitched-first design the Grid’s poles are slipped through sleeves in the outer, and these are colour-coded to make the task easier. It’s worth noting that the pole over the porch area is precurved to add a little extra headroom to this area of the tent. Equally the poles at the tail are precurved to add a little extra height at the foot of the tent.

On the hill
I used the Marmot Grid 2 for camping high and wild on the fells in some pretty exposed sites. It is in these sort of situations when I really like to use an outer-pitched-first tent, as the weather is always worse the higher you go and also more unpredictable. Pitching is not quite so easy as with the inner pitched first tents as there is more material to deal with, but Marmot has made it as easy as possible with continuous sleeves that are sealed at one end, so you just slide the poles until they stop. Ladder-lock buckles enhance the ease of pitching too. The pegs are ideal for general use and not painful to use. So while not as easy as an inner-pitched-first tent, it is no real problem either and it’s much easier to keep the inner dry. I particularly liked the entrance design as this allows the door to be opened in various ways. The inner doors too are well-designed with a separate midge net that can be exposed as needed. The vents at the porch and foot mean this tent has better control of condensation than some other too. The drawback is that this is a slightly heavier option.

Price £290
Design three-pole geodesic
Poles shock-corded alloy
Materials outer: 30D nylon ripstop, 3500mm hydrostatic head; groundsheet: 70D nylon 8000mm hydrostatic head; inner: 40D polyester
Internal dimensions length 230cm; width 120cm; height 105cm
Packed size 51x18cm
Weight 2787g
Made in Vietnam
Stockist details – tel. (01539) 563616;

The Marmot Grid 2 is a superb tent for camping in wet, windy and unpredictable mountain weather, but other options are lighter. It received the ‘Trail Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2010