If you’re serious about enjoying the great outdoors, you can’t expect substandard equipment to get the job done, especially when you’re talking about tents. Not only do you need a tent that’s big enough for your sleeping needs, you also need one that offers storage and protection from harsh weather. It’s also nice to have a tent that’s somewhat easy to set up so you don’t have to spend too long out in the cold.
Backpacking tents are some of the best tents you can buy because they’re designed to be lightweight, easy to set up, and durable in any weather. We put together this Marmot Firefly 2 review to give you an idea of what this tent offers and how it stacks up against some of the most popular two-person backpacking tents on the market.
What Is a Backpacking Tent?
Backpacking is very different from camping, so backpacking tents offer different features from those on standard tents. When you’re backpacking, you have to carry your gear with you until you’re ready to set up camp, and you might only find a less-than-ideal clearing for your campsite. This is why you need a tent that’s easy to set up, doesn’t weigh too much, and can stand up to all sorts of different weather conditions, which is exactly what you get when you spend a bit of money on a nice backpacking tent.
Of course, these aren’t the only features you’ll find in backpacking tents. Backpacking tents are rated for weight, convenience, and comfortability, how many campers can sleep inside, and what kind of weather they can stand up to. Balancing these features will help you find the best tent for your needs. You want a tough tent with room for you and your camping companions, but you also need a tent that’s easy to carry from place to place and even easier to set up.
What Is the Marmot Firefly 2P?
The Marmot Firefly 2P is a two-person backpacking tent designed for easy packing and setup. Despite this being a smaller tent in terms of how many people it sleeps, the floor of the Marmot Firefly 2P measures 92 inches x 54 inches, so it has plenty of room inside. The length of this tent indicates that it has a pretty drastic dome design, so the edges (essentially the “foot” and “head” of the tent) have a much shorter height than the center of the tent. Lightweight materials like aluminum, nylon, and polyester are used to make this tent both durable and easy to pack.
One thing you need to understand when you buy the Marmot Firefly 2P tent is that it’s a 3-season backpacking tent. This means that you shouldn’t expect it to hold up in extremely heavy rain and snow like you might encounter in the winter. However, it will hold up to moderate rainfall and wind, so you can use this tent for most of the year without any problems. If you need more protection for winter camping or backpacking, you’ll need to look for a tent with a 4-season or 5-season rating that does a better job of keeping out rain.
Marmot Firefly 2P Specifications
As far as the specifications for the Marmot Firefly 2P go, you won’t find a lot of better tents on the market for the price. The Firefly 2P may not be built for large families, but if you’re looking for a two-person tent this may be about as good as it gets. This tent is particularly good for backpacking during the milder months because the Marmot Firefly 2P isn’t designed to handle heavy rains. However, if you need a tent for those hikes you take at the beginning of every fall or spring, the Marmot Firefly 2P is a good choice.
The Marmot Firefly 2P backpacking tent is a bit of a strange case when it comes to size. This is a two-person tent according to its rating, so you shouldn’t expect to cram too many people in. However, the floor of the Marmot Firefly 2P measures 92 inches x 54 inches to give you a whopping 34.5 square feet of usable space in your tent. If you’re tall or really like to stretch out when you sleep, the nearly 8-foot length of this tent will be more than enough room. At nearly 5 feet wide, you shouldn’t have any issues packing some gear into your tent at night, even if you happen to be sleeping next to a particularly space-hogging sleeper.
A peak height of 43 inches makes this a bit of a short tent, but that’s part of designing a tent that offers this much sleeping comfort while remaining lightweight. Aside from that, you probably won’t spend too much time standing up in your tent, and that’s likely the only time you’ll notice the short height. Dressing in the Firefly 2P may be a bit difficult for taller campers.
As far as the construction of this tent goes, it’s right up there with the best of them. The hubbed pole set used to prop up this tent gives you more room on the inside and makes it easy for you to set up camp quickly. Exclusive DAC Pressfit poles are used for their extra durability, and pole clips allow the rainfly and tent to separate a bit for airflow. The rainfly itself is made of a UV-resistant material that’s seam-sealed to ensure it holds its shape even after taking a beating from the sun or rain.
To make setup even easier for you, every pole on the Marmot Firefly 2P is color coded. This means that you don’t have to waste your time laying out all your tent poles to see which ones go where; simply put each pole in the appropriate spot based on its color.
While this isn’t an all-season tent, it’s certainly constructed well when it comes to weatherproofing. The Marmot Firefly 2P is designed with a waterproof, seam-taped bathtub floor that keeps you dry in any weather, and the rainfly does the same. The rainfly is really nice because while it is designed to keep a lot of unwanted water out of your tent, it also separates a bit from the walls of the tent itself so you don’t have to worry about breathing hot, stale air all night.
As long as you’re only camping in light to moderate rain and wind conditions, you’ll love the construction of this tent. The Firefly 2P is rock solid when you put the fly over the top and breezy and simple without it. And you can get great rain protection from this tent without having to sacrifice breathability, which is a huge plus.
Convenience is what the Marmot Firefly 2P backpacking tent does best. Convenience is really important to look for in a backpacking tent because you’re probably not going to have much energy toward the end of a hike. When you decide to call it a day and settle down to camp for the night, you want your setup to be as easy as possible. The Firefly 2P has a hubbed, color-coded pole set that makes it easy to set up, and you can use the footprint together with the poles and rainfly to create an easier, lighter shelter.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect too much convenience from any tent. The fact of the matter is backpacking isn’t easy, so you’re going to have to spend a good amount of time setting up camp, packing up your things to move on, and cleaning the area you used.
There are tons of little extra features built into the Firefly 2P that make it a great tent for both backpackers and campers. For starters, there’s a door on either side of the tent so you can get in and out at night without disturbing your companion, and nylon zipper pulls mean you don’t have to worry about the clanking sound of a metal zipper. Once you’re actually inside of the tent, you’ll notice a nice selection of pockets that allows you to keep everything conveniently stored and out of the way while you’re sleeping.
If you get up to go to the bathroom at night, you’ll be happy to see the reflective spots on the Firefly 2P that are designed to help you easily find your way back. This is a great feature to have when you’re in an unknown location at night, as even a bit of moonlight is enough to illuminate your tent.
Marmot Firefly 2P Pricing
In terms of pricing, the Marmot Firefly 2P is reasonable. Unfortunately, you might have some trouble finding this tent at your favorite outdoors shop. Most stores seem to be out of stock of the Marmot Firefly 2P, which means you may have some trouble finding one but you’re likely to pay a lot less than the $319 MSRP that the tent started at.
How the Marmot Firefly 2P Compares
The Marmot Firefly 2P isn’t the largest backpacking tent on the market, but it’s definitely among the best. This tent offers everything you need in a backpacking tent at a reasonable price, with its biggest downside being its 43-inch peak height. Here are a few other comparable models from other top brands.
REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Plus Tent
While this is a great tent for a reasonable price, it lacks some of the features that make the Firefly 2P so great.
92 inches x 56 inches, 44 inches peak height
4 pounds, 14 ounces
NEMO Hornet 2P Tent
The NEMO Hornet 2P is one of the best competitors the Firefly 2P has, but you’ll have to spend a nice chunk of change if you want access to the features offered by this tent.
81 inches x 51 inches/43 inches (head/foot) inches, 40 inches peak height
This tent is rated for 3 seasons which means it’s not ideal for heavy rain and snow
This is one of the lightest tents at just 2 pounds, 5 ounces
MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-person tent may well be one of your best options, but it also happens to be the most expensive of the tents we looked at.
84 inches x 50 inches, 39 inches peak height
This is a 3-season tent designed for light to moderate rain
At just 3 pounds, 7 ounces, this is our second-lightest choice
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Marmot Catalyst 2P
While it’s a good bit cheaper than the Firefly 2P, the Marmot Catalyst 2P backpacking tent offers a solid, cost-effective replacement for its bigger brother.
88 inches x 53 inches, 44 inches peak height
A 3-season rating means you can use the Catalyst 2P in moderate weather
This tent is a bit on the heavier side at 4 pounds, 11 ounces
Marmot Firefly 2P Pros and Cons
The Verdict: A Capable Tent with Lots of Room
You have plenty of options when it comes to tents, especially if you’re willing to spend hundreds. However, you might want to consider spending your hard-earned money on the Marmot Firefly 2P. This isn’t the most durable or the most weatherproof tent you can find on the market, but it offers enough to satisfy the average camper’s needs. Not only that, it goes above and beyond what you’ll find in a regular tent to make backpacking and camping a little bit easier for you. This includes features like light-reflective spots on the tent, color-coded poles for easy setup, pockets inside for ample storage, and a rainfly that lets air in and keeps rain out. If you’re looking for a quality two-person tent, the Firefly 2P might be your best bet.