The North Face Mountain Marathon
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Ultralight, minimalist tent with mesh canopy for fast packing or solo adventures.
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The North Face Mountain Marathon Reviews
Reviewed by Simon Rhymes (South Devon) on 2006-01-03:
General comments: I've had this tent for about 2 years now and have been really pleased with it. Weighing in at only a little over 1.5kg it gives you far more comfort than a bivi bag without an excessive increase in weight.
Pitching is remarkably easy once you have got the knack, It pitches inner first having 2 poles which cross the tent at a slight angle at either end which makes the fabric pull in a strange way looking as if the cuts wrong! This soon sorts itself out once it's pegged out and the tensioners are adjusted. The outer fits on top of the pitched inner with eyelets that connect to the base of the poles and Velcro strips that connect the inner to the outer a several locations along the poles. There are also two sleeves in the outer for the poles to go through, I find this fiddly and unnecessary.
As with all North Face gear the quality and construction is good
The inner is constructed of a lightweight mozzy net material and thin groundsheet which is turned up a few inches around the edges. The outer is construction from lightweight rip-stop material. The pegs are the very good V-shaped type.
I've used it in some pretty grim weather and its stood up remarkably well, as long as its pitched well wind in not a problem, if not it does tend to flap a little.
Its by no means a large tent but there is more than enough room for 1 person and it could sleep two people if you were really going lightweight and knew the other person well!
The porch is big enough for a rucksac and boots, and can be cooked in with the out door open but with it closed its far to close for comfort.
Small Pack size.
More comfort than a bivi bag.
Porch large enough for rucksac and boots.
Cons: Mine didn't have pegs for all the pegging points, but thats the only fault I can find considering its a small light tent.
Reviewed by Grant Huggan (Hawick, Scotland) on 2006-01-19:
General comments: Yet another great product from North Face. I've had the Mountain Marathon tent for about 7 months after it was recommended to me by a friend who already owned one. The tent has very little in the way of bad points, the only bad point I've found is the tent can be a little draughty in cold weather but it really isn't designed for Scotland at the end of November. The tent is great for backpacking due to its low weight (I made the pack weight to be only 1.44kg when weighed) and it's compact size means it sits well in or on your pack. In my opinion you won't find much better for even twice the money. The Mountian Marathon very easy to erect, it took me about 15 min the first time but now only about 5 min. The most impressive aspect of the tent for me is its ability in high winds it stood solid as helped my uncle chase down his Hilleberg Atko as it almost flew away in the wind. In conclusion, buy this tent if you want a super light, super solid amazing value tent for packing on your own or with a very close friend as you can at a push fit 2. Dont buy it if you want to go packing in the arctic.
Pros: Great light weight backpacking tent, great price.
Cons: Can get a little chilly in colder conditions.
Reviewed by Chris Chaddock (Staffordshire) on 2006-01-22:
General comments: The North Face Mountain Marathon was my first ever one man tent and to be honest I wasn't too keen on it. I bought it with the sole intention of lone wild camping trips and so weight and minimalism were the big issues. However, I used the tent for about 6 months, mainly around Wales and for my ML training course and after this I rapidly changed my mind. The problem is that the tent is just too damn small. If you have to spend any reasonable amount of time in a tent then this is not the one for you. You can't even sit up to make a brew which I found really frustrating. A lot of the time I ended up sitting in the tent pushing the tent up with my back, which quickly caused serious back ache. I guess for quick overnight stops it is ideal and it is that light that you don't notice yourself carrying it. However, I'm now of the opinion that you're better off carrying more weight and been comfortable than scrimping on weight and being uncomfortable
Pros: Really lightweight and packs down small. Luminous zips are also a nice feature. Flysheet never leaked on me and served its purpose well
Cons: Size. Really annoying as stated above. It's also a nightmare for getting in and out of especially when its throwing it down and you're dying for the toilet. The colour is a little off putting too. Not only does it stand out a mile it is also really light in the morning. For a small low down tent the Mountain Marathon also gets affected by wind quite badly, probably because it isn't geodesic and has two independent hoops but for whatever reason it does flap around a lot.
Reviewed by Paul (Manchester) on 2006-02-05:
General comments: A lightweight tent, at just under 1.5kg. I've used the Mountain Marathon for winter and summer use - it's definitely more suited to summer and warmer weather. In using it in the colder months, the fly sheet became frozen to the outer due to the weight of the ice on the outside. On melting, the inside obviously got wet - this occured even although the outer was kept very tight. Another problem is that it has a small entrance - very hard to get in and out, especially in rain. I don't find it very strong in winds either, it seems to wobble around a lot so careful positioning is required if strong wind is forcast. Despite the negative points, the North Face MM has done me proud. It is very durable and will last you along time if well looked after. I have had mine for 2 years and it still looks almost new despite lots of use. The tent's best feature is assembly, it takes about 3 mins to put up once you get the hang of it! Once inside it is quite big for a 1 man tent. On many occasions 2 of us have slept in it but it is very tight so you need to be good friends!
Pros: Light, small pack size, durable and good value for money.
Cons: Small entrance, not so good in the wind or for winter use.
Reviewed by Steve Clark (Cambridge) on 2009-04-10:
General comments: OK this is a small tent but it is quite big enough for one person to sleep in in comfort and it very light and, once you get used to it, very easy to pitch. In fact youcan leave the poles in place when you pack it and just shake the whole thing into position at the next camp-site.
The quid por quo for the size are its very light weight and small pack size.
I have used mine in wind, cold and rain (and a few warm balmy nights too!) from April to the end of September and it has performed really well.
Being North Face it is well designed and made and ideal for its intended prupose.
Pros: Weight, pack-size, ease of pitching
Cons: None really, given the intended application
Reviewed by Tony Hall (Cheltenham) on 2010-09-21:
General comments: I used my Mountain marathon for a weeks wild camping in the lakes last December, I was solo so the problem of room was not a problem, the only things that I would change would be to get a slightly taller tent, the wind problem was a little annoying as it flapped around like a good-un even though it was tied down everywhere.
I may change the tent mainly because of the colour (Bright Blue) and the height restriction, apart from that the only other problem is that it was a little cold because of the gaps. I would definately reccomend the tent though.
Pros: Quick and easy to put up......... very light........good build quality.