This Marmot Colfax 4P Tent review is about a versatile camping tent with a zip-off vestibule and a footprint included. Such features allow for several different configurations.
Key features & benefits
- 2 doors.
- 2 windows.
- Almost a cabin shape with straightened walls.
- Removable vestibule.
- Shade variant.
- Footprint included.
What type tent is this
The Marmot Colfax 4 is an unusual design. The structure shown in the picture above is freestanding as it is with its minimal fly. But the tent includes also a removable vestibule which zips to the fly and in such a configuration it must be staked down of course. See below how it looks.
The vestibule can be unzipped from two sides so you can have two different entrances. As you realize from the picture, it has two stake points on the front. If you use the tent in a sunny area, you can leave the vestibule and use the fly in its minimal variant only, and this will reduce the weight considerably. In this variant, the tent is fully freestanding and you can pitch it anywhere.
The tent is a simple dome structure with two main poles plus a brow pole which adds some volume and pulls the doors up and make them vertical.
You have a custom-fit footprint included, so this adds value and it protects the tent from any sharp objects under the floor.
Who is it for
Spacewise, the declared capacity is 4 people, but the inner floor area is only 57 ft² (5.3 m²). This is far from enough. But you have a large vestibule with 17 ft² (1.6 m²) and this changes everything. Here you can store all the gear and also use the space for cooking when it is raining. But for a real camping you would need far more space, so I would say it is perfect for two people only. Alternatively, this is a tent for groups on a motorbike cross-country tour or for any other activity where you would not carry the tent.
Weather-wise, the tent is not with a full coverage fly, and the rating is quite modest but it is appropriate for most situations in a 3-season use.
Weight-wise, the tent is 9 lb 6.2 oz (4.26 kg) so this is not the best option if you want to carry it in the backpack; for such a purpose better check this Mountainsmith Morrison Evo 4 or Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 4.
Note that the packed size is great, only 25 x 10 in (63.5 x 26 cm) so you can transport it even on a bicycle.
Materials & construction
There are 3 poles with 12 mm diameter, so this is a thick aluminum, quite appropriate for this tent size. When you attach them to the grommets the X-shaped structure becomes freestanding.
The tent attaches to the poles through clips, so you do not have any sleeves here.
The canopy fabric is 40D 100% polyester No-See-Um mesh, and 68D 100% polyester taffeta. The floor fabric is 68D polyester taffeta 190T with 2000 mm waterproof rating, and it is bathtub style.
The fly fabric is 68D polyester taffeta 190T with 1500 mm. Note that this is not a full coverage fly, this is why you have so large windows on the sides. So this is a modest rating but quite enough for a normal 3-season use. All seams are sealed, and the materials are fire-retardant.
The doors & windows
There are 2 doors, the main door is simply gigantic and the back door is a bit smaller. You can unzip the main door all the way and store it in the pocket close to the floor. The back door rolls down under the floor where you can fix it with toggles.
The 2 windows are a double layer construction, with mesh and a waterproof taffeta, they are large and allow for views around, quite unusual for a dome style tent. The panels on the windows are with zippers and when you do not use them, you can roll them down and fix with toggles.
You can leave the inner tent and the removable vestibule, and use only the poles, the fly, and the footprint and have a pleasant freestanding sunshade which you can use in the garden, on the beach, etc. This is equivalent to the so-called fast-fly variant which you have in some backpacking tents, and this all is due to the footprint which is included in the package.
The fly is without vents, and this looks fine in view of its minimal design. But there are no floor vents either, and again this is not an issue as long as you use the vestibule, you can use the mesh on the door for ventilation. You can keep the vestibule open or use the mesh on the doors and windows. In the case of rain, the windows must be completely covered with panels, in such a case all the ventilation is through the front door which is under the vestibule.
There are a few very small pockets in the corners and a lamp shade pocket for your headlamp to provide ambient light. You also have a lantern hanging hook on the apex.
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Useful removable vestibule.
- Very good packed size.
- Footprint included.
- Reasonable price.
- Too small area per person.
They have used the backpacking capacity principle here but this is not a backpacking tent, so the area is too small for real camping. It is quite OK if this is about a cross-country tour or a summer open-air festival.
The price & rating
As of the moment of writing this text, the Amazon price for this tent is $260. Note that it comes with a footprint included, so this adds value. If you would order it separately, it would cost $50. In view of this, I would say this is a very good price. See how I rate this tent:
- Capacity: 4 people.
- Weight: 9 lb 6.2 oz (4260 g).
- Min weight: 8 lb 11 oz (3960 g).
- Dimensions: 96 x 86 in (244 x 218 cm).
- Floor area: 57 ft² (5.3 m²).
- Area per person: 14.25 ft² (1.33 m²).
- Peak height: 64 in (163 cm).
- Vestibule area: 17 ft² (1.6 m²).
- Total protected area: 74 ft² (6.9 m²).
- Packed size: 25 x 10 in (63.5 x 26 cm).
- 2 doors.
- 2 windows.
Marmot Colfax 4P Tent vs Competitors
See how the Colfax 4 tent compares with some other models from the same size range. Observe its footprint which is missing in the other two models. Please check the updated prices through the links in the table.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Floor size, sq ft (sq m)
Peak height, in (cm)
Packed size, in (cm)
Payable Every Month
25 x 10
(63.5 x 26)
Payable Every Year
26 x 8
(66 x 20)
The Cave 4
Payable Every Year
19.7 x 8.7
(50 x 22)
In the summary of this Marmot Colfax 4P Tent review I wish to stress the versatility of this tent regarding its vestibule and the footprint. This is a nicely built tent which should keep you safe in most situations in a 3-season use. But note that the area is very small for the declared number of users, this is my only true objection to this tent.
Please let me know if you have any comment or question, there is a comment box below. Have a nice day.