Marmot Lair

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The Lair is Marmot's big basecamp tent. They sent one to the SNEWS team, which was then used for one member's annual Fourth of July family outing as well as for an emergency shelter for a major road bike race (Cascade Cycling Classic, also in July).

For the family gathering, they were packed in -- two families and dogs in the tent. At the bike race, several hypothermic competitors swear the tent saved them from acute hypothermia after crossing the finish following an 123-mile road stage that included riding over 40 miles in hail, sleet, and snow with temps in the 30s.

There was good news and bad news about the initial receipt of the tent. First, the (potential) bad news: Marmot did not send any set-up instructions. Guess the company somehow surmised the SNEWS team were geniuses in tent erection. Now, the good news: OK, there were a couple of fits and starts in the first set-up attempt, but the black, gold and red shock-corded poles were finally properly aligned and the tent was up in 15 minutes. Subsequent set-ups took five minutes.

As a base-camp tent, the Lair rules. Besides having lots of room and good ventilation sans fly, and offering the ability to stand up inside, we liked the add-in/take-out floor, especially with pets and kids being packed inside.

Weight: 26 lbs.

Floor Dimensions: 13 ft. by 13 ft.

Inside Height: 8 ft.

SNEWS Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection.)

Suggested Retail: $1,999

For information: www.marmot.com

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