Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are powerful tools for sequential modeling, but typically require significant overparameterization and regularization to achieve optimal performance. This leads to difficulties in the deployment of large RNNs in resource-limited settings, while also introducing complications in hyperparameter selection and training. To address these issues, we introduce a "fully tensorized" RNN architecture which jointly encodes the separate weight matrices within each recurrent cell using a lightweight tensor-train (TT) factorization. This approach represents a novel form of weight sharing which reduces model size by several orders of magnitude, while still maintaining similar or better performance compared to standard RNNs. Experiments on image classification and speaker verification tasks demonstrate further benefits for reducing inference times and stabilizing model training and hyperparameter selection.