We are back with a review of the best Nemo tents for outdoor enthusiasts.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Hornet Ultralight has turned out as the best overall choice.
But wait – there’s more.
We will also review seven other tents from the Nemo stable that stood out in terms of features and performance.
Our team spent hours checking out their range of products, comparing technical features, and gathering feedback. Not to forget, consulting with our outdoor experts for their views on the products.
Are Nemo tents any good? Absolutely. The brand has won multiple awards due to innovation in the field of outdoor products. In their own words. they only bring a product in the market that offers a “ meaningfully better experience” than the existing ones.
Honestly, picking eight of the best performers among so many top-end products wasn’t easy. But in the end, our goal is to provide the best information to you without compromises.’
The Hornet Ultralight emerges as our top choice. The design and engineering teams of Nemo have done a fantastic job in creating an ultralight tent without compromising weather resistance or durability. The intuitive tent setup is another aspect that makes it a delight to use.
For serious adventurers, the Chogori mountaineering tent is an excellent choice. The unique design with an integrated fly makes pitching it super easy even in rough weather. All in all, a solid 4-season tent that can support your adventures for years.
The Dragonfly is another Nemo tent that we loved. It perfectly bridges the gap between the ultralight and light segments. With multiple practical features and a spacious design that offers great livability, this tent is perfect for regular backpackers looking for value.
Time to take a look at the list of the top Nemo tents that we recommend.
Best overall: The Hornet Ultralight – An ultralight tent that’s a superb choice for minimalist adventurers.
Best Family Tent: Wagontop Camping Tent – A spacious 3-season tent with a rugged design.
Best Mountaineering Tent: Chogori mountaineering tent – A professional-grade tent with some high-end features.
Best Backpacking Tent: Dragonfly Ultralight backpacking tent – A great combination of solid weatherproofing and superb ventilation
Best Value Choice: Firefly backpacking tent – An affordable choice that doesn’t compromise quality and performance.
Best for Durability: Dagger Ultralight backpacking tent– A spacious tent that offers excellent weatherproofing while keeping the weight low.
Best 4-season Tent: Kunai 3-4 Season backpacking tent– A solid performer that tackles storms and summer heat with equal elan.
Best for Comfort: Aurora backpacking tent– An extra-spacious tent that’s great for casual camping trips.
What’s Unique about Nemo Tents
Nemo was established in 2002 and its headquarters are in Dover, New Hampshire. In the past seventeen years, it has established itself as a premium brand with an intelligent design and material innovation.
A fundamental aspect of the Nemo team is their love for nature and commitment to making the products sustainable and environment-friendly. They take aggressive steps to evaluate and minimize their environmental impact in manufacturing as well as in the supply chain.
Here are a few design features that set Nemo tents apart from the rest.
- Their team makes the effort to remove harmful chemicals from all the products. For tents, this involves finding safer alternatives for flame retardants and water repellent coatings.
- Instead of the standard polyester-based urethanes for coating, Nemo uses special coatings to ensure long-lasting waterproofness.
- To ensure the best workmanship, each product carries a lifetime warranty against workmanship and materials. They also believe that repairing a product is a responsible choice.
With multiple smart design features, the Hornet Ultralight is surprisingly durable and weather-resistant for an ultralight, minimalist tent.
To be honest, Nemo has sacrificed interior space to make it ultralight. The top of the tent remains narrow and the headspace isn’t the best in this category.
To make things better, there are volumizing clips near the door to stretch the sidewalls and create more space. As a result, the tent is cozy enough for couples.
Users loved the easy setup that can be done single-handedly. The main structure is a DAC NFL pole passing through a single hub intersection. The color-coded pole clip webbings make the setup intuitive.
The other thing reviewers mentioned is the minimum use of pole connecting hooks. That reduces the time for setting up the structure. Overall, the Hornet Ultralight is a great tent when you’re looking for a quick shelter in the rain.
Next, the material quality is top-notch. The fly is made from ripstop nylon with a durable silicone coating for waterproofing. The floor material is made from a higher PeU ripstop nylon. Both materials have a waterproof rating of 1200 mm.
While that may not sound much, users reported the tent kept them dry in medium rains. The fly is designed to prevent water from moving into the inner tent.
Moreover, the flybar is made of a flexible material to reduce any stress points in the aluminum structure. Users reported that the tent was stable enough to resist 25 to 30 mph gusts. But make sure to fix the additional guy lines on a windy night.
However, the ultralight design doesn’t make it the best choice for tackling storms on open ground.
The two large doors make the tent perfect for enjoying views. The mesh inner also allows you to sleep comfortably under a starlit sky.
Now, some users mentioned condensation on some cold nights. But, guess what…
The steep inner walls keep the water away from the occupants.
Weighing just 1 lb, 15 oz, the 2-person model is incredibly lightweight. When you want to travel fast with a lightweight pack, this is one of the lightest options in the market.
To sum up, Nemo has done an excellent job in shaving off excess weight without compromising durability and performance. We had no second thoughts about marking the Hornet as our best overall choice.
Keep in mind, Nemo also has a separate Hornet Elite model. The two tents are mostly similar in terms of specs. But considering the slightly better material quality and a lower price, we feel the Hornet Elite Ultralight offers better value.
- Excellent stitching and seam protection
- Reflective guy lines
- Divvy sack for splitting the weight with your hiking buddy
- White No-See-Um Mesh at the sides for privacy
- Large vestibule and inner pockets or gear storage
- Lifetime warranty from Nemo
- Limited inner space
- No stakes supplied for tying the additional guy lines
Does the Hornet Ultralight seem a bit too small for comfort?
Not to worry. The Dagger Ultralight offers more generous space while striking the right balance between price and performance.
The Dagger comes in 2 and 3-person models. The 2-person model has a generous 31.3 square feet of space and 41 inches of head height. That’s good enough for tall individuals. Also, the near-vertical sidewalls provide an additional roomy feel.
While users mentioned setting up this tent isn’t as easy as the Hornet, it’s not so difficult either. To make things simple all the connectors are color-coded. Once you get used to connecting the long poles, pitching time is around 4 to 5 minutes.
Now material quality and workmanship are always a big plus for Nemo and the Dagger proves the same.
The fly material is 15D ripstop nylon while the floor material is 30D PeU ripstop nylon for additional abrasion resistance. In addition, the floor material also comes with 3000 mm of waterproofing.
Users found absolutely no leakage from the tent walls during rain. The bathtub-style design of the floor also prevents any seepage from the ground.
Additionally, the DAC Featherlite poles keep the tent very stable in strong winds. The high-quality connectors also prevent the fly from flapping on windy nights.
The double-walled structure with twin doors and the generous use of mesh make the tent well ventilated. Summer campers will find using the mesh inners a delight under the open sky.
There are extra ventilators on the fly to prevent condensation on humid nights. But being set on the door, deploying them reduces the effective door area.
In addition, with the massive vestibules and multiple gear pockets, the Dagger offers plenty of space for gear storage. Quite simply, it’s the best among all other tents in this category.
Even with the solid durability and large size, Nemo has done a commendable job in keeping the packed weight at 3 lb, 14 oz.
Given all the perks, the Dagger comes with a high price tag, unsurprisingly. Still, for users looking for a dependable tent that will last for years, it’s a good investment.
- Fully freestanding design
- Reinforced corners and sealed seams
- Two-stage divvy sack for distributing the weight
- Color-coded poles and matching webbings
- Jake’s Foot corner anchor system for easy pitching
- Lifetime warranty for the original owner
- It’s pricey
- The doors could have been larger
Quite often, ultralight backpacking tents aren’t the best in terms of livability. But the Nemo Dragonfly stands apart by offering an excellent balance between both factors.
The 2-person model comes with 29 square feet of floor area and an impressive 41 inches of peak height. While the shape of the tent is unusual, the length is good enough for tall users. Users also loved the two large side doors that provide easy access.
In any case, we wouldn’t recommend the 2-person model if you’re looking for the best comfort. Thankfully, the dragonfly comes in a larger 3-person variant.
What’s more, the trapezoidal vestibules add to another 20 square feet of storage space.
The inner canopy comes with No-See-Um mesh for the right level of privacy. At the same time, there’s enough clear space for enjoying starry nights.
Most users found the tent easy to set up. The frame connection is simple and the color-coded poles make the task easier. The high arching main pole not only keeps the tent stable but also increases space at the top and sides.
Users gave the tent full marks in terms of material quality and waterproofing. Even during multi-day trips in rainy weather, the tents kept the occupants bone-dry. Some users also mentioned that it functioned well in light snow conditions.
The material used is high-grade ripstop Sil/PeU nylon with a silicone waterproof coat. To keep the interior dry there’s a tub-shaped floor construction. The double stake points on the fly door also prevent rainwater entry.
The other thing users appreciated is the excellent stability of the tent even in stormy weather. Just make sure to stake the additional guylines during a storm.
Still, this is a 3-season tent that isn’t the best choice for heavy snow and severe rains.
With the two doors and mesh inners allowing sufficient cross-ventilation, condensation isn’t an issue with the tent. Users mentioned that the interiors stay cool on warmer days.
Besides, there are protected strut vents over each zipper. So even during a rainstorm, ventilation isn’t compromised.
The other thing we liked was the attention to detail. For example, you get large pockets for gear storage and reflective cords on the stakes for night-time visibility.
The best part is, the 2-person model weighs just 3 lb and 2 oz, delivering excellent portability.
Overall, with a solid combination of durability and performance, the Dragonfly offers great value to outdoor lovers.
- Tapered geometry for solid stability
- Huge vestibule space for gear storage
- Single seam construction for better longevity
- Aluminum DAC Featherlite poles with anodized hubs
- Lifetime warranty from Nemo
- Interior space is limited
- Some users found the pockets too high for easy reach
The Firefly is another top-notch backpacking tent from Nemo that aims to strike the perfect balance of weight and durability.
How does it perform?
Honestly, it doesn’t hit the bull’s eye like the Dragonfly. But it comes pretty close.
The tent offers a similar interior space of 29 square feet and 41 inches peak height. In addition, you get around 17 square feet of vestibule space. But the bottom tapers down, making it less comfortable for larger individuals
Keep in mind, the Firefly only comes in a 2-person variety.
As expected, the Firefly is easy to pitch. The poles and connectors are color-coded. Moreover, the instructions are printed on the stuff sack. The usual setting time is between 4 to 6 minutes.
The canopy fabric is PEU ripstop nylon and the floor fabric is PU polyester. Both come with a 1200 mm waterproof rating.
The inner tent is made from breathable mesh. One thing is, you have to pitch the inner tent first. So, it will get wet in rainy weather.
Users liked the ruggedness of the floor fabric. Pitching the Firefly on rough surfaces isn’t an issue. That said, there were some concerns about the durability of the zippers and the vent kickstands.
When it comes to weatherproofing the Firefly offers good protection from light rains. The pre-bent aluminum poles are light and keep the tent steady in moderate winds. It’s not designed for rough weather though.
Beyond that, users added that the ventilation in the tent is excellent. There’s ample space between the inner tent and the fly for airflow. The dual doors with vents also add to the cross-ventilation in summer.
Even with durable materials, Nemo has kept the Firefly surprisingly light at 3 lb and 5 oz. The ability to divide the weight between two persons with the ”divvy sack” is a nice touch.
In short, this isn’t a premium-grade tent, but it offers a good weight to performance ratio. Considering the price, we feel the Firefly offers great value to backpackers preferring durability over personal space.
- Good headroom and excellent ventilation
- Trapezoidal vestibule offers good storage space
- All corners are reinforced
- Dual-stage sack for distributing weight
- Overhead pocket with light-diffusing fabric
- The fly doesn’t reach low enough for splash protection
- The doors could have been larger
- No instructions for folding
If you‘re looking for a high-quality tent for weekend backpacking or car camping trips, the Aurora checks all the right boxes.
The first thing users loved is the large inner space and the near-vertical walls that give a spacious feel. With 31.8 sq ft of inner space and 44 inches of height, the Aurora truly feels palatial for 2 users.
One point users noted was the tightening of all the guylines results in the fly compressing the tent in some places. That constricts the interior space to some extent.
Note, it’s also available in a 3-person variant.
Does it take a long time to set up?
No, not really.
Most users found setting up the tent quite easy. There are plenty of grommets to connect but the symmetrical design makes things simple.
When it comes to durability, the 68D PU Polyester feels rugged enough to tackle the outdoors. Nemo has also included a footprint with the Aurora. That offers extra protection on rough grounds.
Weatherproofing is good but not the best. The material offers sufficient protection from light to medium rains.
Some users mentioned the aluminum poles did a good job of keeping the tent steady in heavy winds. Even so, we feel the boxy ends of the tent will attract a lot of wind load on open grounds. So it’s not the best choice for rough weather.
Besides, the spacious design doesn’t make this an ideal tent for freezing temperatures. It’s best used for summer camping.
Not to forget, the airflow inside the tent was good. Thanks to the mesh interiors and multiple vents in the fly, no condensation was reported by the users.
Now, the Aurora isn’t a lightweight tent. The packed weight is 5 lb and 7 oz. But when it comes to space to weight ratio, we found the figure acceptable.
Above all, at this price point, the Aurora offers the right bang for your buck.
With its bright looks and excellent livability, we will wholeheartedly recommend the Aurora to backpackers looking for a practical and easy-to-use tent.
- Fully freestanding design
- Two doors and two vestibules offer plenty of space.
- Strutted vents for better air circulation
- Gear pockets and overhead light pockets
- 52-inch width offers extra floor space for large occupants
- Not for rough weather
- Single zippers on the doors
- Not an ultralight option
The Wagontop is Nemo’s answer to those looking for a luxurious camping tent with a practical design.
On the outside, the Wagontop looks cool with a unique frame design that’s not in line with standard tent models. The structure also provides an excellent peak height of 80 inches- one of the best in this category. The two-roomed interior is great for families.
Note, the inner room is very small in the 4-person model. It can be perfect for pets though.
That being said, the tent comes in 4,6, and 8-person models. So you can easily choose as per your space requirements.
Unlike most other Nemo tents, setting up the Wagontop isn’t so easy. Since the tent is tall, fixing the top clips was difficult for short users. Also, the hubbed poles have multiple segments that can be confusing for first-time users.
That said, once you get to know the process, the setup time comes down.
One more thing…
The tent has a dry setup. That means you can pitch it in the rain without the interior getting wet.
Most users were satisfied with the rugged feel of the Wagontop. Nemo has used a durable PeU polyester material for the outer fabric. The waterproof coating offers a resistance of 1500 mm. The aluminum poles are thick and feel sturdy.
Once you tighten the webbings on the vestibule to make it tight, the tent offers good protection from the rains. Actually, we weren’t so sure about opening the large windows in the rain. But users mentioned the screens prevent rainwater from entering.
Being a tall tent, the stability isn’t the best when the wind speed rises. Make sure you use all the guylines to peg it down in rough weather.
Basically, it’s a 3-season tent that’s not designed for extreme climates.
The freestanding design comes with a single door and panoramic windows. There are six interior pockets for gear storage.
However, some users mentioned that the location of the pockets could have been better.
The 4-person model comes with a packed weight of 20 lb and 1 oz. We wouldn’t recommend it for anything beyond car camping trips.
To sum up, the Wagontop is a spacious camping tent that’s best used in temperate climates.
- A freestanding 3 season tent
- Vestibule with walk-in height
- Cabin-styled walls for better livability
- 300-denier floor fabric for top-end durability
- Lifetime warranty from Nemo
- It’s pricey
- Not the easiest to pitch
First off, the Chogori is designed for high-altitude expeditions in rough weather conditions. Nemo has added some industry-leading innovations to make it one of the best performers in this category.
The Chogori comes in 2 and 3-person options. You get 44.3 square feet of interior space and more than 17 square feet of vestibule space in the 3-person model. At 46 inches, the peak height is quite good for a mountaineering tent.
In reality, the 3-person model will be best for 2 climbers looking for some extra space.
Here’s the interesting part…
Nemo has tethered the fly with the tent body for easy setup. The exoskeleton of aluminum poles connects on the outside for an external setup.
The innovative design ensures super quick setup time in rough weather conditions when any double-walled tent will struggle. It’s perfect when you are seeking immediate shelter in rough weather.
On the downside, some users felt that the quality of the plastic hooks for attaching the poles could have been better.
Users also praised the top-notch material quality of the Chogori. The fly fabric is ripstop Sil nylon with 3000 mm of waterproofing. The 70D PeU nylon floor fabric is even more rugged with 5000 mm of waterproofing.
Note: The silicone-coated fabric is free from toxic fire retardants to keep away any health hazards.
With no separate fly, there was no issue related to flapping in strong winds. The lightweight aluminum poles make it stable enough to withstand strong winds and snow loads.
Also, the inner fabric is breathable. In addition, there are multiple ventilation ports at the top that keep the interior condensation free.
But that’s not all…
Two Chogori tents can be connected together to form a larger shelter. This makes it perfect for a team of mountaineers.
Nemo claims that compared to other double-walled tents of the same category, the design of the Chogori cuts down the overall weight by 20%. The 3-person tent weighs 8 lb and 10 oz.
The top-end features and superb quality comes with a high price tag. Basically, the Chogori is best for professional users.
All in all, the Chogori is a solid option for adventure lovers. No wonder it’s a popular choice for technical expeditions.
- A lightweight external pole structure
- Vestibule space for gear storage
- Silicone-treated fabric for better durability
- Aluminum DAC Featherlite NSL tent poles
- Lifetime warranty from Nemo
- It’s expensive
- No mesh cover on the vents
To tell you the truth, the Kunai isn’t for everyone. But seasoned backpackers and mountaineers looking for a lightweight and weather-resistant tent will love it.
It’s a dome tent that looks cool and comes in 2 and 3-person variants. The 3-person model gets 36.5 square feet of interior space. Add to that a vestibule area of 13 square feet for storage and a peak height of 45 inches that offers good headroom.
Note, the 2-person model only offers an area of 26 square feet. Not the most spacious option, but good enough for cold conditions. Also, if you’re taking this tent to those narrow high altitude passes, you can’t expect to find much space.
Setting up the tent is super easy due to the intuitive design and the color-coded poles. The two main poles are connected to the tent via plastic hooks which feel robust. Most users took around 4 to 6 minutes for the setup.
The Kunai excels when it comes to material quality and durability. The ripstop nylon fabric on the fly and the floor feel rugged. The aluminum DAC poles are designed for long-term use. There’s necessary waterproofing and a tub-shaped floor design to keep you dry.
Users noted the excellent stability of the tent in windy conditions. The tapered profile and an aggressive brow pole add to the overall structural stability. There are additional guy-out points for making the structure more stable.
Moreover, the inner tent is also designed to block wind inflow. That makes the Kunai warm enough for snowy conditions.
But what about summer?
Surprisingly, users found the Kunai not too stuffy for camping on a hot day. With multiple vents and zippered mesh windows, the ventilation is good enough to keep things cool and prevent condensation.
The 3 and 2 person models have packed weights of 5 lb,10 oz, and 4 lbs. 5 oz respectively. The good news is, the dual-stage stuff sack allows you to split the load with your partner.
Without a doubt, the Kunai is a premium choice for anyone looking for a reliable tent for extreme weather conditions. However, budget travelers and casual hikers need to look elsewhere.
- A versatile 4 season tent
- Premium construction quality
- Packs down small for a 3-person tent
- Gear pockets and overhead light pockets
- Lifetime warranty from Nemo
- Only a single door
- The vestibule area could be bigger
That was all about our top picks from the Nemo stable. It’s time for a quick recap.
So, yes. The Hornet Ultralight was the topper. We loved the ease of use and the lightweight convenience of this bestseller from Nemo. We also gave it high marks in terms of durability.
For high-altitude expeditions, the Chogori mountaineering tent is an absolute winner. It’s super quick to set up and the stability levels are excellent. The lightweight design is a bonus in high altitudes where every ounce counts.
For casual backpackers needing some reliable weather protection, the Dragonfly Ultralight backpacking tent is a solid option. The spacious vestibules and top-notch durability make this a great investment for any outdoor lover.
Now that you know all about the best Nemo tents in the market, it’s time to take your pick.