Nemo Hornet 2P TentThe Nemo Hornet is about as light and portable as a 2-person tent can be. Weighing in at just over 2lbs it's designed to give you comfort and space while on backpacking adventures. Cleverly put together with two doors and two vestibules to maximize space while being easy to set up, the Hornet takes ultralight camping to another level. View Latest Deal
Nemo is in the business of making top-quality equipment for adventures. Their mission is to create the gear you need to pursue those unchartered trails safely and with confidence, believing that adventures are a part of life everyone needs to experience, and they are there to give you a helping hand.
Nemo has designed its products for the camping market and makes everything from tents to pillows, sleeping bags, and showers. The quality of their products is perhaps second to none, and their focus on ultralight gear is pretty astounding.
In this review, we are going to take a deep dive into the Nemo Hornet 2P tent, dubbed the lightest freestanding tent with two doors and two vestibules in the world. Its layout and design are both excellent, and the fact that it weighs just 2lbs is pretty phenomenal but, there are always some drawbacks when you enter the ultralight world and we are here to unravel them for you.
We’ll breakdown how the Nemo Hornet performs in key areas taking you step-by-step through all the gritty details so you can decide if it’s the ultralight tent for you.
In the ultralight world, there is always a compromise between weight and durability. The lighter things get, the thinner they become, and thus the more delicate they are. You aren’t going to find an ultralight tent that can handle accidental or careless abuse but you will find one that can handle the elements it’s designed for, like the Nemo Hornet.
Nemo are one of the best at creating ultralight materials that can withstand what nature has in store for them and have incorporated their DAC Featherlite NFL pole system into the Hornet.
The poles are incredibly light, so light that when you hold them you can’t quite believe they’ll manage any kind of winds. In true Nemo fashion, they can take a gale. The poles do flex quite a lot but they nevertheless hold their structure.
The rainfly of the Nemo Hornet is made from 10D ripstop nylon which is extremely thin, even in the world of ultralight gear. It can handle weather no problem but you will have to be delicate with it. Snagging it on a branch, or clipping it with anything sharp will most likely cause a tare.
The internal canopy ins made from a no-see-um mesh and the floor uses 15D nylon. Both are quite delicate, so you’ll need to again avoid any accidental snags and it’s certainly worth taking a footprint along to protect the floor. Tent floors take the most abuse, especially if camping on rough ground and by using a footprint the Nemo Hornet will have a much longer lifespan.
Weather resistance is one of the most important factors of any tent and just because a tent is ultralight, doesn’t mean it has an excuse to be able to handle less of it. After all, adventures sometimes involve some adverse conditions, and falling short on keeping you warm and dry is a no-no.
The Nemo Hornet uses Nemo’s DAC Featherlite NFL pole system as we mentioned before. These poles are extremely light but how do they actually manage the wind? The key is flex and shape retention. The poles are designed to flex and move with the wind but return to their shape once the wind drops. You may experience some movement in the tent during a gale, but the structure will hold strong and return to normal once the wind dies down.
The Nemo Hornet’s floor and rainfly are waterproofed to 1200mm and do well at keeping water out during consistent rainfall. While 1200mm isn’t the highest waterproofing in the world, the raised bathtub floor and large space between the internal mesh and rainfly does a great job of keeping water out and keeping you dry. The seams are also excellently sealed so no water can seep in along the tent floor.
We are often most concerned as to whether a tent will keep us warm and dry, but what about being cool on a hot day? There is nothing worse than sweating away in a hot tent while trying to get some shelter from the sun, and keeping you cool is something a tent should be able to do also.
The Nemo Hornet provides excellent ventilation thanks to the combination of the mesh canopy and the large gap between it and the rainfly. This allows for excellent airflow to keep you cool and stop any internal condensation from occurring.
The Hornet also comes with two doors and while this has other advantages, it also lets you open up the tent on both sides to give maximum ventilation on those hot days when you need to hide from the sun.
Dubbed as the lightest freestanding tent with two doors and two vestibules in the world, how does the Nemo Hornet actually perform when compared to other similar tents?
The well thought out pole design of the Nemo Hornet makes it very quick and easy to pitch and pull down. The pole is shaped like a Y and connects to the tent grommets with a ball a lock system that means it doesn’t come flying out when doing it on your own.
Once the pole is in the grommets, you simply hang the mesh from the pole system and stake the corners. Then it’s just the matter of the rainfly which is as simple as pie and like most other tents.
The minimum packed weight of 1lb 15 oz. is quite incredible and it does put it up there when compared to its rivals. There is only an ounce or two difference between them all, and it packs down very small taking up minimal space in your backpack. But the Nemo Hornet is freestanding and has two doors and two vestibules, right?
Technically the statement is correct but the Nemo Hornet is better described as semi-freestanding as you’ll need to stake out the end to actually give yourself the maximum amount of space it can offer. This means it can become tricky to pitch on tough or soft ground, as you can’t just move it around until you find a place where the stakes will get into the ground and hold.
The Nemo Hornet is designed for thru-hiking or multiple-day backpacking trips thus you’re likely to end up spending quite a few nights in a row in it. So how does it stack up in terms of livability?
The Hornet has 27.5 square feet of floor space which is similar to other two-man tents in its class, but it is quite a tight fit for two people and you may not want to be sleeping in this tent with someone you don’t know very well.
The Hornet’s floor is tapered, being wider at the head end and thinner at the foot end. This design feature is there to save weight but it does make the tent a little more cramped. You won’t be able to sleep head to foot with your camping buddy very comfortably and will probably have to resort to sleeping head to head.
The tent ceiling is high enough for one person to sit upright inside the tent but the sloping walls don’t allow for two, so you will have to take turns. The two doors, however, add a feeling of spaciousness and in terms of accessibility make getting in and out of the tent very easy, without treading on your camping buddy and waking them up.
The two vestibules on the Hornet make all the difference, especially when there are two of you sleeping in it. They are both 8 square feet in size and give your backpacks and hiking boots a place to be, leaving all the sleeping space inside just for you and your valuables.
Pretty much all products in the ultralight gear world are expensive. The materials used to create ultralight but durable equipment take a lot of time and effort and it’s only common sense that they are more expensive.
The Nemo Hornet is not cheap by any means and retails for around $370 but when you take into account all it has to offer, the price tag starts to make sense.
The Nemo Hornet provides you with everything you might need from a tent during a backcountry adventure. It’ll protect you from the elements, give you a “room for the night”, keep your gear safe, and it does all of this while being easy to use, accessible, and weighing just 2lbs.
In our eyes, the well-thought-out design, materials and the doors to adventures the Hornet opens up to you are worth every penny.
With a score of 90, the Nemo Hornet has done extremely well in our rating system. It lost a few points in livability due to the tapered floor and sloped wall design, but when it comes to producing something so ultralight, some sacrifices have to be made.
In the ultralight world, the Hornet does a brilliant job of giving you a comfortable home away from home that you can rely on for all your adventures.
Would we recommend the Nemo Hornet overall?
In a word, yes! If you’re looking for an ultralight tent, then the Hornet checks all the boxes. With two doors, two vestibules, solid weather resistance, and it is a sinch to set-up, it’s pretty hard not to recommend it.