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Hands-on Gear Review
NEMO Galaxi 2 Review
Cons: Heavy, large pack size
Bottom line: A heavy but luxurious tent for camping and short backpacking trips.
We reached for this quality tent for any activity where we wanted a spacious and durable tent, but didn't necessarily have to carry it for long distances - like a short backpack or a canoe trip. The NEMO Galaxi is a quality tent for a great price and scores high across all of our metrics, with the exception of the weight category. It has many luxury type features but is on the heavy side of our backpacking tent selection.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Galaxi has many luxurious features for you to discover. We are pleasantly surprised at how it performs in the comfort department but were concerned with carrying the 5 lbs. 8 oz. on extended backpacking trips where weight is at a premium.
The Galaxi is an incredibly roomy and comfortable product. It has nice, thoughtful features like light diffuser pockets, zipper vents, a magtie door tie (which held well even in windy conditions, pleasantly surprising us), and an included footprint. It even has little arrow tags to point out these special features, just in case you miss one! The Galaxi is the second largest in this review after the REI Half Dome 2 Plus and gives it a run for its money in this category, earning a 9 out of 10 (versus the Half Dome's 10 out of 10). We like its spacious interior and roomy vestibules.
The door has a magnetic tie which is supposed to enable you to roll it open with one hand. We wish the Galaxi's door would have opened larger and do not like the double zipper on each door. The Galaxi also has clever extra features for your comfort and enjoyment like this light pocket to diffuse your headlamp light for better ambiance.
We wish the doors themselves were a little larger. The vestibule openings are slightly small and low, and it is difficult to zip the vestibule up from inside without leaning way out. The interior door has two zippers which adds a step when closing the door — and we found these doors to be quite small as well. We prefer how the Half Dome's zipper zips almost all the way around the door! The Hilleberg Anjan GT has huge vestibule — the largest of any tent we tested — at a whopping 27 square feet.
Ease of Set-Up
The pole design has a single hubbed point that all the poles attach to, similar to the REI Half Dome 2 Plus. Once you figure out its orientation, it is straightforward and easy to set up. The fly goes on quickly and easily - the 68D PU Polyester Ripstop (1500mm) is similar to the fabric used on the Marmot Catalyst 2 - and the two large vestibules stake out tautly.
The easiest tent to set up we tested was the REI Half Dome 2 Plus, earning a 9 out of 10, followed by the Galaxi, NEMO Dagger 2, Big Agnes Copper Spur HV, Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO, MSR Hubba Hubba NX, and Eureka Midori 2 - which all earned 8 out of 10s.
This contender kept us dry in downpours and held strong in high winds. We wish that the fly had better ceiling vents to prevent condensation - the REI Half Dome 2 Plus has four. Overall, we were pleased with no gap between the high bathtub walls on the inner tent and the low-reaching fly walls.
The Hilleberg Anjan 2 GT is the most storm-worthy of all the tents we tested, earning a perfect 10 out of 10 for weather resistance. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV and Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL2 mtnGLO followed behind the Anjan, shining with an 8 out of 10.
Often times, with heavy materials comes durability. It has heavy 68D and 70D for its fly and floor materials respectively. As with any PU coated product like the Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight 2, The North Face Triarch, and the Kelty Salida 2 might expect the material to eventually degrade (see our Buying Advice for more info on this). With proper care and storage, this tent should last you a long time, with our testing determining that it scored a 9 out of 10.
Weight and Packed Size
We are disappointed in the Galaxi in this department. It is the second heaviest tent in this review after the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx, at 5 lbs. 8 oz. Slept between two hikers, the weight is manageable, but with other tents averaging in the 4 lb.-range, the five-and-a-half pound weight was heavier than we'd like to carry on a longer trip. The Galaxi tucked nicely back into its stuff sack, making re-packing easy. The lightest tent in this review is the featherweight Big Agnes Fly Creek HV and Tarptent Double Rainbow. Similarly, these tents also represent the smallest packed size in our fleet.
One of the heaviest tents in this review, we would not want to carry the Galaxi around for too long. However, it is a great choice for car camping, paddling trips, or short backpacking adventures.
The Galaxi is a great value at $250. We were pleasantly surprised at the price of this tent, especially because it comes with a footprint, which is usually sold separately. We think the Half Dome 2 Plus is a slightly better value at $220 for a bit more space and durability — but it doesn't come with a footprint! The Galaxi has many luxury features that make the price a bargain.
The Galaxi is the Cadillac of this tent review; it is a big heavy boat, but with plenty of luxury features. It is giving the REI Half Dome 2+ a run for its money. Almost as durable but slightly more expensive, it arguably has just as many features or more with its included footprint. Slightly lighter, but slightly smaller dimensions (8 inches shorter and 2 inches narrower), the Galaxi has a slightly better space to weight ratio - .65 versus the Half Dome 2+'s .63.
— Jessica Haist and Jess McGlothlin
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