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NEMO Dagger Osmo Review

A reliable backpacking tent with a solid balance between interior space and weight
NEMO Dagger Osmo
Credit: NEMO
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Price:  $480 List | $479.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Large vestibules, good headroom, good balance between weight and durability
Cons:  Small doors, expensive
Manufacturer:   NEMO
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 16, 2022
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 6.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0
  • Ease of Set-up - 10% 7.0
  • Packed Size - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Nemo Dagger Osmo is an exceptional combination of living space and light weight. It sports excellent headroom and a suite of features that make it a standout in the group, and the unique vestibule design and host of interior pockets provide plenty of space for tucking away items you want to keep outside and inside the tent. This durable and stable model also performs well in foul weather. It's a great option for a pair of hikers who want to keep their loads relatively light but don't want to completely sacrifice space and comfort at camp.

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NEMO Dagger Osmo
This Product
NEMO Dagger Osmo
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  
Price $479.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$533.45 at Amazon
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Star Rating
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Pros Large vestibules, good headroom, good balance between weight and durabilityTwo large double doors, good headroom, excellent balance of interior space and weightExcellent balance between weight and features, many storage pockets, large vestibulesSpacious, affordable, included footprintLightweight, can be pitched in freestanding mode, large 'rainy day' entryway
Cons Small doors, expensiveExpensive, delicate materialsTapered foot, pockets are high upHeavy, bulky polesLow condensation resistance, small doors, tricky set up
Bottom Line A reliable backpacking tent with a solid balance between interior space and weightThis tent balances the key aspects of a backpacking tent and performs admirably in all of our metricsA superior tent that balances light weight with excellent featuresThis inexpensive tent is spacious enough for laid-back car camping and light enough for short to moderate backpacking tripsA good choice for all your light and fast backpacking trips for two
Rating Categories NEMO Dagger Osmo Big Agnes Copper Sp... NEMO Dragonfly 2 REI Co-op Half Dome... Tarptent Double Rai...
Comfort (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
10.0
6.0
Weather Resistance (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
9.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Ease of Set-up (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
Packed Size (10%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
9.0
Specs NEMO Dagger Osmo Big Agnes Copper Sp... NEMO Dragonfly 2 REI Co-op Half Dome... Tarptent Double Rai...
Packaged Weight 4.09 lbs 3.09 lbs 3.16 lbs 4.82 lbs 2.60 lbs
Floor Area 31.3 sq ft 29 sq ft 29 sq ft 35.8 sq ft 30.5 sq ft
Packed Size 19.5 x 6.5 in 19.5 x 6 in 19.5 x 4.5 in 20.5 x 7 in 18 x 4 in
Dimensions 90 x 50 x 42 in 88 x 52 x 40 in 88 x 50 x 41 in 92 x 56 in 88 x 52 x 42 in
Vestibule Area (Total) 11.4 + 11.4 sq ft 18 sq. ft 20 sq ft 22.5 sq ft 15 sq ft
Peak Height 42 in 40 in 41 in 42 in 42 in
Number of Doors 2 2 2 2 2
Number of Poles 1 1 3 1 2
Pole Diameter Not provided 8.7 mm 8.7 mm 2 mm 8.6 mm
Number of Pockets 6 3 3 6 2
Gear Loft Sold separately No No No No
Pole Material DAC Featherlite NSL aluminum DAC featherlite NFL DAC featherlite NFL DAC featherlite NFL aluminum Easton 7075 E9 aluminum
Guy Points 6 4 5 4 8
Rain Fly Material 0D OSMO Ripstop 15D 1200mm silicone nylon ripStop 20D nylon ripstop 40-denier ripstop nylon/20-denier nylon mesh 1.3 oz/yd2 (44 g/m2) silnylon
Inner Tent Material Ripstop nylon, no-see-um mesh [Body] 10D polyester mesh, [Floor] 20D nylon ripStop 15D nylon ripstop 40-denier taffeta nylon 1.0 oz/yd2 (34 g/m2) no-see-um mesh
Type Two door freestanding Two door freestanding Two door freestanding Two door freestanding Two door semi freestanding

Our Analysis and Test Results

With 31.3 square feet of interior space, this tent feels roomier than its actual dimensions. It has two 11.4 square foot vestibules for plenty of storage and weighs just over four pounds.

Performance Comparison


NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the nemo dagger osmo is a great multi-purpose tent that provides...
The Nemo Dagger Osmo is a great multi-purpose tent that provides lots of space and comfort.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Comfort


The Dagger Osmo offers a high level of comfort for its weight. It has two opposing side doors so campers can sleep head-to-toe. They make for easy entry and exit and tie back with a unique hook and toggle system. Its 90-inch length is above average and long enough for six-foot sleepers to make themselves at home without their toes touching the wall. The 50-inch width provides a few extra inches on each side after sleeping pads and bags are spread out.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - opposed double side doors keep sleepers out of each other's faces...
Opposed double side doors keep sleepers out of each other's faces. The white mesh is also a bit more opaque than black mesh, creating slightly more privacy.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The pre-bent poles and auxiliary cross pole maximize interior space to make the 42-inch peak height feel especially roomy. Two sleepers can easily sit up straight with enough room to maneuver simultaneously. We like the complement of six storage pockets (three per sleeper) at three different heights to accommodate a variety of items. The sidewalls and doors are made of white mesh for a little bit of extra privacy when hanging out in camp without the fly, while the top canopy is black mesh to optimize skyward visibility.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the vestibules have several different configurations which help...
The vestibules have several different configurations which help balance air flow and protection from precipitation.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weather Resistance


This tent also has sneaky weather resistance. The vestibules stake out at two points each, creating additional stability. Though there aren't any fly vents, the vestibules have a high degree of adaptability with several different configurations. It is possible to keep the door of the fly open in light rain while still protecting gear. The vestibule zipper is also gently curved to make it easier to open and close when trying to dive in during a surprise rain shower. The Osmo material was designed to sag less easily than typical ripstop nylon in wet weather, and found verified this claim in our tests.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the curved fly zipper is a really clever design that helps direct...
The curved fly zipper is a really clever design that helps direct water away from the opening when going in and out.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

This tent also comes included with a Landing Zone — a special piece of nylon that hooks to the interior of a vestibule, keeping gear protected and off the ground. With six guy points and four included lines, the tent can be doubly secured in the wind.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the included "landing zone" triangle is good for keeping items out...
The included "landing zone" triangle is good for keeping items out of the dirt or sand. It's just a bummer there is only one of them.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Weight


At just a shade over four pounds, the Dagger Osmo is on the heavier side in the category. Having said that, splitting it between two people makes it a manageable load to carry, and we think that the space and other features it offers are worth the ounces.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - at over four pounds, the nemo dagger osmo is on the heavier side but...
At over four pounds, the Nemo Dagger Osmo is on the heavier side but still a manageable weight for two people.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The hubs are somewhat chunky, which adds to the bulk, and the included Landing Zone is a few ounces that you could always leave behind if you wanted to keep things as light as possible.

Durability


The floor and fly fabric can't be tossed around freely, but they feel thick enough that they don't have to be babied like ultralight models. The two stake points with the vestibules improve fly durability by reducing the amount of flapping in the wind.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the prebent pole architecture maximizes interior space and also...
The prebent pole architecture maximizes interior space and also reduces uneven tensioning that could unintentionally bend poles.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

The poles also have shock cord running through the middle and sturdy metal hubs that make it easier to avoid inadvertently snapping a segment (though an emergency pole splint is included if the poles develop a crack on trail). The triangle stakes are lightweight but thick and resist bending, even when hammered into the ground with a rock.

Ease of Setup


The Dagger has color-coded poles and clips on the fly to make it easier to orient everything properly. Though we found that the unique ball and socket connection points of the pole and tent at each corner were sometimes more difficult to snap into place than traditional grommets, they are ultimately more secure.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the unique ball and socket capture at the corners takes a little...
The unique ball and socket capture at the corners takes a little extra 'click' to get in place, but once set up it's super secure.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Two stake points for each vestibule made it simpler for us to properly tension the fly without wrestling with a chronically sagging side, as is typically the case with triangle vestibules.

Packed Size


With a packed size of 19.5" x 6.5" and other pieces to contend with (like the vestibule's Landing Zone), the Dagger Osmo is about average for its packability.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - the roll-top stuff sack is a nice additional feature.
The roll-top stuff sack is a nice additional feature.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We appreciate the roll-top clip on the tent bag. It provides a secure storage bag for the tent and then doubles as a better bear bag at camp — it's just easier to clip to a carabiner than a traditional drawstring bag.

Should You Buy the NEMO Dagger Osmo?


The Nemo Dagger Osmo is a fantastic all-around tent. It has excellent interior space and several features like extra storage pockets and large vestibules that improve its comfort even more. This model is great for anyone who adventures in a variety of ways — on foot, with wheels, or on the water — and needs a reliable, durable, but lightweight tent. There are certainly less expensive options out there, but we think that this one is worth the money.

What Other Backpacking Tents Should You Consider?


For those who want even more space and a lower price point, the REI Half Dome SL 2+ is a great choice. If you don't mind the price premium but want a slightly different set of features, the Sea to Summit Telos TR2 is a phenomenal choice for adaptability. Of course, there is also the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 and Nemo Dragonfly, both of which are comparably priced and lean a little smaller and lighter weight.

NEMO Dagger Osmo backpacking tent - we like the dagger osmo for a relaxing weekend on the water.
We like the Dagger Osmo for a relaxing weekend on the water.
Credit: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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