NEMO Aurora 2 Review
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NEMO Aurora 2
|Price||$278.00 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
$114.73 at REI
$96.93 at REI
$171.96 at Amazon
|Pros||Two-tone mesh, lots of headroom, large doors||Two side doors, easy to pitch, large vestibules||Great headroom, large vestibule, easy to pitch||Lightweight, easy to pitch||Setup with fly attached, flexible vestibule configuration, below average price|
|Cons||Odd fly tension, single zipper on doors||Heavy, not so stable in high wind||Poles pinch together under fly tension||Small interior, single door and vestibule||Single door, can't remove fly while keeping tent pitched|
|Bottom Line||This spacious tent has a lot of headroom and is great for car camping or weekend backpacking||A straightforward, easy to set up tent with good comfort features||This inexpensive budget tent is an excellent option for one person||A budget tent for those who want to minimize weight and don't mind sacrificing a fair bit of comfort||The unique design and really reasonable price of this tent have us finding new ways to enjoy it again and again|
|Rating Categories||NEMO Aurora 2||REI Co-op Passage 2||REI Co-op Passage 1||Big Agnes C Bar 2||Slumberjack Nightfa...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Ease of Set-up (10%)|
|Packed Size (10%)|
|Specs||NEMO Aurora 2||REI Co-op Passage 2||REI Co-op Passage 1||Big Agnes C Bar 2||Slumberjack Nightfa...|
|Measured Packaged Weight||5.46 lbs||5.23 lbs||4.21 lbs||3.96 lbs||5.68 lbs|
|Floor Area||31.8 sq ft||31 sq ft||20 sq ft||28 sq ft||31.4 sq ft|
|Packed Size||7 x 23 in||8 x 18 in||7.5 x 17 in||6 x 19 in||6.5 x 21 in|
|Dimensions||88 x 52 x 44 in||88 x 52 x 40 in||88 x 36 x 40 in||86 x (52 x 42) x 41 in||85 x 52 x 39.5 in|
|Vestibule Area (Total)||9.2 + 9.2 sq ft||19 sq ft||9.5 sq ft||7 sq ft||9.3 sq ft|
|Peak Height||44 in||40 in||40 in||41 in||39.5 in|
|Number of Doors||2||2||1||1||1|
|Number of Poles||2||2||2||2||3|
|Pole Diameter||8.5 mm||8.5 mm||8.5 mm||Not provided||Not provided|
|Number of Pockets||2 overhead + 2 door stash||2||1||3||2|
|Pole Material||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||DAC pressfit aluminum||7001 aluminum|
|Rain Fly Material||68-denier polyurethane polyester||Polyester||Polyester||Polyester taffeta||68D polyester|
|Inner Tent Material||68-denier polyurethane polyester, 30-denier polyester No-See-Um mesh||Polyester||Polyester||Polyester & mesh||40D Polyester No-See-Um Mesh|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The most unique feature of this tent is the amount of volume that it offers relative to its weight. With 32 square feet of floor space, there are only a few others in this review that are roomier.
We love how easy it is for two people to operate in this tent at the same time. It has a standard 88-inch length, but the differentiator is the steepness of its walls. The 44-inch peak height is considerable, and the supplementary crossbar extends the headroom well beyond a single point to a fairly large plane that runs from wall-to-wall all the way around.
There are two large, elliptical doors that can stow away easily in the door-storage pockets on either side. Incidentally, these pockets also double as gear storage at night when the doors are closed. The 52-inch width is above average and leaves enough space to spread out if you need the extra room.
At a packed weight of under five and a half pounds, this tent isn't light, but it balances spaces and weight as well as any in the category. If you are able to split the load between two people, it's manageable enough that it would be a nice option for a multi-day backcountry adventure.
With that in mind, its spacious dimensions make it a prime candidate for a car camping weekend with friends, or a shelter that you can take with you on a canoeing or bike packing adventure.
It's fine in most typical situations, but weather resistance features aren't the strong suit of the Aurora. The full-coverage fly and vestibules kept us and our gear protected. However, we ran into an issue that we have encountered before on a couple of models, namely, that tensioning the fly sufficiently ends up compressing the actual tent in places, leaving it to sag and reducing interior space.
It's not a dealbreaker, we just found it a little bit frustrating that it took so long to get it right. On the plus side, the vestibule zippers have protective flaps that keep out rain and the two vents (one at each end) keep air circulating through, especially when it's also possible to open up the vestibule door at least halfway.
Ease of Set Up
The pole structure is a little gangly, but ultimately, the tent is easy to pitch. It comes with special lightweight grommets at the corners. Between the footprint, tent, and fly (each with its own set of grommets), there is a lot to attach to each pole corner, but it is straightforward.
The tent and fly are symmetrical so there is no extra step of having to orient everything in the one correct way. The pole segments are all connected with elastic so sliding them all into place is a quick process.
The 68D polyester floor and fly are durable. The bathtub floor also rises high off of the ground. In addition, the included footprint provides extra protection from rough ground.
Other than the clips that attach the tent to the poles, there isn't a lot of brittle plastic to inadvertently step on. Another nice inclusion is a spare pole sleeve which could be a lifesaver if one of the pole segments were to snap while on trail.
Interestingly, the Aurora's stuff sack volume is larger than we would expect based on its weight. However, it is possible to pack it down more tightly than that.
The footprint certainly adds some bulk as well but if you are trying to save a little space, the tent floor is undoubtedly durable enough that it would be fine to leave behind.
For the frequent backpacker, there is great value to be found in this tent. It is practical for a variety of outdoor adventures, so if you know you need a tent for something but something could be anything, then there is great utility to having this on hand.
The NEMO Aurora 2 is an excellent option if you find yourself splitting your summers between car camping and backpacking. It is comfortable and has a lot of livable space, but also light enough that you could take it backpacking. Though it's not our top choice, we still think it is a practical, versatile option.
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