NEMO Wagontop 6 Review
Cons: Not the best weather protection, hard to pitch, expensive
Manufacturer: NEMO Equipment
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NEMO Wagontop 6
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|Pros||Extremely large, great windows, multiple rooms||Massive interior, great construction, easy to pitch||Spacious, great layout, durable, very family friendly, high value||Huge doors and large vestibule, lots of pockets, highly weather resistant||Spacious, lightweight, quick to pitch|
|Cons||Not the best weather protection, hard to pitch, expensive||Expensive, odd ceiling pockets||Not the easiest to pitch, only one door, odd bag||Runs warm, views are a bit more restricted||Uses a hub pole system, not wind friendly|
|Bottom Line||This tent is large, luxurious, and has a distinctly cool look, but doesn't fare as well in the wind||The best balance of size, quality, style, and ease of use we've found||This tent has one of the best uses of space we have ever seen, a great choice for families or campers with lots of gear||An excellent mountaineering-inspired tent that is ready for both inclement weather and summer fun||This spacious and user-friendly tent is a feature-rich option that is very fairly priced|
|Rating Categories||NEMO Wagontop 6||Marmot Halo 6||The North Face Wawo...||REI Co-op Base Camp 6||REI Grand Hut 4|
|Space And Comfort (35%)|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Family Friendliness (10%)|
|Specs||NEMO Wagontop 6||Marmot Halo 6||The North Face Wawo...||REI Co-op Base Camp 6||REI Grand Hut 4|
|Weight||20.1 lbs||21.0 lbs||21.9 lbs||20.625 lbs||13.7 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||6' 8"||6' 4"||6' 6"||6' 2"||6' 3"|
|Floor Dimensions||11'8" x 8'4"||9'10" x 9'10"||10' x 8'6"||9'2" x 9'2"||8'4" x 7'2"|
|Floor Area||97.3 sq ft||96.7 sq ft||85 sq ft||84 sq ft||59.7 sq ft|
|Windows||4||Mesh top||2||Mesh top||3|
|Number of Doors||1||2||3||2||2|
|Vestibule Area||26.9 sq ft||32 sq ft||44.7 sq ft; 21 sq ft||40 sq ft||35 sq ft|
|Packed Size||12" x 27"||25" x 14"||9.5" x 16.5" x 25.5"||11" x 24"||24" x 10" x 10"|
|Floor Materials||300D PU-coated polyester||70D nylon||75D polyester||Polyester||150D coated polyester|
|Main Tent Materials||75D PU-coated polyester||40D polyester No-See-Um mesh, 68D polyester ripstop||150D polyester taffeta||Polyester||Mesh|
|Rainfly Materials||75D PeU Polyester||68D polyester ripstop||68D polyester||Polyester||75D coated polyester|
|Number of Poles||4||4||4||5||1 hubbed|
|Pole Material||Aluminum||Aluminum||14 mm aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Extras||Storage/mudroom||Vented fly and color-coded poles||Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop||4-Season||Ceiling zippers to reach top clips|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The height and overall footprint of the Wagontop are the biggest in our test group, with a max headroom of 6' 8", a total of 97.3 sq ft inside, and 26.9 sq ft of vestibule space. You will truly feel small inside this tent. But let's take a closer look and see why it didn't take away any awards.
Space and Comfort
This is the biggest, tallest tent in our lineup. When it comes to square footage space, this tent has 125 sq ft covered. However, when it comes to usable space, things get smaller. The main tent has a separator that splits the room in two — a great feature in theory. One side is clearly the presidential suite and fits a queen-sized air mattress with room to spare. The second room is the economy suite and barely fits a single twin. This area may be better suited as a mudroom when the vestibule isn't on. The Wagontop also comes with only six storage pockets, and because of the size of this tent, they are not in the best locations.
With the windows down and a light breeze blowing, the Wagontop performs great. But crank up the wind and add some rain and forget about being happy in this tent. This 6' 8" x 11' 8" sail will not be staying on the ground without some serious additional guyline support and a bit of a miracle.
Another major flaw in this category for the Wagontop is the window setup. Long panoramic windows secured in place by three clips are easy to access for both you and the rain. The long window above the back door has the same style covering, but because this is nearly a seven-foot-tall tent, your kids will need a boost to open it. However, the additional front door vestibule/rainfly does protect the opening well, and the latest update fixes the gap found in the previous versions.
Ease of Use
Nothing about this tent is easy. Setup took 15 min 30 seconds and required both directions and a marriage counselor (we're kidding… mostly). Two massive dual-hubbed poles cross each other to create the main structure. They assemble into the grommets of the tent base but are not color-coded and, because of the size, are unwieldy to manage. Once you figure out what orientation they should go, the rest of the tent uses clips to connect to the pole. No big deal except that this is an almost 7' tall tent, so getting the top clips was difficult for a 5' 9" person.
Our next frustration came from installing the added vestibule/rainfly. This was not as simple as it should have been, and thanks to a manufacturing defect, we had to stake out one side of the vestibule using a clip instead of the nice ring the other side had. And then there is the teardown. Though much faster than the setup, the poles are so big they fly out of the grommets and take up a massive amount of space.
It would be unfair not to mention that the more you set up any tent — even a complicated one — the easier it will get for you and your crew.
The floor of the Wagontop is made out of an impressive 300-denier fabric, 100% thicker than the next closest tent. The sidewalls are made from 75D PeU polyester, and the poles are hubbed 14.5mm thick aluminum. A fairly impressive makeup compared to the others in our review. However, while not as important, they did skimp on the bag. It's made from far cheaper, thin fabric, a tiny zipper, and some weak handles.
When it comes to size, height, and general space, this tent is absolutely fit for family living. It was a top scorer in this category and was clearly built with this audience in mind. It easily fits four people and is highly animal friendly with its thick flooring material and large vestibule. Should some light rain fall, your family could more than function in the Wagontop. The fixed room separator allows for privacy and could function as a second room, but probably only for one.
The Wagontop 6 is quite pricey. While it provides a ton of space and some nice features, there are enough little issues to make it hard to call this a good value. That said, if you find it on sale, camp in milder locations, and are tall, it could still be a great durable shelter to own.
If you are in the market for a large 6-person tent with high ceilings, the NEMO Wagontop 6 could be a good choice — though there are other options in our review that we like more. The questionable construction, poor weather features, and frustrating assembly paired with the high price tag give pause.
— Rob Gaedtke