The Nemo Wagontop 6 is a charming tent with a few pitfalls. We loved the spacious design and the tall walls, but it was much harder to secure in winds, especially with a weaker guy line design. The partial fly also created some gaps for rain to sneak through, even with a generous vestibule. Setup was a little confusing with asymmetrical subbed poles — getting the orientation right proved tricky. But if hangout space is a priority and you prefer to camp in protected campsites in mild climates, this might be a great choice — the trick lies in sorting out the pros and cons.
Nemo Wagontop 6 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Spacious and tall inside, fun looking, two rooms, great ventilation.
Cons: Broad sides catch wind, only one vestibule, partial fly, gaps between tent and vestibule.
Manufacturer: Nemo Equipment
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Nemo Wagontop 6
|Price||$416.80 at Amazon|
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|$499.00 at REI||$399.96 at Amazon||$398.95 at Backcountry|
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|$299.92 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Spacious and tall inside, fun looking, two rooms, great ventilation.||Tall and long, barn-shaped, versatile front vestibule, adjustable room divider.||Easy, quick set-up, expansive vestibule, spectacular storage design||Fast set up, built-in large vestibule, lots of ventilation, tall ceiling height||Roomy, large vestibule, simple, classic design.|
|Cons||Broad sides catch wind, only one vestibule, partial fly, gaps between tent and vestibule.||Only one vestibule, back door is more exposed to the elements, more poles than most.||Odd placement of interior pockets, more expensive than many of its contemporaries||Can't stand in vestibule, limited views when laying or sitting, poor duffel/stuff sack||Not overly innovative, could use more storage.|
|Bottom Line||This expensive model is difficult to set up and doesn't do well in wind, but its roomy and fun for mellow trips.||Options and personalization galore in this excellent tent.||A great tent; well thought out and well designed.||Along with the REI Kingdom 6, it's hard to imagine a better family camping tent.||For a simple, high-quality tent, the Marmot Limestone 4P's criss-cross design is recognizably comfortable.|
|Rating Categories||Nemo Wagontop 6||REI Kingdom 6||Big Agnes Tensleep Station 6||The North Face Wawona 6||Marmot Limestone 4|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (15%)|
|Packed Size (5%)|
|Specs||Nemo Wagontop 6||REI Kingdom 6||Big Agnes Tensleep...||The North Face...||Marmot Limestone 4|
|Weight||27.6 lbs||19.6 lbs||17.8 lbs||20.9 lbs||10.6 lbs|
|Max Inside Height||6 ft 8 in||6 ft 3 in||6ft 3 in||6 ft 6 in||5 ft 1 in|
|Floor Dimension||11'8" x 8'4"||10' x 8'4"||10' x 9'5"||5' 3" x 7'|
|Floor Area||97 sq ft||83.3 sq ft||90 sq ft||86 sq ft||59.7 sq ft|
|Number of Doors||2||2||2||3||2|
|Vestibule Area||27 sq ft||29 sq ft||38.5 sq. feet (front) 10 sq. feet (back)||21 sq ft; 44.7 sq ft||21 sq ft|
|Packed Size||29 x 11 x 11 in||9.5 x 16.5 x 25.5 in||5 x 15 x 27 in||9.5 x 16.5 x 25.5 in||27.5 x 10 in|
|Floor Materials||150D PU Polyester||Coated polyester oxford||WP Polyester||75D polyester||150D Polyester|
|Main Tent Materials||75D PU Polyester||Nylon/mesh||Breathable polyester & polyester mesh||150D polyester taffeta||40D Polyester/mesh|
|Rainfly Materials||N/A||Coated polyester taffeta||Polyester||68D polyester||68D Polyester taffeta|
|Number of Poles||2 Hubbed Sets, 1 Straight||2 Hubbed Sets, 1 Straight||4||4||4|
|Pole Material||Aluminum||6061/7001 Aluminum||Aluminum DAC DA17||14 mm aluminum|
|Pole Diameter||12.8 / 14.5 mm||14.5 / 11 mm||12.8mm x 3, 11 mm x 1||14 mm|
|Design type||Freestanding||Freestanding||Freestanding||Freestanding, dome||Freestanding|
|Extras||Internal dry lines, hang loops, Velcro lantern loop|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This contender is among the more comfortable tents in our review. It is tall and boxy, giving you lots of space to stand up, walk around, hang out, etc. The generous vestibule creates even more usable space, and the back awning design (similar to the REI Kingdom 6) provides ease of access via a "back door" if needed — and if the weather doesn't demand that you enter and exit via the vestibule.
With lots of space for air to flow (several windows and ventilation high on the tent) and a light color scheme, this is an excellent tent for full sun and warm weather. We loved this tent for our beach hangout time, with an important pro tip for setup (see below). The windows also gave us a great view out the side of the tent for the times we wanted to get out of the sun and hang out inside.
The two-room design is very similar to the REI Kingdom 6, and arguably even more comfortable to hang out in. However, with this comfort comes significant costs to wind resistance and ease of setup.
If anything goes sideways on your camping trip in the Wagontop 6, so will your tent. Literally. The tent is so tall and boxy that it kept blowing sideways in light, variable winds on the beach, even with two people standing inside as we tried to anchor it down (pro tip: use fabric tent anchors designed for snow and sand, they increase your anchor's surface area).
Once set up and anchored, we were not pleased with the amount or the design of guy lines. They are attached too low on the tent to adequately counter its tendency to behave like a large rectangular sail in the wind, and there are only four guy lines for such a giant sail of a tent (in addition to the two vestibule stake loops).
The tent does not have a full fly to cover the tent. It has a generous vestibule which acts as a sort of half, built-in fly, and an awning in the back (similar to the REI Kingdom 6). But in the rain, waterproofness relies on closing the windows. To close the windows, a flap of tent fabric, sewn to the base of the window on the inside of the tent, can be unrolled and fixed to the top of the window with Velcro and two corner loop closures: Not the most inspiring weatherproofing system. There are also gaps between the fly/vestibule and the inner tent that raise questions about workmanship (see below) in addition to concerns with weather resistance.
Ease of Setup
The asymmetrical poles proved quite challenging to keep track of and orient correctly. This is certainly a tent to practice setting up at home with your setup team. The pole design was one of the more wonky designs we encountered in this review. Perhaps the livability makes up for it; it does stand tall and create a lot of useable tent space.
Among the finer setup details, we noticed that the poles of this tent were much harder to expand. We are accustomed to guiding tent poles as the shock cord gently snaps them into place, but these poles were the weakest in our review and required our testers to push them into place several times.
Getting even more nit-picky, the bundles of T-shaped poles also made for a massive handful of poles that was not easy to handle while setting up or breaking down.
This tent is not our first pick to weather any sort of storm. We found gaps between the vestibule/fly and tent body that created edges for the wind to catch (even blowing the tent sideways in one test), and spaces for rain to sneak through.
The Wagontop is on the larger side of the tents in this review. As such it is also bulkier when packed up. However, its carrying/storage bag is very well designed. Compression straps and buckles allow you to stuff and cinch the bulky tent, and then zip the bag shut without straining the zipper. This means you don't have to diligently fold the tent (stuffing is a feature our reviewer's love). Other bags in the review, such as the Coleman Carlsbad Fast Pitch 6 strained their zippers when trying to stuff the tent back into the bag instead of folding, rolling, and neatly sliding it back into the bag.
This tent is on the upper end of the price range in this review. At $650, it is the second most expensive tent after the Big Agnes Flying Diamond 6. For a tent that has odd edges and gaps between the fly and the tent, and acts like a sail in the wind, this tent is probably not worth the price for most users.
The Wagontop 6 is a tall, roomy, and fun tent with enough design flaws to make questionable whether it is worth the high price of $650. It performs poorly in the wind and is not the best in the rain because of the partial fly and gaps between the tent and body. Smaller Nemo tents seem to be more worthwhile, but this one is not a winner.
— Lyra Pierotti