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Nemo Hornet 2P Review

An affordable ultralight tent with a dedicated pole construction.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $370 List | $369.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Pole construction, good rain protection, affordable
Cons:  Cramped with two people, flexes in heavy wind, heavier design
Manufacturer:   Nemo
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 29, 2019
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SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 19
  • Livability - 30% 7
  • Weight - 25% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Adaptability - 10% 7
  • Ease of Set-Up - 10% 8

Our Verdict

For the price, this tent has the best combination of ease of set up, weight, and livability. The Hornet's double door and double vestibule design mean that it's more comfortable for two people due to the added storage space and ease of getting in and out of the tent. The only caveat is its performance in the wind and its heavier overall weight; while the poles are strong, they are incredibly flexible, bending when a heavy gust comes through. We love its innovative design that we haven't seen before to make this tent simpler to set up with only one person, such as pole-locking attachment points. If you want a lightweight tent that comes with poles and stakes included, this is the model we recommend for you.


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This Product
Nemo Hornet 2P
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $369.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$600 List$700 List$300 List$535 List
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Pros Pole construction, good rain protection, affordableAmazingly light, four-sided weather protection, ample space for two, double doorsGreat weather protection, lightweight, adaptableRoomy, easy to setup, fully enclosed, affordableUnder a pound, bombproof dyneema construction, ultralight stakes included
Cons Cramped with two people, flexes in heavy wind, heavier designExpensive, doesn’t include necessary stakesExpensiveHeavier, design not quite as wind stable as double vestibule optionsExpensive, single pole set-up takes a little practice
Bottom Line An affordable ultralight tent with a dedicated pole construction.Ample space and exceptional performance in all metrics makes this our favorite ultralight shelter.This is the shelter you want when waiting out a storm.An affordable fully enclosed single person shelter that we love.Our favorite ultralight shelter for strictly solo adventures.
Rating Categories Nemo Hornet 2P ZPacks Duplex Flex Upgrade Tarptent StratoSpire Li Gossamer Gear The One Tarptent Aeon Li
Livability (30%)
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7
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9
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8
Weight (25%)
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Weather Resistance (25%)
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Adaptability (10%)
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Ease Of Set Up (10%)
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Specs Nemo Hornet 2P ZPacks Duplex Flex... Tarptent... Gossamer Gear The... Tarptent Aeon Li
Type Double wall pole tent Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor Single wall tent w/ removable floor and bug netting Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor Single wall tent w/ sewn in bug mesh and floor
Weight with all components 2.34 lbs 1.8 lbs 1.60 lbs 1.68 lbs 1.09 lbs
Measured Weight of All Included Shelter Parts Total: 2 lb. 5.3 oz., Tent: 12.7 oz; Fly: 11.2 oz, Poles: 8.0 oz, Stakes: 3.6 oz, Included cordage: 1.0 oz, Stuff sack: 0.9 oz. Total: 1 lb. 5 oz Tent: 19.7 oz, Guy lines and clips: 1.2 oz, Stuff sack: .3 oz. (Flex upgrade: 11oz) Total: 1 lb.10 oz, Floor and bug net: 11.5 oz, Fly: 14.1 oz Total: 1 lb. 6 oz., Tent: 1 lb. 5.1 oz., Extra tie outs: 0.5 oz., Stuff sack: 0.4 oz., Optional aluminum poles: 5.7 oz. Total: 1 lb. 1 oz., Tent with Bathtub floor and bug net: 15.8 oz., Stakes: 1.7 oz.
Stakes Included? Yes No Yes No Yes
Poles Needed for Set-up? No Yes w/o flex kit
No w/ flex kit
Yes Yes Yes
Capacity 2 person 2 person 2 person 1 person 1 person
Max Floor Dimensions (inches) 85" x 51" 45" x 90" 86" x 45" 88" x 34" 88" x 30"
Peak Height (inches) 40" 48" 45" 46" 47"
Fabric 10D Nylon Ripstop .51 oz/sqyd DCF Fabric Dyneema Composite Fabrics 7D high tenacity nylon-blended sil/pu coating Dyneema Composite Fabrics
Packed Size (inches) 19" x 5" 7" x 13" 16" x 4" 6" x 9" 14" x 4"
Floor Area 27.3 sq ft 28.13 sq ft 26.88 sq ft 19.55 sq ft 18.3 sq ft
Doors 2 2 2 1 1
Interior Pockets 2 2 2 1 1
Number of Poles 1 4 2 trekking poles 2 trekking poles 1 trekking pole
Number of Tie Outs 8 8 8 10 7
1-person version? Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

We appreciate the low price and the dedicated pole construction of the NEMO Hornet 2P tent. It offers excellent resistance to water and ventilation with its double-wall construction. While it's not the lightest fully covered model in this review, it still packs away easily into a backpack and offers a super easy set-up on many different surfaces. This Best Buy winner also provides excellent value as one of the most inexpensive fully-enclosed double-wall tents in our fleet.

Performance Comparison


The NEMO Hornet 2P is a free-standing tent that is one of the easiest to set up with good water resistance and features.
The NEMO Hornet 2P is a free-standing tent that is one of the easiest to set up with good water resistance and features.

Livability


The biggest complaint we have about all of the dedicated pole tents is that to cut down on weight, they also shrunk the interior of the tent to the point where it is cramped and tight for two people. This tent is certainly a good example, and for two people to comfortably sleep in this tent, they shouldn't be too tall or have wide sleeping pads. It also helps if they are a couple.


That said, Nemo has taken pains to pay attention to little details that make a difference. Inherent in this double-wall design is the fact that condensation will not collect on the bug mesh, thereby keeping it away from sleeping bags where it could be a problem. The double doors and double vestibules are far more convenient for crawling in and out of, especially in contrast to the smaller door design. They also allow for more storage space and a more natural organization of gear. Dual interior side pockets and an internal overhead pocket further help with organization, and special clips not found on other tents help hold the interior fabric further out, maximizing space. There is no doubt, though, that this tent is far comfier for only one person, especially with gear.

The new dual spreader bar system adds precious space  allowing for more vertical walls without a wider footprint.
The new dual spreader bar system adds precious space, allowing for more vertical walls without a wider footprint.

Weight


At 2 pounds 5.5 ounces for the entire tent, including all of its necessary components, this is the heavy tent comparatively. While it isn't up to the standard of weight set by some of the other ultralight tents in this review, we should point out that this tent is still quite light compared to regular backpacking tents, especially with that weight split between two people. We also appreciate that the stuff sack does a great job of compressing the tent to pack it easily into a smaller pack loaded with other gear.


We love that it comes with all of the components necessary included with purchase, and they are high quality enough and light enough to use without replacement. The included stakes weigh only 3.6 ounces and are sturdy and durable. In a pinch, this tent can be fully set up using only four stakes, although we recommend six.

Everything that comes in the package with the Nemo Hornet 2P. Inside tent on the right  rain fly in the middle  stuff sack  and the poles and stakes  along with a small bit of extra cordage for guying out. While we loved that this tent came with all we needed  it was also the heaviest tent in this review.
Everything that comes in the package with the Nemo Hornet 2P. Inside tent on the right, rain fly in the middle, stuff sack, and the poles and stakes, along with a small bit of extra cordage for guying out. While we loved that this tent came with all we needed, it was also the heaviest tent in this review.

Weather Resistance


The dedicated pole, the double-wall tent, offers decent weather resistance. It does very well with rain and snow, but during high winds, it bows and flexes.


The interior tent is made up of a mesh bug netting on the top half with ripstop nylon on the bottom half that wraps the floor and sidewalls. Over top is the ripstop nylon rainfly, with the double doors and vestibules on the sides. We like the fact that the nylon bathtub floor extends well up the sides of the inner tent, keeping us safe from drafty winds. We also appreciate that the dual vestibules effectively served as wide guy-out points on the broad side walls of this tent. The dual fly bar clip-in points for the poles also make this tent more stable in high winds.

The nylon ripstop fabric is coated with a Silicon/Polyurethane water repellant  which works in a light sprinkle. Once it gets super wet it tends to absorb a small amount of water and stretch and sag. While it will keep you dry  it is not as awesome as DCF fabric.
The nylon ripstop fabric is coated with a Silicon/Polyurethane water repellant, which works in a light sprinkle. Once it gets super wet it tends to absorb a small amount of water and stretch and sag. While it will keep you dry, it is not as awesome as DCF fabric.

Unfortunately, while these attributes are intended for good wind resistance, the flow in its design comes in the super flexible poles. Under a super heavy gust, the tent with dip and dive, deforming, and flexing. Never did it collapse, but it did wake us up on a particularly windy night while camping out in Red Rocks, Nevada. The tent itself came down and actually smacked us square in the face.

Let her rip! High winds throughout the night made sleep nearly impossible  especially when the poles bowed up and down  but the tent remained standing in the morning.
Let her rip! High winds throughout the night made sleep nearly impossible, especially when the poles bowed up and down, but the tent remained standing in the morning.

Velcro on the inside of the fly for attaching it in place to the poles, as well as adjustable straps where the fly attaches to the stakes, help this fly stay rigid in place when it starts to stretch due to becoming waterlogged.

Adaptability


There is only one way to set this tent up, as it has dedicated poles and attachment features for them, although it can be used with the rain fly in place for windy or rainy weather. Or simply take it off for calmer nights where only bug protection is needed. The way that the rain fly attaches to the interior tent precludes it from being set up on its own, like a single wall tarp, without the inner tent in place.


However, we found that with its tall nylon interior walls that effectively shield the wind and its stable double vestibule design, this tent could be used four-season, should it be needed for the occasional cold weather trip. Its short, non-adjustable stake out points, in contrast to those shelters with adjustable line-locks, make it more of a challenge to set up on hard surfaces where stakes will not dig into the ground. The use of spare cordage and some rigging may be needed to set this tent up using only rocks as anchors.

Unlike the elite version of this tent  the regular version has two spreader bars to attach the poles  providing more lateral space inside the tent  and better stability overall.
Unlike the elite version of this tent, the regular version has two spreader bars to attach the poles, providing more lateral space inside the tent, and better stability overall.

Ease of Set-up


Setting this tent up is pretty intuitive if you have much experience setting up backpacking tents.


First, assemble the poles and put the ends into the grommets; this is made easier for one person due to the firm attachment points. The body of the tent is then clipped up to the pole supports, and then staked in place.

While it takes a minute or two to set up both the interior tent  as well as put the rain fly over the top  we found this to be one of the more intuitive tents to set up  and the pole locking attachments help for setup with only one person.
While it takes a minute or two to set up both the interior tent, as well as put the rain fly over the top, we found this to be one of the more intuitive tents to set up, and the pole locking attachments help for setup with only one person.

Finally, the rain fly is draped over the top, clipped to the stake locations, and the doors are staked out. While this process is relatively intuitive and easy for one person, it does take a bit of time due to the many parts of the process.

Setup made easy for one person. This is the Nemo Hornet 2P tent. The ball end of the pole locks into place  meaning that now you don't have to hold tension as you run around and place the other two ends of this three-legged pole into their places. The rain fly clips onto this small plastic piece as well.
Setup made easy for one person. This is the Nemo Hornet 2P tent. The ball end of the pole locks into place, meaning that now you don't have to hold tension as you run around and place the other two ends of this three-legged pole into their places. The rain fly clips onto this small plastic piece as well.

Value


This tent offers an amazing value for a pole-based double-walled tent. Since it is lightweight and requires no trekking poles, it's a great option for any activity where you can get stakes into the ground. It is significantly more affordable than the other dedicated pole tents that we tested with good overall performance. This earns it our Best Buy award.

Conclusion


The Nemo Hornet 2P is the best double wall dedicated pole tent that we tested with a lower price point. Compared to the competition, it is more stable and protective in heavy weather and also has features like double doors and vestibules that make it more livable for two people. While it is a heavy tent option in the world of ultralight, it is still quite light and simple to set up. If you want a dedicated pole tent that is lightweight with great value, this is our recommendation for you.

Lighter packs mean more mobility  enabling you to reach scenic campsites like this one  above treeline in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Lighter packs mean more mobility, enabling you to reach scenic campsites like this one, above treeline in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.


Andy Wellman