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Nemo Hornet 2P Review

This is the best dedicated pole tent because it is more weather resistant and more spacious and comfortable than the others.
Nemo Hornet 2P
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $370 List | $277.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Dedicated poles mean no need to carry trekking poles, stable in wind and offers good rain protection, pretty affordable
Cons:  Not very wide, tall, or long for use by two people, heavier than every other tent in this review
Manufacturer:   Nemo
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 7, 2018
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 17
  • Livability - 30% 7
  • Weight - 25% 5
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 7
  • Adaptability - 10% 7
  • Ease of Set-Up - 10% 7

Our Verdict

This tent has the best combination of ease of set up, weight, and livability for the price. It shares the Best Buy award with the BD Beta Light. The Beta Light is more weather resistant and adaptable. However, it requires adjustable trekking poles and many guy points. If you add in the optional bug netting and floor for the Beta Light, both tents are about the same cost, but the Hornet is a half pound lighter. The Hornet's double door and double vestibule design meant that not only was it more stable in heavy winds than the other dedicated pole tents, but it was also more comfortable for two people due to the added storage space and ease of getting in and out of the tent. It uses some innovative designs 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. Want to go even lighter? Check out the Nemo Hornet Elite 2P. It weighs even less but comes with a big price jump. It rivals the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV2 Platinum in weight and price.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

In our overall ratings, the Hornet 2P was about average, scoring well below the top scorers for ultralight tents. This placement is due mostly to the fact that it is one of the heavier tents in this review, which we calculated without the included stakes. Even so, it still only weighs 2lbs, meaning that if split between two people, each would only be carrying just over a pound with stakes included, a pretty light load. We appreciated the fact that this was a dedicated pole tent because it meant that we didn't have to carry adjustable trekking poles with us, and when we did, they didn't end up tied up in the pitching of our tent so we could use them for day hikes in the wilderness. Not needing trekking poles makes it a good option for those who want a lightweight tent for activities other than backpacking, such as river trips, canoe trips, bike packing, or bike touring.

We also loved the attention to detail displayed by such features as clips that attach the main mesh body of the tent to the outer fly, thereby holding the walls of the tent out, creating more interior space. While it wasn't one of the highest scorers in this review, we can honestly say this is a great tent and our favorite dedicated pole ultralight tent.

Performance Comparison


This free-standing tent is one of the easiest to set up and stands up to high winds well when properly staked out.
This free-standing tent is one of the easiest to set up and stands up to high winds well when properly staked out.

Weather Resistance


The Hornet 2P is a dedicated pole, double wall tent, meaning it has an interior tent, which in this case is of mesh bug netting on the top half, and ripstop nylon on the floor and halfway up the side walls. Over the top of this is draped a ripstop nylon rainfly, with the double doors and vestibules on the sides. We liked the fact that the nylon bathtub floor extended well up the sides of the inner tent, as we felt this worked well to shield us from drafty winds that make their way under the gap in the rainfly, keeping us warmer and more comfortable while we were sleeping. We also noticed that the dual vestibules effectively served as wide guy-out points on the broad side walls of this tent, with the effect being that it is far more stable in heavy winds than either the Fly Creek HV2 Platinum. The dual fly bar clip-in points for the poles also make this tent more stable in high winds than the single fly bar design used on the lighter Nemo Hornet Elite.


While the fabric of this tent is neither the super expensive and high quality DCF fiber like that found on the Hyperlite Mountain Gear UltaMid 2 or SilNylon like that found on most of the other tents in this review, it is a treated 10D ripstop nylon. This fabric does an adequate job of shielding the user from the rain.

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.

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.

Let her rip!. High winds throughout the night made sleep nearly impossible  but the tent remained standing in the morning.
Let her rip!. High winds throughout the night made sleep nearly impossible, but the tent remained standing in the morning.

Livability


The biggest complaint we have about all of the dedicated pole tents we reviewed was 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. The Hornet 2P 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. Contrasted against the very spacious Black Diamond Beta Light or the perfect for two people with space left oversize of the Zpacks Duplex, this tent is indeed a bit of a comfort compromise.


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, as we have already mentioned, are far more convenient for crawling in and out of, especially in contrast to the small door of the Fly Creek HV2 Platinum. 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.

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 2lbs, 5.5 ounces for the entire tent including all of its necessary components, this was the heaviest tent in this review and thus received the lowest score. While it wasn'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.


Unlike some shelters like the Tarptent Stratospire Li that needs trekking poles to set up completely, the Hornet 2P comes with all of the components necessary included with purchase, and they are all 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.

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 without the rain fly 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 is more suited for four-season use than the Fly Creek HV2 Platinum, 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 like the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Square Flat Tarp, 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  making it more stable in high winds.
Unlike the elite version of this tent, the regular version has two spreader bars to attach the poles, making it more stable in high winds.

Ease of Set-up


Setting this tent up is pretty intuitive if you have much experience setting up backpacking tents, as it follows much the same pattern as most tents available these days. First, assemble the poles, and put the ends into the grommets on either end of the tent that holds them in place. With the Hornet 2P, this is made easier for one person due to the attachment points that hold the ends of the poles firm, not allowing them to release, which is one of the cruxes of setting up any dedicated pole tent alone. The body of the tent is then clipped up to the pole supports, and then staked in place. 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. Even though we're comparing apples to oranges, we thought it was about as challenging as setting up the HMG UltaMid 2 or the Mountain Laurel Designs Grace Tarp Duo, alone.

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.

While they all have a similar design and setup process, we thought that this was the easiest of the dedicated pole tents to set up, barely nudging out the Fly Creek HV2 Platinum due to the features already described.

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.

Best Applications


Because of its light weight and the fact that setup requires no adjustable trekking poles, this tent is well suited to pretty much any backcountry trip, whether that is backpacking, base-camping, river rafting, canoeing, or bike touring. While two people do fit inside, there is no doubt that it will be more spacious and comfortable for one.

Value


This tent retails for $370, making it about average for an ultralight tent. It is significantly more affordable than the other dedicated pole tents that we tested, and since we think it is the best of the three, it presents a good value.

Conclusion


The Nemo Hornet 2P is the best double wall, dedicated pole tent that we tested for this review. 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 the heaviest tent in this review, a fact that drove down its cumulative overall score, it is still quite light and simple to set up. If you want a dedicated pole tent that is lightweight, 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