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.
Nemo Hornet 2P Review
Cons: Cramped with two people, flexes in heavy wind, heavier design
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Andy Wellman