Expert Review: Nemo Hornet Tent

This review is my honest opinion of the tent, which I purchased with my own money in July of 2020.

The Nemo Hornet Tent.

Photos by Hannah K.

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tent, which I purchased with my own money in July of 2020.

My take

The Nemo Hornet Tent is a solid and lightweight backpacking tent that comes in one and two-person sizes. It is geared for advanced backpackers who value durability and weight over price.

About the tent I own

  • Product Model: 2020 Nemo Hornet Tent
  • Size: Two-person tent

About me

  • Height: 5’5”
  • Weight: 125 lbs
  • Experience: 5 years of backpacking

Test conditions

  • When I bought the tent: July 2020
  • Days tested: 40 days
  • Used for: Thru-hiking, backpacking, car camping
  • Where I’ve used it: Section hiking in the Pacific Crest Trail, California, the High Sierras in California, and throughout Colorado and Utah
  • Seasons I’ve used it in: Spring, summer, fall

How it performs

Breakdown Speed
5/5
Durability
4/5
Interior Space
3/5
Lightweight
5/5
Packability
5/5
Setup Ease
5/5
Versatility
4/5
Weather Resistance
4/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a tent that me and my dog could use while solo backpacking. I wanted something that was lightweight enough to make up for all the extra dog gear I would be carrying. I also wanted a tent that could fit two people (without the dog) if I went on a trip with a hiking buddy.

Why I chose this gear

With a minimal trail weight of 1 lb, 15 oz and a complete weight of 2 lbs, 6 oz, I knew this would be a great choice for me. It also seemed durable enough to handle my dog's nails (although I am sure to keep them short and lay down her sleeping pad before letting her in the tent).

The Nemo Hornet Tent.

Picture by Hannah Kaufman

What I love about it

  • Ease of setup: This tent is incredibly easy to set up. Although I am someone who normally struggles to set up a tent by myself, this tent takes me about two minutes to set up.
  • Breakdown speed: As with setting it up, breaking down my tent and getting it back into my pack is a breeze. I would say that I spend more time meticulously cleaning it to protect it from damage. The better care a tent (especially an expensive one) receives, the longer it will last.
  • Weight: This tent weighs just over 2 lbs and takes up minimal space. Although there are tents that weigh less, I find that 2 lbs 6 oz feels incredibly light.
  • Performance in rain: I stayed dry on an unexpectedly rainy night. The nylon ripstop fabric was completely waterproof and dried quickly the next morning. However, I think this is dependent on how tightly the rainfly is set up.
  • Performance in heat: The rainfly gave us some much needed shade during the day, and at night the ventilation of the no-see-um mesh cooled us down and allowed us to feel the summer breeze.
  • Performance in desert areas with no trees: Although the tent got very hot inside (and there’s not much anyone can do about that) it ventilated nicely once the sun had set.
  • Performance in wooded areas with lots of trees: This tent held up great in a wooded area surrounded by trees. The dew drops from the pine trees dried quickly the next morning when laid in the sun for a few minutes.
  • Special features: The inside mesh pockets are great for organization and easy access to a toilet kit, headlamp, first aid kit, etc.
  • Durability: Durability of any product is dependent on how well we take care of it. However, the tent has been used for multiple backpacking trips in different seasons and temperatures, my dog has done “zoomies” in it, and I have not had a single tear yet. I am also extremely careful when packing it up and when I store it away in between trips.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Performance in snow: I have not used it in snowy situations and cannot speak to its performance.
  • Performance when camping with a partner or group: I would argue that this tent feels more like a one-and-a-half than a two-person tent. For myself and my dog, the two-person size is perfect, however when a friend and I used it on a backpacking trip things were a bit tight. Granted the body heat kept us warm, but perhaps a few more inches on either side would have made the night more comfortable.

Favorite moment with this gear

I recently went backpacking through Kennedy Meadows on the Pacific Crest Trails and camped near the Kern River. There was a gorgeous sunset over the river and it was nice to swim in the river during the day.

Value for the money vs. other options

This tent is 100% worth the money. The weight, packability, and ease of set-up make this tent perfect for backpacking, thru-hiking, and even car camping. Nemo also has a lifetime warranty on its products so even if there is damage to the tent, Nemo will take care of it.

Final verdict

Although this tent was far more expensive than other two-person tent options, the lighter weight was well worth the price tag. Overall I cannot recommend this tent enough and I can’t wait to take it out on my next trip (wherever that may be).

Selling Nemo on Curated.com
Nemo Hornet Tent
$359.95
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Written By
Although I've been hiking for most of my life, I didn't start backpacking and camping until college when I joined the University Outdoors Club at my school. My first backpacking trip was ambitious, the Batona Trail in the Pinelands in New Jersey done in two days. To do that, we had to walk a maratho...

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