Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

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NEMO Dragonfly 2 Review: Best Backpacking Tent of 2021

Best Backpacking Tent of 2021

  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Price: $399.95

Weight: 3lbs 2oz (1.41kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 29sqft

Vestibules: 2 (10 + 10sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 Hubbed Aluminum DAC Featherlite NFL

What We Like: Extremely Roomy for Weight

What We Don’t: Durability of Poles

In a world where companies are trying to create their own quiver-killer tents, NEMO seems to be leading the charge. The NEMO Dragonfly 2 is the perfect balance between lightweight efficiency and overall comfort. The setup is foolproof, and the fly helps to make the tent feel pretty bombproof. Really, we think all the proofs are covered. The 2-person tent is $300, and the 3-person version is $400. The value is there. This is a feature-packed, weight-conscious, and—dare we say—luxurious tent for anyone looking to get into the backcountry. The material throughout the tent is durable, and the tent is made to handle anything nature can throw at it. For these reasons and how excited this tent got us to go camping again, the Dragonfly is our Best Backpacking Tent of 2021.

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See Our The Best Backpacking Tents of 2021 Article HERE!

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Extremely Roomy for Weight

Cons

Durability of Poles

Weight: 3lbs 2oz (1.41kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 29sqft

Vestibules: 2 (10 + 10sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 Hubbed Aluminum DAC Featherlite NFL

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ease of Setup 90% 90%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Interior Pockets and Features, Overall Space

Cons

Price and Double Zipper Doors

Weight: 3lbs 2oz (1.41kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 29sqft

Vestibules: 2 (9 + 9sqft)

Number of Poles: 2 DAC NFL Aluminum

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Living Space, Price

Cons

Weight

Weight: 5lbs 15oz (2.69kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 31.7sqft

Vestibules: 2 (8.5 + 8.5 sqft)

Number of Poles: 3

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ease of Setup 70% 70%
  • Weatherproofing 100% 100%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

Weatherproofing and Easy Setup

Cons

Not a Freestanding Tent and Pricey

Weight: 4lbs 10oz (2.1kg)

Number of Doors: 1

Tent Floor Space: 28sqft

Vestibules: 1 (27sqft)

Number of Poles: 3

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ease of Setup 90% 90%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight, Great For Trail Running

Cons

Zipper Design of the Doors and Fly

Weight: 2lbs 8oz (1.13kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 28sqft

Vestibules: 2 (8 + 8sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 - Hubbed DAC Featherlite

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  • Comfort 100% 100%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

So Much Room for Activities!

Cons

Weight

Weight: 5lb 5oz (2.41kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 35sqft

Vestibules: 2 (11.25 + 11.25sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 DAC Featherlite NFL Aluminum - Hubbed

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ease of Setup 70% 70%
  • Weatherproofing 70% 70%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Interior Space

Cons

Awkward-fitting Fly

Weight: 5lbs 4oz (2.38kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 32sqft

Vestibules: 2 (9.5 + 6.5sqft)

Number of Poles: 3 - HD Velocity 7000 Series Aluminum

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ease of Setup 70% 70%
  • Weatherproofing 90% 90%
  • Durability 80% 80%

Pros

Weatherproofing Material and Design

Cons

Price and Vestibule Sizing

Weight: 3lbs 14oz (1.75kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 29sqft

Vestibules: 2 (8.75 + 8.75sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 Hubbed Easton Syclone

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  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Ease of Setup 90% 90%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Superlight Weight While Remaining Comfortable

Cons

Durability is a Concern, Lightweight Poles

Weight: 2lbs 6oz (1.08kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 27.5sqft

Vestibules: 2 (7.1 + 7.1sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 Hubbed Aluminum DAC Featherlite NFL

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  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 80% 80%
  • Durability 90% 90%

Pros

4-Season Construction with All Season Versatility

Cons

Venting for Warmer Nights

Weight: 4lbs 1oz (1.84kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 29sqft

Vestibules: 2 (8.75 + 8.75sqft)

Number of Poles: 2

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  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 70% 70%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Easy Setup

Cons

The Fly Needs Some Work

Weight: 4lbs 13oz (2.18kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 28sqft

Vestibules: 2 (8.9 + 8.9sqft)

Number of Poles: 3

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  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Ease of Setup 80% 80%
  • Weatherproofing 90% 90%
  • Durability 70% 70%

Pros

Interior Space, Divvy Stuff Sack

Cons

Price, Rainfly Coverage

Weight: 3lbs 14oz (1.75kg)

Number of Doors: 2

Tent Floor Space: 31.3sqft

Vestibules: 2 (11.4 + 11.4sqft)

Number of Poles: 1 DAC Featherlite Aluminum - Hubbed

A standout amongst its peers, the NEMO Dragonfly 2 toes the line between feature-packed car camping and light and fast backpacking. It’s light enough so as to not be a burden in a backpack but spacious enough that you’d feel like you were cheating when you pitch it in the backcountry. NEMO has done an excellent job with the Dragonfly, and we feel any camper could find a use for this tent. Due to this versatility and reasonable price tag, the NEMO Dragonfly is our Best Backpacking Tent of 2021.

 

The NEMO Dragonfly is available in a 1-, 2-, or 3-person configuration, so there is a Dragonfly for just about every situation.

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

Comfort

Tapered tents like the Dragonfly often get a bad reputation as being uncomfortable and claustrophobic. With 41 inches of headroom and 29 square feet of interior space, we can happily say that this is not the case with the Dragonfly 2. A length of 88 inches provides a comfortable place for people floating around the 6ft mark to sleep comfortably, and 50 inches of width at the top leaves plenty of space for two sleeping pads. Sure, you may first want to make sure you really like the person sleeping beside you, but we’ll leave that choice to you.  
Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

The interior features help the Dragonfly to stand out as well. Inside are two light-diffusing pockets to create a nice glow using your headlamp. There are also two sidewall pockets and a larger overhead gear pocket that could hold a couple of jackets or even a newborn (but maybe leave the baby on the ground for safety).

 

The design of the tent also adds several comforts to the overall package. Both doors are extremely large and make for a simple entry and exit. Each vestibule is large and leaves a lot of space for gear storage, with a trapezoidal design to assist with wind protection. There is white No-See-Um mesh along the walls for added privacy and black mesh along the top to allow for stargazing on a clear night.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

Ease of Setup

NEMO does an excellent job of making their setup as easy as possible. The poles are color-coordinated with the webbing attached to the tent—as are the clips that attach to the fly. Just match green to green and grey to grey, and you will be all set. There are several guy-line attachment points and adjustment points along the fly to stabilize the tent too. A single camper with experience setting up tents should be able to pitch this tent in under five minutes. AND GO!

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

Weatherproofing

One of the “flaws” of other NEMO tents is that to save some weight on their overall tent package, they leave some cutouts on the rainfly. This doesn’t impact the waterproofing, but it leaves only one layer of protection between you and the weather. With the Dragonfly, the rainfly creates an all-encompassing barrier between you and the elements. The rainfly on the Dragonfly is treated with a silicone waterproofing solution to boost its longevity.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

The bottom of the tent has a slight bathtub lip to keep splashes out of the inside of the tent. The reach of the fly creates large vestibules to create additional protection for gear and equipment that you don’t want to sleep next to.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

Durability

We really like the choices that NEMO has made with the Dragonfly. The reality is that companies often go with super-light fabrics to create tents that simply don’t inspire confidence in their durability. The Dragonfly defies these notions by using 20D Sil/PeU (silicone polyether urethane) nylon ripstop as the floor fabric, coupled with 10D nylon ripstop and No-See-Um mesh across the canopy. It maintains durability in the place you need it the most: the floor.   The rainfly is a 15D Sil/PeU nylon ripstop that has the previously mentioned silicone coating. It’s lightweight but not thin enough that we’re afraid it’ll tear when someone sneezes too close to it. The tent does not come with a footprint, but a custom footprint is made and sold separately by NEMO for about $50. Again, adding the footprint to your cart is always worth the extra investment.   The poles are Featherlite aluminum and made to be both strong and flexible. There have been some reviewers on their website that have noticed breaks in the crossbar pole, but we have not noticed any issues with the pole and it is hard to say how these tents have been set up. As with anything, lightweight poles needed to be treated with care.  
Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

Weight

It is almost hard to believe that everything mentioned above comes in a 3lb 2oz (1.41kg) package. No, it is not the lightest tent in the review or the largest, but it falls in that happy medium of comfort with practicality on the trail. The Divvy Sack that NEMO has created for their tents helps to split the weight between two hikers. The stakes and poles can be carried by one hiker while the tent body and rainfly are compressed and can be carried by the other. Three pounds doesn’t sound like a lot, so now split that weight and you could sneak a couple more chocolate bars into your pack without noticing a difference! Thank us later.

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

In a world where companies are trying to create their own quiver-killer tents, NEMO seems to be leading the charge. The NEMO Dragonfly 2 is the perfect balance between lightweight efficiency and overall comfort. The setup is foolproof, and the fly helps to make the tent feel pretty bombproof. It’s amazing, really, because all the proofs are covered. The 2-person tent is $400, and the 3-person is $500. Yes, it’s a serious investment, but this is a feature-packed, weight-conscious, and—dare we say—luxurious tent for anyone looking to get into the backcountry. Three cheers for our Best Backpacking Tent of 2021!

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Dragonfly 2 - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!