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

Price: $370

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

What We Like: Superlight Weight While Remaining Comfortable

What We Don’t: Durability is a Concern, Lightweight Poles

With an excellent combination of ease of setup, weight, and overall comfort, the NEMO Hornet 2 surprised us. We thought it was going to be a claustrophobic lightweight 2-person tent, but it comes with features that optimize the livability and enjoyment of the tent. At $370, it is a great value for a lightweight double-walled tent and with both campers having their own door, life gets a little simpler. There is some concern for the pole’s durability in large wind storms. Plus, with only three lock-in points, it is not as stable as a traditional freestanding tent but will hold up in lots of weather.

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NEMO boasts the Hornet as the “ultimate in lightweight livability,” and they may be on to something. An ultra-lightweight tent with a dedicated pole construction is rare. While it is not freestanding (meaning certain parts will have to be staked out to get the complete structure), it is more robust than most ultra-lightweight shelters. If you are looking for more than a tarp-tent but still want the lightest tent possible, here is your answer. It is a value-conscious double-walled tent that is verging on ultra-lightweight with the creature comforts of a traditional freestanding tent.

 

The Hornet is available as a one- or two-person tent, and there is also an Elite Hornet 1- or 2-person tent. The Elite Hornet uses thinner materials and shaves 4oz off the 2-person tent, though it has less interior space and a lower headroom number. The Elite version is also $130 more expensive than the standard version.

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Hornet 2P - Gear Hacker

Comfort

Ultra-lightweights have always flirted with the line between weight and comfort. The NEMO Hornet 2P will test the relationship of any two people who choose to camp in it together. Be wary of taking large sleeping pads into the tent as well. If you are a single camper with a lot of gear, the 2P will be better than the 1P tent in terms of space and comfort. Specialized clips along the pole help to hold out the interior fabric, creating more space throughout the interior, Trust us, you’ll want it.

 

There are two interior sidewall pockets and a ceiling pocket to help with the interior organization. The interior of the tent tapers towards the feet, from 51” at the head to 43” at the bottom—hope you enjoy footsies! Just prepare yourself, this tent is small. With only 27.5sqft of interior space, it is the smallest on our review, but it is also the lightest. Each side of the tent gets a 7.1sqft vestibule for gear storage, allowing for the most interior space you can get.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Hornet 2P - Gear Hacker

Ease of Setup

NEMO has nailed the setup with the Hornet. Using a single hubbed pole, the tent is very simple for a solo camper to erect. The fly-bars attached to the pole help to spread the walls out and generate additional interior space. Carbon fiber corner struts are located at the foot of the tent, creating more space and keeping sleeping bags away from condensation.

 

The tent can easily be set up by a single camper, and though technically freestanding, your night will be more comfortable with everything guy-lined out properly. The end of the tent poles also lock into place during setup, so there won’t be any more running around trying to keep tension on the tent poles and their gussets while setting up alone.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Hornet 2P - Gear Hacker

Weatherproofing

The interior walls of the NEMO Hornet 2 have a bathtub-like design to keep splashes away from the mesh and walls of the tent. The Hornet’s rainfly is slightly cut away at the head to increase airflow and reduce weight. Similar to the Dagger, this does reduce the amount of fabric between you and a torrential downpour, but everything is waterproof and should hold up just fine.

 

The flexibility of the poles does cause them to move, flex, and bow in high winds. Be aware that if you are setting up in a high-wind area, things could get a little spicy at night. For the most part, the tent has held up in adverse conditions quite well, though the occasional mishap has been known to happen.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Hornet 2P - Gear Hacker

Durability

NEMO used very lightweight fabrics for the Hornet. The canopy is a 10D nylon, and the floor of the tent uses a 15D Sil/PeU (silicone polyether urethane) nylon ripstop. We’re talking about some seriously thin but also durable stuff. The footprint does not come with the tent but is sold separately, and we highly recommend getting the footprint as well. It should save you lots of headaches down the road in terms of keeping the tent going for the long term.

 

The Jake’s Foot pole connection points are also made of plastic. While they have the ability to lock in the poles, do note that the plastic they’re made out of tends to get cold and snap easier than metal. There have not been many complaints about the plastic Jake’s Feet breaking during use, but a few reviews online have mentioned this factor.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Hornet 2P - Gear Hacker

Weight

Weight is never an issue with NEMO tents. It’s amazing. They really know how to shave off the ounces. The NEMO Hornet 2P comes in at an impressive 2lbs 6oz (1.08kg), two ounces lighter than the next lightest tent in the review (the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2, at 2lbs 8oz). NEMO has also used their divvy stuff sack that allows for easier separation of the tent between two hikers. Splitting 2lbs makes hiking seem so much easier! If you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight semi-freestanding tent, the NEMO Hornet is a very good solution.

 

The Bottom Line

Are you looking to crush some link-ups with limited weight and a tent that doesn’t rely on hiking poles? Look no further. The NEMO Hornet 2P is a semi-freestanding testament to the outdoor industry’s technological advancements. Thinner fabrics are no longer as much of a worry, and they just keep shaving off the ounces. At $370, the NEMO Hornet 2 is a surprisingly good value for a double-walled tent that is shockingly light while still remaining comfortable-ish. Space is a little tight, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Easily set up by a single camper and just comfortable enough for two, the Hornet is a great combination of fast and light without sacrificing a good night’s sleep.

 

Best Backpacking Tents: NEMO Hornet 2P - 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!