Nemo Hornet 2P Review | Ultralight Double Wall Tent

Nemo Hornet 2P

The Nemo Hornet 2p is a tent with a great reputation and with good reason.  It is crazy-light for a two door, two vestibule, two-person tent.  It weighs in at an impressive 2lbs 6oz trail weight (1lb 15oz “minimum weight” which I’ll discuss below).  In the Nemo Hornet 2P review we are going to highlight the pros and cons of the designs used to bring you that impressive 2lb weight.

Ultra-Light: Innovative Design: Nemo Hornet 2P

As expected, there are compromises made to attain that weight.  If you can live with them, this is a great option.  At first glance, the Nemo Hornet 2p appears to be everything you could hope for in an ultralight tent.  Once you begin using it, the compromises that had to be made to attain the weight  become evident.  The peak interior height is below average for ultralight tents at 39 inches.  Both of the vestibules are small but usable.

The Nemo Hornet 2p uses a ripstop nylon fabric.  The rain fly is silicon treated on the outside and polyurethane treated on the underside. The silicon treatment on the outside gives the Hornet extra weather protection and helps protect the super thin material used to keep the weight down.  Nemo gives the Hornet a 1200mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating.

The 15D floor is the thinnest of all the tents I tested, so you would be wise to use a footprint to prolong the life of the tent.  That of course adds weight though. 

Nemo Hornet 2p Review: The Good

Hilleber Anjan 2, Big Agnes Copper Spur UL 2, Nemo Hornet 2P, Big Agnes Triangle Mountain

Nemo Hornet 2P Weight

The Hornet is one light tent.  It packs up crazy small and is something that can be thrown in your pack and hardly noticed.  Setup is very easy and there is plenty of room for one person plus gear. Like many ultralight tents, it’s really tight for two people as noted below.

Nemo Hornet 2p Review: Wind/Rain Performance

Nemo Hornet 2P

This Nemo Hornet 2p review demonstrated how this tent performed flawlessly in the wind. The poles maintain the tent’s shape well and show no signs of excess bending.  It also performed well in the rain and was bone dry after 12 straight hours of steady rain.  The above photo was taken after the rain and shows the minimal affects the rain had on the Nemo Hornet 2p. The outer layer of silicone does an excellent job of keeping moisture from soaking into the fabric, keeping sagging to a minimum.

Nemo Hornet 2P Features 

Another cool feature is the light-diffusing pocket.  Stick your headlamp in the pocket and it helps disperse the light throughout the tent. 

Nemo Hornet 2p Review:The Bad

Nemo Hornet 2P

Nemo Hornet 2P Specs

This Nemo Hornet 2p review showed that the specs of the tent don’t really represent the usable interior space of the tent because of the angle of the walls.  Ultralight tents are expected to be tight for two people of course, but with two average sized adults, you will be touching your tent buddy.  I’m 5’11” and I had to pick between my head or feet touching a wall. If you are taller than 6 feet, you aren’t going to enjoy the usable length of this tent.  Even though the specs show it as being 85 inches long, the angle of the walls really take away usable space from the Hornet.

Nemo Hornet 2p Usable Space

ultralight backpacking tent

This brings me to the next potential issue. The Nemo Hornet 2p features a “cutaway rain fly” that does not go all the way to the ground and leaves that wall uncovered.  This does increase airflow and keeps condensation down, but also makes that critical part of the shelter a single wall tent.  Unfortunately, rain is shed from the fly directly onto this single wall portion, causing the wall to sag in.  This further reduces the usable space. 

In short, you may experience, at a minimum, some condensation and/or have your head touch the wet, cold wall in rainy conditions. This is one of those features with a double edge sword. Better ventilation, but performance in the rain is given up because of it.

Nemo Hornet 2P Review: Vestibule Size

Best ultralight backpacking tent

The vestibules on the Hornet are the smallest of the tents I tested, but you do get two of them.  They are big enough for a pack and boots, but it’s a tight fit.  If vestibule size is something that is important to you, this might not be the best option.

Nemo Hornet 2p: Semi-Freestanding

Nemo’s website classifies the Hornet as “semi-freestanding”.   While it does stand up without stakes, the slightest breeze will blow it over.  Additionally, you have almost no usable interior space without staking it out, so count on the full weight on this tent to make a livable shelter rather than the “minimum weight.”

Nemo Hornet 2P Setup Drawback

One last drawback to the Hornet is that there is no way to set this tent up in the rain without the inside getting wet. Some double wall tents offer a “fast fly” setup where you pitch the fly with the poles, then crawl under that shelter to set up the body of the tent.  This one doesn’t offer that feature, so you are basically out of luck if you are forced to set this up in the rain.  In dry climates, this isn’t a big deal.  But, if you are in frequent rain showers, you might find yourself sleeping in a wet tent.

Check out our review of the Updated 2019 Nemo Hornet 2p here. We go through each of the changes Nemo Equipment made and see how effective they were.

Nemo Hornet 2p Review: Conclusion

The Nemo Hornet 2p is a an ultralight double wall tent that weighs just over 2lbs. It is a great option if you need a lightweight double wall shelter. If you are okay with the limitations of the design of the Hornet, this is a great tent. You will be hard pressed to find a double wall tent much lighter than this one!

Buy the Nemo Hornet 2P

Check out Backcountry Camp Part 1: Basics of Selecting a Tent to help you select the right tent.

Want to see how the Hornet stacks up against other tents we tested? Check out our full Backpacking Tent Review!

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