Review: Nemo DragonFly 2P (two-person) tent
When testing tents I always consider weight, durability, design, best use and price. The Nemo DragonFly two-person tent is described as a three-season lightweight backpacking tent.
Features of the Nemo DragonFly two-person tent:
- 2 colour-coded aluminium poles and matched webbing for an intuitive set up
- Hubbed, pre-bent DAC Featherlite poles with high-arching main pole to increase volume at the head, peak and foot ends.
- 10-denier nylon ripstop inner tent (with No-See-Um Mesh on side panels for privacy and a black mesh top allows for clear stargazing at night)
- 15-denier Sil/PeU nylon ripstop (1200 mm) fly (coated in a durable silicone weather and water repellent)
- 20-denier Sil/PeU nylon ripstop (1200 mm) floor
- 2 side doors and “vestibules”
- 8.87 square metre floor area
- Height: 105cm
- Length: 224cm
- Overhead Light Pockets use special light-diffusing fabric to cast an even glow with a headlamp
- Gear Pockets offer storage for personal items
- Divvy Sack dual-stage stuff sack allows you to split the load with a walking partner
- Protected strut vents at the top of each zipper flap ensure greater ventilation, especially during a storm
- NEMO Lifetime Warranty
- Repair kit
- Packed size: 49cm x 11.5cm
- Verified weight 3lbs 4oz/ 1.47kg
- Claimed minimum tent weight: 2lbs 10oz / 1190g
- RRP £449
- Available from Wildbounds, Ultralight Outdoor Gear and Webtogs.
- There is also a one-person Nemo tent version.
On test: Nemo DragonFly 2P tent
If you are a keen walker who enjoys wild camping or you are looking for a tent that you can use for multi-day adventure races, weight is a major consideration. The Nemo Dragonfly 2P tent by my own calculation, weighs around 1250g without the pegs. The pegs weigh 150g. It is possible to buy lighter titanium pegs so you could make a weight saving there. (I am not quite sure how the brand comes up with the 1190g weight.)
Still, 1.40kg is still fairly light for a two-person tent and there are some great advantages to this tent.
Note: Adventure racers talk about a two-person tent that weighs 1kg or less. This means that if you are carrying the tent between two people, you’ll have a load of 500g or less. To achieve this 1kg of less weight, most people strip the tent back to it basics. See five two-person tents that weigh less than 1kg.
Pros of the Nemo DragonFly 2P tent
The tent is tall enough for most people to sit up in. It is a generous 105cm at its highest point and because of the rounded, dome-like design of the tent, there is a greater area of the tent that offers a good height.
Many other lightweight two-person tents slope from a lesser height to the ground in an elongated triangle shape but the Nemo DragonFly is a more of a generous igloo shape. This means it has greater height and volume.
The tent is a generous 224cm in length as well. Both Hubby G and I were able to lie flat and with room at our feet or head for a small bag of kit. The floor area of the tent felt roomy for a lightweight tent.
The design also means there are side vestibules for stashing rucksacks and kit. The two big entrances either side allow each person to access the tent from their own side. This is a much better design than tents that have a front opening because I find that I end up stepping on G when I am trying to get in our out of the tent. The side opening allows you to get in and out without disturbing your partner/friend.
Setting up the tent is easy. The two poles open up and easily clip together. The overall shape of the tent is achieved quickly. Then you simply clip the inner tent into and along the poles, using the colour coding as guidance.
The fly sheet fits over the top. We made the mistake of trying to put the fly sheet on back to front but we quickly sorted that.
To be honest, we didn’t follow the instructions (these are sensible located in a large label inside the tent bag) and erected the tent by intuition. Once you have built one of today’s modern lightweight tents, they all follow a similar pattern.
I like the clips that hold the fly sheet on to the corners of the inner tent and poles. This make it really easy to secure the fly sheet on to the tent.
The pegs hold the tent in place and make the fabric taut, while the simple guys add stability and sturdiness. It took us no more than seven minutes to have the tent set up.
Because we are in lockdown, the tent was tested in our garden. It was sheltered although there was still a good breeze. The tent seemed sturdy enough but I will need to test it on more open moorland terrain before I can tell you whether it is great for full-on outdoors adventures.
We went “gamping”:
Other features of the Nemo DragonFly tent
I like the generous side pockets and also the overhead mesh pocket. This is where you can put a light, such as a head torch. I also found it handy for my glasses and other bits and pieces. This is a great idea.
The zips on the inner and out tent doors are fairly easy to use. I find that tent zips are also a bit “sticky” because they are often at an awkward angle and the outer flaps of the zip get stuck in the zip itself if you are not paying attention. Most smaller tents are like this so I won’t criticise the Nemo tent too much. Just to say, you need to take your time to open the zips so they do not get stuck. I think I am just a bit impatient and try to swiftly open the zips.
Usefully, the zips are two-way.
The privacy mesh does work because we tested it!
It didn’t rain hard while we were gamping, although there was a bit of spitting rain for a short time. The water rolled off the outer fabric, which I would expect when it’s such a new tent. Most tent fabrics are treated with a water repellency. I would guess that this is a good quality tent that will keep out the rain, even Scottish rain. Again, you can look forward to further testing after lockdown.
Conclusion: This is a well designed and roomy tent that is light enough to take on a backpacking trip. It looks sturdy and durable, too roomy. At £449, you might wince a bit but lightweight and high quality tents are pricey and there is a lifetime warranty.