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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > NEMO Equipment Obi 2P tent > Test Report by Mark Thompson

NEMO OBI 2P TENT
TEST SERIES BY MARK THOMPSON
LONG-TERM REPORT
February 14, 2013

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mark Thompson
EMAIL: markthompson 242 at gmail dot com
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Parker, Colorado, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 0" (2.10 m)
WEIGHT: 190 lb (86.20 kg)

Outdoor adventures started for me at an early age, my passions have grown to include backpacking, rock climbing, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, cycling, skiing and snowshoeing. Most of my adventures presently take place in Colorado's amazing Rocky Mountains. For trail hikes, my pack typically weighs 15 lbs/7 kg (summer/fall), 25 lbs/11 kg (winter/spring) and trail speed ranges from 2.5 - 4 mph (4 - 6 km/h) depending on elevation gain. For backpack trips, my pack weighs 40 - 45 lbs (18 - 20 kg) and my trail speed drops to 1.5 - 3.0 mph (2 - 5 km/h).


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1
Photo courtesy of NEMO Equipment, Inc.

Manufacturer: NEMO Equipment, Inc.
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.nemoequipment.com
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Shelter MSRP: US$ 389.95
Footprint MSRP: US$ 49.95

Listed Weight:
Minimum weight: 3 lbs, 0 oz (1.36 kg)
Packed weight: 3 lbs, 10 oz (1.64 kg)

Measured Weight:
Packed weight with footprint: 4 lbs, 0 oz (1.81 kg)
Packed weight without footprint: 3 lbs, 7 oz (1.57 kg)

Other details:
Width at Head: 50 in (127 cm)
Width at Feet: 42 in (107 cm)
Length: 84 in (213 cm)
Interior Height: 40 in (102 cm)
Packed Size (without poles): 7.5 x 6 in (19 x 15 cm)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

My initial impressions are "WOW, PRETTY SWEET!" This tent is super light, feature packed and, according to their website, it can be set up as a tent, tent with rain fly, or as a tarp with the footprint. I can't wait to get this out in the field and put it through its paces!

TRYING IT OUT

Like most men, I don't read the instructions, rather, I just get right to the good stuff! The NEMO Obi 2P was no exception.

For this test, NEMO Equipment provided a complete shelter system (tent, rain fly, poles, stakes) and the footprint!

IMAGE 2
Their packaging method is rather interesting as it has the poles in a separate bag which slides into a pocket and snaps to the outside of the bag that holds the other main components of the shelter. It seems that this is a much more appropriate method as it would appear to work better with today's internal framed packs. With my other shelters, I found that I would remove the poles from the bag and affix them to the outside of my pack, frequently using one of the water bottle pockets and compression straps to keep them securely in place.

IMAGE 3

IMAGE 4
The shelter includes six stakes, accessory cord to secure the fly, two patches and a small bag to keep it all together. I did note, however, to set up the tent with stakes in the four corners, two for the vestibules, there needs to be one more stake for the front portion of the rain fly. Also, if I were to want to really stake down the tent using all of the tie down points, two additional stakes would be needed for a total of 9. Honestly, though, I doubt that I will ever stake down the sides of the tent, so, a total of 7 would seem to fulfill all the needs.

IMAGE 5
The NEMO Obi 2P set up without the provided rain fly. As mentioned, I didn't read the directions, but I was pleasantly surprised with how easy and intuitive the shelter was to set up. The pole is equipped with a continuous internal elastic cord that keeps all the pieces together and makes it a snap (literally and figuratively) to put together! The pole fits superbly in each of the corners and it is clearly obvious where they go (only need to look at head and foot) the rest just goes together without thought.

IMAGE 6
The NEMO Obi 2P set up with rain fly.

IMAGE 7
Here is a neat feature that I haven't seen on other products - the rain fly has a small piece of webbing that attaches to the tent, pulling the tent outwards thus improving the interior volume of the tent.

IMAGE 8
I really like the two door set up - this is a great feature, enabling each person to have their own vestibule for storing boots (smelly ones in my case) and it is a great way to keep the peace and quiet during those middle of the night trips to the latrine.

TESTING STRATEGY

I plan to put the NEMO Obi 2P through its paces in the coming months in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I have several trips planned, mostly focused on completing the "14ers." Depending on how soon Mother Nature changes autumn into winter, I plan to start tackling the Colorado Trail (a continuous trail from Denver to Durango).

SUMMARY

This is a great looking product that really focuses on weight conservation while keeping the features I expect in a high-end tent. I am very impressed with the quality, construction and design! Pros and Cons so far:
Pros:
- Quality Construction
- Great Design
- Two Vestibules
- Light Weight
Cons:
- Only one interior side pocket (fortunately, it is on "her" side)
- Needs to include one more stake


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

The NEMO Obi 2P Tent is clearly intended to be a two or three season tent as it incorporates a significant amount of mesh fabric in the construction. This being said coupled with the climate here in colorful (and sometimes cold) Colorado, my adventures with this tent have remained below treeline. One of the awesome things about this time of year is that all of the fair weather campers stay home, leaving the woods to the hearty (and better trained, more experienced and better equipped). I have had three wonderful nights out in the tent during this phase of the test. All three nights have been in Colorado and all in what I would consider "mild" autumn conditions. I have backpacked along the Colorado Trail (a continuous trail that roams across the state from Southwest Denver to Durango) and near Mt Bierstadt. The overnight lows have consistently been below freezing, but not bitter cold and the winds have been calm.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The tent has performed wonderfully! I am so very happy with the overall weight of the tent and how well it packs into my internal frame pack. I find that so many tents have kept up with the latest developments in terms of assembly, weight, new materials etc., but fail to fit easily into today's internal frame pack. The NEMO Obi 2P tent poles fit wonderfully on the outside of my pack in their own sack, while the footprint, tent and rain fly all fit snugly in a stuff sack sized to fit easily inside the main compartment of a modern pack.

Commensurate with its low weight, the Obi 2P isn't a three bedroom villa. The interior dimensions can be a bit tight for two people, for me though, this isn't a problem. My wife and I typically share a two-person sleeping bag and the Obi's side doors fit our needs to a tee! The side door design is a great feature when answering nature's call in the middle of the night. Each having our own door keeps us from disturbing the other through these events.

I have found a bit of a conundrum though, I can't seem to decide when the temperature will be just right to set up the footprint and the fly (leaving the tent in the bag) so I can gaze out at the night and when it will be too cold that I will want the added warmth of the full system. I haven't found the need to set up the tent without the rain fly in an effort to sleep bug free but I am sure this will happen at some point (maybe next summer).

IMAGE 1

SUMMARY

The tent is wonderfully lightweight! It is utterly amazing what shedding a few pounds from my pack does for me at the end of a long day backpacking! I have found the materials and workmanship to be outstanding!

Pros:
- Lightweight
- Strong
- Side doors
- Ability to set up the footprint with the fly (leaving the tent at home or in the bag)

Cons:
- The tent is fairly straight forward to set up, but I did notice that color coding could be added to the pole ends to make it even easier
- Without the fly, the tent sides sag in (they attach to the fly to be pulled out)

The cons are really minor nitpicks. This is a fantastic product!


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I thoroughly enjoyed testing this wonderful product during this final phase, all of which I have done in Colorado's "Front Range." Although the weather this time of year creates a rather significant challenge for testing a three-season tent, I was able to get out and put the NEMO Obi 2P through its paces on two additional overnight trips, totaling 10 days and 5 nights. During both trips, I did encounter snowfall (surprising since we haven't had much this year) and colder temperatures, well below freezing.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have been very pleased with the performance of the Obi 2P, despite the weather. As mentioned, this is a three-season tent and really wasn't intended for winter or snow condition usage.

IMAGE 1

The significant amount of mesh in the tent certainly helps with weight reduction and improves ventilation, but it doesn't bode well for heat retention or for keeping blowing snow outside where it belongs. My experiences during the past two months, in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, have shown the Obi 2P to be much cooler than my winter tent, obviously due to the high concentration of mesh used in construction, as well as the lack of solid panels to help control interior temperature and the amount of ventilation. I also noticed that fine particles of blowing snow were able to get inside the tent through the mesh. All of this, however, is not unexpected nor should it be considered a detriment to the product or product quality, rather, a notation of experience when using this product outside of design parameters. I was, however, very pleased to experience how well the tent was able to shed the snow, showing no significant amount of snow accumulation on the tent. The snow did accumulate around the base of the rain fly as it slid down the sides, but even then, the front portion of the tent is high enough off the ground that there was still a sufficient amount of ventilation to keep the oxygen concentration at appropriate levels inside the tent.

IMAGE 2

On the first trip, my wife and I spent the night together in the tent. Yes, it is cozy, but we have a sleeping bag for two which incorporates a feature that holds our sleeping pad in place. Since we are already accustomed to close sleeping quarters, the Obi was sufficient for the two of us. We did note, however, that there was little remaining room inside the tent after we set up our sleep system. As you can see from my bio, I am on the taller side (not a giant by any means, but a little taller than the US average), while my wife is 5' 5" (165 cm) tall and of average build. Despite the interior room constraints, the vestibules served us well and provided a nice place to keep our boots out of the direct weather and snowfall.

On one of these two trips, the wind was considerable. Although I was not able to measure wind speed, I would estimate them to be 10 to 15 mph (16 to 24 km/h) with gusts to 20 mph (32 km/h) or more. I don't know that anyone really sleeps well in these conditions, I certainly did not, but I must say that I was pleased with how well the Obi withstood the wind. I am sure that the 10 deg F (-12 deg C) temperature didn't help my level of comfort much either, but I was able to keep warm and out of the wind.

The one huge benefit was, again, the significant reduction in weight compared to my other tents. I know this may sound redundant (okay, it is) but taking a few pounds/kilograms off of my back was greatly appreciated, especially when traveling in snowshoes. Most everything is more difficult in the winter, just breathing takes more effort, so reducing my pack weight (or allowing me to carry more clothes) was awesome. I also really enjoy how well the Obi fits into my internal frame backpack.

I had really wanted to try out the sun shade feature, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and snow prevented this from happening. Initially, I couldn't figure out how to set up the fly with the footprint, leaving the tent at home, so I sent an e-mail to NEMO's Customer Service. I was pleased to have gotten an informative and polite response in less than 24 hours! Well done! To set the Obi up in its sun shade configuration, the Jake's Feet from the tent must be removed and attached to the footprint. Certainly, it would be much nicer to have the footprint equipped with them instead of requiring this bit of manual intervention, but alas, the website's claim of a sun shade is, in fact, possible.

SUMMARY

Wow, simply a great product with tons of features! Since this is a three-season tent, I will not hold any "less than admirable" attributes against the tent which are related to winter conditions.

Pros:
- Awesome weight
- Great packing design
- Large vestibules
- Good wind resistance

Cons:
- Needs at least one more stake
- I would like to have a Jake's Foot feature incorporated into the footprint attachment

Overall, a fantastic product! This tent has displaced my previous three-season tent at the top of the shelter pecking order. A special thank you to NEMO Equipment and backpackgeartest.org!

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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