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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Nemo Meta 2P > Owner Review by Ray Estrella
NEMO Equipment Meta 2P Tent
September 11, 2010
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, plus many western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round in all weather, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I make a point of using lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. Doubting I can ever be truly UL, I try to be as near to it as I can yet still be comfortable. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring/chilling. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or my twin children.
Manufacturer: NEMO Equipment
Quick & Dirty, Nitty Gritty
The NEMO Equipment Meta 2P is a fast set up, light weight tent that has an excellent space to weight ratio. With more than enough room for me and another adult and ventilation to keep us dry inside it is a true two-person tent. A faulty guy line design leads to head-room issues, but it can be worked around. Please read on for the details, and enjoy this shot of it above Yosemite Creek.
The NEMO Equipment Meta 2P (hereafter referred to as the Meta or the tent) is a trekking pole supported, hybrid single/double wall tent.
Set up is very easy. The Meta is simply spread out and staked at each corner. Two more stakes are used to pull the side straps out from the body. Here is a shot of it spread out and waiting for poles.
Now I just place a trekking pole handle up into the built-in pocket at the top of each side. The tip of the pole goes into a grommet in a piece of reinforced nylon at the bottom center of each side. Now the trekking poles are adjusted lengthwise to raise the tent to the desired height.
The vestibules pull out and attach to quick-connect buckles located at the ends of the staked-down side straps. The edge of the vestibule is reinforced to allow it to tighten the tent with the adjustment at the end below the buckles as seen to the right.
The vestibule doors are accessed by a zipper running down the center. Two patches of hook and loop hold the vestibule doors closed when the zipper is left down for ventilation but privacy is still wanted. They also keep the 2 in (5 cm) storm flap covering the zipper in place during wet weather. Here is a shot of the Meta with the vestibule attached to the stretched out buckle.
For further pitching options NEMO includes a blue line wrapped up and placed in a small storage sack attached to the bottom strap. The line, when removed, can be attached to a loop inside the trekking pole handle pocket. This now allows the vestibule to be unhooked to let the sides be completely open as seen below.
I choose to just leave this line attached to the upper loops to add take the tension off the vestibule itself even when I am keeping it closed. As can be seen above the vestibules will roll up and out of the way, being held in place by loops and straps with cord locks on them. Even with the vestibules rolled up the Meta has been designed with enough overhang that the inner mesh walls are protected from rain that is falling straight down.
The mesh sides each have a D-shaped door. The doors are set up opposite each other so that two sleepers will lay head-to-foot. Small mesh gear pockets are on opposite ends for the same reason.
Ventilation has been addressed in three ways with the Meta. First of course are the mesh door walls. By adjusting the trekking poles up or down the amount of space at the ground can be increased or decreased. Each vestibule has a large hooded vent at the top as seen above. These vents have a flexible support that stuffs with no problem yet pops back out to hold the bottom open.
Lastly the solid walls have a lower vent that runs full length. These vents have a carbon fiber strut to hold it open, or it can close and lay flat after being secured by the center sections of hook and loop. The guy lines attach to the top of the vents. (More on this later.)
The side vents are interesting. While the mesh runs all along the side from inside the tent I can't see out the vent like I expected. This is because the vent is sewn to the side about every 8 in (20 cm). What I found was that this vent is dual purpose. While it does allow air movement, its main function is to let condensation run down and out of the tent. At first I thought that this feature may impact the air flow negatively. Here is a picture of the inside. I have a little light clipped to the edge of the vent. (More about this picture later.)
I used the Meta 2P in Yosemite National Park for six nights, four of which were with two people, the others solo. The lowest temperature was 33 F (1 C) and one afternoon and night saw very strong winds, speed unknown. Elevations where camped ran from 4100 to 6700 ft (1250 to 2040 m) and all were next to rivers or creeks. It rained one night. A shot of it at Morrison Creek is below.
Since 2004 I have always hiked with trekking poles. Because of this I have always liked the idea of using a tent that saves weight by using my trekking poles rather than carrying the weight of dedicated tent poles. At this time I have two other trekking pole supported tents including one being tested for BackpackGearTest.org right now. I also owned another one in the past. So I was quite intrigued by the Meta when I first saw it and decided to take the opportunity to buy one for a stretch of backpacking that I needed to share a tent but also wanted to keep the weight and volume down. I am glad I did.
The ventilation and condensation control is the best I have ever had in a trekking pole tent also. Even with two people we saw no condensation, even the nights it rained. A couple of nights I even closed the side vents because the winds were too heavy and I wanted to cut down on the air traveling through the tent.
One problem I discovered was the side vent guy lines. Because it attaches to the top of the vents the line pulls downward as much as outward. When the strut is deployed this makes the problem worse as it pushes the side down into the tent. This happens to be where our heads are. One friend that met me for the first two nights in Yosemite said that she really did not like having the wall so close to her head. The fact that we both were on 2.5 in (6.4 cm) thick pads put us closer yet. If the guy point were on the bottom of the vent it would help a lot as then deploying the strut would not change the shape of the wall inside.
The next night I was alone and figured a modification that worked well. (I used it this way the rest of the time.) I took a stick and placed it in-line to lift the vent up as it still pulled it out. Here is a close-up shot of the mod at one of the camps. The picture earlier in the review of the tent interior with the vent is what it looked like inside with the mod. It adds a lot of head-room.
The Meta did very well with the heavy winds I experienced two days. We made sure to use the door on the opposite side to where the wind was coming from to keep the tent from blowing away. Once buttoned up the tent was solid.
There is plenty of room for two packs and footwear in the vestibules, either one on each side if both doors can be used or both in one vestibule.
I really like that the Meta sets up fast and keeps the interior dry while setting up in the rain. Rain is not a big problem in California, where it usually hits for a short period of time and can be waited out in most cases. But I spend a lot of time in Minnesota too, where it rains a lot. Because of this I decided to take the Meta to Minnesota where it will be my regular two-person tent when not obligated with other tests.
I never used anything under the floor of the Meta but am going to either pick up a footprint or make one from Tyvek as it will be getting muddy in Minnesota. I see no wear though on the floor from the eight nights spent so far.
One other thing I would like to see different is the NEMO stuff sack. I see no reason for a heavy dry-bag style sack with all its buckles. I left it home and just put the Meta in a 0.9 oz (26 g) sil-nylon sack. The stakes I place in my pack's top lid.
I leave with a shot of the Meta nestled in the tress in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.
"I measure happiness with an altimeter" This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
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Reviews > Shelters > Tents > Nemo Meta 2P > Owner Review by Ray Estrella