More than ever, people are venturing further, faster, and lighter into the wild for recreation, photography, or conquest. Much of this is related to a drive for adventure spurned on by social media platforms and the physical wellness that many of these like-minded individuals share. Fact is, most people aren’t looking to set a new record on the PCT, but we all want an enjoyable and memorable experience in the backcountry. Next to physical fitness, cutting weight from your pack is the next best or combined option for moving faster and farther. All this, with hopefully a smile on your face. Ironically enough, my most memorable outdoor experiences involve some sort of “type 2 fun.” Then the smile only comes afterwards.
Research and design in the area of fabric development is a key component in the evolution of the lightweight pack. If there is one area to invest in decreasing the weight on your shoulders and increasing usable space, it’s upgrading your tent, sleeping bag, and pad. Long are the days of tents that weigh 7+ pounds and take up half of a packs usable space. When looking for a new tent, unless you’re needing a large dome shelter for basecamp in the high mountains, 5 lbs should be the max weight you should ever consider.
I was looking for lightweight 2-3 season tent for quite some time when NEMO Equipment’s new trekking pole tent arrived at my door towards the tail end of last winter. Most of my leisure time in the outdoors during that season was spent backcountry or nordic skiing. I was a little bummed in thinking I would need to wait for fairer and less snowy weather before testing this tent in the elements.
After receiving the tent, I spoke with NEMO about the META 2P’s ability to withstand inclement weather. I was assured this tent can withstand most weather thrown in its direction and it even performs quite well in strong winds. With this in mind, I rolled the tent into my small backcountry ski pack and headed out late in the evening on a five mile ski to the top of Ball Butte – Ball Butte rests just off the SE flank of Broken Top in the Three Sisters Wilderness of Central Oregon and tops out at just below 8,100 feet in elevation.
I arrived at the top of Ball Butte traveling by headlamp and under clear skies. I picked out the flattest and least windblown area I could find on the summit and began setting up my new lightweight shelter. 15-20 mph winds with the occasional 30-40 mph gust made setup challenging, but not nearly as frustrating as with other tents I’ve owned or demoed. The most difficult part of the setup was making sure I dug a pit large enough for the guy lines to extend and therefore increase the vestibule size and overall structural rigidity of the META 2P.
Throughout the night the wind stayed consistently strong and I became concerned I was pushing the tents capabilities – or the wind might snap one of the trekking/ski poles supporting the material. After a restful night, some perfect first tracks in the morning. and full inspection the following day, I was happy to find no damage to the tent or poles. The META 2P is made with what I would call a ‘unibody construction’ – meaning it’s a single wall tent with internal vented doors that provide the ventilation you would normally receive from a standard double wall tent. With the guy lines extended, the single wall construction and design makes this tent incredibly robust in strong winds and very breathable in rainy/humid conditions.
The META 2P has a bathtub style floor with reinforced materials to keep seepage at bay. This also means the base of the two doors sits far enough above the ground to keep dirt, debris, water, or even snow out of the tent. The bathtub style enables the bottom of the vestibule to sit higher above the ground for increased ventilation, but also prevent any of that pesky sideways rain from penetrating the fully vented doors. Even in the wet, rainy, and very humid conditions of the Oregon Coast Range mountains there was minimal condensation build-up due to the fantastic ventilation.
The last six months have confirmed the 3+ season capabilities of this tent. The META 2P Trekking Pole Tent is a true two person tent. This means you can fit two people plus their packs inside, but not much else. The peak is high enough to sit straight up for changing or hang a camp stove from the ceilings center point. As for durability, the lightweight Sil Nylon has shown very little signs of wear after rain, snow, wind, and sun.
Overall, whether soldier, weekend warrior, professional, or amateur, I highly recommend this tent to anyone looking for an upgrade to their existing backpacking tent or someone who is new to the ‘lightweight’ game.
See below for technical specs or check out NEMO’s other products on their website here. As well, as – stay tuned for long term reviews of a new ultralight insulated sleeping pad and sleeping bag you can used all year round, both from NEMO Equipment.
NEMO Equipment META 2P Trekking Pole Tent: Technical Specifications
- Capacity: 2 Person
- Minimum Weight: 2 lbs, 3 oz / 996 g
- Packaged Weight: 2 lbs, 11 oz / 1.2 kg
- Floor Dimensions: 88 x 53 in / 224 x 135 cm
- Floor Area: 32 sq ft / 3.0 sq m
- Vestibule Area: 18 sq ft / 1.7 sq m
- Interior Height: 41 in / 104
- Number of Doors: 2
- Frame Description: 2 Trekking Poles*
- Packed Size: 19 x 5.5 in dia / 48 x 14 cm dia
- Shell Fabric: 15D Sil/PU Nylon Ripstop (1200mm)
- Vestibule Fabric: 15D Sil/PU Nylon Ripstop (1200mm)
- Floor Fabric: 20D PU Nylon (1500mm)
- Color: Birch Leaf Green