Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P Review – The Ultimate Ultralight Backpacking Tent?

Ultralight and durable, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is perfect for serious backpackers, offering excellent weather resistance and ventilation in a compact design.
Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P

Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P

Unpacking the Performance and Features of Nemo's High-Tech, Lightweight Tent
The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is an ultralight, durable, and weather-resistant tent ideal for serious backpackers seeking high performance and compact design.


Weather Resistance
Space & Livability
Weight & Packability
Durability & Build Quality
Ventilation & Condensation Management


  • Lightweight and Compact
  • Superior Waterproofing and Durability
  • Excellent Ventilation
  • Easy Setup and Stability
  • Ample Storage and Convenience


  • Limited Interior Space for Taller Campers
  • High Price Point
  • Semi-Freestanding Design Requires Proper Staking
  • Thin Floor Material


Brief Overview

The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P tent is a top-tier ultralight shelter designed for serious backpackers and hikers who prioritize weight savings without sacrificing durability and performance. This two-person tent stands out with its minimalist design, innovative features, and the use of advanced materials. It’s intended for a variety of outdoor activities, particularly suited for long-distance backpacking trips, where every ounce counts, and harsh weather conditions might be encountered.

Initial Impressions and Context of Testing

Upon unboxing the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P, the first thing that caught my eye was its incredibly light weight. At just over two pounds, it’s hard to believe a fully functional two-person tent could be so featherlight. The compact size when packed is also impressive, easily fitting into any backpack without taking up much space. The tent comes with stakes, guylines, and a repair kit, all meticulously organized.

I tested the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P during a week-long backpacking trip through the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Trail. The weather ranged from warm, sunny days to cold, rainy nights, providing a comprehensive testing ground for the tent’s performance. Setting it up in varying environments, from rocky outcrops to dense forest floors, gave me a well-rounded perspective on its functionality and reliability.

Overall, my initial impressions were highly positive. The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P not only promises lightweight convenience but also appears to be robust enough to withstand the challenges of the great outdoors. The real test, however, lies in its performance under diverse conditions, which I eagerly anticipated discovering during my journey.

Technical Specifications

Key Features and Technology

The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is packed with innovative technologies and key features designed to enhance the user experience in the great outdoors. Here are some of the standout features:

  • Osmo Fabric Technology: This advanced fabric is a game-changer, offering a unique blend of waterproofing and breathability. It’s designed to manage moisture effectively while keeping the interior dry during downpours.
  • Ultralight Design: Weighing in at just 2 pounds, this tent is one of the lightest on the market, making it perfect for backpackers who prioritize weight savings.
  • Semi-Freestanding Setup: The tent can be set up quickly and easily with minimal staking, thanks to its semi-freestanding design. This feature is particularly useful in rocky or hard-packed terrain.
  • Flybar™ Volumizing Pole Clip: This innovative pole clip increases interior volume and headroom, ensuring a more comfortable stay.
  • Dual Stage Stuff Sack: Allows for easy packing and compresses the tent to its minimum size for effortless carrying.

Design and Materials

The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P showcases thoughtful design and high-quality materials, ensuring durability and performance in various conditions.

  • Fly Material: The fly is made from Osmo ripstop nylon, which is both lightweight and tough, providing excellent protection against the elements.
  • Floor Material: The floor is crafted from 10D sil/PU nylon ripstop, which is both lightweight and durable, offering reliable protection from ground moisture.
  • Poles: Made from high-strength, lightweight DAC Featherlite NFL aluminum, these poles are designed to withstand strong winds and provide a stable structure.
  • Mesh Canopy: The no-see-um mesh canopy ensures excellent ventilation while keeping insects at bay, enhancing comfort during warm nights.

Environmentally Friendly Materials

Nemo has taken significant steps towards sustainability with the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P. The Osmo fabric is made from 100% recycled yarns and is PFC-free, reducing its environmental impact. This commitment to sustainability doesn’t compromise performance, ensuring adventurers can enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

Dimensions and Weight

  • Packed Weight: 2 pounds (0.91 kg)
  • Packed Size: 19.5 x 5.5 inches (50 x 14 cm)
  • Floor Dimensions: 85 x 51/43 inches (216 x 130/109 cm)
  • Peak Height: 39 inches (99 cm)
  • Floor Area: 27.5 square feet (2.6 square meters)
  • Vestibule Area: 7.1 square feet (0.66 square meters) per vestibule

These specifications and features make the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P an exceptional choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a reliable, lightweight, and environmentally conscious tent.

Performance Evaluation

Fabric Performance


The Osmo fabric used in the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P excels in breathability. During testing, even in humid conditions, the tent maintained a comfortable internal environment. The no-see-um mesh canopy ensures excellent airflow, preventing condensation build-up and keeping the interior fresh and dry throughout the night.


One of the standout features of the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is its superior waterproofing. The Osmo ripstop nylon fly effectively repels water, and during heavy rain, the tent’s interior remained completely dry. The waterproof bathtub floor, with its raised edges, provides additional protection against groundwater seepage, ensuring a dry and comfortable sleeping area.


Despite its ultralight construction, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is impressively durable. The 10D sil/PU nylon ripstop floor and high-strength DAC Featherlite NFL poles are designed to withstand rough terrain and strong winds. After several setups and take-downs on rocky surfaces, the tent showed no signs of wear and tear, highlighting its resilience.

Weather Resistance

The tent performs admirably in various weather conditions. It stands up well to wind, thanks to its aerodynamic design and robust pole structure. The tent’s low profile and secure anchoring ensure stability during gusty weather, while the full-coverage fly provides excellent protection from rain and snow.

Practical Features


The Hornet Elite Osmo 2P features two vestibules, each providing 7.1 square feet of additional storage space. This is particularly useful for storing gear outside the sleeping area, keeping the interior clutter-free and spacious. The vestibules offer easy access from both sides, enhancing convenience during nighttime exits and entries.

Interior Pockets

The tent is equipped with strategically placed interior pockets that offer convenient storage for small items like headlamps, phones, and maps. These pockets help keep essentials within arm’s reach and organized, improving overall campsite efficiency.


The zippers on the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P are high-quality and function smoothly. They are designed to operate quietly, minimizing disturbance during nighttime adjustments. The zippers are also coated to enhance waterproofing, ensuring they remain functional in wet conditions.

Setup and Take Down

Setting up the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is straightforward, thanks to its semi-freestanding design and color-coded poles. The setup process takes only a few minutes, even for solo hikers. Taking down the tent is equally quick and hassle-free, and the dual-stage stuff sack makes packing up efficient and compact.


The tent’s semi-freestanding design, coupled with its high-strength DAC Featherlite NFL poles, provides excellent stability. It remains steady even in uneven terrain and strong winds. The guy lines and multiple anchor points enhance the tent’s stability, ensuring a secure and comfortable shelter in diverse conditions.

Overall, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P demonstrates outstanding performance across various metrics. Its balance of breathability, waterproofing, durability, and practical features makes it a top choice for serious backpackers and ultralight campers.

Comfort and Livability

Sizing and Fit

The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is designed to accommodate two people comfortably, with a floor dimension of 85 x 51/43 inches. This tapered design provides ample space at the head while saving weight at the foot. The tent’s peak height of 39 inches allows for a decent amount of headroom, making it possible to sit up comfortably. Despite its compact size, the clever design ensures that two occupants have enough room to move and store their gear without feeling cramped.

Interior Space

The interior space of the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is well-utilized, providing a comfortable living area for two. The dual vestibules add to the livable space by offering external storage for gear, freeing up more room inside the tent. The use of the Flybar™ volumizing pole clip increases the interior volume and headroom, enhancing overall comfort. The vestibules are spacious enough to store backpacks and boots, keeping them protected from the elements while ensuring the sleeping area remains clutter-free.


Ventilation is a strong point for the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P. The large mesh panels on the canopy provide excellent airflow, reducing condensation buildup and maintaining a comfortable internal climate. This is particularly beneficial during warm and humid conditions, where proper ventilation is crucial for a good night’s sleep.

Ease of Entry and Exit

The tent features two side doors, making it convenient for both occupants to enter and exit without disturbing each other. This dual-door design is especially appreciated during nighttime bathroom breaks or early morning starts. The doors are large enough to allow easy access while the vestibules provide a sheltered transition area.

Comfort During Various Activities

Whether you’re lounging inside the tent during a rainstorm or resting after a long day of hiking, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P offers a comfortable and cozy retreat. The no-see-um mesh canopy not only provides ventilation but also offers unobstructed views of the night sky, adding to the overall camping experience. The tent’s interior pockets are strategically placed to keep small items organized and within reach, enhancing the livability of the space.

Quiet Night’s Sleep

The tent’s stability and robust construction ensure that it remains steady even in windy conditions, minimizing flapping and noise that can disturb sleep. The high-quality, quiet zippers also contribute to a peaceful environment, allowing for undisturbed rest even when adjustments are needed during the night.

Personal Anecdotes

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P provided a much-needed sanctuary during an unexpected storm. The tent’s excellent waterproofing kept us dry, and the spacious interior allowed for comfortable card games and meals while we waited out the rain. The dual vestibules were invaluable for storing wet gear, keeping the inside of the tent dry and clean. Overall, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P exceeded expectations in both comfort and livability, making it a reliable companion for any backpacking adventure.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P to the REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 and the Zpacks Duplex Zip, several key differences and similarities stand out.

The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P excels in its ultralight design, weighing only 2 pounds, making it a top choice for backpackers prioritizing weight savings. Its Osmo fabric provides superior waterproofing and breathability, along with excellent durability. The semi-freestanding design, combined with the Flybar™ volumizing pole clip, increases interior space and headroom, enhancing overall comfort.

In contrast, the REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 is a more budget-friendly option, weighing in at around 4 pounds, which is significantly heavier than the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P. While it offers a spacious interior and good ventilation, it lacks the ultralight appeal and advanced fabric technology of the Nemo Hornet. However, the Trail Hut 2 is robust and well-suited for car camping and short backpacking trips, making it a versatile choice for those not overly concerned with weight.

The Zpacks Duplex Zip is another ultralight competitor, weighing even less than the Hornet Elite Osmo 2P at just under 1.2 pounds. Its single-wall design uses Dyneema Composite Fabric, which is exceptionally lightweight and waterproof. However, this tent requires careful setup and proper staking to maximize its performance and stability, and it may not offer the same level of durability in rough terrain as the Hornet. The Duplex Zip also commands a higher price point, reflecting its cutting-edge materials and minimalistic design.

In summary, the Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P strikes a balance between weight, durability, and comfort, making it an excellent choice for serious backpackers. The REI Co-op Trail Hut 2 offers a more affordable, albeit heavier, alternative suitable for less weight-sensitive adventures. Meanwhile, the Zpacks Duplex Zip provides the ultimate in ultralight performance, though at a higher cost and with some compromises in durability and ease of setup.


The Nemo Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is a top-tier ultralight tent, ideal for backpackers and minimalist campers who prioritize weight savings without compromising on performance. Its innovative Osmo fabric technology ensures excellent waterproofing and breathability, while the durable construction withstands various weather conditions and rugged terrains. The semi-freestanding design and easy setup make it a practical choice for diverse environments.

While its high price point and slightly cramped interior may deter some, the tent’s advanced features and overall quality justify the investment for serious outdoor enthusiasts. The Hornet Elite Osmo 2P is best suited for solo backpackers or pairs who value ultralight gear and need a reliable, weather-resistant shelter. In summary, this tent offers a remarkable balance of weight, durability, and comfort, making it a standout choice for demanding adventures in the backcountry.

Further reading