Nemo Hornet 1P tested in the Pyrenees

I took the hornet on a ten day trek in the Pyrenees, part of the Pyrenean High Route from L’Hospitalet pres d’Andorre to Banyuls sur Mer. The route is over exposed mountain areas for most of the first five days then more sheltered trekking down to the sea, while there was only occasional rain (and one very heavy storm shower) there was plenty of wind to test the stability of the tent.

The first impression of the tent is that it could suffer in strong winds, the flysheet design incorporates a large cutout at the front of the tent and the single pole along most of its length represent potential weak points as far as wind is concerned, however Nemo have incorporated every tactic to mitigate this – and they have been very successful.

Firstly there is a Velcro fastener to secure the flysheet to all three ‘legs’ of the poleset, this makes a big difference to the single pole end ensuring the wind does not blow the pole out of line. Secondly each of these points has a guy-out loop so you can add guys to stabilise the tent further, like most tents extra guys are not supplied (although Nemo do provide some cord to make your own), so I purchased 4 Lightwave Dyneema guys and added them to the tent – I added two to the rear loop so that the pole could not move in either direction, and one to each front ‘leg. I also needed to add extra pegs as Nemo only supply six pegs in total.

The six pegs supplied by Nemo are robust and provide good holding power in a range of ground conditions, however they weigh 14g each, and as I needed to add more for the extra guys I substituted them for a range, I actually took 4 titanium skewers, 4 Piranha 3g pegs and 4 MSR Carbon Core stakes - this made 12 in total, two more than was necessary to peg out fully.

When the tent was fully pitched with the four extra guys the design is remarkably stable and stood up to some strong gusts extremely well - because the tent has a mesh inner tent the wind gets under the flysheet and whistles through the meshed areas.

The front section is interesting, the cutout of the flysheet saves weight and the waterproof panel adjacent to the cutout works well, however you need to make sure the front section of the flysheet is tightened close to the ground as this ensures the inner is fully protected. In my view a further guyout loop attached to the flysheet at the front would further improve the tent as this would ensure the flysheet isn't blown against the inner tent at the front, a lightweight guy would add a few grams overall. Nemo have put a loop on the inner tent but I don't see the advantage of this - I wondered if it was a mistake.

Internal space is pretty good on the Hornet, considering its only 800g. The head height is designed so there's a triangular area at the front which gives good clearance for your head but elsewhere in the tent the height is reduced quite quickly, especially towards the rear. Getting ready in the morning was straightforward though it was difficult to avoid touching the flysheet when putting a shirt or jacket on.

The doorway is large enough and is easy to get in and out of. The porch is quite large but the fly panels in this area are cut quite high, during a rain storm any gear stored here needs to be brought close to the tent to ensure it doesn't get wet, this limits the storage capacity of the porch.

The only annoying bit of the tent was the door tie-back - this is a cordlock which threads through a fabric loop which is also one of the guyout points - with the tent pitched fully and using this loop as a guyout point, the fabric loop is under tension making it difficult to thread the cordlock through it, or to undo it out from inside the tent.

Overall I was delighted with the Hornet, you need to keep reminding yourself that it only weighs 800g and at this level it is extremely well designed and eminently suitable and robust enough for 3 season use. The space it offers is good (again for the weight) and I had no problem using it night after night. During rain the porch can be used to provide some livability though it might get a bit claustrophobic if I was staying in it all day - it's a backpackers tent so ideal assuming you are packed up and off each morning.

Mark R

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