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Backpacker's Celebrate The NEMO Espri 2

Updated on July 12, 2013

No More Wet Nights With The NEMO Espri 2

There is no disputing the quality and utility of the deceitfully light NEMO Espri 2 person tent. Here's a closer look at the shelter that knows no boundaries.

NEMO Equipment is a relative new guy in the world of outdoor gear. Founded in 2002, the company quickly rose in both fame and stature, and today is the virtual face of outdoor equipment for many professionals and enthusiasts alike. The NEMO Espri is more than just another tent, it has garnered a somewhat cult-like following, in part because of its bullet proof design and construction, and in part to it's pack-saving weight and form factor.

If you're in the hunt for a new, or better, 2 or 3 person ultralight backpacking tent then you've likely found your future wilderness shelter right here in the Espri. Weighing less than a half gallon of water and sporting a packed size similar than a loaf of bread, this tent brings smiles to your face.

Let's dig in below and learn more about this future classic. First, please bookmark this article or pin it at Pinterest so you can find it later, and help others find it, too. Thanks.

A Closer Look - NEMO Espri Ultralight Backpacking Tent

NEMO Espri 2 Saves Your Back

While the NEMO Espri 2 person tent enjoys a truly phenomenal user rating, once in a while I'll read a review where someone says "there isn't much room." After a good chuckle, however, it makes me a little angry that people give a negative remark to a tent for something it was designed specifically to do.

Backpackers want and need a tent that is light and small, that allows them to carry it for long distances over harsh terrain, and it also allows them to carry other gear, as well. Look at it like this.. you start your trip with a limited amount of space and weight capacity; what you put in there is up to you.

Given the limited capacity, why would you take any unnecessary room for a tent that could've been used for extra water, food, clothes, and such? That is, unless you want to look like this guy. And that's the point, backpackers understand this and choose their gear accordingly. Backpackers are out for the journey, the hike... unlike "campers" who typically look for comfort and space when they choose a "camping" tent.

In terms of space and weight the Espri performs flawlessly. Every ultralight tent that I've owned or used is the same... the space inside the tent is just enough to do the job, nothing more. For one person the Nemo Espri LE 2P is a roomy setup. For two people it does the job, and for two people who insist on more room you can step up to the larger Nemo Espri LE 3P (though it costs considerably more).

I never sleep with my pack in my tent, anyway, and so even though I'm 6' 2" I've never had an issue with room. The floor space on this thing is 7' 2"... more than ample. Add the vestibule to this tent and you can stow your pack just outside the door without worrying about rain or snow.

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~ Did You Know ~

According to Jörgen over at Fjäderlätt, a site about Nordic Lightweight Backpacking, wearing 2 pound rather than 4 pound shoes or boots is like removing 10 pounds from your pack! Think about that.


Nemo Espri 2 - A Top Tier Backpacker's Tent

This tent blows away the other ultralights in many ways. But one of them that matters to you is the ease of pitching the Espri. NEMO knows what they're doing and that they care about the details shows when you start setting this up. What I really like is the use of their Jake's Feet connectors (see the video below). These are a really cool way to stake your poles to the tent and I am a huge fan! NEMO has won award after award and there's no doubt that their accolades are well earned. You'll also note that they didn't skimp on the rain fly... you won't get wet while you're sleeping, guaranteed.

At they wrote:

"It was pouring when we arrived at camp in Hanging Rock State Park, but the ball-and-socket pole connectors and intuitive configuration made for such a quick first-time setup that the interior stayed bone dry. The best part? Three vestibule options range from ultralight (read: no vestibule) to standard (15 square feet, included), to a 24-square-foot whopper (add $125) that pitches with a trekking pole and nearly doubles sheltered space."

Like many lightweight tents, this one has a mesh top that both saves weight and also allows awesome ventilation, which means you are less likely to wake up in the morning with dew all over your bag and gear. The totally freestanding design means you can pick it up and move it around until you have the just right spot, or remove a stone that you just discovered underneath your sleeping area. NEMO shines with their rock solid weatherproofing... as we all know, NOTHING (literally nothing) is worse than waking up at 12,000 feet in 35 degree weather to the realization that you, your sleeping bag, your gear... everything is soaking wet thanks to a leaking tent. While I always seal the seams on all my tents, anyway, regardless of how new or expensive the tent is (see my article on sealing tents below), the NEMO Espri really is well manufactured and the seams are truly sealed.

NEMO made design changes to the Espri in 2012, including front walls that are now more steep giving the tent more useable interior space. Another important upgrade was the addition of waterproof panels to the doorway keeping your entry and exit completely dry.

Nemo Espri 2 - A Top Tier Backpacker's Tent

Nemo Equipment Espri Ultralight Backpacking Tent
Nemo Equipment Espri Ultralight Backpacking Tent

This is the 2 person Espri. You can check out the 3P Espri in the next section.


This Is Why We Do It


NEMO Espri 3 Person Ultralight Backpacking Tent

The NEMO Espri LE 3P (3 person) shares the same quality attributes as the 2 person tent we've discussed. This model simply gives you more room as you would imagine. The increase in weight is 1 lbs. 3 ounces, so not significant when you consider that for a party of three that's still just over 2 pounds per person if you divide up the tent, fly, stakes, poles, etc... For a 2 person hiking party then the total weight per person for this 3P tent is still a manageable 3 lbs. 3 ounces.

I have read many reviews from people talking about how "cramped" ultralight tents in general are... and they're right. As I already mentioned, that's the point of the ultralight tent. I'm a pretty big guy, and my son (now 18) is no Tiny Tim... we have MANY nights in our ultralight tent and I've never felt overly cramped. Even when it's a buddy and I, the 2P tents still do their job well. Would I rather have the 3P for a 2 person trip? Sure, if money were no issue then I would pack the 3P for the added room.

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NEMO Uses A Cool "Jake's Foot" Connector - Check It Out

Securing The Jake's Foot To Your NEMO

Alright Gearheads... Let's Hear It

Do you attempt to shave every last ounce from your pack weight?

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Nemo Espri 2 Conclusion

There are lots of choices and so my aim here was to provide you with information on what I believe to be a stellar 2 or 3 person tent. Many people who are embarking on a lengthy trip will find the peace of mind of owning a top quality tent like this very reassuring. As I mentioned already, and those who've been there as well will agree, there are few things as bad as a leaking tent in cold mountain weather.

There are cheaper options, to be sure, but depending on the intended use you may very well be advised to go with quality over savings. For example, if I were heading out to a remote location for an extended period of time, there's no way I would pinch pennies on the tent, backpack or sleeping bag... those are areas that are too vital. In the end the time you spend searching and researching the best gear will be time well spent. Start your search here at this ultralight page.

Lastly, if you're like most people who spend time outdoors then you'll also enjoy crafting. I have a few articles I believe you'll enjoy. First is a tutorial to teach you how to make a paracord bracelet, with easy step by step photographs. Next is a follow-up article to that one and it covers the top 5 paracord bracelet patterns. is my latest article about easy friendship bracelet patterns.

Similar 2 Person Ultralight Tents To Compare

Please share your thoughts or backpacking experiences, and whether or not you've used the NEMO Espri 2 before...

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