I embrace the idea of carrying gear that has multi-task capability. A jacket or vest is my sleep pillow, my Therm-a-rest is both dinner seat and then insulation layer while sleeping, and a small Zip-loc of paper towels is dish cleaner, toilet paper and emergency tinder. So when I found a tent that allowed me to use my trekking poles to pitch it, I had to give it a try.

©Brad Weiser

The Nemo Meta 2P stats:

  • Packed weight of 3lbs 9oz. (minimum weight 2lbs. 15 oz.)
  • Fly is 20D PU Nylon and no-see-um mesh
  • Floor is 30D PU Nylon
  • 35.3 square feet of interior floor space (96″x53″)
  • 22 square feet of vestibule coverage (11 on either side)
  • Interior height is advertised as 43 inches but I feel that is generous given the lay out particularly with 2 people
  • Pack size is 5in by 7in (but I would allow for a little more for a footprint or ground sheet that will fit in the compression sack)
  • Suggested Retail Price $399

I have spent nights in the tent in a variety of weather conditions ranging from rainy and around 50 degrees Fahrenheit to a recent mild winter trip where lows were around 28 degrees Fahrenheit with low breezes and no precipitation.  I also purposely put it up in 20-30 MPH winds to see how the trekking poles would stand a little more wind load.

 

©Brad Weiser

The Good:

  • The Meta is easily the most intuitive tent I have ever set up. Stake out is a cinch with pre-looped corner ties as well as the side pulls for the lower ventilation ‘slots’.  Placement of your poles is easy to set and then it is just a matter of tightening your guy-outs (handy quick-release buckles included) and adjusting your pole height, if needed to draw the center line tight.
  • Interior space for 2 people is surprisingly adequate.  We fit two 5 foot 10 guys (both between 170 and 185 pounds) in the tent with winter mats and winter loft sleeping bags and never felt like anyones personal space was invaded.  When I have taken the tent by myself, it feels cavernous and all my gear can easily fit inside the tent if desired.
  • The vestibules outside of either door provide enough space to store your boots and your pack and still have a covered area to enter/exit the tent.
  • Stability in wind was excellent.  The arched peak of the roof allows for tensioning that leaves very taught fabric lines and the easily adjustable guy line pulls take care of the rest.
  • Good rain coverage.  Bathtub bottom had no seepage and smart vestibule design covered the doorways so there was no intrusion during entry/exit

The Not-so-good

  • As is a common theme with tents in cooler night time temperatures, condensation was a minor issue with the vestibules fully closed.  There are peak vents and two guyed-out side vent slits but when we had two of us in the tent and temps in the upper 20’s (Fahrenheit) we created a decent film of condensation bubbles by morning.  That said, I was not dripped on at all, nor did the condensation run down the side and pool on the tent floor. It all seemed to cling to the fabric. It allowed us to open it up in the morning and allow it to air dry in a very short amount of time if there was any noticeable breeze.  With the vestibules open just a quarter of the way, there was no condensation to note. Allowed for much better cross-ventilation but we needed to burrow a little deeper into the sleeping bags.
  • If you have two people over 6 feet, you may find the fit to be more snug at the head and feet.  This is due to the slope of the walls as it nears the floor.  If you are using it solo, you can sleep diagonally and have no issue.
  • Despite not needing to carry poles other than your trekking poles, the tent doesn’t qualify as ultralight in my opinion at 3.9 packed lbs.  However, for a two person tent, this is certainly no weight penalty.
  • This is minor but for those of you that star gaze to drift off to sleep, there is no fly-less option for this tent.  You can fully roll back the vestibules to look out both sides but the roof is solid nylon and not removable.
©Brad Weiser

I typically try to balance weight vs. utility in most of my gear and while this may be a touch heavier than some 2-person options and is a pound or so heavier than most 1-person options, I loved the massive space it gave as a 1-person tent and it felt far from cramped as a 2-person.  Couple that with the compact pack size and the overwhelmingly simple and quick set up and I look forward to using this on many of my upcoming excursions.

 

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