Nemo Equipment Blaze 2P Tent Review
Jul 18, 2017 at 10:08 am #3479461
Companion forum thread to: Nemo Equipment Blaze 2P Tent Review
This Nemo Equipment Blaze 2P Tent review features a product comparison and photo spread of the sub two pound five ounce tent dome style.Jul 18, 2017 at 1:29 pm #3479501John S.BPL Member
The fly comes up higher on some of these Nemo tents than on some Big Agnes tents is what I notice. Possibly better ventilation at the possible expense of some stormworthiness.Jul 18, 2017 at 1:36 pm #3479503robert vBPL Member
@mtnbob123Locale: Bristol Bay Alaska
Loved your review of the Blaze, but was wondering about your info on the LightHeartGear Duo. You listed it as costing $400. It is only $315. Even if you pay them to seam seal the tent(recommended), it is still only $350. It will also fit 2 people over 6’5″ with ease, even on 77″x 25″x 3″ thick pads. Just wanted to mention this. Thanks for your review!! Robert VJul 18, 2017 at 1:55 pm #3479509Michael PSpectator
You listed the MLD Duomid with innernet as $330, but its $265 duomid + %185 innernet = $450 total for the basic setup.Jul 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm #3479524Henry SBPL Member
“7D PeU Nylon Ripstop (1200mm)”
Full disclosure: I make gear and I would be embarrassed to offer anything with fabric like that.
-HJul 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm #3479562Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Nicely designed tent of moderate weight for an “almost” double wall tent. (The fly is a bit short in some areas.) Clever pole design, decent vestibule and fairly aerodynamic shape. Still, I’d recommend sewing loops of grosgrain tape at mid points on the fly hems to anchor it against noisy and destructive flapping on very windy nights.
As for the lighter mid-style tents mentioned here, I am not a believer in tents with poles obstructing the interior. So their lower weight is obtained with some sacrifice – IMHO. Mid tents and frameless packs always demand some sacrifice, usually of comfort. But they both show the wide diversity of the backpacking community. We all have our pet types of shelters, packs, stoves, etc.Jul 18, 2017 at 6:09 pm #3479568Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
Mids can be pitched in the inverted V config that does not obstruct the interior.
In fact that’s the only way I pitch mine. I tried a single pole and didn’t like it one single bit. :^/Jul 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm #3479602Kathy A HandysideBPL Member
@earlymusicusLocale: Southeastern Michigan
Interesting tent, but pricey. However, you get what you pay for. I wish the major manufacturers would make 1P tents with two doors (which is why I’ve been considering Henry Shires’ Moment DW). Having only one door is claustrophic for me. Since all my trips are solo, I really don’t need more than a 1P tent. But, still, a 2P tent weighing around two pounds is impressive.Jul 18, 2017 at 10:11 pm #3479609ENOTTYBPL Member
Thanks for the review! The Nemo website seems to say it uses a 10D fabric for the vestibule and fly and 15D for the floor?Jul 18, 2017 at 10:20 pm #3479611Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Those specs are here,Jul 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm #3479619Tad EnglundBPL Member
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
I’m sorry but I don’t buy the “Highly Recommended” award on this and I think doing so discounts the award given to others.
Good review and all, but I think BPL missed something- If you use fabric that is so fragile that you have to make an additional footprint to make up for it; it is no longer is a 2 lb. tent, it is a 3 lb. tent! I could make a tent floor out of thin toilet paper, making it weigh very little, but I would have to add something else to protect it, what have I gained? Throw the stated weight out the window, add the additional footprint, do the review again and see if it gets “Highly Recommended”. I seriously doubt it.
I don’t use any additional footprints with any of my tents and they don’t weigh much more than the Nemo. Plus they fit my 6’1″ frame. Any Nemo I’ve tried doesn’t and I’m not what I consider tall.Jul 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm #3479724
Ok so for John S: I don’t notice the tent has any issues being storm-worthy, albeit I’m pretty particular about tent placement. That odd diamond shape seems to be extremely aerodynamic. That said, I didn’t get any snow which can be a nasty game changer. I did see a fair few high winds (New Zealand, it never stops blowing there) and torrential down pours (Canadian West Coast, it rains a lot in September.) The Blaze 2p never had much issue with storm-worthy in those conditions. Then again, tent placement is kind of everything in those situations.
For Robert V, Michael P, : Don’t forget, my assessment of tents is an all inclusive package (the same level of inclusion as the Nemo). That means seam sealing, pegs, zipper pulls and the vestibule support. Also prices were checked in 2016, when I wrote the article, before processing and editing. There may be some variation since then. FYI LightHeartGear is another manufacturer I would like to feature a review on but if I bought every review item on my list…. we’ll let’s just say I’d have the coolest backpacking gear in debtors prison. Oh and as to the Duomid, I think I selected the bug screen Innernet. Yet another of those wonderfully beautiful shelters I would love to try should I luck out on Craigslist or something. Customization is king with cottage gear, some price variation is to be expected dependent on what options are selected.
For Henry S: I would say the fabric made me nervous at first and truly the floor still does (hence the Mylar tarp footprint) but having used it, I’m ok with the compromise to save massive space and weight. It’s a two man, two wall shelter I can easily solo with. I don’t think this is the right shelter for the careless or rough. I’m OCD careful with my gear and a heck of a hand at field repairs so I get by just fine. That said I haven’t had to do a single field repair in something like 45 days use. Knowing how you treat gear is a good determining factor for if this is the right kind of shelter or fabric for your use. Also see my response to ENOTTY, Nemo has beefed up the fabric and it hasn’t hurt the weight much.
Eric: Kindred tent spirit! Nice summary! The tent I really love from Nemo they stopped making it was the Meta LE 2P. https://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Nemo-Meta-LE-2-Person-Tent_10303689_10208_10000001_-1_
It was amazing! It combined the trek pole design with truly useable space. I’m on a tangent, but it was awesome, I’d trade the Blaze for one in a heartbeat.
Kathy: also a fantastic tent I looked into, that whole cool gear but in the poorhouse thing stopped me again… as to the price point it’s pretty comparable with other gear manufacturers, they are all fairly pricy, it’s a big ticket item.
ENOTTY: I have the 2016 specs saved (I have the 2016 model), the 2017 may vary slightly. (Canadian fire regulations banned Nemo Tents last year, they are now being marketed here again. I suspect they had to increase the fabric thickness to pass the standards but I’d have to double check with my contact at Nemo. Canada has weird fire standards for tents.) The product is likely to have improved with the change. Nemo is a very aggressive and progressive company that way. I just wish they would start designing quilts, I’d be all over that! I have one of their bags for Canadian Winter camping…. amazing and so pretty (yes occasionally I notice esthetics too.) Just a bit bulky and slightly heavy for most of my applications.
I’ve used the tent several more months since the review was written: I still have had no rips or tears. It still routinely makes it onto my gear list (and my travel list, fits beautifully in a suitcase.) If there are more inquiring minds, ask away, I’ll gladly do my best to answer based on my experience with the Blaze 2P.Jul 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm #3479730JohnBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
Did the tent fly stretch much when wet?
Did you see any hail?
It’s good to see some experience with tents using the light fabrics. There are not many detailed user reviews out there.Jul 19, 2017 at 1:44 pm #3479738James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Only the weight was a show stopper for me.Jul 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm #3479740
For Tad: I wouldn’t say you have to have a footprint nor one made of Mylar tarp like mine for sure. I’m also pairing with an air mat, which is a big part of it. Plus the tarp was convenient and free! I like free! I prefer a footprint even with heavier fabrics because the floor lasts longer in general. I set up in the Canadian Rockies and can count on one hand the amount of times I’m not setting up on gravel, it’s hard on tent floors. My Mylar tarp is rather multipurpose (I use it as a picnic blanket and it makes a decent split.) I don’t mind the weight though I’m likely to build something lighter when I have time and ambition. Even with the tarp my base weight sits around 9-11 lbs well into shoulder season, still very light. Per person, with the tarp, tent, poles and pegs, the shelter is less than a pound and a half a person. Don’t forget it’s a two man piece. Now for someone 6′ it’s completely usable, I did share it with people 6′ and it was fine, not super roomie, adequately sized. It becomes an issue when you are, say 6’4 if you are looking for roomie. I think it could be used for taller people just don’t expect it to be massively roomie. Some of the massively tall readers out there will have to tell me if there is such a thing as a massively roomie backpacking tent and what kind of square footage that is.
For John: it stretches a bit, not badly though and it shrinks back afterwards. I saw minor hail once and it was a non issue. But that’s again tent placement to some extent. I think as light fabrics go this was a limit pusher, it works but it certainly seems precariously balanced on the limit. It worked for me and still does, which is really all I can say on the fabric choice. I didn’t pick it, I just tested it and I’m not complaining yet. If I get tennis ball sized hail like happens in Alberta occasionally, I might be but I’m not sure any fabric would save me then.
Jul 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm #3479748robert vBPL Member
@mtnbob123Locale: Bristol Bay Alaska
Thank you for the response! I’m curious about the usable length of the tent, It shows 85″ but it is very sloped at the ends. I think that with a 2″ or 3″ thick sleeping pad this tent would only fit someone 5′ 8″ or less. What type of pad do you test with, and what is your expectation of fit with a 2 or 3″ sleeping pad?
Robert VJul 19, 2017 at 3:23 pm #3479753
Robert: Excellent question, with an Exped 7 (7cm / 2.7in) which is what I sleep on and my 6′ tall friend used as well, its still quite usable. (Not extra roomie, but perfectly useable.)
Now, where this can get subjective is:
Did you guy out the sides?
(because you can and it will make more room.) I have never actually guyed out the sides in actual use (I’m lazy like that), even in high winds, which says something to the storm worthiness. I did give guying them out a test once and it did give more room inside, but I’m tiny and don’t really need to do it for my comfort or for storm worthiness thus far.
How well did you pitch the tent?
The diagonal single air pole, which give this tent the unique aerodynamic design and cuts weight, also impacts the pitch. Meaning the pitch is not completely idiot proof (almost and is certainly easier than a tarp however…) Sometimes, I get this tent tightly pitched and it has more room and sometimes I get the air pole corners a little off. There is a bit of technical practice (and decent pegging conditions) required to get it perfect every time.Jul 19, 2017 at 7:04 pm #3479804ENOTTYBPL Member
I tried out the other Nemo ~2 pound 2-person tent and found that when in the tent with my friend (both of us under 6′), it was very very cozy in terms of width. Height wasn’t a problem. Was this tent wide enough for two people?Jul 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm #3479810
ENOTTY: another excellent question. Two twenty inch mats will fit cleanly side by side. (Two Exped 7’s to be precise) there was a bit of room (like a couple inches) on either side for some small personal items. Wider than that would be cozy for sure. I did take a picture but it really didn’t show anything visually discriptive. I might try again with a fisheye lens at a later time.
Generally speaking, I refuse to hike with, let alone share a tent with anyone I don’t like enough to be very close to. Invariably, someone always seems to end up inside the others ‘bubble.’ One of my dear platonic girlfriends is a notorious ‘spooner’ when she sleeps. She normally spoons her dog at night, but in a pinch, I seem to do. I make fun of her in the morning and pretty much any other convenient time.
In short, two fullbacks are going to feel cramped in a Blaze 2P. Which is why Nemo makes some much roomier versions as well.Jul 19, 2017 at 9:26 pm #3479837Monty MontanaBPL Member
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Thanks for the review Emylene! You’ve convinced me that my next tent will be a Nemo, but not the Blaze, rather, the Hornet…basically the same tent but with a hubed pole set-up for a similar weight. Also, REI doesn’t offer the blaze, and I like my dividend! I have a BA Fly Creek, which I use occasionally, but I find the front only entrance a big hassle. BA needs to wake up and redesign their Fly Creek line-up with side entrances.
I’ve long enjoyed your reviews, your writing style and wit and with this one I’ve noticed the trolls have seemingly given up and moved on to other things. I venture to say (in their mind) you’ve established you’re cred. Keep it up!
Happy trails!Jul 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm #3479843
Amen to side entrances, Monty! Nemo was one of the first manufacturers to offer the double vestibule, double door design. Best idea ever.
This is the Backpacking Light forum, half the entertainment comes from poking fun at trolls ;-)Jul 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm #3480050Danny MilksBPL Member
@dannymilksLocale: SF Bay Area
Thanks for the review and it’s good to learn about this tent. I didn’t read about or see any photos of this tent being used in storms or high wind. Is it really storm worthy? I ask because the design is could have a flimsy structure that looks good but doesn’t perform well in a storm. And the 7d fabric? No way would I want that on a tent as it is way too fragile, and with 1200mm waterproofness, precip would pass through in hard rains. Would it survive a thru-hike? Has this really been tested enough to really be certain that it qualifies for BPL’s highest recommendation?Jul 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm #3480095
Thanks for the review and it’s good to learn about this tent. I didn’t read about or see any photos of this tent being used in storms or high wind. Is it really storm worthy? I ask because the design is could have a flimsy structure that looks good but doesn’t perform well in a storm. And the 7d fabric? No way would I want that on a tent as it is way too fragile, and with 1200mm waterproofness, precip would pass through in hard rains. Would it survive a thru-hike? Has this really been tested enough to really be certain that it qualifies for BPL’s highest recommendation?”
Well Danny, I have found wind rather difficult to photograph….. Additionally, I don’t know about your camera but I usually avoid taking mine out in downpours on the coast. The $2000-3000.00 replacement cost is a bit hard to swallow. In fact, I usually try to stay inside my tent during said coastal rain storms because I hate getting my clothes wet in high humidity areas: they never dry.
As to the durability, I’ve slept in the tent about 45 days at this point, zero issues. The major factor to gear durability is not what the tent is made of but the skill of the user to maintain the material it is made out of. Most backpackers do not start with ultralight gear, they learn on the heavy, cheaper stuff and upgrade from there.
Choosing the right gear, for the right climate, for the right style of packing is an incredibly important skill to develop. (Here’s a whole article on that.)
Ultralighting is a bad choice of hobby for gear abusers. Ultralighting is also incredibly difficult to do without a knack for choosing naturally sheltered tent sites.
When I test gear for Backpacking Light, I assume my readers are a) gentle with gear (or independently wealthy and don’t mind replacing it from abusive gear practices.) b) reasonably skilled at choosing shelter locations.
As to rain resistance, the tent has stood up quite well. It spent about 20 of 45 days on a coast somewhere in the world and did fine. It’s been up high alpine routes and alpine meadows and withstood 80-110 kilometer winds. Albeit I’m a decent hand at picking good locations to minimize weather impact. The other thing I would point out, is most gear manufacturers do not post their working rain resistance (Check out what you smart readers had to say on the topic here) 1200 – 1800 mm on a fly is generally where most tents sit at.(MSR posted this information about how this all works.) Almost every tent will wet out in certain storms and it sucks when (not if) it happens. If you aren’t prepared for a wet out in a tent (or a rain jacket), you may want to consider hosteling instead of backpacking as a hobby. Roofs are waterproof, tents are water resistant.
To be clear, I didn’t pick the Blaze 2P to test, it’s what the Nemo sent in for testing. I worked with what it is, an ultralight two man tent and structured what should be the fair limitations of that type of shelter. After the fair test, I liked the product. It’s a good product with an intuitive design and it keeps ending up in my gear list long after the testing is done.
As to the would I thru hike with it, I probably would give it a go. I really like the design (two doors, two vestibules, full bug net, removable fly, quick to dry) and the 7d is well reinforced in the stress points. I think Granny Gatewood did a thru hike or two with significantly less to work with.Jul 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm #3480108
That’s a valid point (couple of points) Ken, something gained and lost in jumping to ultralight first thing. Expensive start out, steep learning curve, on the flip side much better for the back!
Part of my theory with the assumption is that our inexperienced readers want to learn. I usually make mention of the technical skill required to make the product work optimally both in the article and as questions come up in the forum. I haven’t found a better way but there might be. Not sure if that makes complete sense.Jul 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm #3480379Danny MilksBPL Member
@dannymilksLocale: SF Bay Area
Thanks all for posting. My comments still go through a moderation queue
because I might cause a revolution.
Emylene, Thanks for the reply. For a tent, 45 days is a more meaningful metric than 300 miles. Glad you haven’t experienced any issues with the tent. I really like the design innovation here, and appreciate your attention to detail.
For reference, 1200mm HH is on the very low end for waterproofness, which means this Nemo is among the least waterproof tents on the market. Despite what MSR states, there are several ultralight shelter makers who use fabrics with 3000-5500mm HH, including TarpTent, Rab, Terra Nova, and Hilleberg.
I wonder how many tents we’ll see with 7d fabric. People complain about how a MHW Ghost Whisperer rips too easily, and that’s a down jacket (less stress) with 7d/10d hybrid fabric (potentially slightly stronger). I’ll happily stick with my Double Rainbow, which weighs about the same but is longer and taller, uses a much more robust 30d fabric, is 60% the cost of the Nemo, and is made in the USA.
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