Introduction  

The Nemo Kunai 2P Tent ($499, 4 lb 5 oz / 1.96 kg) is a lightweight mountaineering-style, double-wall, two-person dome tent. It has more vents than a standard four-season tent to increase its versatility in the other three-seasons. It also features a unique peep window, single door and vestibule, small footprint, ample headroom, and plentiful interior storage. All this makes it a backpacking tent that will appeal to users in more hostile environments where winter and summer frequently collide.

stock photo of the nemo kunai 2p tent
The Nemo Kunai 2P Tent. (Photo: Nemo Equipment)

Highlights

  • Handles moderate snow and wind loading.
  • Small footprint to accommodate small subalpine camp spaces.
  • Moderate price point comparable with similar shelters.
  • Reasonably light when compared to similar shelters.
  • Lots of interior storage.
  • Excellent ventilation.

Where to Buy

Features and Specifications

The Nemo Kunai 2P Tent is an ultralight backpacking/mountaineering tent for two people. It is a double-wall tent intended for below treeline adventures, though it is more stormworthy than a three-season ultralight tent.

illustration showing the geometric configuration of the nemo kunai 2p tent
The Nemo Kunai 2P Tent is a 3-4 season tent with a small footprint and ample headroom. (Photo: Nemo Equipment)

Watch the manufacturer’s product video:

YouTube video

Features

  • color-coded setup loops, poles, and clips
  • six storage pockets
  • vestibule
  • peep window
  • four zippered vents
  • double-wall design
  • 3-4 season rating
  • tub floor
  • weight reducing, size increasing brow pole
  • tapered profile for wind performance
  • lifetime warranty

Specifications

  • capacity: 2P
  • minimum weight: 3 lb 14 oz (1.76 kg)
  • packaged weight: 4 lb 5 oz (1.96 kg)
  • floor dimensions: 82 x 50/41 in (208.28 x 127.635/104.14 cm)
  • floor area: 26.0 sq ft (2.4 sq m)
  • vestibule area: 8.0 sq ft (0.7 sq m)
  • interior height: 44 in (111.76 cm)
  • number of doors: 1
  • frame description: 1 Hubbed Aluminum DAC Featherlite NSL 9.6+9 mm pole / 1 Aluminum DAC Featherlite NSL 9 mm pole
  • packed size: 19.5 x 6.5 in dia (50 x 16 cm dia)
  • vestibule fabric: 15D Sil/PeU nylon ripstop (1200 mm)
  • fly fabric: 15D Sil/PeU nylon ripstop (1200 mm)
  • canopy fabric: 20D nylon ripstop/ no-see-um mesh
  • floor fabric: 30D PeU nylon ripstop (3000 mm)
  • dolor: “Torch”

Review Context

For many of our readers, the Nemo Kunai 2P Tent will not appeal since a four-season tent is unnecessary in many regions of the southern US. However, our Canadian and Alaskan readers (and our readers headed north) will appreciate that high passes in northern climates can include July and August snowstorms, glacial winds, and frigid temperatures. In addition, this review might be applicable to fringe season (October-November and March-April) and winter backpackers in the North US Cascades, Central and Northern US Rockies, and North US Appalachians and Adirondacks.

As a Canadian, I am assessing the Nemo Kunai 2P Tent on its merit in northern conditions. It is not the lightest 2P double-wall tent on the market, but it is one of the lightest four-season, double-wall, dome-style tents available, making it unique.

Conversely, it is essential to note that an ultralight, four-season, double-wall dome-style shelter is something of a misnomer. I surveyed the market for double-wall, two-person, dome structure, rated for four seasons, at sub 2 lb (900 g). I came up empty, and rightfully so; winter camping in alpine and subalpine environments is a different game from three-season camping. Winter shelters have to be rated for high winds containing abrasive ice crystals, survive being set up on abrasive ice, snow, and rock, and withstand heavy snow loads.

In addition to wide temperature ranges and varying precipitation types, a tent for the north also has to stand up to insects (which, from my experience in peak season, are fierce beyond wildest expectations) and high humidity.

Also of importance is the comfort level for a variety of user sizes. At 5 ft 1 in (155 cm), I can pretty much be content in any old tent. However, anyone over about 6 ft (183 cm) knows not all shelters are created equal. Therefore, I also tested this tent with a 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) user, which will offer some insight to taller readers about how comfortable they might be in this tent.

Performance Assessment

Description of Field Testing

I started testing the Nemo Kunai 2P Tent in October of 2019, and it remained my backpacking companion for most trips from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the fourth quarter of 2020. As such, it has run a full gamut of testing, including winter, shoulder season, summer, high winds, high humidity, frigid temperatures, and heavy snowfall and precipitation.

In October 2019, I took the Nemo Kunai 2P Tent to the subalpine region of Sunset Pass. There had been almost a foot of snow at the higher elevations at the pass. The temperature dropped down to 15 F (-9 C). I also tested the shelter in high-humidity swampy areas and under high-wind conditions at Corona Creek. These were two of the more extreme environments where I tested the tent.

Performance Criteria

I evaluated the Nemo Kunai 2P Tent on the following criteria:

  • setup
  • poles, stakes, guyout points, and guy lines
  • pockets and storage
  • ventilation
  • performance in cold temperatures
  • snow loading
  • high humidity
  • high winds
  • heavy rain
  • heat and insects  

Setup

Setup of the Nemo Kunai 2P Tent was reasonably easy the first time through. The color-coded poles and loops simplified the setup. I dragged the Kunai out to the mountains for its trial run without so much as opening the bag. I did have the common sense to bring a few extra stakes, snow-stakes, and some guylines, just in case. The first trip out was Sunset Pass, a subalpine valley with a short ascent, perfect for gear testing during my last-minute getaway.

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