The new for 2011 Nemo Obi Elite 1P utilizes weight efficient design and 10 denier fabrics to achieve a minimum weight of 2 pounds (0.91 kg) for a one-person double-wall tent.
The Obi Elite 1P is Nemo’s lightest tent construction yet, and sets a new standard for lightweight double-wall tents with 10 denier nylon fly and interior fabrics and weight-saving design. The minimum weight of this one-person double-wall tent is right at 2 pounds (0.91 kg) measured weight, which matches the weight of many poled single-wall tents (single-wall tents that utilize trekking poles for support are lighter). We have reviewed quite a few new ultralight tents in the past, only to find their weight reduction was accomplished by making the tent smaller; so does the new Nemo Obi Elite 1P really stand out or not?
|Year/Manufacturer/Model||2011 Nemo Obi Elite 1P|
|Style||Three-season, one-person, double-wall, freestanding tent with floor, one side entry door,|
and one vestibule
|Included||Tent body and fly, pole system with stuff sack, repair sleeve, six stakes with stuff sack,|
two guylines, drybag type storage sack
|Fabrics||Tent body is 10d polyurethane coated nylon and mesh, fly is 10d polyurethane coated |
nylon, floor is 20d polyurethane coated nylon
|Poles and Stakes||One gREEN anodized DAC 8.55 mm Featherlite NSL aluminum Y-shaped one hub pole |
system, six aluminum alloy Y-stakes
|Inside Dimensions||Manufacturer specifications: 87 in (221 cm) long x 39 in (99 cm) wide at head end, 29 in |
(74 cm) wide at foot end x 40 in (102 cm) high
Measured dimensions: 89.5 in (227 cm)
long x 39 in (99 cm) wide at head end, 29 in (74 cm) wide at foot end x 40.5 in (103 cm)
|Features||Lightweight fabrics, large side entry door with vestibule, one mesh storage pocket, |
headlamp pocket for tent lighting, Jake’s foot connectors on head end, LineLok
tensioners on tieouts, drybag-type storage sack
|Packed Size||Tent plus stakes 6 x 6 in (15 x 15 cm), pole in sack 18.5 x 2 in (47 x 5 cm)|
|Total Weight||Measured total weight: 2 lb 4.5 oz (1.04 kg)|
Manufacturer specification: 2 lb 7 oz (1.1 kg)
|Trail Weight||Measured weight: 2 lb (0.91 kg)|
Manufacturer specification: 1 lb 15 oz (0.88 kg) (excludes stuff sacks, repair sleeve,
|Protected Area||Floor area: 21 ft2 (2 m2)|
Vestibule area: 9 ft2 (0.9 m2)
Total protected area: 30 ft2 (2.79 m2)
Trail Weight Ratio
|15 ft2/lb (3.1 m2/kg)|
|Options||Footprint US$45 (7.9 oz/220 g)|
Design and Features
As the word “Elite” in the name suggests, this is a special version of the Obi 1P tent with 10 denier fabrics, which reduces the minimum weight by 9 ounces (255 g) and increases the cost by US$50. The standard Obi 1P tent is the same design, but is constructed of 20 denier nylon fabrics and has a minimum weight of 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg). The Obi 2P version has two doors and two vestibules and a minimum weight of 3 pounds (1.36 kg). All are new models for 2011.
The tent’s pole is a Y-shaped unit with one hub, it’s made of DAC 8.55 mm Featherlite NSL aluminum alloy. The tent body and fly use 10 denier polyurethane coated ripstop nylon (a first), and the floor is a slightly heavier 20 denier version of the same fabric. Clearly, the materials and design are cutting edge to produce a minimal weight tent, short of using Cuben Fiber.
Views of the Nemo Obi Elite 1P. Entry is from the side (top left) via a large zippered door in the vestibule. The back of the tent (top right) is protected by the extended fly, while allowing more ventilation. The head end (top left) is 39 inches (99 cm) wide, while the foot end (bottom left) is 29 inches (74 cm) wide. The top view (bottom right) shows the overall proportions of the tent.
Included in the tent’s measured total weight of 2 pounds 4.5 ounces (1.04 kg) are the tent body, fly, pole and sack, six Y-stakes and pole repair sleeve, two guylines and stake sack, and drybag-type stuff sack. The drybag stuff sack is handy for carrying a wet tent inside a backpack. It has a loop on the opposite side for attaching the stake sack, if desired.
Outside features. The head end of the tent has Jake’s Feet (left) for quick attachment of the pole ends and fly corners. And the foot end and side tieouts have LineLoks (right) for easy tensioning.
Inside Features. The entry vestibule (left) has a lot of reachable protected space for storing gear or for a canine friend. The interior (center) is quite roomy, especially with the inner door open, and provides enough length and height for a tall hiker. An overhead light pocket (right) allows a headlamp or other light to double as a tent light.
The tent has a fly-only pitching option, but you need to purchase the optional footprint to go that route.
I tested the Obi Elite 1P in a variety of conditions on four backpacking trips in the spring and summer of 2011.
To minimize weight I carried only the tent body, fly, pole, and stakes (left), which weighs just 2 pounds (0.91 kg). The Y-stakes supplied with the tent hold very well, but they retain dirt in the grooves.
The Obi Elite 1P is very easy and fast to set up: 1) lay the tent body on the ground in the desired location and stake the four corners; 2) assemble the pole, connect two ends to the Jake’s Feet at the head end of the tent, and other end into a grommet at the foot end of the tent; 3) attach the body to the pole with seven clips, 4) lay the fly over the inner tent, with the vestibule door aligned with the entry door, 5) clip the front corners of the fly to the Jake’s Feet and rear guylines to stakes; and 6) stake the rear guyline and front vestibule. The tent sets up in about 2-3 minutes, less time than it took to write this paragraph.
I endured several mountain thunderstorms in the Obi, and found it to be very storm worthy and wind stable. Its domed design sheds wind very well, although the large vestibule can flap a lot if it’s not well tensioned. The fly at the head end is raised (see photos above) to save weight and improve ventilation, but it comes into contact with the inner tent during rainstorms, so it would be a good idea to guy it out. There are a total of seven guy points on the fly.
Although the Obi does not have a high vent, it does have a large amount of space between the tent body and the fly, and the sides are raised above the ground (see photos above), so there is good air circulation between the tent walls. When there is some air movement at night, the Obi has little or no condensation on the inside of the fly. However, on a calm night with a large temperature drop, the Obi has lots of condensation on the inside of the fly. Under such conditions, especially after an afternoon or evening shower, condensation is unavoidable.
I tested the basic Obi in a light snow on one occasion and found it not well suited for snow. It will withstand a light snow load, but any significant amount of snow flattens the entry vestibule and could damage the tent. Of course, if you find yourself in this situation, it helps to slap the tent walls from the inside to keep the snow from building up.
The following table compares the Obi Elite 1P with similar one-person double-wall tents with poles. The table does not include solo single-wall tents because they are not a valid comparison.
|Tent||Floor Area |
|Vestibule Area |
|Entry(s)||Ventilation||Mfr.Total Weight oz (kg)||Cost US$|
|Nemo Obi Elite 1P||21 (1.95)||9 (0.84)||One side||Raised side walls, large space between tent and fly||39 (1.1)||400|
|Nemo Obi 1P||21 (1.95)||9 (0.84)||One side||Raised side walls, large space between tent body and fly||51 (1.5)||350|
|Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1||22 (2.04)||5.5 (0.51)||One end||Raised side walls, moderate space between tent body and fly||35 (0.99)||300|
|Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1||22 (2.04)||5 (0.46)||One end||Raised side walls, moderate space between tent body and fly||45 (1.28)||250|
|Tarptent Scarp 1||19 (1.77)||?||Two side||Raised side walls, 2 top vents, 2 vestibules||48 (1.36)||295|
|Terra Nova Laser Photon||17.4 (1.62)||8.4 (0.78)||One side||Two end vents||27.8 (0.79)||£330 (approx. US$525)|
Some highlights and observations from the comparison table are as follows:
- The Nemo Obi Elite 1P is significantly more expensive than the Big Agnes Tents and the Tarptent Scarp 1; the Obi 1P is priced closer to these other tents. You pay more for cutting edge materials.
- The Big Agnes tents have a little more floor area, but less vestibule area than the Nemo tents.
- The Tarptent Scarp 1 has less floor area but it has two doors with vestibules, and presumably more vestibule area than the other tents. It also has the best ventilation.
- The lightest tent in the group is the Terra Nova Laser Photon, but it’s very expensive, and headroom is only 35 inches (89 cm) at the center of the tent.
Nemo Obi Elite 1P (left) and Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (right). Although the manufacturer numbers in the above table indicate that the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 is a roomier, lighter, less expensive tent, my personal comparison of the two tents side by side leads to a different conclusion, as explained below.
The floor in the Fly Creek UL1 is 4 inches (10 cm) wider at the head end, yielding an extra square foot of floor area, but the measured inside height is 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) less than the Obi Elite 1P. The measured minimum weight of the two tents is nearly identical. The big difference between the two tents is the entry type; the Obi Elite 1P has a large side entry and vestibule, while the Fly Creek has a small end entry and vestibule. The side vestibule on the Obi Elite is much larger and more useful; with the inner mesh door tied open, the usable space within the tent is much larger and items in the vestibule are easy to reach. The end entry and vestibule on the Fly Creek UL1 is much less convenient and useful because the vestibule needs to be kept clear in order to enter the tent.
The side entry on the Nemo Obi Elite 1P (left) is much more convenient than the end entry on the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 (right), and more of the vestibule space is usable too.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is the small difference in floor area is inconsequential; the headroom difference is more important, and the large side entry and large side vestibule on the Obi Elite 1P is a huge plus. Since the measured total and minimum weights of the two tents are nearly identical, the Nemo Obi Elite 1P emerges as the most convenient and useful tent for the weight. Granted, the Obi Elite costs a hundred bucks more. If cost were not a consideration, I would choose the Obi 1P Elite over the Fly Creek UL1 in a heartbeat.
Nemo’s approach to designing an ultralight one-person double wall tent delivers a tent with extra features, plenty of usable space inside, and easy setup and entry. In contrast, the Big Agnes Fly Creek seems downsized to reduce weight.
- Two-pound (0.91-kg) minimum weight for a one-person double-wall tent
- Large side entry protected by a large vestibule
- All of the interior space is usable
- Two mesh storage pockets; one overhead pocket is designed to use a headlamp as a tent light
- Gear in the entry vestibule can easily be reached from inside the tent
- Good ventilation and condensation resistance
- Very storm worthy and wind stable
- Plenty of space for one person plus gear, or one hiker plus a dog
What’s Not So Good
Recommendations for Improvement
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to the manufacturer to review this product under the terms of this agreement.