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HomeHikingNEMO Mayfly Tent Assessment: A Light-weight and Versatile Choice

NEMO Mayfly Tent Assessment: A Light-weight and Versatile Choice

The NEMO Mayfly OSMO 2-Particular person Tent is a semi-freestanding, light-weight backpacking tent with a heavy-duty ground. Sized for 2, it’s additionally appropriate for solo hikers who need to carry their canine or camp on tough surfaces with out bringing a separate footprint. The Mayfly pitches shortly and has many helpful particulars that enhance livability and make it simple to make use of whereas being priced considerably lower than NEMO’s different premium tent fashions.

Specs at a Look

  • Minimal Weight (producer’s): 3 kilos, 0 oz.
  • Minimal Weight (examined): 3 kilos, 1.1 oz. This consists of the fly, inside tent, and poles.
  • Complete Packed Weight (producer’s): 3 kilos, 8 oz.
  • Complete Packed Weight (examined): 3 kilos, 9.1 oz: This consists of the fly, inside tent, poles, 8 stakes, tent pole restore sleeve, further guyline, stake sack, pole sack, and “Divvy Sack” (tent stuff sack).
  • Ground Dimensions (producer): 85 X 52/43 inches
  • Ground Dimensions (examined): 85 x 52/42.5 inches
  • Peak top (producer): 42 inches
  • Peak top (examined): 41 inches
  • Vestibule space (producer): 7.1 sq. ft per vestibule
  • Fly materials: NEMO OSMO material, seam-taped
  • Tent materials: 68D PU-coated polyester bathtub ground, white and black noseeum netting
  • Poles: DAC Aluminum poles with hub

Semi-Freestanding Design

The ceiling is made with black mesh door stargazing
The ceiling is made with black mesh door stargazing

The primary advantages of a semi-freestanding tent over a freestanding tent are weight financial savings from the diminished pole set and smaller packing dimension (see our FAQS on semi-freestanding tents and freestanding tents). The primary cons of semi-freestanding tents are that one finish depends on being staked out to carry the form of the inside, so you possibly can’t decide it as much as transfer it round, and it’s not as simple to pitch on a tent platform.

Cloth and Stakes

NEMO makes use of its proprietary OSMO material on the Mayfly, a mixture of polyester and nylon with the advantages of every (sturdiness for nylon, sag resistance for polyester). In my testing, I used to be impressed by how taut the OSMO material stayed in a single day and in moist circumstances, notably completely different from my expertise with nylon tents and tarps.

There's plenty of room under the vestibule even for large packs
There’s loads of room underneath the vestibule even for giant packs

NEMO not publishes material denier info besides to notice the robustness of their heavier-weight flooring (68 denier), so we will’t converse to the specs of the OSMO fly, the strong material on the underside half of the doorways, or the mesh. As is typical for NEMO tents, white mesh is used on the edges and black mesh on the roof to supply higher visibility for stargazing.

On the opposite tents I’ve used from NEMO, the flooring have been PeU-coated (polyether urethane), which doesn’t hydrolyze (break down and turn into sticky and smelly, particularly in storage) as PU (polyurethane) coatings can. Nonetheless, on the Mayfly, NEMO has gone to a PU ground. Whereas PU is inexpensive than PeU, should you’ve ever had a PU ground breakdown, you perceive why it’s known as PU. It is a step backward to decrease high quality, in my view. Right here’s an in-depth comparability of the 2 coatings. 

The included stakes are simple aluminum shepherd's hooks and not up to the quality standard available with NEMO’s other tents.
The included stakes are easy aluminum shepherd’s hooks and less than the standard customary accessible with NEMO’s different tents.

NEMO’s different tents additionally include good stakes–robust aluminum Y-shaped stakes with an upside-down J-shaped cutout to carry the rules securely. Nonetheless, the Mayfly comes with aluminum shepherd’s hook stakes–the type that comes with a car-camping tent from a big-box retailer. So, a few price range choices have been made with the Mayfly, however at $400, this isn’t a price range tent.

Tent Setup

The Mayfly has a easy setup that may be carried out shortly with little apply. Unfold out the inside tent. Join the primary pole segments collectively into a giant Y form, and insert the 2 arms of the Y into the Jake’s ft on the inside tent. Arc the pole excessive and clip the tail of the Y into the grommet on the foot finish. Clip the entire clips of the inside tent to the primary pole. Connect the crossbar excessive of the opposite pole, and clip the color-matched clip to it. Stake out the top and foot finish, pulling the fastened guylines to make the foot finish taut, with the pole struts at both nook standing up straight. Subsequent comes the fly.

The fly attaches to the jakes foot connector on the inner tent with a key and keyhole fastener
The fly attaches to the jakes foot connector on the inside tent with a key and keyhole fastener

On the head finish, the fly attaches to steel Jake’s ft with some distinctive {hardware}. The fly has a tensioner piece that appears like a key on a bit of grosgrain ribbon, and the Jake’s foot has a keyhole. Put the important thing within the gap and switch it 90 levels to lock it in place.

I shortly discovered that if I attempted to attach the top finish of the fly first, the dearth of rigidity within the fly meant that the keys saved twisting and coming out of the keyholes as I moved from one facet of the tent to the opposite. However should you join the foot finish of the fly first, slipping the guylines over the identical stakes holding up the foot finish of the inside tent, then connecting the loops on the apex of the fly to the crossbar, after which lastly attaching the head-end {hardware}, the fly is underneath sufficient rigidity that the keys maintain tightly of their keyholes. In fact, that is all simpler you probably have two individuals to arrange the tent and never only one.

View from the foot end--the tarp and corner struts are guyed out to the same stakes
View from the foot finish–the tarp and nook struts are guyed out to the identical stakes

Air flow

Air flow is that this tent’s robust swimsuit. One evening, I used it. It was 40*F with wind gusts of as much as 20 mph, and I may really feel the breeze on my face whereas mendacity down. The vestibules don’t come all the way down to the bottom; they’re catenary minimize to assist keep tautness and contemporary air consumption. Whereas there are strong material strips alongside the tent’s size above the bath ground (earlier than the mesh begins), these serve extra as privateness panels than as windblocks.

The doors are C-shaped and have solid fabric on the bottom, that's more for privacy than wind resistance
The doorways are C-shaped and have strong material on the underside, that’s extra for privateness than wind resistance.

There’s additionally a scooped cutout of the fly on the head finish, NEMO’s signature, however this one is extra refined. You’ll be able to man it out to extend the area between the inside and the fly to get much more air alternate into the tent. The vestibules have two-way zippers and kickstand vents so you possibly can unzip them from the highest and prop them open for moist air to flee whereas nonetheless getting climate safety from the remainder of the vestibule being zipped up.

The air flow options make the Mayfly carry out very properly on hotter nights and assist forestall condensation on wet ones. However exactly as a result of the airflow is so good, it isn’t a tent I might take deep into the shoulder seasons. Additionally, one evening, I set it up within the rain, and in a single day, the temps dropped under freezing. Each vestibule zippers froze shut regardless that there was a large storm flap overlaying the zippers.

The space for two people is snug but there is still some room for gear at the ends of the pads
The area for 2 individuals is cosy however there may be nonetheless some room for gear on the ends of the pads.

Tent Storage

The Mayfly’s important stuff sack is rectangular formed for packability and has a rolltop closure. The title “Divvy Sack” for these things sack has caught from the earlier design, primarily based on the concept that you would be able to both pack the tent and poles collectively into an 18-inch lengthy package deal or cut up the load between two hikers, with one taking the poles and the opposite one taking the tent and fly. With the poles eliminated, you possibly can compress the tent sack to about 13 inches lengthy by rolling the roll high.

NEMO has carried out away with the usual drawstring and cordlock closure on the stake and pole luggage in favor of an envelope building that works like non-zip sandwich luggage–you fold excessive to lock within the contents. It’s lighter weight and has nothing to interrupt, however it’s a little trickier to make use of with chilly fingers or when sporting gloves.

With the poles inside the Divvy Sack, the package is about 18 inches long. If the poles are carried separately you can compress the Divvy Sack down to 13 inches
With the poles contained in the Divvy Sack, the package deal is about 18 inches lengthy. If the poles are carried individually you possibly can compress the Divvy Sack all the way down to 13 inches

Two Particular person Options

The Mayfly 2P is a snug tent for one particular person and a comfy match for 2 individuals, with further room on the head and foot ends for a few of their gear and another storage options I element under. Every particular person has a C-shaped door, which means nobody has to climb over the opposite particular person to exit the tent and their vestibule, the place they’ll retailer their backpack, sneakers, and water. As a result of the ground tapers all the way down to 42”, if you’re sharing the tent, neither of you should utilize 25” vast pads, which have gotten increasingly in style.

Gatekeeper hooks on the head-end of the vestibule and on the inner tent allow you to secure the door open quickly, and release it just as quickly
Gatekeeper hooks on the head-end of the vestibule and on the inside tent will let you safe the door open shortly, and launch it simply as shortly.

Notable Comfort Options

NEMO is superb at together with little particulars and options that make their tents simple to arrange, enjoyable to make use of, and really livable. Listed here are a few of these design parts on the Mayfly:

  • Gatekeepers: A fast-stow function for rolling up the vestibule’s head finish and the inside tent doorways on either side. A bit of plastic two-pronged hook captures a twine lock on a grosgrain ribbon. It’s the quickest, best system I’ve ever used to maintain a tent door open, and you’ll function it with gloves on.
  • Yellow light-diffusing headlamp pockets: Discovered at both facet of the tent’s head (one for every particular person). They solid a heat yellow glow that lights up the tent and that you would be able to learn by whereas mendacity down.
  • Gear loft: A triangle of tensioned mesh material on the tent’s peak is an effective place to retailer bulkier (however nonetheless light-weight) gear off the ground and hold it simply accessible. I discovered that while you put a down jacket up there, it could be damp with condensation from the nice and cozy, moist air that rises to the highest of the tent at evening.
  • Gear loops: There are 7 small grosgrain loops, together with one on the heart peak that opens with a snap, across the ceiling for hanging glasses, small objects from a mini carabiner, or a clothesline.
  • Telephone/ Glasses pocket: A small, horizontal mesh pocket close to the height on the head finish between the headlamp pockets retains fragile objects from getting crushed or bumped.
  • Coloured crossbar: It is a small pole, however it’s coloured vivid orange to make it arduous to lose throughout setup.
The crossbar is bright orange so you don't lose it Black mesh makes up the roof to increase visibility for stargazing
The crossbar is vivid orange so that you don’t lose it Black mesh makes up the roof to extend visibility for stargazing.


The NEMO Mayfly OSMO 2 is a mid-price light-weight tenting and backpacking tent for 2 individuals. It’s well-ventilated and straightforward to arrange with a semi-freestanding design that has two doorways and two vestibules. The Mayfly is made with NEMO’s hybrid OSMO material, which doesn’t sag when moist. Quite a few gear storage choices within the inside make it handy to make use of whereas a thick and sturdy tent ground makes it appropriate for tenting with a canine or on abrasive surfaces with out the necessity for an extra tent footprint.

  • Tremendous simple, intuitive setup
  • OSMO material stays taut
  • Burly ground is nice for tough floor or tenting with a canine
  • The selection to make use of a PU ground as an alternative of PeU
  • Low cost stakes

Disclosure: NEMO donated a tent for an neutral overview.

Concerning the writer

Greg Pehrson is an ultralight backpacker who was bitten arduous by the MYOG (make-your-own-gear) bug. He repairs, tinkers, and builds gear, usually in search of to upcycle throwaway objects or repurpose issues from exterior the backpacking world.

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