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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009

Gear Review: NEMO Tenshi 2-Person Tent

This two-person NEMO tent is versatile and comes with a Condensation Curtain.

by: Testers Kelly Bastone, Shannon Davis, Moira Downes, John Harlan, Kristy Holland, Karst R. Hoogeboom, Kristin Hostetter, Lauren McLean, Scott McLean, Tim Shisler

NEMO Tenshi (Courtesy Photo)
NEMO Tenshi (Courtesy Photo)

Seek Shelter
Fall Gear Guide: Tents

Most Versatile
From basecamp to high camp, this chameleonlike two-person shelter has you covered. On a June climb of Mt. Rainier, our tester overnighted at Camp Muir and used the Tenshi's removable 10-square-foot vestibule to increase shelter space by more than 30 percent–ample room for cooking and melting snow, as well as storing boots and packs. Then he and his partner cached the vestibule and its pole to save nearly a pound and a half, and climbed up to camp at Ingraham Flats. In both places, they appreciated the innovative (and removable) Condensation Curtain, a thin nylon sheet that isolates respiration to a smaller, vented area at the head of the tent to decrease interior frost buildup (tentmates must sleep with their heads in the same direction).

Condensation–normally the bane of single-walls like this–was not eliminated, but was significantly reduced. Plus, a webbing transfer system allows you to anchor yourself without snow or water getting inside–a key feature if you're camped on an exposed ledge. "From short climbs to long ridge traverses, we were able to customize this tent to suit our trip," says our tester. (Cool add-on for $125: an insulated floor so you don't have to pack that extra closed-cell foam pad.) At 28 square feet, living space is tight and headroom just adequate for sub-six-footers, but testers called it a fair trade for a tent you can pare down to four pounds. The Tenshi is brick-wall sturdy in a squall thanks to six guy-out points. Downside: the price. $650; 6 lbs. 9 oz.; nemoequipment.com

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