Brand: NEMO Equipment
Model: Blaze 1P Tent
Overall Score: 4 / 5
In order to get to a weight solo hikers will carry—less than 2 pounds—most double-wall solo tents sacrifice space, meaning low ceilings or cramped interiors. The Blaze bucks the trend by using ultralight fabrics and an innovative design that requires only a single arched pole from end to end. Result: The large side door provides contortion-free access, and the 40-inch peak height let our 6-footer sit up comfortably. The 84-inch floor fit his extra-long sleeping pad with room to spare, and the extra floor space along the sides (width is 30 inches) let him store a headlamp and clothes alongside his bag.
The Blaze has a fussier pitch than some nonfreestanding tents. The single hubbed pole bows diagonally across the tent with a short brow pole that supports the walls. The design provides more end-to-end headroom than hoop-style shelters, but we had to run back and forth, adjusting the stakes (or rocks) to tension the opposite corners and remove wrinkles in the floor.
The 6-square-foot vesti provides ample space for a stove and boots, but storing a pack there blocks the door.
It proved stable and quiet in 30-mph gusts on New York’s Finger Lakes Trail.
Though the Blaze held up well during testing, the 7-denier fabrics (10-denier on the floor) call for careful handling and site selection.