NEMO Equipment, Inc. Pentalite™

A roomy pyramid shelter.
Price $369.95


Free Standing
Single Wall
Capacity 4
Number of Poles 1
Diameter of Poles (mm) 21
Floor Space (sq ft) 77


Layout other
Length (inches) 146
Width (inches) 130
Nonstandard Shape
Interior Height (inches) 72
Vestibule Type standard
Vestibule Front Area (sq ft) 20
Weight 4 lbs, 4 oz

[most versatile]

Get lightweight, ballroom-size shelter with this spin on the classic pyramid, says our tester, who used it while backpacking in canyon country and as an emergency shelter for seven during a thunderstorm in the Rockies. Instead of four sides, like a typical pyramid, the Pentalite uses five walls to create more interior space and also has a vestibule/canopy option: Zip in the Wedge ($140; 2 lbs. 1 oz.; pictured above), a mesh insert with a zippered door, and you get 69 square feet of bug-protected space and an eight-square-foot vestibule.

Without the Wedge, the tarp provides 77 square feet of shelter suited to snowy sites or bug-free conditions. Four people sleep comfortably around the included DAC pole. Three vents on the tarp walls prevent the interior from steaming up. And the 72-inch peak height makes the Pentalite a comfy place for sorting gear and even playing charades—campers 5’5” and shorter can stand up inside. Extending the monopole and planting the eight stakes (for the corners and vent guy-outs) takes just a few minutes. The steep walls effectively shed snow during an early-winter snowstorm in Colorado. Our only wish: a tauter pitch—the walls tended to sag slightly without retensioning. $370; 3 lbs. 5 oz.
Five sides are better than four. That was our conclusion after brainstorming the possibilities for a single pole pyramid-style tent. Compared to conventional square pyramid designs, Pentalite™ offers a full vestibule and significantly more usable space. Convert Pentalite™ into a full tent by adding the optional Wedge™ inner mesh tent and floor. With side guy out vents, a vent up high in the back and the ability to keep the vestibule doors rolled back, this isn't your standard pyramid tent. Pentalite™ uses a waterproof/non-breathable 30D PU Nylon for the body.