Weight can be a concern when you’re backpacking. Traveling through the backcountry when you’re inundated with unnecessary weight can have a big impact on your experience. Backpackers are constantly looking for camping gear that can shed weight to the gear they have to carry.
One way they can save weight is by choosing ultralightweight equipment like chairs, stoves, sleeping bags and tents. The Nemo Blaze 2P Tent is a good contender for ultralight tent for backpackers and campers.
- Best in class livable space for weight and price
- The most livable interior space for a tent of its weight on the market
- Innovative pole configuration is easier to set up and more stable
- Nemo ultralight fabrics don’t skimp – they’re optimized for waterproofness, durability, and tear-resistance
Tents as outdoor shelters are necessary when you’re camping. They protect campers from the weather and provide shade when it’s too hot. Tents are good options compared to hammocks especially when your campsite is located in an area where there are no trees available. Tents are easy to set up and most of them already have bug nets and rain flies that go with tent. They can also accommodate 2-4 persons, depending on the model you buy.
The Nemo Blaze is a 2-person free standing tent rated for 3 seasons. It weighs 2 lbs (907 grams) and has around 30 square feet of living space. It has 2 doors and 2 vestibules making it more convenient to share tents since you don’t need to crawl over your buddy to answer the call of nature at night. The single hubbed pole design is easy to set up while the tent fabric and DAC poles feel very light.
This product is probably one of the lightest 2-person tents available in the market today. While it is not the roomiest available, it does have ample living space so that 2 people can share the tent comfortably. The floor features a tubbed construction reducing seams and seam tape increasing the longevity of the product. For storage and easy traveling, the Blaze has its own dual-stage drawstring stuff sack so that you can easily share the load with your backpacking buddy.
This product is best used by backpackers hoping to reduce their gear weight. It is rated for 3 seasons so you can use it for summer to fall camping trips. It is light and packs down to a very small size. The tent also features a breezy netting so that you can gaze up at the stars at night. The tent includes a rain fly that you can put up to protect the occupants against the elements.
The Blaze 2P comes with one hubbed pole. Aside from the tent itself, it comes with 1 pole and 2 lightweight stakes. There is an extra pole that you will use to cross with the main pole to help the tent maintain height. The tent also has a stuff sack that you can use to divide components of the tent with another backpacker. It basically has everything you need to set it up in the wilderness.
The tent has a trail weight of 2 pounds and a packed weight of 2 pounds and 5 ounces. The floor area is 85 x 50 inches with a living space of 30 square feet. It has 2 doors and a peak height of 40 inches so you can sit up to read a book or play games while inside.
Design and Durability
The tent is designed to be ultralight so the fabric feels fragile to the touch. However, the floor is made from state of the art 20-denier nylon for durability and lightness while the rain fly fabric is constructed with 7-denier nylon.
The hubbed pole is made with advanced, long-lasting DAC Featherlite NFL aluminum poles so it is lighter and tougher compared to other poles in the market. The fabrics are also waterproof and tear-resistant.
The 7-denier nylon used in the rain fly is a bit flimsy compared to other brands which use 15-denier. However, Nemo made all fabric from high quality PeU coated ripstop nylon material which is more high-end and to make the tent lighter. If you treat it with care, the Blaze will last longer compared to other tents that use thicker nylon or polyester material.
Backpackers who have lots of experience with lightweight gear know that the trick to making these types of equipment last longer is proper care and maintenance. This means extra care when setting up and taking down. You also have to be careful about the things you put inside the tent.
There are other roomier 2-person tents you can buy, but if you’re looking for something lightweight and comfortable tent, the Blaze is a good choice. First of all, there are 2 doors and 2 vestibules. The latter seems small but it has enough space to stow a backpack and a pair of shoes. These features make the tent an attractive option for people looking for 2-person tents because it provides easy access indoors and outdoors.
The 30 square feet of living space might seem tiny but you and your tentmate have enough space to sleep comfortably and stow gear inside. The peak height is comfortable enough so you can sit up.
The tent tapers to one end so it is best to sleep head to toe unless you’re okay with tent fabric very close to your face. The roof of the tent features a mesh canopy so that you can see outside.
The Blaze also has 2 small extra pockets on either side of the tent so that you can stow away your cellphone and other small items easily. It has enough comfort for 2 backpackers thanks to the 50-inch wide floor and 40-inch head room.
The product has a lot of mesh and low walls producing good airflow. It is cool in hot weather and warm in low temperatures. It is comfortable even when the rain fly is on because it does not stick to the tent allowing air to still enter without producing condensation.
Ease of Setup
The aluminum hubbed pole of the tent makes it easy to set up. A seasoned user can have the tent up in less than 10 minutes. Since there is only 1 pole to set up, there is also only 1 set of loops to thread it to. This no-brainer way of setting up a tent makes it easy for everybody, including novices to get the tent up as soon as possible.
The tent is not actually freestanding. It needs to be staked, especially in areas with strong wind. The trick to getting it up faster is to stake it first before putting the poles in and finally the fly if you need extra protection.
Weight and Packed Size
It is not the lightest, but it is very close to other ultralight tents like the Copper Spur and Fly Creek Platinum both by Big Agnes. It has a packed weight of 2 lbs. 5 ounces and packs down to 17 x 5 inches. This is surprisingly small considering that the tent has floor dimensions of 85 x 50 inches when opened.
The weight reduction of the tent is down to its use of materials like the 20-denier nylon and the aluminum DAC poles.
The tent is good to use for most weather conditions until early to mid-fall. The use of mesh cools down the tent and allows air to go inside. The fabric of the tent is PeU-coated, making it highly water resistant. The Blaze also features tubbed floor construction so there is minimal seams and seam tape used.
The tent is not really freestanding so you need to stake it down in high winds to prevent it from being blown over. The fly stretches out so it does well in shielding occupants against rain and wind. There is almost no flapping noise when it’s windy and the fabric does not stretch when wet. You will be surprised how the Blaze does well considering its thin fabric.
Considering its retail price, the Blaze is not cheap. However, if you are willing to pay extra money to shave weight, the tent is a good choice. It is rated for 3-seasons and 2-person use so it offers some versatility for campers and backpackers. The tent is a good 1-person tent choice for large people.
The price represents a significant amount of investment, but the Blaze is an ultralight tent that can last a long time with proper care. It is best used by frequent campers or backpackers looking to shave weight.
The Blaze is a good overall tent. It is lightweight, has adequate living space and is easy to set up. It is a good option for people looking for minimum weight and maximum space. Despite the roominess of the tent, it can be packed down to a small size, making it more convenient to store or carry.
The product might be a good overall tent, but there are other similar tents that are just as good. Here are some of the Blaze’s top competitors.
Nemo Blaze 2P Competitors
Researching other products before purchasing them allows buyers to select the best tent for their needs. The Blaze has short comings and is far from perfect. However, these products are also well-made and are priced competitively. Let’s see how the Blaze stack up against its rivals.
The Big Agnes – Tumble mtnGLO Backpacking Tent is similar to the Blaze. It is also lightweight and features 2 doors. The tent features a breathable mesh body while the floor and fly are made from 1500 mm waterproof polyurethane coated fabric for waterproof protection. Priced at approximately $270, it is more affordable than the Blaze and at 4lb 12 oz with a packed weight of 5lb 3oz, it is also heavier.
The tumble feature of the tent makes it easy to set up. The symmetrical DAK pole system has press-fit connectors. The plastic clips attach to the tent body and pole frame easily. The tent is rated for 2 persons and 3-season backpacking or camping.
As part of the mtnGLO collection, the tent is illuminated with patent pending LED technology. The lights are integrated into the tent body to give occupants and the campsite ambient light at the click of a button. The tent is roomier than the Blaze with livings space of 32 square feet and pitch height of 42 inches.
The push-button controller has 3 settings: on, off and 50% brightness. However, you need to buy 3 AAA batteries before you can use the lighting feature since it is not included in the price of the product. Aside from the tent lighting, the Tumble mtnGLO also has reflective guy lines for additional low-light visibility.
The Tumble mtnGLO is a good alternative to the Blaze if you don’t mind the added weight. It is roomier and more affordable. The interior has 2 mesh pockets so that you have room to stow small gear and supplies.
Priced between $319.95 and $425.00, the Nemo Hornet 2P Ultralight Backpacking Tent is a bit lighter than the Blaze. This product weighs in at just 1 pound 14.3 ounces (excluding stuff sack and tent stakes) and has a slightly smaller living area at only 28 square-feet. The construction of this tent including materials used is similar too.
The only material difference is the slightly thicker rain fly fabric (10-denier nylon) but thinner floor fabric (15-denier nylon). Like the Blaze, the Hornet is also semi-free standing and needs to be staked down in windy conditions.
Despite its ultralight construction, the tent is rated for 2 persons and 3-season camping. It also uses a hubbed pole design so it is also easy to set up and take down. The packed weight of the tent is also 17 x 5 inches and it also comes with the Divvy Sack for easier division of weight. The tent also has good ventilation system to keep you cool on hot nights.
The Hornet is only slightly smaller in floor area so you won’t really feel the difference in living space and comfort. However the smaller living space will feel more claustrophobic if you’re a large person. A big person will be more comfortable using this tent solo. This tent is a good choice for people wanting to shed more weight for backpacking or save some cash if they prefer the Nemo brand.
The Kelty TN 2 Person Tent is a 2-person, 3-season tent with roomy living space and vestibule area. Priced at approximately $205, it is a good investment for first-time backpackers and campers. The packed weight is 4lb 9oz with fabric made from 70D Nylon / 40D Sil Nylon. For night time entertainment, just gaze up the Stargazing Fly.
This tent is easy to set up. Everything is color-coded so you know where everything goes. The vestibule area is generous with 10-square-feet each so you have more than enough room to store your shoes and pack. The roll-back fly is a good feature and prevents you from scrambling for cover if the heavens decide to suddenly pour out.
The tent is 30.5-square-foot floor with 42-inch peak height inside so it has enough room for 2 adults and maybe your dog. The tent also has good ventilation and the fly does not accumulate condensation on cold nights.
Overall, the Kelty TN is not very lightweight compared to the Blaze, but it is more affordable. The materials are also tougher so it is less fragile than the Blaze. This tent is a good alternative for people who prioritize roominess over weight.
The Blaze is a good choice if you want to prioritize spaciousness and weight. The price could be a deterrent for first-time backpackers, seasoned veterans who know how important weight reduction is during long treks will not hesitate to buy this product. Ultralight products always represent a sizable investment and for the pros, spending more money for less weight is good value. Watch the video below for a complete review.
Another feature you get with the pricing is durable fabric. Nemo has always been one of the leaders of lightweight camping gear and their use of technology introduced us to thin but ultra lightweight fabric. The nylon used for the tent is coated with PeU to reinforce the ripstop nylon for added durability.
The material used is breathable and offers good ventilation for different kinds of weather. The product comes with stakes included but you can use other more lightweight stakes if you want to reduce weight more.
The Blaze features 2 doors and 2 vestibules making it a good feature for group backpacking. The separate entrance and exit for occupants make living inside the tent easier and more convenient. It also stands up well to bad weather. However, the tent is only rated for 3-season camping so make sure to buy a winter rated tent for winter camping.
The Nemo Blaze 2-person ultralight tent stacks up well against its main competitors. To summarize, here are its pros and cons:
- Good space to weight ratio
- 2 doors and 2 vestibules
- Easy to set up
- Not really freestanding
- Delicate fabric
Despite issues with its “freestanding” status, the Blaze is a good ultralight backpacking tent. The best benefit to buying this tent is the weight and roominess. It can be surprising how something so small when packed down can accommodate 2 grown people with ease. The product is expensive because it is lightweight. Nemo wanted this tent to be lightweight and it was achieved using technologically advanced materials.Is the Nemo Blaze going to be your next backpacking tent? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below.