Nemo Obi Elite 1P


Ultra-lightweight Solo Tent

This is a fantastic featherweight self-supporting one-person tent. It is among the lightest tents you can buy. Together with its fly and tent stakes (but minus its compression stuff sack), the Obi Elite 1P weighs only 2 pounds (0.91kg)! Having an ultra-lightweight tent makes a huge difference when you’re on a long hike or bike trip. There are lighter tents that re-use hiking poles for support, or don’t have an outer fly cover, but none that are self-supporting and double-walled like this one. (A double wall really minimizes moisture buildup.) The Obi gives me enough room to sit up inside, so I can change clothes and store some gear and be covered by a fly and withstand a good rain and wind.

I used this everyday for a month on a recent trip. I would giggle each time I set it up because it practically assembled itself. I could set up the tent and fly in less than 3 minutes, and pack it up even faster. The technology of all the best lightweight tents is primarily made by one Korean company which manufactures the precision poles, elastic, hubs, and very clever fasteners called Jake’s Feet which make it so easy to erect and strike. A great tent these days is a precision collapsable machine. Nemo has arranged these parts into a super design. Every detail is well-thought out, from the placement of zippers, interior pockets, color coding of poles. I can not think of much to improve. For instance it has a large side entrance making entry and exit a breeze, whereas many other lightweight solo tents have an narrow end entrance.

The Nemo Obi Elite 1P is expensive; you can get great one-person tents only a few pounds heavier for hundreds of dollars cheaper, such as the previously reviewed Sierra Designs tent. But over decades of hiking I have discovered a direct inverse correlation between the amount weight I carry and my happiness. And like the best tools, it gives me pleasure each time I use it, and with care will last a long time.

Nemo makes a regular, non-Elite 1P version with slightly heavier hi-tech fabric (total weight 2.7 pounds) and a slightly better pole arrangement that is $50 cheaper. I have used this one with satisfaction. In fact, if you can spare the few extra ounces, the Obi 1P is for sale at substantial discount from Amazon, and is the one I would recommend.

-- KK 10/16/12