in the camp Last week, I watched someone set up what looked like an old-school canvas tent, complete with a (winter) wood-burning stove, and I thought: Look, you don’t really need all that expensive high-tech gear. The army tents are still operating. When I got home, I looked up that tent and realized it was more expensive than most of my backpacking gear combined. Never mind, I’ll stick to lightweight nylon.
I’m not new to camping the new way. I’ve been testing a lot of different options, and I’ve been really enjoying Nemo’s Dagger Osmo 3P tent recently. It’s a three-person (sort of) double-walled, self-contained tent made of a new fabric that Nemo calls Osmo. It’s not cheap, but the new Osmo fabric is a nylon-polyester blend made from 100 percent recycled nylon and polyester yarns, woven in such a way that it has less stretch and more water resistance than nylon alone. It is also made without the use of flame retardant chemicals or fluorinated water repellents (PFC and PFAS). Nemo uses this new fabric on its Dagger and Hornet Elite tents.
While the new fabric is a nice addition, what I like most about the Osmo 3P is that it’s a durable, roomy, and lightweight tent that’s able to withstand strong winds without much rippling in the tent.
Choose the size
Nemo makes two- and three-person models of Dagger Osmo. Although I only tested the three-person version, apart from dimensions and weight, there is no difference between the two. In fact, given how spacious it is for three people, this is one tent where I would say that couples looking at the two-person version don’t actually need to go up a size.
The three-person model measures 90 by 70 inches for a total living space of 41 square feet. I had no trouble getting three 25″ sleeping mats in it, and the length was just enough to accommodate a 5’10” height with about 5″ to spare. The height limit in the center of the tent is 42″, which makes for a low profile, which helps make it aerodynamic This squat, aerodynamic aspect has proven to be welcome during very windy nights in the Porcupine Mountains, where local winds exceed 50 mph.
Setting up the tent wasn’t difficult. The Osmo comes with a single multi-part pole that is single along the main length of the tent, bifurcating at each end with a cross pole in the middle. The four endpoints fit into the Jake’s foot connectors. The all-in-one design means that the poles are slightly larger when packed, but it makes setup very simple. The crossbar also does a good job of anchoring the sides to create more vertical side walls to increase living space.
The side walls of the inner tent start out in solid Osmo fabric for the first 6 inches, then transition to white mesh that’s still sheer but less black, giving you more privacy even as it rains. The top of the tent is black mesh, which provides great ventilation and allows for excellent stargazing on clear nights. However, the sheer amount of mesh means this tent is definitely in the three-season category; I haven’t had a chance to test it below freezing, but I’ve spent several fall nights in minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit and was very comfortable.
The rain fly is where the bulk of the Osmo texture comes in, and I found it lived up to the hype. I didn’t catch any heavy rain, but it held up with some heavy winds and moderate rain. I really liked that the Osmo is a muted gray and green instead of the neon color schemes of some of the other Nemo tents.
The rain fly provides two equal vestibules at either door. Both have zippers at both ends for venting or getting in and out. There are also two vent flaps on top with stays to keep them open, so condensation doesn’t build up in a prolonged rainstorm. The vestibules were large enough to store three sets and three pairs of shoes, and you get what Nemo calls landing areas—optional vestibule floors that snap into colorful tabs on the tent and foyer, creating a mini gear swing. the earth.
The internal organization is a bit limited. There are some side pockets on the walls and top pockets that are primarily intended to hold a headlamp and diffuse the light. Personally, I only need a pocket for goggles and a headlight, which Osmo offers, but if you like a lot of storage space, this is something to consider.
The Dagger Osmo is what Nemo calls an ultralight tent, meaning it’s light and packs small, but it’s also more fragile than a heavier traditional nylon tent. I didn’t have a footprint to put under it, but I highly suggest one to help protect the floor. I also find that ultra-light tents benefit from more careful attention to site selection, set-up, and take-down. Taking a minute to remove sharp debris before pitching your tent will go a long way to helping it last.
I really like this tent. It’s lightweight, packs small, and is easy to split among hiking partners. Setup is quick and sleeps three with gear. The new fabric has good performance and is relatively environmentally friendly. It stacks up well against the competition, too. It is taller than the popular MSR Hubba Hubba, with more vestibule space; The Hubba Hubba, on the other hand, has more storage options in the form of a gear loft and larger pockets. Depending on your preference, I think this is easily fine, and ranks among my favorite tents today.