Massive Agnes Tiger Wall vs. NEMO Hornet OSMO vs. MSR FreeLite

Should you’re on the lookout for a light-weight backpacking shelter that blends consolation, user-friendly design, and glorious climate safety, a semi-freestanding tent is the best selection.

Semi-freestanding tents supply decrease weight with out sacrificing the consolation and ease of double-wall tents – a mixture that has made them extra standard than ever in recent times. Because of a easy pole construction, semi-freestanding tents are quick and straightforward to pitch. They provide inside conveniences like sensible pockets and further headroom, options which are usually lacking in single-wall, non-freestanding alternate options like trekking pole tents.

Within the semi-freestanding class, three tents steal the highlight: the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO  2, and MSR FreeLite 2. These shelters are on the prime of their class and excel in each vital approach for backcountry adventures. They’re extraordinarily mild, extremely purposeful, and easy to make use of. That’s why every of those tents ranks on our listing of the Greatest Backpacking Tents. 

After completely testing every tent in diversified backcountry situations, we assembled this information to check their strengths and weaknesses. Learn on to seek out out which tent got here out on prime and why.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

How We Examined

Our crew at CleverHiker has used the 2-Particular person fashions of the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents for greater than half a decade in very rugged path situations. We’ve pushed the boundaries of those tents from the dry warmth and scorching wind of Bryce Canyon, Utah to the chilly, moist storms of Olympic Nationwide Park, and relied on them for robust, multi-day adventures to a months-long thru-hike of the CDT.

Most just lately, we put these three tents via the wringer on a five-day expedition within the difficult Sawtooth Wilderness. We encountered late September rain, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures. Years of expertise and testing in these various situations have allowed us to evaluate and scrutinize each ingredient of those tents in real-life backcountry eventualities the place reliability, sturdiness, and luxury matter essentially the most.

Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Fashions We Examined

We’ve additionally examined – and actually like – the 3-person variations of those tents. This information focuses on the favored 2-person variations, however many of the execs/cons stay the identical for the 3P fashions. Should you normally backpack with a companion and like a bit extra inside house in your shelters, the 3-person variations of every of those tents are additionally glorious and are nonetheless very mild.

Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)
Product Value Weight Dimensions (LxWxH) Kind Ground Space Vestibule Space Pockets Packed Dimension


Massive Agnes Tiger Wall 2

View at REI


View at Amazon




$450 2 lb. 8 oz. 86 x 52/42 x 39 in. (wider at head, narrower at foot) Semi-freestanding 28 sq. ft. 8 + 8 sq. ft. 4 18 x 5.5 in.

MSR FreeLite 2

View at MSR


View at Amazon




$450 2 lb. 5 oz. 84 x 50 x 39 in. Semi-freestanding 29 sq. ft. 7.5 + 7.5 sq. ft. 3 18 x 4.5 in.

NEMO Hornet OSMO 2

View at REI




$430 2 lb. 8 oz. 85 x 51/43 x 39 in. (wider at head, narrower at foot) Semi-freestanding 27.5 sq. ft. 7.1 + 7.1 sq. ft. 2 12.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 in.

Scoring

We ranked the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 based mostly on a easy scoring system:

  • 1 level for each part the tent wins
  • 1 level for all tents if there’s a 3-way tie

The tent with the very best rating wins.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Value

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 symbolize phenomenal worth for ultralight user-friendly shelters. These tents cater to hikers planning a protracted trek or thru-hike however aren’t able to half with the comforts and middle-tier pricing of a double-wall tent.

There are extra inexpensive double-wall tents available on the market, however they are usually fairly a bit heavier. There are additionally lighter shelters on the market, however they are usually single-wall non-freestanding tents that usually use costly cloth like Dyneema Composite Material (DCF). These three semi-freestanding tents land within the center for pricing, however are nonetheless impressively mild, simple to make use of, and supply very good climate safety.

Try the worth comparability desk in our Greatest Backpacking Tents Information to see how these tents stack up towards the opposite prime shelters available on the market. The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 are priced within the mid to low 400s, which locations them just under common for value. They’re cost-effective for being so light-weight and feature-rich.

MSRPs

  1. NEMO Hornet OSMO – $430
  2. MSR FreeLite – $450
  3. Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – $450

Winner: NEMO Hornet OSMO

The NEMO Hornet OSMO wins this class by $20, with a tie for second place. However we wouldn’t suggest making your selection based mostly on value alone. As a result of these tent costs are so shut, contemplate specializing in which tent options are a very powerful to you. On the finish of the day, an additional $20 will probably be cash nicely spent if the tent suits your wants higher in the long term.

PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER ELDRIDGE (CLEVERHIKER.COM)

Packaged Weight

These tents are impressively mild. Check out the burden comparability desk in our Greatest Backpacking Tents Information to see how they examine to our different prime picks. The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, MSR FreeLite 2, and NEMO Hornet OSMO 2 are close to the entrance of the pack for weight. That’s why each earns a spot in our Greatest Backpacking Tents Information or Greatest Ultralight Tents Information: they’re simple to hold for prolonged intervals.

To match tents, we use their packaged weight. Packaged weight is the full mass of the tent because it’s offered by the producer. That quantity normally contains the tent, rainfly, stakes, and guylines. 

  1. MSR FreeLite – Packaged Weight – 2 lb. 5 oz.
  2. NEMO Hornet OSMO – Packaged Weight – 2 lb. 8 oz.
  3. Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – Packaged Weight – 2 lb. 8 oz.

Winner: MSR FreeLite

The MSR FreeLite wins this class by three ounces, with a tie for second place. Three ounces isn’t nothing in the case of backpacking gear weight, and that would issue into your shopping for choice. Nevertheless, needless to say three ounces is only a bit extra weight than a snack bar, so selecting a tent with the options you need may simply be extra vital.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Inside House

We expect the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 typically work higher as solo shelters. As a result of all three tents prioritize low weight, we discovered their interiors have been small for 2 average-sized adults. Should you’re backpacking with a companion or a canine, we suggest sizing as much as the 3-person variations of any of those tents for extra room.

Inside house of the tents is measured as follows: L x W [head / foot] x H [peak]). Word that the Tiger Wall and Hornet each are wider on the head and extra slim on the toes, in order that they have two width measurements. The FreeLite is rectangular, so it has one.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – 86 x 52/42 x 39 in.

The Tiger Wall presents essentially the most inside house of the three tents. It has the longest forehead pole, which attracts the perimeters of the inside mesh almost vertical. Meaning you’ll have considerably extra headroom than the FreeLite or the Hornet to sit down up and transfer round. 

Due to this spacious headroom, the Tiger Wall is the one tent on this listing we predict is cheap for 2 individuals. It’s nonetheless a good house to share, however we discovered it was the least cramped of the three tents, particularly if customers are on the shorter or smaller aspect. For extra space, contemplate sizing as much as the 3-Particular person model of the Tiger Wall.

MSR FreeLite – 84 x 50 x 39 in. 

The MSR FreeLite has extra inside house than the Hornet, however not as a lot because the Tiger Wall. One key distinction of the FreeLite is its totally rectangular flooring, which presents extra space than the Tiger Wall or Hornet when mendacity down subsequent to a companion. We discovered the ground house of the FreeLite was just like heavier freestanding, 2-person backpacking tents. This design additionally provides extra space for inside gear storage.

Nevertheless, the FreeLite’s forehead pole is shorter than the one on the Tiger Wall (though longer than the Hornet). Meaning the FreeLite’s partitions slant inward, chopping out treasured headroom that two individuals want for livable house in a shared shelter.

For that cause, the FreeLite is extra snug as a solo shelter, reasonably than sharing with a companion. It might work nicely for 2 smaller or shorter hikers who’re okay with much less headroom, and it’s a wonderful tent selection for solo use. 

NEMO Hornet OMSO – 85 x 51/43 x 39 in. 

NEMO’s Hornet has the least inside house in comparison with the Tiger Wall and the FreeLite. NEMO makes use of quick forehead clips as an alternative of an extended forehead pole, so the partitions are slim and are available almost to a degree on the ceiling. This design eliminates many of the potential headroom that the Tiger Wall and FreeLite supply.

The Hornet’s flooring space is the biggest of the three tents, which is ok once you’re mendacity down. Nevertheless, we discovered the slim partitions made it robust for 2 individuals to sit down up with out brushing the aspect of the tent or bumping into the opposite particular person. You might match two individuals in a pinch, however it’s tight.

Additionally, the Hornet just isn’t nice for backpackers over six toes tall. Our tallest hiker was 6’2”, and so they discovered the 2-person Hornet was too slim for consolation over an prolonged time, whilst a solo shelter.

We extremely suggest the 2-person Hornet for solo backpackers which are underneath 6 toes tall. For taller hikers, we recommend the 3-person version of this tent. In reality, we just like the 3-person NEMO Hornet OSMO a lot that we desire it over the 3-person FreeLite or the 3-person Tiger Wall. 

Winner: Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall is the clear winner of this part. Its longer forehead pole creates an even bigger inside house and presents considerably extra headroom than the opposite two shelters. The FreeLite is available in second place with a usable however narrower inside, and the Hornet is available in third resulting from an absence of headroom for 2 individuals.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Ground Space

Ground dimensions alone aren’t an effective way to measure how roomy a tent is. The construction of the tent poles defines how a lot headroom there will probably be. Nevertheless, the quantity of flooring house remains to be vital. A beneficiant tent flooring will present extra room for 2 individuals when mendacity down, and as a bonus presents further inside house for storing gear. 

To search out the sq. footage of every tent’s flooring, multiply the size of the ground by the width. The Tiger Wall and Hornet have a tapered flooring form, which means they’re wider on the head and extra slim on the toes. The FreeLite is rectangular.

  1. MSR FreeLite – 29 sq. ft.
  2. Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – 28 sq. ft.
  3. NEMO Hornet OSMO – 27.5 sq. ft.

Winner – MSR FreeLite

The MSR FreeLite is the champion in the case of flooring space. At 29 sq. toes, the FreeLite is a sq. foot larger than the Tiger Wall in second place, and a foot and a half larger than the Hornet in third place. The FreeLite’s rectangular flooring form provides it a bit extra room than the opposite two, which taper from wider on the head to extra slim on the toes. Nevertheless, it is a small quantity of additional flooring house and wouldn’t be sufficient to persuade us to decide on the FreeLite over the opposite tents.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Vestibule Space

The vestibule of a tent helps it really feel extra snug and livable. Vestibules present a dry designated place to retailer pungent footwear, gear, and hulking backpacks. It’s additionally important for offering climate safety by blocking wind, solar, and rain. A roomy vestibule lends extra versatility to a tent as nicely: it may present extra seating, act as a personal house to vary garments and supply shelter when cooking and consuming.

  1. Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – 8 + 8 sq. ft.
  2. MSR FreeLite- 7.5 + 7.5 sq. ft.
  3. NEMO Hornet OSMO – 7.1 + 7.1 sq. ft.

Winner – Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall wins for the most important vestibule. It has the biggest vestibule space of the three tents, with virtually a sq. foot greater than the Hornet in third place. Regardless that the Hornet’s vestibule house felt extra slim, these tents are all inside 6 to 12 sq. inches of one another. Total, these tents supply average-sized vestibules for backpacking tents. We didn’t have bother discovering house to retailer our gear. The Tiger Wall’s s further vestibule house is sweet, however the barely smaller vestibules of the opposite tents wouldn’t be a dealbreaker in our purchasing choice.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Pockets

Shelter storage and group are very important when tenting. Properly-designed tent pockets ought to fluctuate in measurement and be strategically positioned all through the tent that will help you keep organized. Pockets make it simple to shortly entry necessities once you want them, whether or not it’s a multitool or a map, and might maintain your shelter clutter-free whereas maximizing house. 

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall has 4 whole pockets, essentially the most of all three tents. It options two handy rectangular pockets close to the pinnacle of the tent, excellent for storing necessities like a headlamp or chapstick. It additionally has a large overhead storage pocket useful for storing gadgets like a hat or cellphone.

What makes the Tiger Wall distinctive is the spacious loft pocket on the foot of the tent. It’s the one tent of the three that provides a pocket this huge and on this location. The loft pocket is positioned within the foot space that isn’t used to sit down up, so we discovered this huge, stretchy storage is ideal for stashing jackets or different garments with out leaving them piled on the ground or in a vestibule. 

MSR Freelite – The Freelite has 3 pockets. It options two distinctive triangular pockets on the head of the tent for neatly storing gear you need to maintain shut. The triangle pockets have a handy function: a gap on the backside to run a charging wire out of your energy financial institution to your cellphone. We discovered the pockets have been simply sufficiently big to stash the vast majority of our small important gadgets. Nevertheless, for those who want extra room, the Freelite additionally has two generously sized overhead pockets which are sensible for stashing bulkier issues like mild layers or stuff sacks. 

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet presents simply 2 medium overhead pockets. It doesn’t have low aspect pockets like the opposite tents supply, so that you’ll have to seek out elsewhere to place your sun shades, earplugs, and toiletries. As a substitute, the 2 small overhead pockets supply the one storage within the tent, however they’re simply inside arm’s attain. These pockets are fabricated from a particular light-dispersing materials to transform your headlamp into an ambient tent lamp. We discovered this minimal pocket design supplied restricted room for a handful of things, however nothing else. 

Winner: Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

The Tiger Wall wins first place for a considerate pocket format that we discovered very handy and helpful. With 4 pockets of various sizes, the storage within the Tiger Wall assured we might have ample room for organizing gear. We particularly appreciated the massive loft pocket to maintain jackets off the ground. MSR’s FreeLite pockets have been additionally purposeful and useful, however in third place, the Hornet was missing. Its minimalist storage choices left us wanting extra.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Climate Resistance

You’re certain to run into unpredictable and difficult climate when backpacking. Nevertheless, these tents will maintain you as secure and dry from the rain, wind, and even mild snow as any heavier freestanding shelter.

All three tents are constructed with ripstop, waterproof nylon blends and embrace guylines to safe your shelter in excessive winds. All of them embrace an extra therapy of DWR, silicone, and/or polyurethane to shed water.

Semi-freestanding tents made out of nylon do have some downsides. They’re extra vulnerable to excessive wind due to the minimal pole construction. As well as, all three tents are inclined to sag in chilly and moist climate due to their nylon development. Usually, nylon doesn’t maintain form in addition to a DCF shelter, sil-nylon, or a thicker, extra sturdy materials. As a result of the nylon utilized in these three tents is thinner and the foot of the tent is staked out, you’ll seemingly must re-tension your guylines and re-stake your tent as inclement climate strikes in and the fabric sags.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall excels in climate safety due to its full-coverage fly and lengthy forehead pole. The place the Hornet and FreeLite each have one aspect the place the rainfly is minimize out, the Tiger Wall’s fly extends to the bottom on all sides, guaranteeing moisture is stored at bay. The Tiger Wall additionally has six guylines, two greater than the others, for much more stability and resistance to sturdy winds. Due to Massive Agnes’ distinctive dying strategies, the Tiger Wall is UV resistant and received’t lose coloration as shortly because the Hornet or FreeLite.

We discovered the fabric of the Tiger Wall sagged many of the three tents when it got here to chilly and moist situations. We have been by no means involved that the fabric would fail, and the tent was superior at holding out moisture, wind, and the weather, however chances are you’ll want to regulate the stress of the guylines as temperatures drop and the rain picks up. 

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet’s tent materials sagged the least. We discovered NEMO’s polyester and nylon cloth mix, referred to as OSMO, didn’t droop as a lot because the others in rain, snow, wind, or below-freezing temperatures. Just like the FreeLite, it presents 4 guy-out factors.

Sadly, the slim forehead clips on the prime of the tent don’t present a lot protection from rain when getting out and in of the tent. Meaning the vestibules and inside tent are liable to getting sprinkled when doorways are open throughout a storm. The 4 guyline attachment factors are useful for holding moisture out.

One other draw back is that just like the FreeLite, the Hornet has a single-wall part on the head of the tent the place the rainfly is minimize out, turning simply the foot space right into a single-wall tent. We discovered this was a uncommon problem and the tent dried shortly, however in moist and chilly climate, this lack of rainfly protection drew extra condensation than the remainder of the tent. 

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite makes use of “rain gutters” on the rainfly. These are flaps positioned subsequent to the zippers that run from the highest of the tent to the underside of the rainfly to assist information moisture away. This is able to be particularly useful when opening the tent after a storm since water nonetheless on the rainfly doorways would roll in direction of the zipper and into the vestibule. 

On paper, it is a nice function. In follow, we didn’t discover that the rain gutter was any extra environment friendly at shedding water than the Tiger Wall or Hornet.

Just like the Hornet, the FreeLite additionally has 4 guy-out factors and a single-wall part on the foot of the tent the place the rainfly is minimize out to avoid wasting weight. We discovered this space gathered extra condensation than the remainder of the tent, nevertheless it wasn’t a big problem. The FreeLite stored out rain and blocked wind.

Winner: Three-Manner Tie

It is a three-way tie. We discovered all three tents have been comparable and really dependable in rain and wind. They every stand out for a distinct cause: the Tiger Wall has a full-coverage rainfly, the Hornet sags much less in chilly and moist climate, and the Freelight provides a gutter designed to assist shed water. These tents have stored us reliably dry, and our gear protected within the vestibules, it doesn’t matter what the situations have been exterior.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Sturdiness

These tents prioritize low weight over sturdiness. The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 aren’t burly by design: they use slim aluminum poles and skinny cloth to supply main weight financial savings for ounce-conscious backpackers. 

Denier is a approach to measure not solely how thick or dense a material is, however how sturdy it is going to be. When a denier quantity is excessive the tent cloth is stronger, tougher to see via, and heavier. At decrease denier values, cloth is lighter, extra clear, and fewer sturdy.

All three tents use 10 and 15 denier ripstop nylon (or a coated nylon mix) for the ground and rainfly, and polyester for the mesh. 15D is simply barely extra sturdy than 10D, however each are ultralight and impressively weather-resistant. It’s price noting these supplies are as mild and skinny as you possibly can presumably go with out sacrificing all sturdiness, and 10D and 15 materials are commonplace on most ultralight tents.

It’s true {that a} motivated critter may chew via the fabric on any of those tents to achieve a late-night snack in your shelter. We’ve additionally discovered {that a} rogue department or sharp rock can do some actual harm for those who don’t choose a transparent campsite. We extremely suggest buying the coordinating footprint or a sheet of Tyvek dwelling wrap for all three fashions so as to add an additional layer of safety between you and muddy, moist, or tough terrain. Should you’re onerous in your gear or on the lookout for a brilliant sturdy backcountry shelter, these tents will fall quick. 

Nevertheless, we’ve discovered that with common upkeep and preventative care, all three tents can and can final a few years. To increase the lifetime of your shelter, see our information How To Care For Your Tent: Cleansing, Restore, & Storage Ideas.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite felt safe in all climate due to a thicker tent materials. Just like the Tiger Wall, it makes use of 15-denier nylon for all elements of the tent:  rainfly, partitions, and flooring. That is an incremental distinction in materials thickness that provides a bit extra sturdiness.

The FreeLite additionally options 4 guylines, one for every nook, so as to add stability in excessive winds. Moreover, MSR makes use of metallic grommets for the tent pole ends to nestle, whereas the Hornet and Tiger Wall use plastic. We’ve by no means had a difficulty with plastic grommets, however it is a small ingredient that would add longer life to the FreeLite.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet is sturdy due to its proprietary OSMO materials. It is a mix of polyester and nylon that outperformed the FreeLite and Tiger Wall in moist and chilly climate. The ten rainfly and 15D inside OSMO cloth held its form the very best and sagged the least of those three tents, making it really feel extra sturdy and reliable in storms. Just like the FreeLite, the Hornet additionally has 4 guyline attachment factors. Just like the Tiger Wall, it makes use of plastic grommets for the tent poles. Plastic grommets work nicely and sure save an incremental quantity of weight, however in idea, plastic is extra more likely to break or deteriorate than metallic.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – We discovered the Tiger Wall’s materials was the least sturdy of the three tents.  Massive Agnes makes use of 15D ripstop nylon, which needs to be corresponding to the FreeLite for efficiency in chilly temperatures and rain. It has 6 guyline attachment factors for further safety throughout storms. 

However in our expertise, the Massive Agnes cloth sagged the many of the three tents throughout moist climate. We had considerations that the rainfly – which is nearly see-through – was too skinny, nevertheless it nonetheless carried out nicely towards moisture and wind. We’d extremely suggest a floor material or footprint so as to add longevity to the Tiger Wall particularly. Although it nonetheless labored nicely in all climate, we query the long-term sturdiness of The Tiger Wall’s materials.

Winner – MSR FreeLite

The winner for sturdiness is the MSR FreeLite. Its barely thicker 15D nylon development and use of metallic grommets put it forward of the competitors, guaranteeing an extended lifespan within the outside. The Hornet is in second place and the Tiger Wall is in third.

When it boils all the way down to sturdiness, none of those tents are an excellent selection. Their light-weight design and high-performance supplies aren’t constructed to final for many years. However the place you sacrifice sturdiness, you achieve portability, and these tents are as mild because it will get.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Versatility

A flexible tent enhances a variety of outside adventures. It’s not simple to discover a shelter that retains you simply as snug within the wild backcountry in a single day as a reserved frontcountry website. Semi-freestanding tents straddle the road between freestanding and non-freestanding choices on this regard.

Freestanding tents – Freestanding tents are essentially the most versatile for sleeping close to an alpine lake or subsequent to your automotive bumper. The load of most freestanding tents makes them purposeful sufficient for backpacking, particularly when splitting the burden with a companion, however feature-rich sufficient for automotive tenting due to ease of use and pace of setup.

Non-freestanding tents – Non-freestanding tents are the least versatile. They’re designed so simple as attainable for backpacking, which is precisely what you want for a low base weight. However for tenting virtually wherever else, you sacrifice comforts like pockets, headroom, and sturdiness. Non-freestanding shelters don’t make sense wherever besides the backcountry: they’re costly, essentially the most time-consuming and difficult to pitch, and are recognized to fill with condensation in a single day. In addition they have a big footprint, since all man traces have to be staked out, to allow them to’t be arrange in as many places. 

Semi-freestanding tents – Semi-freestanding tents land in between the 2. Like freestanding tents, their small footprints and few guylines make them simple to arrange wherever there’s room. In frontcountry and automotive tenting conditions, they received’t present as a lot sturdiness, consolation, or inside house as a typical freestanding tent, however they provide related options like pockets, headroom, and climate resistance for versatility past the backcountry. Semi-freestanding tents are simple to make use of due to their easy pole construction, in order that they’re quick to arrange for a first-timer. And like non-freestanding tents, they provide very low weight. 

Winner: Three-Manner-Tie

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 are designed initially for light-weight backpacking, however they’re additionally versatile sufficient for the frontcountry. Because of their distinctive mix of low weight, wealthy options, and ease of use, every tent is flexible sufficient to deal with essentially the most punishing months-long thru-hike, however would additionally thrive close to a picnic desk and a hearth pit.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Ease of Use

For ease of use, semi-freestanding tents are the right stability between freestanding tents and trekking pole tents. 

Freestanding tents are virtually all the time the quickest and best to pitch since they are often arrange on most terrains. Freestanding tents use acquainted designs and have handy options like color-coordinated buckles and clips that make the shelter setup a breeze.

Trekking pole tents are essentially the most tough and time-consuming to arrange. They don’t have a devoted framework of tent poles and depend on your trekking poles because the help level. Meaning the steps to attain the “excellent” pitch with guylines and stress may be advanced and sluggish relying on the slope, obstacles, and house accessible.

Semi-freestanding tents are quick to arrange since they require being staked out on the foot of the tent. Like a freestanding tent, the uncomplicated pole construction is straightforward to grasp, and the rainfly attachments are intuitive for quick setup or tear down. Not like Trekking pole tents, you possibly can pitch semi-freestanding tents in additional places due to the smaller footprint. 

Winner – Three-Manner Tie

It is a three-way tie. We discovered the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents have been remarkably simple to pitch. Semi-freestanding tents nonetheless require selecting a campsite fastidiously, particularly when they’re ultralight like these tents, however their small footprint, easy design, and minimal stakes make them nice for each inexperienced persons and seasoned campers.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Packed Dimension

Having a tent that packs small is essential for portability. The much less house your tent takes up, the extra room you’ve for different necessities. Plus, a smaller backpack profile is extra snug and maneuverable. The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents pack down very small. If packed measurement is your prime precedence, any of those tents may work.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – 12.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 in.

The Hornet packs down the smallest. At a mere 12.5 inches, the Hornet’s pole segments fold into considerably smaller sections than the 18-inch poles of the Tiger Wall or FreeLite. Most tent poles are too lengthy to be packed contained in the backpack, so they’re saved on the skin whereas mountaineering – however not the Hornet. It packs so small, we match your entire tent and poles simply within our backpacks. The whole package deal suits nicely horizontally and vertically.

We don’t suggest storing poles inside your bag long run to forestall damaging different gear, however having the choice opened up worthwhile exterior storage that’s devoted house for the FreeLite and Tiger Wall. This type of measurement versatility is exclusive to the Hornet and an enormous benefit for backpackers.

MSR FreeLite – 4.5 x 4.5 x 18 in.

The width of the FreeLite when packed is 4.5 inches, nevertheless it’s tied with the Tiger Wall for the size of poles at 18 inches. You might cut back it much more with a distinct stuff sack and the poles saved individually.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – 5.5 x 5.5 x 18 in.

The Tiger Wall has the most important packed measurement of the three tents, measuring an inch wider than the FreeLite.  Think about using a distinct compression sack and storing the poles on the skin of your backpacks to scale back the quantity of inside house used.

Winner – NEMO Hornet OSMO

The NEMO Hornet OSMO handily takes the prize for the smallest packed measurement. We’re impressed with how small the Hornet can get, making it essentially the most versatile for carrying in your backpack or storing at dwelling. With poles virtually six inches longer, the FreeLite is available in second, and the Tiger Wall is third as a result of it packs the widest. Nevertheless, we predict all of those tents supply a remarkably small packed measurement and would complement most backpacking kits.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Doorways & Zippers

We desire tents with two doorways. Whether or not mountaineering with a companion or exploring trails solo, tents with two doorways are useful for coping with restricted campsite house, orienting to a particular view, and providing another exit in an emergency. Two doorways can even enhance air flow by permitting air to maneuver via the tent. Twin entrances make a tent extra livable and versatile for sharing house with a tentmate and organizing gear.

For the Doorways and Zippers class, we ranked exterior rainfly doorways and inside tent doorways individually to find out the winner.

RAINFLY

MSR FreeLite – We discovered the FreeLite’s rainfly doorways have been simple to open with a single zipper and easy to maneuver via. The medium-sized forehead bar helps maintain the door flaps off of the inside tent, so lingering rainfly condensation by no means leaves the vestibule. The FreeLite’s rainfly tie-backs are in an intuitive and purposeful location that maintain the doorways out of the best way and permit somewhat extra air flow.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet’s massive rainfly doorways additionally function a single zipper. We like the location of the Hornet’s door tie-backs over the Tiger Wall, however lower than the FreeLite. The tie-backs are positioned low, which generally causes condensation to drip on us or gear whereas making an attempt to pin the door again. The Hornet’s doorways may additionally flap into the vestibule and towards the inside of the tent, a difficulty when the doorways have been moist with condensation or rain. We just like the triangular form and measurement of the rainfly doorways for ease of use.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall is available in final place due to the situation of the door tie-backs and clasps: they’re very low on the tent. This uncommon design means for those who’re inside making an attempt to get the rainfly flap out of the best way to exit, you’re more likely to brush towards condensation or a soaked rainfly, dousing each you and your gear. We additionally discovered the door design was too low. We needed to duck fastidiously when coming into the tent to keep away from brushing or bumping our heads on the tent. The Tiger Wall rainfly doorways have two-way zippers, the one tent of the three that provides this configuration. Two-way zippers may help with air flow, however this wasn’t sufficient to maneuver the Tiger Wall out of third place.

Winner – MSR FreeLite

The MSR FreeLite wins for the very best rainfly door. A mix of well-placed tiebacks and good design put its massive doorways on the prime. The Hornet is available in second, and the Tiger Wall in third.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

INTERIOR DOORS

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall The Tiger Wall has two zippers on inside “L”-shaped doorways. One zipper runs vertically, the opposite runs alongside the bottom, and so they meet on the nook. This design makes for simple, one-hand door opening and provides the flexibleness to entry the vestibule by simply opening the zipper on the backside, even whereas mendacity down. The Tiger Wall additionally has the most important inside doorways. The inside door tieback is ready excessive, which retains it fully out of the best way to make getting out and in simple.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite’s inside door is triangular and L-shaped, however the is smaller and at a sharper angle than these of the Tiger Wall. Tiebacks are intuitively situated in the midst of the door and maintain again the tent materials. Just like the Tiger Wall, the FreeLite additionally presents two zippers that meet on the nook for simple open-and-close with one hand or accessing gear exterior.

NEMO Hornet OMSO – We discovered the Hornet’s doorways have been extra cumbersome and fewer purposeful than the opposite two tents. The Hornet’s inside doorways are a half-circle form and solely have one zipper. We discovered the doorways are onerous to open with one hand due to their form and the design of the tent. With out utilizing two arms, cloth bunches up and prevents a easy zip. The tiebacks are lengthy and positioned nicely to maintain the door out of the best way when wanted.

Winner – Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall has the very best inside doorways of those three tents. They’re huge, simple to open with one hand, and the 2 zippers are handy and purposeful. The FreeLite is available in second and the Hornet in third.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Air flow

Usually, semi-freestanding tents don’t supply nice air flow in comparison with freestanding fashions. The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2, NEMO Hornet OSMO 2, and MSR FreeLite 2 don’t supply luxurious options typical of freestanding tents like kickstand roof vents or adjustable rainfly heights that may assist mitigate condensation even higher. The mesh uppers of the inside tent definitely assist with airflow, however air flow is restricted as soon as the tent is totally zipped up.

As a result of lack of air flow, condensation can construct up in a single day in all three of those tents, particularly throughout moist and chilly climate. We’ve by no means discovered condensation to be a serious problem as a result of the double wall design manages this moisture nicely. Not like a non-freestanding tent, the air hole between the inside mesh and the rainfly successfully retains condensation away from you and your gear. These tents are made with skinny efficiency materials that maintain a shocking quantity of moisture however dry shortly within the solar.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall presents two zippers on the rainfly, so you possibly can open the highest part of the fly for airflow whereas sustaining some privateness. Nevertheless, this isn’t sensible throughout moist climate. Just like the FreeLite, the inside tent additionally presents two zippers, permitting campers to go away one open for a bit extra air flow.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – On the foot of the Hornet, the rainfly is minimize out. This protects weight, nevertheless it creates a single-wall part on the tent. Regardless that this space is liable to condensation as a result of it creates a big nylon part as an alternative of mesh, this single-wall part of the tent helps with breathability.

MSR FreeLite – Identical because the Hornet, the FreeLite has a single-wall part on the foot of the tent the place there’s no rainfly. This helps incrementally with air flow. 

Winner – Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

The Tiger Wall’s double zipper on the rainfly and double zipper on the inside tent supply only a bit extra air flow than the FreeLite and Hornet. It’s price noting that it is a small quantity of additional airflow. All three tents use skinny, breathable materials, however are in the end missing in air flow options.

Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Eco-Pleasant

The out of doors business may be extremely wasteful. Manufacturing tents usually requires uncooked supplies like petroleum to provide artificial materials and aluminum for tent poles. The method of producing textiles is resource-intensive, creating huge quantities of water waste. As well as, Material remedies use chemical coatings and sealants that may be dangerous to the setting. Transporting merchandise everywhere in the world provides to carbon emissions.

It’s a paradox: the very gadgets we use to benefit from the outside can hurt the setting throughout their manufacturing. Corporations that concentrate on sustainable materials sourcing, recycled materials, accountable and humane labor practices, home manufacturing, and utilizing much less vitality and water could make a optimistic impression on the native and world setting.

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – In 2021, Massive Agnes modified the best way it dyes all of its tents with a technique referred to as solution dying. It dyes supplies earlier than they’re processed, as an alternative of afterwards. This dying approach reduces vitality consumption by 80% and water use by 50%. Meaning the Tiger Wall is produced with as few carbon emissions and chemical compounds as attainable. And, its tent poles are totally recyclable.

Massive Agnes amenities run on 100% electrical vitality. The corporate doesn’t use any flame retardants in its merchandise, makes use of licensed Accountable Down Normal for sourcing down, and prioritizes 50-100% recycled insulation to be used in its jackets and sleeping baggage. Massive Agnes has additionally diminished its variety of poly baggage for gadgets like furnishings and stakes. Try its long list of eco-friendly initiatives.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet makes use of OSMO cloth, a mix of polyester and nylon that’s free from ceaselessly chemical compounds like fireplace retardants, PFAs, and PFCs. The tent is Blue Signal authorised and assured freed from poisonous supplies.

NEMO pledges to chop its emissions in half by 2030. Their workplace runs on 100% renewable vitality. NEMO presents a lifetime guarantee and repairs, so when your Hornet wants a contemporary zipper or the ground requires greater than only a patch, you possibly can restore your tent as an alternative of including it to the landfill. NEMO has launched quite a lot of 100% recycled and recyclable merchandise. The corporate launched its Endless Promise Program, which is a dedication by the corporate to make gear extra recyclable and cut back waste with a closed-loop system: recycling, repairing, and reselling supplies and merchandise.

MSR FreeLite – Each the nylon cloth and aluminum of the FreeLite are made out of recyclable supplies.

MSR’s manufacturing and workplace amenities are powered by a minimal of 25% renewable vitality. All merchandise are freed from BPA, PFAs, and harsh chemical compounds. MSR sources all packaging supplies native to its US-based manufacturing amenities. Home manufacturing makes their environmental footprint a lot decrease versus producing internationally. It additionally has a strong restore program for its tents, backpacks, and a few garments, and boasts an 85% or increased fee of restore for all merchandise returned to them for fixing. Learn extra about their commitment to sustainability

Winner – Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

The Tiger Wall is the winner for eco-friendliness due to its Resolution-Dyed Material. The dramatic discount in assets used to provide such a top quality tent, mixed with Massive Agnes’ dedication to decreasing emissions throughout all amenities and merchandise, makes it distinctive. 

However none of those firms are slacking in the case of eager about their environmental footprint. Massive Agnes, NEMO, and MSR have all made important strides during the last decade to scale back vitality consumption, concentrate on recyclable merchandise, and transition to eco-friendly dyes, chemical compounds, and manufacturing practices. Every firm has its personal academic initiatives and conservation partnerships. Massive Agnes, NEMO, and MSR are on the forefront of the dialog round find out how to reuse or repurpose out of doors merchandise as an alternative of sending them to the landfill.

Photograph credit score: Dave Collins (CleverHiker.com)

Winner

Our winner within the comparability of the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall, MSR FreeLite, and NEMO Hornet OSMO tents is the Massive Agnes Tiger Wall.

  1. Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – 8 factors
  2. MSR FreeLite – 7 factors
  3. NEMO Hornet OSMO – 5 factors

Total Winner – Massive Agnes Tiger Wall

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)

Backside Line

The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall, NEMO Hornet OSMO, and MSR FreeLite tents are among the finest ultralight tents accessible. All three tents are tied for excellent climate safety, versatility, and ease of use. We expect every tent presents a reliably dry and secure shelter in moist climate and excessive winds. They’re exceptionally mild, easy to arrange, and versatile sufficient for many tenting conditions. 

Massive Agnes Tiger Wall – The Tiger Wall is our favourite tent general due to its roomier dimensions and beneficiant pocket construction. Inside house issues in a backpacking shelter, and the Tiger Wall presents essentially the most headroom. It’s the one possible possibility on this listing for 2 campers. The Tiger Wall additionally has the biggest vestibule house and largest inside door, and we like that the rainfly covers all sides of the tent. Its distinctive loft pocket makes it simple to stash cumbersome gear like jackets. Massive Agnes’ dedication to eco-friendly initiatives is a bonus.

The Tiger Wall’s cloth doesn’t really feel as sturdy because the Hornet or the FreeLite as a result of it sags essentially the most in chilly and moist climate. Its rainfly door design could possibly be improved by placing tiebacks in a greater location. It additionally packs the most important of the three tents. Nevertheless, the Tiger Wall presents virtually all the things we wish in a semi-freestanding and ultralight tent, making it the winner.

MSR FreeLite – The FreeLite works finest as an ultralight solo shelter. It weighs the least of the three tents however nonetheless has handy pockets. It feels essentially the most sturdy due to the mixture of metallic grommets and 15 nylon materials. We just like the rainfly on the FreeLite due to its intuitively positioned tie-backs that maintain the doorways out of the best way. It presents essentially the most flooring space to unfold out gear and get snug on its huge, rectangular flooring and stayed in second place amongst these tents for packed measurement, inside house, and vestibule measurement.

The FreeLite has much less headroom than we want. Its rain gutters are a pleasant function, however they don’t appear to assist shed moisture higher than the opposite tents. We discovered the triangular pockets are purposeful, however not as spacious or dynamic because the Tiger Wall.

NEMO Hornet OSMO – The Hornet is a wonderful possibility for single hikers underneath 6 toes tall who need an ultra-packable, no-frills tent. We like that the quick pole sections, at ⅔ of the size of the Tiger Wall or FreeLite, make the tent so small that we may stash your entire shelter and poles in our backpacks. The Hornet is snug and units up shortly. We’re impressed that the fabric doesn’t sag as a lot because the FreeLite or the Tiger Wall in chilly and moist climate. The Hornet can also be essentially the most inexpensive of those three tents.

However the Hornet is available in third place resulting from an absence of pockets and inside house. Two ceiling pockets aren’t sufficient to remain organized and declutter the tent, particularly in comparison with the Tiger Wall or FreeLite. The Hornet additionally has the smallest vestibule house, flooring house, and inside of the three tents. The slim headroom and a good pole construction are small for 2 individuals. Additionally, the inside door form and single zipper aren’t as simple to make use of as the opposite tents.

All three semi-freestanding tents are distinctive, feature-rich shelters. They’re extra inexpensive than a trekking pole shelter however lighter than a freestanding tent. The Massive Agnes Tiger Wall UL2, MSR FreeLite, and NEMO Hornet OSMO 2 are on our Greatest Backpacking Tents Information for the suitable causes.

When the competitors is that this stiff, contemplate your private priorities. Whether or not you’re after the tiniest packed measurement, the most important doorways, or essentially the most headroom, one in every of these tents is tailored to your subsequent backcountry journey. Irrespective of the place you’re headed subsequent, these shelters will maintain you secure, dry, and cozy – with out the additional weight.

Photograph credit score: Heather Eldridge (CleverHiker.com)